We left bright and early Wednesday morning with the winds in our favor. It was a very good sail from Newport to our first stop in the Elizabeth Islands. In case you have never heard of them the Elizabeth Islands are a chain of small islands extending southwest from the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Most all of the islands in the chain are owned by the Forbes and are private although they do allow anchoring and shores visits in some places. The one island that is not owned by the family is Cuttyhunk. This little town is a real gem. It is 580 acres and has a full time population of about 100. After tying the dingy up we walked up to downtown which consists of a corner market. The “thing to do” in Cuttyhunk is to walk up the hill to see the view. We have to share with you a few town sights before sharing the spectacular view.
The market – only open certain hours 9-11 and 3-5. Closed Wed and Sun!
Elementary school – we were told 3 students attended
Cuttyhunk mail truck
In order to get to the top of the hill you walk up a road with stone wall on either side. This elaborate road was constructed by a Mr. Woods to lead to a house he was building at the top of the hill for his son. Unfortunately, the house was never built, the son died in a car accident. The road stands alone.
Stonewall road built by Mr. Woods
And now the views..
View from top of hill
Before we headed back to the boat we bought some scrod from the local fisherman selling it at the dock. It was fantastic! You just can’t beat fresh like that.
The next day we headed over to Hadley Harbor. This is owned by the Forbes family, however they let do allow boats in the harbor and actually provide moorings at no cost. It is one of the best protected harbors so when we heard of bad weather heading our way we spent an extra day there. Since we had to stay on the boat the pictures are not great, but you can get an idea of how picturesque this place is.
Hadley harbor boat house
Hadley harbor horses grazing
We left Hadley harbor Saturday morning to catch a favorable tide through the treacherous Woods Hall passage. The currents can run up 4 knots and the passage is surrounded by rocks and ledges. We made it through and again were favored with fair winds. By 11 am were were on the mooring in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard.
You have all seen Edgartown although you probably didn’t know it. This is where Jaws was filmed in 1975. It is also where Presidents and celebrities vacation. After spending a few days here it is understandable. Everything you would picture a New England vacation town of the rich and famous to be it is here including us.
Typical summer “cottage”
Not as typical but unbelievable
Even places that are usually not so attractive are aesthetically pleasing. Check these out..
Edgartown Shell Station
Town Jail- really there are bars on the window upstairs!
Hard to believe this started as a whaling town. The whalers would take go after the whales in these canoe like boats called a Dory.
Dory whaling boat
The first night we were here we were hit with a bad storm. So glad we were on a mooring as the winds gusted to 40 mph. That is one thing about sleeping on a boat – you can often wake up in an opposite direction of where you started!
For those history buffs, remember Ted Kennedy’s ill fated car ride on Chappaquiddick? Well, when he left Chappaquiddick he swam across the water to Edgartown. There is a ferry that runs every 5 min from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick – $12 per car and $4 per person.
Harbor water were Kennedy swam- see the land on the other side?
We took a short bus ride out to see the cottages of Oak Bluff (another town here on Martha’s Vineyard). Between 1850 and 1880 the Methodists built some 500 tiny cottages (300 homes survived) around an open air tabernacle. Each cottage owner tried to outdo the others with elaborate themes and color schemes. A few examples
Oak Bluff cottage 1
Oak Bluff Cottage 2
Oak Bluffs has a rich history and has been a summer place for decades of the elite African American. While elite might not describe today’s residents and guests, like Edgartown vacationing here is not for the poor.
Tomorrow we head out for Nantucket.. Until then…may we all be as Hank is…
Lucky Hanks – Best Dinner this trip!