DNW has a contract with the skipper which requires advance notice of runs.
The Paraclete and Island Express charge per passenger. DNW passenger fares are subsidized over 50% by dues. It is unfair to the community to have to subsidize those owners who do not make timely reservations.
The cost to run the Sylvan Spirit between Decatur and Skyline is the same whether there are 2 passengers or 57. If there hadn't been space available on that Sylvan Spirit run (we are limited to 57 passengers by the Coast Guard) you would have had to book passage on the Paraclete or Island Express at their regular fare.
We discourage this for the following reasons: The contractors often have a lot of tools and material that the Sylvan Spirit is not outfitted to carry. These materials cause extra wear and tear on the boat and inconvenience the other passengers. The Paraclete and Island Express have decks that were specifically designed to on/off load construction materials. Also, we only run the Sylvan Spirit if we have more than 8 DNW passengers. If we count the contractors in that 8 and they cancel, we have to run the Sylvan Spirit with a short passenger load at a high cost to the community. On those occasions when the contractors do ride the Sylvan Spirit, they are charged the full Paraclete/Island Express rate so that the community is not subsidizing an individual owner's construction project.
The primary reason is that our DNW homeowners have a large number of dogs already on the boat and adding guest dogs to the mix often has created chaos. Also, guest dogs have not been exposed to wildlife and sheep and they naturally want to chase these. DNW homeowners have either trained their dogs to leave the wildlife and sheep alone, or keep them under leash control at all times. We have also had problems with dog droppings on the Skyline Marina parking lot and dock as well as the DNW dock. The issue is accountability for the actions of your pets and often the staff is not aware of which guest belongs to which owner.
The policy is that contractors cannot bring pets to the island. The exception to this is when the contractor lives full time on Decatur Island and has a dog that is under leash or voice control. Again, these dogs are familiar with the wildlife and sheep.
The policy states that owners and their children may bring dogs to Decatur Northwest.
They are allowed.