Captain David Brown

captain david brown of the cape may-lewes ferry
Captain Brown

For Capt. Dave Brown, seeing new things every day is part of the appeal of working on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. But, he also enjoys seeing familiar faces year after year as they make the passage across the Delaware Bay during their annual vacations. 

"Our goal is to make sure our passengers get a chance to relax and enjoy the pretty views. And since those views are constantly changing, we hope they'll keep coming back to sail with us as often as possible," Brown says.

Brown has been with the ferry since 1992, beginning his career as an able-bodied seaman. He had accrued the sea time necessary to sit for the able-bodied-seaman examination during his stint with the U.S. Coast Guard on buoy tenders and search-and-rescue vessels. 

It's our job to give our passengers an enjoyable experience and also a safe passage.

"I grew up in Cape May and always wanted to work on the water, so I had it in mind when I went into the Coast Guard to eventually work for the ferry," Brown says. "I always had it in mind to work my way up to ferry captain."

After accruing more sea time and sitting for multiple exams, Brown worked his way up to running mate, then pilot and captain. Part of the training also included firefighting and first aid to handle any guest emergencies, from bumps and bruises to heart attacks. The pilot on board is also the medical officer.

"We are not called on very often to use these skills, but we think passengers would like to know that we're trained and always ready to assist them, should they need us," Brown says.  "It's our job to give our passengers an enjoyable experience and also a safe passage."