Just over a week ago, I returned from my annual trip of two weeks in June on Martha’s Vineyard. June is a fantastic time to be on-island. Not that there is a bad time to be on Martha’s Vineyard, not that I have found anyway. I have experienced eight of the twelve months on the island and have enjoyed each and every one of them. Eventually, I’ll check off the remaining four months—November, January, March and May. So far, June and September are definitely my favourites. The only reason September might be in the lead is the water is a lot warmer than it is in June, and I love to swim. Having said that, there was one morning a couple of weeks ago, on the beaches of Chappaquiddick, that I did end up in the ocean up to my waist. I got very close…
The Best Of The Vineyard
My trip began, as it did last year, with The Best Of The Vineyard. Last year, one of my best friends, Captain Kurt Peterson of Catboat Charters, was nominated and won for Best Sailing Charter! We had a fantastic evening with friends and family. It was truly one of the best nights of my life. This year, Kurt was was nominated again, and I went to show my support. Once again, Catboat Charters was called as the winner, and family and friends were all there cheering! We had such a good time. Farm Neck Golf Club and The Vineyard Gazette did an excellent job with the festivities, and I could not be happier for my friend. He works hard and he deserves it.
Just A Martha’s Vineyard Day
The next day, I started with breakfast at The Black Dog Tavern. I love breakfast there. I don’t get anything fancy—I am strictly an eggs over-easy, bacon, white toast kinda guy—but as they say in the movie biz, “Location! Location! Location!” The Black Dog Tavern is the only place on Martha’s Vineyard that can offer me breakfast and coffee, on the beach, watching the ferries go in and out. That is the quintessential Martha’s Vineyard breakfast for me. The only view that beats it in my book is the view at Beach Plum Inn, but I don’t drive, and getting out to Menemsha without a car for breakfast is a little tough. So, Beach Plum is a rare treat for me.
Then, as is my wont, I started walking. I took pictures along the way and headed toward Oak Bluffs. The weather was flawless. In fact, my weather was perfect the entire time I was there. There was one morning that we had rain and frankly, I think my skin was grateful for the break from the sun. If it’s a warm, sunny day, I do not like to be inside at all. I always say that I tan quickly, but the truth of the matter is that I probably tan just as quickly as anyone else, I’m just in the sun a lot longer. Once in Oak Bluffs, I hopped the bus to Edgartown. I spent the morning stretched out on a beach on Chappaquiddick. Tigress went by a few times and I got some amazing shots of her. It’s hard to get a bad one really, especially now, with her new sail. Tigress looks better than she ever has and she is 92 years old! When hunger finally started to set in, I made my way toward The Seafood Shanty. It was time for a lobster roll.
Lobster Roll Number One
I feel the same way about The Seafood Shanty as I do about The Black Dog—it’s all about location. There are a lot of places to eat on Martha’s Vineyard, a lot of fantastic places, but when I’m in Toronto, pining for my island home, I’m dreaming about eating lobster rolls, drinking a pint (maybe), and watching sailboats go by on the harbour. Like I said, on a sunny day, I do not want to be inside ever. For the entire two weeks that I was on Martha’s Vineyard, I did not see a television. It was amazing.
I walked upstairs, past the walls of photos of happy customers—how do I get on that wall?—and up to the smiling face of the hostess, Candy. I asked if I could sit at the rail as I was alone and one of her co-workers guided me in the right direction. My server was Chris and he was way cool. It’s hard not to get along with a guy who is willing to bring you a pint and a lobster roll. Just sayin’…
I took some cool photos of the harbour. I love getting pics of the Old Port launch. I’m not sure exactly why. Perhaps it’s because the Old Port, like the Chappy Ferry, and Tigress, is singular to the island? That’s probably it. The skippers on Old Port are always great guys, very friendly; that too, is as good a reason as any.
Same Day, Different Roll
Not long after that, I received a message from my friend Dave, who had just hit the island with his Mom. Dave is a regular on Martha’s Vineyard. If you have been reading my posts all along (thank you), you will recognize Dave’s name and face. Dave and I met on-line in a JAWS group and then eventually, we met in person at JAWSfest 2012. We got along really well and then started renting a house with a group of friends in 2014. We’ve been meeting on The Vineyard ever since. Dave’s Mom, Peggy, was eager to see what Dave called his “spiritual home” and to meet the people who so often populate his stories. I am lucky enough to be one of those people. Dave told me that he and his mother were heading to The Lookout Tavern in Oak Bluffs for an early supper and they would love it if I would join them! I did. Lobster roll number two…of both the trip and the day. It’s not my fault! Dave was buying!
Martha’s Vineyard Sunset
Dave and his Mom turned in early and I went back down to Edgartown to meet up with Kurt after his sunset sail. I can’t remember who was sailing with him that night—it might have been my friends Ken and Donna—but boy, did they get a doozy of a sunset! Sometime, I would like a meteorologist, or whichever ‘ologist’ would be appropriate, to explain to me why Martha’s Vineyard sunsets are the most beautiful sunsets around. They are truly spectacular.
I could tell when I was leaving Oak Bluffs, that by the time I got down to Edgartown, the sky was going to be magnificent. I found myself wishing more than anything that I was the one on board Tigress watching the sky light up in colours that would seem fake in a painting. Only nature is able to create such visual wonder. I was worried that I was going to miss the best of it, but I didn’t. I managed to get down to the harbour and up on Memorial Wharf just in time. It’s amazing the hustle you can get into you if you have two lobster rolls in your belly and a golden Chappaquiddick tan on your skin.
Like every trip, I made a point this trip to do new things on this trip. I ate at restaurants for the first time, and experienced adventures that the island has to offer. I enjoyed every minute of it. I will share them with you in the very near future. However, none of these things that I’ve written about here today were new. When Kurt finished cleaning up his boat, he rowed himself to the dinghy dock, and we went to The Atlantic Fish & Chop House. We laughed a lot and talked a lot. We caught up like friends do—filling each other in on what we had done all day. The Atlantic, The Shanty, lobster, and friends, none of these things were new, but they were important. I had barely been on-island for twenty-four hours, but I had that feeling already. I felt like I was home. I knew I was home. Hey…it’s The Vineyard.