WD-70 Edgartown

On Thursday morning we left Oak Bluffs for Edgartown, another short trip. Leaving the compact Oak Bluffs harbor takes a bit of forethought because of the ferry traffic in and out all day.

As we dropped the mooring line to depart, Al saw the ferries outside the harbor, one was the big car ferry that passes by and docks on the outside. The Island Queen and Lady Martha were also on their way, into the harbor. Time to circle in the mooring field and wait.

Island Queen coming in with a load of passengers.
Lady Martha entering the harbor channel. Yes, she gets to go first. We’ll wait!
Good-bye to the Oak Bluffs shoreline and we are on our way to Edgartown.
Just 7 nautical miles apart and yet sooooo different!

We have spent a large part of our boating years together visiting Martha’s Vineyard, and it is challenging to add something new to the blog posts. Our first visit was by ferry in 1994 on our honeymoon and then by boat for 3 weeks of the summer, for 20 years. I already wrote about walking around Edgartown in 2017, and another visit in 2019. I never tire of these familiar Edgartown sights. We have our traditional “must-do” list that we repeat because we simply enjoy it that much.

View of Chappaquiddick as we enter the channel
A little catboat is merrily skipping along in the brisk breeze.
The beach club on Chappy. No one is enjoying the day there yet.
Edgartown Lighthouse. Sweet, small and charming. It is unusual to find a lighthouse right on a beach.
The steeples rising above the streets – Old Whaling Church and the Federated Church.
Edgartown Yacht Club.

We had to introduce Don and Cindy to Edgartown harbor’s water dock. It’s unusual (we have never come across another like it) and because we both needed water.

Each boat took one side of the water dock (yes, that is a picnic table on the dock) and filled up the tanks.

The harbormaster assigned us to mooring #19 and gave the ok with cautions for rafting due to the predicted strong winds for the next few days. It was a good location with a fairly short dinghy distance to the docks.

Rafted on #19.

An introductory walk around Edgartown led us to an ice cream shop. Almost surprised you, right? Haha 😜. Our favorite shop, Scoop Shack, was not open for the season yet so we settled for one on the wharf.

Extra credit goes to the shop with an ice cream cone doorstop! Ice cream #4 in harbor #4. that!
Everywhere you walk in Edgartown there are flowers. Beautiful, thriving flower arrangements. We saw roses because it is June when the roses are at their peak.
I smiled at this planter (one of three). Only in Edgartown could there be blooming hydrangeas before their usual blooming time later in the summer.

There are always plenty of boats to watch in Edgartown harbor.

The catboat with the American flag sail is an Edgartown icon.
The On Time ferries
The Shenandoah is a 108′ square topsail schooner, one of the Black Dog Tall ships. We had seen her in Vineyard Haven and now in Edgartown. Built in 1964 to replicate the old clipper ships, the Shenandoah is unique in that she is the world’s only non-auxiliary (meaning no engine) square-topsail schooner, as well as claiming the longest-standing captain and schooner relationship in the nation. 
Sailing school, preparing the next generation.
The quirky photo for Edgartown – Right on the dinghy dock these enormous racing markers were being inflated. After a thorough scrubbing, we saw them deflated in this cart the next day.

Friday brought another round of wind and rain overnight followed by a morning of clouds and fog. It looked like a pretty dreary day ahead so we made it a cultural and historical day. 

Between 1886 and 1919, industrialist Andrew Carnegie donated more $55 million to build 2,509 libraries, including 1,679 of them in communities large and small across America. “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” The Edgartown Library, built in 1904, was the smallest of Carnegie’s libraries. When Edgartown built a new library in 2016 the building became the headquarters of the Vineyard Preservation Trust, serving as a museum to showcase the history of Martha’s Vineyard. The Trust owns and maintains more than 20 historic properties. “Through its stewardship, Vineyard Trust strengthens and cultivates community, celebrates the island’s unique character, and ensures that these invaluable assets remain landmarks for life.”

The Carnegie. In 2006 when the building was the public library, I used the public computers and wifi here to resign from one job and accept the new one that had been offered to me in a phone call while we were on the water between Block Island and the Vineyard.

The interior of The Carnegie is beautiful and houses the Trust’s permanent exhibitions, “Living Landmarks.”

We took the Trust’s historic walking tour of Edgartown (something new for us) and learned about several historic sites in the town.

The Old Whaling Church, built in 1843, is regarded as one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in New England.

