It was November 1995 when the Balboa Island Punting and
Sculling Society sat in the Class of 47 planning the hijacking of the Balboa Island ferry.
The ferry had only been hijacked once before, and that was by Judge Bob Gardner while in
The Society had not pulled a big caper in almost two
decades, and the Society's reputation was riding on the hijacking. It was decided the
hijacking would take place at 11 a.m on Wednesday November 29th, 1995.
Preparations were made for the big event, even
certificates were prepared for all who had the gumption for the historic task. The morning
of the big day the Society's members and guests gathered at the Class of 47 in readiness.
Then at the appropriate time they charged the ferry landing and
commandeered the ferry, "Commodore," and ordered the operator to take the ferry
to Woody's Wharf under threat of being 86ed from every bar in Orange County. Right under
the noses of the Newport Beach Police.
.The ferry had just started moving
up the bay when out of nowhere, the Harbor Patrol appeared in hot pursuit with blue-light
and siren. The ferry refused to stop and the Harbor Patrol resorted to using the boat's
fire nozzle to shoot water at the ferry, but to no avail. This crowd was on a mission, and
nothing was going to stand in their way
As the ferry passed the American Legion Hall,
several members of the Society mooned it. Finally the ferry arrived at Woody's Wharf,
where it was put up for sale for $75.00 OBO to help cover the Society's bar bill. But
sadly, there were no takers and the ferry was returned within two hours of its hijacking.
The hijacking was covered in the newspapers and
A tip of the hat to Seymour Beek for
his assistance in the Great Balboa Island Ferry Hijacking