"This island's developed with a dependency on the ferry, and the access to the ferry for families like us," said Nokomis, while holding his four-year-old son in his arms.
Local leaders say what amounts to a small increase or even a decrease in fares for the five other ferry trips in the state will create a doubling of most commonly-used fares to and from Islesboro and Lincolnville.
"I was shocked, honestly," said Laura Read, as she served breakfast to a throng of customers. Read and her husband own the only cafe in town. "It's going to be such a huge increase in what we spend both as a business and as a family. We're gonna honestly have to reconsider whether we can live out here."
Why the drastic increase for just one island? The trip to Islesboro is little more than 15 minutes; you can actually see the other terminal from shore. The next quickest trip? A whopping forty minutes between Bass Harbor and Swan's Island.
"I could see it going up a dollar or two, you know, a 20% rate hike maybe, but not double," Michael Durkee said as he shook his head. "It's really, really gonna mess a lot of people up, from stores to commuters and families." Durkee has been a commuter from the island as a child, and now ferries to work at a marina on Islesboro; 30 years spent traveling altogether.
Shaking the stigma that only millionaires live on islands, these diverse, mostly blue-collar residents would rather be known as the community that turned a mansion into a schoolhouse. Now, they fear families might no longer be able to live in this peaceful haven.
The Maine DOT did not respond to multiple attempts for comment. A press release from the department can be found on the state's website.