Chapter Four - Martha's Vineyard

Trip Start Jul 18, 2012
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Trip End Jul 23, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Saturday, July 21, 2012

The highlight of our trip is a visit to the island of Martha's Vineyard, located off the south coast of Cape Cod.

There’s no traffic jams as we cross the Cape Cod Canal today and we are soon in the pretty little town of Falmouth. There the Island Queen ferry awaits us for the 35-minute crossing to Oak Bluffs. Clear skies, bright sunshine and blue, blue waters accompany us across the bay. The upper deck is crowded with a large group of boisterous young people on a day out from Boston.

Upon disembarking from the ferry our youthful passengers get no further than the dockside bars where island music and reggae emanate. We on the other hand, wander on along the busy main street enjoying the ambience of the island.

We are scheduled to meet Karen and Ed’s friend Jim Robertson, who owns a property in the eclectic Wesleyan Grove neighbourhood and has offered to host us and drive us around the island. The Wesleyan Grove is an oasis, a village of Victorian gingerbread style cottages connected by footpaths, a quiet haven surrounded by the bustle of downtown Oak Bluffs. Jim’s charming cottage is furnished simply but attractively.

We tour the grove with Jim, then board his mighty Ford Expedition and venture forth through the lovely townships of Edgartown and Chilmark, visiting John Belushi’s grave en route, and ending up at the pretty little fishing village of Menemsha.

"Do I recognize this place?"

“That may well be. It’s where they filmed “Jaws” in 1975”.

Sure enough there’s a sign advertising a “Jaws Fest” right beside the bicycle ferry to Gay Head.

After enjoying a perfect lobster sandwich in a fish shack overlooking the harbor, we leave the car and take a hike through woods and dunes in the Menemsha Hills to a wonderful isolated beach protected by colourful clay cliffs

The sun glitters on the water as we gaze over Vineyard Sound to the Elizabeth Islands.

Jim is a wonderful host with no end of stories about Martha’s Vineyard and we encourage him to visit us in Miami so we can show him South Beach.

“You must arrive shipside at least half an hour before the 6:30 departure” we had been admonished before disembarking. “The ferry always fills quickly on a Saturday evening”

After one glass of wine too many, we rush to the dockside only to find a lengthy queue awaiting the last ferry back to the mainland.

“If your part of the queue is after the third lamppost you probably won’t get aboard this ferry.” It is revealed to us.

Counting the lampposts, we are between the third and fourth pole.

“Does that mean we’ll be stuck on the island all night?” our neighbour wails.

We would happily spend the night with Jim in his cottage to finish off his wine. and try out one of the delectable fish restaurants we had seen in town.

“Don’t worry! If there is anyone left, we send the ferry back. You’ll be back in Falmouth by nine.”

I suggest we return to Jim’s place, but I’m overruled as everyone else in the party is scared of missing this ultra-last ferry. We find a hard bench to await the return of the Island Queen.  It’s a relief to see it coming back for us, and indeed by 9:20 pm we are arriving in Falmouth.

Ed has previously extolled the virtues of 99 Restaurants with its 9 entrees at 9.99! By now we are really hungry, so almost like a gift from heaven, a 99 Restaurant appears like magic at the exit from Falmouth.  

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