Wind farm tours underway
Sightseeing tours of the Block Island Wind Farm are in full swing. Interstate Navigation is hosting tours of the nation’s first offshore wind farm from Pt. Judith, and now Rhode Island Fast Ferry is embarking on providing the public with an up close glimpse at the wind turbines.
Interstate Navigation spokesperson Megan Moran said that Interstate received "great reviews from last Saturday's tour of the wind farm. It went very well. People are really interested in seeing it." Interstate's tours are hosted out of Pt. Judith aboard the company's hi-speed ferry called the Islander, which has ceased its summer route from Fall River to Newport. Tours are narrated by Jay Welch, who is an Interstate employee.
"We're hosting a tour this coming Saturday at 1:30 p.m. from Pt. Judith," said Moran, "and then we'll see how it goes from there regarding other tours. We're getting a good response, but just testing the waters." Interstate's wind farm tour makes a stop on Block Island to pick up passengers. She said people can learn more about the wind farm tour and book online tickets at: www.biwindfarmtours.com.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Rhode Island Fast Ferry’s hi-speed ferry the Ava Pearl toured the 30-megawatt wind farm, and Block Island, with “full capacity,” according to owner Charlie Donadio, Jr. The hi-speed ferry, which operates a route out of its marina at Quonset Point to Martha's Vineyard during the summer season, accommodates up to 150 passengers.
“It’s the company’s first official tour of the wind farm,” said Donadio. “We will be operating throughout the fall.” Donadio said his company will be creating a website with information about its wind farm tours that will be narrated by various speakers. Donadio also owns the Atlantic Pioneer, the 70-foot vessel that provides transport of personnel to the wind farm site, and will operate as a 47-passenger sightseeing boat.