We left Nantucket in choppy seas with overcast skies. The wind was kicking up (which equals a choppier, bouncier sea!), and expected to increase, so we were glad to get into Edgartown and grab a mooring ball in beautiful Katama Bay. Thankfully, it was only a 3 hour run (cruise/tour?).
The beautiful Edgartown Lighthouse greets you at the entry to the harbor. The lighthouse is a short walk from the wharf in the center of town, and sits at the end of a beautiful beach just outside of the harbor. Very much worth the walk.
Lining the harbor you will see gracious Greek Revival homes, many with “Widows Walks” where anxious wives of fisherman kept their eye on the sea and returning ships. The entire shoreline is the picture of a quintessential New England town, with white church steeples, natural grey shingled homes with white trim (it’s a theme up here!), and a harbor lined with sailboats.
Beyond the light to your left is Chappaquidick Point with the constant ferry traffic across the harbor. In the mooring field you are surrounded by beautiful boats and homes, with Edgartown on one side and Chappaquidick on the other.
Views from our boat
I want one of these. The flamingo, I mean.
You can take your dinghy into town, or grab the harbor shuttle that services the mooring field. We took our bikes across on the shuttle and explored charming Edgartown.
Beautiful Edgartown homes and gardens
The Old Whaling Church, now a performing arts center.
We rode our bikes out to Edgartown Lighthouse Point for beautiful views of the harbor and Chappaquidick.
We left Edgartown on an overcast day, with heavy winds, which were again expected to get worse. As we approached Vineyard Haven Harbor, we came across a sailing regatta heading out of the harbor. We were well out of their way, but we came closer in when we saw a sailboat in distress: his mast had snapped, the mast, sail and all of his electronics were in the water, and he was sailing solo. We hailed the Harbor Master and the coast guard, got close enough so he could hear us, and react if needed, along with another vessel, and we all stayed with him until help arrived. Very bad day for him, but he was thankfully safe.
We were thrilled to get into Blackdog Marina in Vineyard Haven. Captain Rob did an amazing job getting Misty into a very tight slip in the wind, with little deep water between us and the shore! The ferry comes into this harbor, and our friends Janine and Gary Gillum were arriving for a week long vacation that afternoon. We met them at the ferry, then wandered around the cute town around the marina and ferry dock.
See those little boats? Rob spun Misty around and got on that dock in front of them, bow out, in high winds. Well done!
The staff at Black Dog Marina, was great, and the Dockmaster, Morgan was especially attentive. He was very concerned about us staying on the dock with the upcoming high(er) winds, as his pilings are low. He REALLY wanted us to move. With winds and a potential storm surge, he was concerned that Misty would get a railing stuck on a piling. He made calls all around the island and helped us get a slip in a more secure spot in Oak Bluffs. So, off we went.
Oak Bluffs is an incredible stop! I’m sure it’s crazy in season, but we were there not only after Labor Day, but in bad weather. People were fleeing the island! Once we got settled, we set off to explore this charming town.
Crazy weather, Oak Bluffs
There’s a beautiful promenade along the water, and you’ll find Ocean Park with its gardens and gazebo, surrounded by beautiful Victorian homes a short walk from the inlet.
Oak Bluffs was settled in 1642, and was incorporated as a Cottage City prompted by the attraction of a Methodist tabernacle in 1879. Their annual retreat grew from a tent camp to the cottages you see today. Oak Bluffs is famous for this “Camp Meeting Grounds”, now a National Historic Landmark covering a 34 acre circle just off the harbor. In that circle there are over 300 Gothic cottages, bursting with color and elaborately trimmed houses, all charming and beautifully kept. In the middle of the Grounds is the Trinity Park Tabernacle.
Camp Meeting Grounds and Trinity Park Tabernacle
Janine and Gary ventured down to Oak Bluffs for “docktails” aboard Misty, then we wandered down the wharf for a fun and delicious seafood dinner.
We loved the adorable town of Oak Bluffs and the wharf. There is a lot of shopping and opportunities for provisioning, tons of fun restaurants and bars, an old movie theatre, and the famed “Flying Horses” carousel, open in season.
We had planned to head out early for Block Island, but the harbor was fogged in, so we waited until most of it burned off and left port at 8:45 am. Despite the weather, we had a wonderful stay on Martha’s Vineyard!
Foggy Oak Bluffs Harbor, and coast of Martha’s Vineyard.