Vineyard Haven

Good weather is back! We departed Oak Bluffs with promise of a sunshine soon to come, although the winds were still brisk.

Oak Bluffs channel looking northward.

Our next, and last harbor on Martha’s Vineyard, was Vineyard Haven, just 3.6 nautical miles around the corner from Oak Bluffs.  Vineyard Haven has a year-round population of 2,000 people and is the main port of entry to Martha’s Vineyard. 

On our way into Vineyard Haven harbor we saw this sailboat washed up on the shore. We wondered if this had happened the day before. Word on the water is that a microburst hit the harbor with momentarily fierce winds. Glad we were in Oak Bluffs!

The area was called “Nobnocket” by the Wampanoag people and then “Homes Hole” by the 19th century. “Hole” meaning a sheltered inlet which it certainly can be in the right winds.  The village officially changed its name to Vineyard Haven in 1871. It is also in the Town of Tisbury. Sometimes I find the Vineyard Haven/Tisbury name a bit confusing because they are used interchangeably.

In the past, we never stayed in Vineyard Haven. (Oops, no, not true! We spent our honeymoon here at a bed and breakfast in 1994 during a brief boat-less period.) By boat we have stayed in other harbors and walked, biked, or bussed to Vineyard Haven. Last year we anchored overnight in Vineyard Haven Harbor and found it secure with easy access to the town.

Our anchor location. The red boat is Magnolia still settling on a spot.
A view of the ferry over Magnolia at anchor.

We anchored near the bridge that separates Lagoon Pond from the harbor. Lagoon Pond is a very sheltered anchorage that limits stays to 3 days. We explored it by dinghy and might try that someday in the future, especially if the wind is from the north.

Lagoon Pond Bridge
Nice to know
We looked closely at the marked bridge heights. At the right tide, we might be able to go through without waiting for an opening, with our little “mast” down. 14 feet where it opens, but 18 feet on the right.

Another of my favorite things to do on Martha’s Vineyard is the West Tisbury Farmers Market , on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. “Founded in 1974 by a ragtag group of hippies, yankees and retired English teachers, the West Tisbury Farmers Market is Martha’s Vineyard’s oldest, largest, and finest open air market. ” It was Wednesday morning and a bus ride was the mode of transportation for Annette and me.

Flower stalls overflowing with colors for the eyes and scents for the nose.
Annette is perfectly matched to these blooming blossoms – both are beautiful!
The old truck adds a nice touch to the display of locally grown produce.
Not just vegetables here, but also scents and oils.
Organic honey products
Look at this sweet Popsicle stall…. stand….. food van?

Thursday was a quieter day for us, but since it was our last day, Al and I went into Vineyard Haven for one last walk.

From our anchor location we dinghies in to the inner harbor, passing the jetty, with lobster pot buoys snuggled near it.
The inner mooring field
I don’t know anything about this boat and its floating dock, but I thought it was an unusual site for a mooring field.
To one side of the harbor is a dock for the American Cruise line ship with the Black Dog schooner before it.
One of the Black Dog Tall Ships going out for a 3-hour sail, either Alabama or Shenandoah.
One last ice cream for the trip! At Bernies which as very good ice cream. Some guys have a girl in every port. Al has ice cream in every port. That works for me. 😉
We pass the ferry dock when we headed back to the boat. Those ferries are BIG.
Back at anchor, mama duck and her little ones are hanging around looking for a hand out.
The water looked inviting again after the heat of the day on shore. Al made that floating tether for me so that I don’t get swept away by a current.
Amici and Gale Warning sent us pictures of this little beauty moored there at Block Island. Yes, that is our very own first Kindred Spirit, a Catalina 34. We loved that boat and are so happy that her next owners love her as much we did! We hope that someday we are in the same harbor at the same time.
Chef Antonio at work in the galley, carefully dressing the dough with delicious toppings.
Chef Antonio proudly displays his legendary pizza with flare. We love these onboard pizza parties!!

The pizza party was a special event to get together with two other boats, Second Sally and Pegasus. Like Magnolia’s crew, Greg and Marie (Second Sally) and Rod and Mary (Pegasus) are live-aboard cruisers. Another great Magnolia party!

The guys, Rod, Anthony, Greg, and Al, enjoying the ambience of the cockpit.
The ladies, Annette, Mary, Marie, and Michele relaxing in the saloon.

And so our trip came to a close. I never tire of visiting these islands and their towns. Each one, from Nantucket to the Vineyard, has its own character and flavor to enjoy. Nantucket feels far away and has a sense of history with the cobblestone streets. Edgartown is classy and expensive like Nantucket, Oak Bluffs is known for “fun” and also history with the Trinity Park cottages; and Vineyard Haven is considered more of the business center although it also has a lovely main street of shops, homes with character, and several nice restaurants. I don’t think I could choose one place over the other; I love them all. We regretfully skipped Menemsha this year due to time and wind direction, but there’s alway another year around the bend!

A women’s rowing group was up bright and early that morning as Al cleaned off the anchor chain.
Before leaving Vineyard Haven, we passed by Magnolia to say good bye. What a fine time we had cruising together!
On our way, about 7:30 am
West Chop Light
Cuttyhunk in the distance.

We know we are close to home when we pass these three structures along the Rhode Island coast at Watch Hill.

The Ocean House, Watch Hill
Taylor Swift’s house in Watch Hill
The Watch Hill Coast Guard Station

Kindred Spirit averaged 8 knots for the 71 nautical miles over the 9-hour trip catching the current most of the way. Always nice when it works out that way. 😉

It was a good trip, to state the obvious.

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