We departed from Shennecossett and headed towards Cuttyhunk at 8:00 am on Monday August 28th for a 7.5 hour, 51 mile trip on a coolish, somewhat overcast day.
On this visit to Cuttyhunk, we took a mooring together in the inner harbor. On almost all of our stops in the past we have anchored in the outer harbor, but we really wanted to show Cuttyhunk to Don and Cindy and the inner harbor made it more convenient. We simply had to include a few new things on this second annual WD-70ish cruise.
We’ve been stopping at Cuttyhunk for at least 25 years and I have three previous blog posts about visits so I will try not to repeat much, except for our highlights.
2017 3 Weeks, 4 Islands, 6 Harbors
2019 Block & Cutty
2021 Good Bye Maine, Homeward Bound
Cuttyhunk is still a small quiet community among the southern New England islands. Although it too has changed over the past 25+ years that we have been visiting, it remains far less commercial than the other bigger islands. The year round population is declining from 52 in 2000, to a reported 10 in 2023. Our waitress at the Fishing Club said there would only be our residents this coming winter, three rotating and one, a recently graduated high schooler, staying through the entire off-season. Although Cuttyhunk would like to host more year-round folks, that poses a challenge. A favorite place in the summer, attracting boaters, Cuttyhunk becomes desolate in the off-season with there no stores, no restaurants and minimal ferry service.
Tuesday was cloudy but not as rainy as forecast.
We walked around Cuttyhunk to stretch our legs and show it off to Don and Cindy.
Another must-do is to walk up Tower Road passed the town buildings and church. The last student graduated from Cuttyhunk Elementary School in 2019 which left the tiny school childless. Then the Covid-19 pandemic changed things. Three seasonal families decided to move to the island full-time and enroll their four children, 2nd grade, 5th grade, two 7th graders, in the school. While the rest of the country switched gears to remote learning, Cuttyhunk’s little classroom was face-to-face learning. I suspect that the students have since returned to the mainland to finish their education. Interestingly, the little school has switched gears again and is now Cuttyhunk STEAM Academy, for youth and adults in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math through a daily or residential multi-day/night program. Pretty cool.
It’s all about the views —
painted stones on public path among the houses – collage
To give Don and Cindy a full Cuttyhunk experience we ordered lobsters from John on the dock. He would cook them and we would pick them up at 6:00 sharp. Many people get the full lobster dinner from another source, but we preferred making our own sides. John, the lobster guy, was the quintessential New England fisherman and irresistible. His dour expression in the photo contradicted his friendly manner when we chatted.
The forecasted rainy and foggy weather was in full display on Wednesday morning. Looking ahead to the next couple of days, that also included some high winds, we changed our plans. We are staying here for now. Not a bad plan at all. That decision proved to be necessary for other reasons. Don announced that Limerick’s vacuflush toilet broke down. Oh no, no, no. Priorities on a boat are a well-functioning engine, plenty of water, and a toilet, not necessarily in that order (🥴😳😄😉 in my opinion.)
Finally, late in the afternoon, I suggested calling the manufacturer. They knew the problem right away and immediately shipped the parts overnight to Vineyard Haven to Colin, our friend there. Limerick carries a porta potty which meant a couple more days could be handled.
The harbormaster requested, and we completely agreed, that our boats should separate due to the prediction for higher winds.
An incredible evening sunset splashed across the skies. Thank you, Cindy, for these photos of Kindred Spirit. They may be my favorites of all time.
Thursday, August 31st was the last day for the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club breakfast service. It is a tradition for us, as well as most others who stop here, so we had to take Cindy and Don there. I do think it is the BEST time we ever had there.
We decided to take a hike, starting past the Fishing Club, taking a turn on Bayberry Road, but not sure where we would end up.
Without a doubt, this was the best visit to Cuttyhunk, ever.