STOW - The Bemus Point-Stow Ferry will not be able to operate again this weekend, but should cross Chautauqua Lake again sometime next week.
John Cheney, director of vessels for the Sea Lion Project Ltd., which operates the ferry, said the vessel is not running yet, but plans on it being able to operate next week.
''We're coming along good,'' he said. ''I'm pretty sure we will be able to run by next week.''
Cheney said the worst part about not being able to operate the historic ferry, which celebrated its 200th anniversary last year, is having to cancel trips. He said he had to cancel a graduation party today with grads who were going to include the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry as part of their celebration.
Last month, the ferry didn't pass its inspection because of state regulations that require all water vessels to have an anchor, an electric horn and automatic sump pumps with an alarm system. Cheney, with several volunteers who have lent a hand or donated items, have been working to get the vessel certified, so it can once again cross Chautauqua Lake.
In June 1811, Thomas Bemus was granted a license to operate a ferry from Bemus Point to Stow. The ferry began operations out of necessity in order to get goods from one side of the lake to the other. Now the vessel is an historic asset to the county that draws tourists to the region every year. The ferry has been in near continuous operation since it was first operated.