It was an easy ride from Vineyard Haven to Edgartown.
It doesn’t matter that we have entered Edgartown Harbor many times over many years, there is still a thrill at the familiar and loved sights.
The weather was very warm and humid, even out here on the islands. Not as hot as back home where schools were dismissed early due to the heat, but plenty warm enough for me to complain. On September 2nd the weather and news reports began the warnings about a potential hurricane birthing off Africa. On September 5th it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Lee and reached hurricane status 24 hours later. The forecasts were somewhat alarming (aren’t they always?) as Lee became a huge and threatening storm for the Mid-Atlantic to Canadian coasts.
Both Limerick and Kindred Spirit make good use of their custom-designed bow shades, “Shades by Al” or “Al Shades” as they are affectionately called. They keep the master staterooms cooler by providing shade from the harsh sun and allowing the hatch to be open for a breeze, even in the rain.
Maybe it was the heat and humidity, maybe (just a little maybe) it is our slowing down with age, but for whatever the reason, we all found contentment in just enjoying the views, relaxing on our boats, and spending time with good friends. No one feels the need to maintain a frenetic pace of go-go-go.
One thing on my DO list for this trip was to take Don and Cindy to the Aquinnah Cliffs. It’s been quite a few years since we were there, certainly before writing this blog, so over 10 years? In good weather we have dinghied form the anchorage in Menemsha around to the beaches below the cliffs. I would like to do that again someday.
We hopped on the bus to ride out to the southwest corner of Martha’s Vineyard to the town of Aquinnah, formerly known as Gay Head. English settlers, long before the town was incorporated in 1870, saw the colored cliffs from Vineyard Sound and thought them “gay,” a term that meant something much different back then. In 1965, the Gay Head Cliffs were designated as a National Landmark by the National Park Service.
In 1997, the name of the town was officially changed from Gay Head back to its former Wampanoag name of “Aquinnah” by a vote of 79-76, representing recognition of Wampanoag history in the region. “Aquinnah” means “land under the hill” in the Wampanoag language.
~~ “I think if you want to give proper recognition to the Native American history, the area should have a Native American name,” Mr. Widdiss told the Gazette in the run-up to the 1997 vote.
~~“It was hard to get used to, but I think the name is beautiful and appropriate,” said Vera Dello Russo, an Aquinnah librarian who has lived in the town for years.
After more study of the inconclusive weather forecasts for Lee, we made the hard decision that it would be best to head back and away from the islands. There would be no visit to Nantucket, Oak Bluffs, Menemsha….. this year. We settled on a long day straight to Block Island from Edgartown. (We now know that Lee was not as serious for us in southern New England as it might have been, but that is hindsight.)