picture of passengers on Aqualink
aqualink photo

 

People line up to see the harbor docking of the Aqualink public taxi service.


 

Long Beach, CA--Let's face it.  People want a cheap date...and when the Aqualink high-speed Catamaran began operating several years ago in the Long Beach harbor, it seemed like a way to enhance tourist offerings by luring the public out there to explore in a fun manner. The first rides were only a buck ($1). By the time we write this, it is now $3/each way. When you think that within 15 minutes you can drive the family the distance between two spots that takes 45 minutes on a boat, Aqualink isn't such a deal for a family of 4. Round trip fare would be $24.


But Aqualink is a joy ride that like it or not, the City of Long finally has learned to handle and cope with. Telling passengers to get off the boat, re-entry costs $5. They've quit giving lectures about how "this is not a tour boat." They simply make everyone get off and get back on for the return trip.


What's funny about people who ride the boat is their persistence in ignoring the signs that ask them to wait behind a specific line.  They see the dock, they see the empty boat and off they go. The captain asks, "Who told you to come on board?"  They grin and have no answer, of course.


Another trend or instinct to compete, rush or be first is the boarding of this "water taxi". Everybody runs to the front of the boat to grab the closest spot to jumping off. No, they don't jump. What they do is stand there till the boat hits the open seas where two things transpire. Front passengers get wet, and they get cold from the ocean breeze. Before you know it, they start heading for warmer quarters, one by one. 


The summer crowd seems aggressive and competitive over a simple thing like a boat ride. But come September, a slower, mellow vibe sticks around for 9 months (same amount of time for female gestation)  till the next round of tourists are berthed (as in boat), returning to make life hell for the captain and his crew of the Long Beach Catamaran Aqualink service. See Aqualink schedule



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