On Saturday afternoon I was waiting to cross the River Medina from East Cowes to West Cowes.The usual crossing vessel, the chain ferry, had over-run it's annual maintenance period and was parked (with nobody working on it), so we were using the alternate Jenny passenger launch.
Unfortunately, it broke down and was taken out of service. The spare boat was in Portsmouth, two hours away according to the crew who took away their broken boat and returned some time later with the Cowes Harbour pilot boat to use as a ferry.
This can only take 12 passengers and no buggies or prams, so was of very limited value and consequently the queues on either side of the river were growing ever longer.
Help was at hand - the local water taxis came to our assistance and a flotilla of little boats were soon running a shuttle service picking passengers off the pontoons and taking them across the river.
If you want to see the chain ferry in action take a look at our time-lapse video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JJ3rMMpLZY