Captain Joe Napoleon

Captain Napoleon
Captain Napoleon

Capt. Joe Napoleon has always loved the water. Even as a youngster, he spent as much time as possible on any kind of boat. So, it's no surprise he grew up to sail the Delaware Bay. "Being able to make my career as a captain of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry has definitely been like a dream come true," he says.

Napoleon spent six years serving his sea time with the Coast Guard, earning his various licenses and accreditations, and working as a seasonal employee on the ferry. About eight years ago, he took the examination to become a captain.

Every day I get to take in the most amazing view from my office window.

Every day, he now gets to take in "the most amazing view from my 'office' window," he says.

The captain enjoys the days when weather conditions are calm, but he also confidently handles ice, fog, and heavy winds.  In fact, teaching others how to operate the ferry in extreme weather is a highlight of his job. 

Although ferry captains aren't permitted to perform marriage ceremonies, Napoleon still has witnessed special moments at sea. "One of our passengers proposed to his girlfriend on the boat, and being out on the bay made it even more romantic," he says. "I was honored to be a part of that couple's engagement day."