Martha’s Vineyard, August 21 – 22, 2012

We anchored at Edgartown on the evening of Monday, August 20th. This was the most convenient stopping point for our late arrival and we were able to anchor safely just after sunset.

On Tuesday, we ventured into Edgartown via kayak and docked near the yacht club in Katama Bay. We took a stroll down South Water Street and admired the Captains’ houses of the 1800’s. We passed by the Old Whaling Church and Vincent House Museum; we didn’t check out this museum because we were on a mission to find the bus station.

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We took the bus to Oak Bluffs where we had narrowed down some recommended sights to see. We also brought along a load of laundry and were able to find the laundromat, discreetly tucked in near the Oak Bluffs Harbor just behind the Strand Theatre. While our clothes washed, we took this opportunity to visit the oldest platform carousel in the country! Built in 1876, the carousel was carved in New York City and originally operated on Coney Island. The carousel was moved to Oak Bluffs in 1884 and was acquired for preservation by the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust in 1986. During our visit it was running smoothly and the operator reminded riders that the horses are antiques.

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We walked through Oak Bluffs on the scenic route to our next sight, the Tabernacle. (We missed the short walking path from town, which was not labeled and was simply veering a right off the sidewalk through an archway that looked suspiciously like a shopping tourist trap.) The Tabernacle was constructed in 1879 as the spiritual meeting place of the Campground, Wesleyan Grove. The Campground, now comprised of just over 300 cottages, was a meeting place for congregations largely Methodist to gather during the summer. People would stay in “social tents” which later were purchased as lots. Today the Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association has become an interdenominational group and cottage tenants are mostly summer-seasonal.

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After our cottage tour we tracked down the local micro-brew, Offshore Ale Co. Sampling brews on an empty stomach is a poor decision, so we tried the flatbread which was delicious topped with duck, leeks, parmesan, and pancetta. As for brews, Brian selected the IPA and the Double IPA. I chose the Stout and the Amber. Unfortunately none of our selections were worthy of a second.

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We did peruse the ice cream/coffee shops on our way back to the bus stop. Brian thought I may have been overreacting…but there is NO way I would have wanted to add milk from this coffee shop!

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We paddled back home for the night with clean clothes and groceries in hand. We stopped for a visit with some “Chappy ‘ol folks” on Chappaquiddick Island as we paddled past. They had great questions for us about our ventures and we were happy to share. Too bad we didn’t carry our to-go cups on the kayaks because they were willing to share their gin & tonics with us and it’s hard to turn down a drink with ice!

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On Wednesday, we departed Edgartown and headed towards Cuttyhunk via Menemsha Beach. It was a long day with no wind. We motored around Martha’s Vineyard and battled opposing currents nearly the entire way. At Menemsha Beach we anchored to take a look around. Our kayaks also battled an opposing current on the way into Menemsha Pond. We did not find the clay beach that we were hoping to explore, and we did not have time to hike our way to Gay Cliffs. One highlight was the immature, great cormorant that let us kayak very close while we explored Menemsha Pond. So we got an ice cream and headed back to Rode Trip.

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Motoring once again we made our way to Cuttyhunk for the night. We were just in time for the Raw Bar boat to deliver fresh oysters and shrimp during cocktail hour!

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