When we leave Lake Tashmoo, we usually head north and east around West Chop and East Chop on either side of Vineyard Haven harbor, dodging the big ferries as we cross.
West and East Chop Lights are so similar, I wasn’t sure which was which when I reviewed the photos. I could only identify them by the order in which they were taken (going west to east) and by zooming in on the windows which are slightly different.
Sometimes we stop in Oak Bluffs first and sometimes we head to Edgartown first. Every town on Martha’s Vineyard has its own flavor and charm, which is what makes it a great island. But the morning was calm and lovely, so we made one of those impulsive Watson decisions and decided to save the rest of Martha’s Vineyard for the return voyage. We have plenty of time; we are retired! The sea conditions were just right, so why not go straight to Nantucket now?? 31 nautical miles, which only took us 5 hours, and we were there.
Entering Nantucket harbor is always exhilarating.
First you are greeted by Brant Point Light, proudly standing watch at the edge of the harbor. First erected in 1746, it is America’s second oldest lighthouse. But, the current building is the tenth structure to sit there, so I don’t see how it could actually be “the second oldest.” That location for a lighthouse may be, but not that particular building. Brant Point is only 26 feet tall, making it the shortest lighthouse in all of New England. Its red light flashes every four seconds, and is visible ten miles out, so size doesn’t matter.
One look at our chartplotter and all we saw were AIS icons in the harbor, mostly at the docks. The “big boys” are out here.
There are 125 rental moorings in the harbor here……. for $65 per night. Naturally we choose to anchor just beyond the moorings. This year we sought a new location on the other side of the shallowed area in the harbor. Perfect! It’s still a 3/4 nm ride in the dinghy to the town dinghy docks, but that $65 per night goes a long way towards eating out! Interestingly, most people don’t seem to feel comfortable anchoring here. Are we brave, foolish, or just thrifty?? Don’t answer that.
Nantucket is full of history, sea stories, and old New England charm. We love strolling around the streets.
In olden days, Nantucket was a very muddy mess where refuse and water puddled in the sandy clay streets when it rained. By the mid 1800’s, cobblestones were used to pave the streets and were a real sign of progress. There are differing stories about where the cobblestones originated. The popular hypothesis is that the cobblestones were ballast from the ships that had taken goods across to Europe. A much more interesting story than just buying them from somewhere on the East coast.
I could wander these streets forever.
When we weren’t roaming around the streets of Nantucket, we would spend a few hours on the beach. Jetties Beach is an easy dinghy ride just outside the harbor.
The Oliver Hazard Perry, a tall ship, arrived in Nantucket. The Perry is a three-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel, measuring 207 feet long. She is the largest privately owned tall ship and civilian sail training vessel in the United States. It took 8 years to build her, finishing with a maiden voyage to Portland, Maine in 2015 for the Tall Ships Festival. The ship is a “good will ambassador” for Rhode Island as well as a “floating classroom”.
If you love looking at boats, Nantucket has a ginormous variety, sail and power. I could fill blog post after post with just photos of the boats out there. But I won’t 😉 Except for these two —
Our anniversary always fell during our summer sailing trips around the southern New England islands, so we decided to revive that little tradition of a nice dinner out on an island. Nantucket has Incredible restaurants that can compete with the best metropolitan ones. We still reminisce about an anniversary dinner we had here at The Boarding House. Although we were 14 days late, it was still August, so we chose The Pearl, sister restaurant to The Boarding House. I’ll be honest, it was the kind of meal you only do on very special occasions, if you know what I mean.
Our time on Nantucket was interrupted, and we had not explored so many of our favorite places such as ‘Sconset, Surfside Beach, The Whaling Museum, Cisco Brewery, Head of the Harbor, and more. We had been watching the weather forecasts for several days, hoping against hope that Hermine, the tropical storm, would not come too close. By August 30th, it was apparent that it would be foolish to ignore her. We have spent enough time on boats and on the water to know that you don’t fool with Mother Nature. We were close enough to our homeport to get back there safely, well ahead of Hermine.
We departed Nantucket on Wednesday, August 31st and made it to Cuttyhunk, 44 nautical miles, 6+ hours. Dropped the hook and spent the night, leaving very early the next morning, in the rain.
On September 1st we traveled another 48 nautical miles and reached Napatree, Rhode Island and meet Mary Jo and Dean. The weather was still good enough to stay out a little longer, if we were close to home.
Before ending our 3-4 week trip, we squeezed in some more good times with Mary Jo and Dean.
Always beautiful at Watch Hill and Napatree.
There was so much more we planned to do on this trip before it was interrupted by Hermine. We thought we had a couple more weeks for time in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Aquinnah, Menemsha, Cuttyhunk……… Oh well, perhaps next year.