Labor Day Weekend in Vineyard Haven

Labor Day weekend was upon us, with crowds and boats likely to descend on Martha’s Vineyard. Find a place to be and stay there through the holiday. That was the plan, so on Friday morning we moved from Cuttyhunk to Vineyard Haven, a short trip of 17 nautical miles.  Vineyard Haven makes a nice stopping place. The main street has interesting shops, the bookstore, an amazing kitchen store, a fun “rainy day” store, and the usual clothing and jewelry shops. Oh, and ice cream. At the top of the list is the Stop & Shop close to the dinghy dock – every boater’s dream, well, at lest the crew member who does the provisioning dreams of that.

The timing and direction of the current was wrong for entering Lagoon Pond through the bascule bridge so we anchored on the west side of the outer harbor. None of us wanted to repeat last year’s bridge experience!

We were anchored off to the west side of the outer harbor, near the mooring field. It was quite rolly thanks to the ferries.
There are many ships of all types and sizes in Vineyard Haven. The Shenandoah and the Alabama sailing ships are one of Vineyard Haven’s best sightings.
There are certainly other interesting and sometimes curious boats out and about.

We dinghied in to meet Colin and Gail for dinner at the Black Dog. Dinner and a package delivery – Limerick’s vacuflush parts. Thank you, Colin for being the UPS connection!

Happy and satisfied after a delicious dinner, visiting with friends at the Black Dog, one of our favorite places to eat on the island.
As the day ended, I took a moment to look out at the moon across the harbor, capturing the red nun in its light.

Saturday was a slow and easy day for me. Don finished the repair work on Limerick, and Al went over to Lake Tashmoo to check out some things on Colin’s boat, Tortuga. It is not often that I am alone on the boat, especially at anchor. By later that afternoon, the timing for entering Lagoon Pond was just right so just before dinner the crews on Kindred Spirit and Limerick took a deep breath, crossed their fingers and requested a bridge opening. From May 15-September 15, the bridge opens by request but only from 8:15-8:45 AM, 10:15-11 AM, 3:15-4 PM, 5-5:45 PM, and 7:30-8 PM, and those times do not always match up with the best current situation.

It’s all about the timing. No problem, no sweat this year.

I always enjoy the arts festivals and the farmers markets on the Vineyard when we are there so, of course I insisted that we all go to the 23rd Annual Vineyard Artisans Labor Day Weekend Festival. It was held at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury, a 2-bus trip to get there from Vineyard Haven. Martha’s Vineyard is not a small Island.

 The current “Ag Hall” — a reconstructed century-old post-and-beam barn brought to the Island from New Hampshire — was erected in 1994. The building sits on the 21-acre site of the annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair, held every August. It is also used for weddings, artisans’ shows and other community events.
This is the largest art show on Martha’s Vineyard, featuring only the top Island artists with unique furniture, clothing, ceramics, jewelry, and fine art. It was a feast for the eyes. So much creativity and talent in one space. Note to self: If we are ever here over the Labor Day weekend again, attend the festival on Saturday, not Sunday because there was music, food trucks, and a farmers market as well as all of the art.

High on the walls of the hall were displays of the past posters for the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show & Fair held in August every year. They reminded me of the Durham Fair posters.

The nostalgic older posters, evidently the fair was held in September back then.
Some of the more recent posters from this century.
It was a warm and humid day so a stop at Mad Martha’s Ice Cream was just what we needed.
Limerick and Kindred Spirit rafted in Lagoon Pond.
Tortuga passing by on the way out of the lagoon.

It was hot and humid, even out here in the islands. Not as bad as inland, but bad enough. The only solution was to get in the water. The only problem was that we had seen jellyfish and I am not a fan. Don and Al stood jellyfish watch while I was in the water Thanks, guys!

Don looking over the edge at the jellyfish. You can sure tell I wasn’t thrilled when any jellyfish ventured near me.
On the subject of aquatic creatures, doesn’t that cloud formation look like a fish?

On our last afternoon in Vineyard Haven, we had lunch at Garde East right on the waterfront. Funny story – Adam and Steph had given us a gift card to the restaurant before the covid pandemic struck and there had been no opportunity to use it in the past four years!

On our dinghy ride back into Vineyard Haven, Al noticed a guy rowing his dinghy. He stopped and asked if he needed a tow which he gratefully accepted. That’s my guy; he loves a good rescue opportunity.
I am not sure we would have ever found Garde East without specifically looking for it. It’s tucked in, but right on the waterfront.
Lunch on the deck overlooking the water and marina.
Relaxing in the Adirondack chairs.
Yes, we stopped at Mad Martha’s again for ice cream.

And so our Labor Day weekend in Vineyard Haven/Lagoon Pond came to a close. On Tuesday, we headed to Edgartown.

We got this now! We are no longer afraid of this little bridge which is good because Lagoon Pond is a nice place to stay.
And the bridge tenders are all friendly and helpful.

  1. Ellen Margel Seltzer

    This looks like a wonderful time and I am glad that you and your friends had so much fun and many successes. The pictures really create a nice catalog! Thanks.

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