We have been inside the church before but never realized that the arch at the front is a mural. Originally painted by Swiss artist Carl Wendte, it is a full scale trompe l’oeil mural transforms the flat surface into a a what appears to be a three-dimensional arch. The side walls and rear are also painted in this style. The murals were recently reproduced by island artist Margot Datz using months of careful research and a rare photograph from 1865 as a guide.

Interior of the Old Whaling Church.
The Vincent House, built in 1672 is a Cape Cod style of post and beam construction. It is the island’s oldest surviving residence and was moved to its current location in 1977.
Dr. Daniel Fisher Federal style house, built in 1840, during the height of the whaling era. The Vineyard Preservation Trust was hosting its annual two-day fundraising event here, “Taste of the Vineyard” that day and on Saturday.
Gardens of the Fisher House
The Edgartown town green is a charming small space tucked between buildings with brick paths crossing through. We had always thought it was a private yard and never entered it.
We grabbed a lunch at Espresso Love Cafe, a favorite of ours, and sat outdoors in their garden.

After an afternoon on our boats, we headed back into town for my absolute favorite event of our trips to Martha’s Vineyard – A Vineyard Sound concert!

The Vineyard Sound, giving an impromptu live advertisement for their concerts.
The weather had not improved much so we were prepared for the worst, but not deterred from our goal. This photo of the dinghy dock is a rare one. On most occasions, this dock is packed with dinghies two to three deep. What a surprise to see the few dinghies that were here all neatly lined up!
Tonight’s concert was at St. Andrew’s Church.
A small but eager audience. I have been a fan of this acapella group for 29 of their 30 years.

The Vineyard Sound is special to me. To repeat what I wrote in 2019 “I first heard them back in 1993 when they sang at Silas Deane Middle School in Wethersfield where I was then teaching 7thgrade mathematics. Two of the founding members had attended the middle school so they did a concert there for the kids. When we honeymooned on Martha’s Vineyard in 1994, we looked them up and have tried to catch a concert every time we have been here since then. Naturally the members change over the years, but I must admit, with chagrin, that I was caught off guard when I realized the current singers were not even alive when we heard the first Vineyard Sound concerts back in 1993. Feeling old……………”

I think this summer’s group is one of the best we have heard.

Saturday was a better weather day, but not as sunny or warm as we hoped. Boat chore time before fun – that means scheduling a pump-out with Mike.

Pump-outs are necessary and boaters are grateful for these boats that come to us to clear out “our system.” Mike, the Edgartown pump-out and launch driver, is another of Edgartown favorites. He is friendly and remembers us from year to year. It’s been three years since we were here and it was great to see Mike again.

The weather wasn’t good enough for a dinghy ride out Katama Bay to Norton Beach so we opted for a picnic lunch on the beach by the lighthouse. Lots to watch there!

Dinghies beached. Those dark gray clouds stayed with us.
People enjoying the fishing.
Don and Cindy with the lighthouse.
Little sailing boats preparing for a race day.

That evening, Colin and Gail visited us for a happy hour on board Kindred Spirit.

I guess we enjoyed the visit and catching up with each others’ news too much. I totally forgot to take any photos until Colin and Gail were leaving. 🙃😟

The crews of Limerick and Kindred Spirit were uninvited guests at a wedding on the hill above the harbor. It was a cold evening, but the bridal party bravely carried on from what we could see and hear.

We made up stories about the lonely person sitting on the deck of the boat house below. Let your imagination roll…….
A happy occasion.

That night and Sunday were cold and dreary. Mid-50’s at night (brrrr) and rainy and chilly all day. We did boat chores, held a planning meeting for the next leg of the cruise, and then bravely dinghied to town for a little shopping, groceries and shirts. Oh, and a little ice cream at Scoops.

Ice cream #5? I’m losing count.

Monday was departure day. A bright sunny day still with a chill in the air. One more Watson tradition in Edgartown is breakfast at Among the Flowers.

Among the Flowers cafe. We have had breakfast here for years, every time we are in Edgartown, but this time I am sad to say it was disappointing. Prompted by covid, the cafe no longer serves the food and it is all in disposable dishes. It just didn’t seem the same.
Don and Al played the ring toss game while we waited for the cafe to open.
Breakfast at Among the Flowers

After breakfast, we dropped the mooring line and made another stop at the water dock before heading to Nantucket. When Mike heard us on the VHF, he asked if we would be back this season. Now that makes me feel welcome. And maybe we will, who knows?

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