If you’re looking to get out on the water and do it in style, you’ve got to book a ride on the Liberté. Watching the sunset over the westernmost part of Cape Cod from the deck of a beautiful 74’ three-masted schooner is easily one of my best memories from this summer.
My friend Bonny and I had been waiting for some good weather to go out for a relaxing evening after work, and last Thursday turned out to be the perfect day. The air had that perfect end-of-July warmth, and there was enough wind to fill the sails and keep us cool as we made our way out into the Vineyard Sound. The crew was composed of Captain Chris and two experienced and friendly young women. Their teamwork allowed us to get our sunset sail underway quickly, and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds while reclining in one of the boat’s many comfortable seating areas.
Once we were out of the harbor and all the sails had been raised, the crew offered full bar service with a selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. With glasses of pinot grigio in hand, Bonny and I toasted to the dog days of summer and laughed as we listened to Captain Chris’s tales from his time at sea.
Captain Chris Tietje and his wife Jane had this sail boat designed and built just for them, and they live on it for most of the year. In the summers, they keep the boat docked in Falmouth Harbor (a 10 minute drive from the Woods Hole Inn) and take people out for a one-of-a-kind Cape Cod sailing experience. While on the boat, Captain Chris treats the passengers to stories about the birth of the Liberté and the history of Martha’s Vineyard and the surrounding waters.
There were about 35 other passengers with us that evening, but the boat never felt crowded. It seemed that each separate party was able to have their own intimate moments while still harmoniously coexisting with the rest of the group on board. There was plenty of room to move around, and I made sure to get photos from each part of the top deck.
The Liberté sails three times a day, seven days a week throughout the summer and can be booked for private charters or parties. If you’re looking for a memorable Cape Cod sailing experience, you don’t want to miss out on a chance to ride aboard the magnificent schooner, Liberté. Check out www.theliberte.com for more information about the Liberte and how you can plan your sailing trip.
— from guest blogger Sam Frawley
One of the greatest pleasures of inn-keeping is the chance to meet people from all over the world. One of my passions is photography, and I enjoy sharing the beauty of Woods Hole on guest “photo-walks” the best of which turn into fascinating conversations about life.
We generally depart from the front door of the inn, and I like to get out when the light is still good, and we explore the village for about an hour, scouring the back alleys for lobster traps, peering down pathways and scampering across Cape Cod beaches. I love sharing my favorite spots, and seeing them anew as guests always point out things I have never noticed. There is always new light, new flora, new angles to explore.
This spring I went out a few times, and one guest Janice Murray (who keeps a great Etsy shop of her work here) even sent me some of her favorites to publish here (see below mixed with mine). Then there was the guy on his honeymoon from the UK, wandering the East Coast for a few weeks with a large camera and an insatiable thirst to understand the American psyche. Here are a few pictures from these great walks/talks. I look forward to many more…
Re-discovering Cape Cod from the water is one of my favorite parts of summer. As the days started to get shorter, and the crispness of autumn snuck into the air, I rushed to take my boat out onto the Sound. The warmth of the summer water made me feel bold, and we packed the boat with kids and set off in our small vessel last week.
We departed from Woods Hole in the late morning with the goal of visiting Lake Tashmoo on Martha’s Vineyard, and making it up to Menemsha to get fresh fish for dinner at Larsen’s Fish Market. Some people would take that time to go fishing themselves — I would rather buzz around with a boat load of kids, see the sights and purchase my fresh catch from one of the world’s best fish markets.
So off we set with sunscreen, bathing suits, beach towels and plenty of cash to buy our fabulous fish. First stop, Lake Tashmoo, just about 20 minutes across the Sound on a clear calm day like this one. Storm clouds hovered over this part of the Vineyard, and I am usually the first to wimp out in the face of real weather but the rest of the sky seemed bright enough and we pushed on. Brave!
Lake Tashmoo was once a pond and the entrance has been opened to a small channel that then lets you into a rather large protected harbor. We slowed way down to avoid leaving a wake (waves would disturb the other boaters moored and anchored about) so it took the better part of half an hour to putt putt all the way in and see the whole thing. There were scads of lovely boats, and houses with great green lawns yawning down to the sandy shore below. It was exciting to peek in the back yards of the valuable waterfront real estate on Martha’s Vineyard and we were not the only ones snooping along the shore.
At the entrance, there is a barrier beach that was packed with people enjoying a lovely day in the sun:
Onward we traveled to Menemsha! The Vineyard is not small (18 miles long) so we powered at full speed for about 20 minutes along the coastline to get to this tiny little town at the very end of the island. A channel with a strong current flowing let’s you into a beautiful protected harbor packed with real fishing vessels.
We struggled to get a spot to tie up, then found one along the pier and ran to get our fresh fish from Larsen’s. The kids clambered along the island road to the local ice cream shop, and the day was so hot that it was a challenge to eat the ice cream before it melted all down your arm. The smarter members of our crew bought “frappes” which is the New England way of asking for an ice cream shake. Yum.
Larsen’s is an institution up island on the Vineyard (you can read more about visiting Up Island as a pedestrian on our blog). I have seen Larsen’s t-shirts proudly worn in Los Angeles and New York, a way insiders telegraph to each other that they are “in the know” about what is cool on the Vineyard. It was lunchtime when we got there and people were clustered around lobster trap tables enjoying the fresh fare and harbor views.
We explored the Menemsha harbor a wee bit more, then read a few days later of a shark sighting right near there. I guess they come for the same reason the fisherman like these waters — plenty of fresh fish!
I love my annual peregrination to Menemsha, and I will be back soon before the weather turns the water cool again. You simply can not beat a day on the waters of Vineyard Sound. You can re-create this journey with one of many local charter boat captains. Book a room at the Woods Hole Inn and with a little advance notice we would be happy to set a day trip just like this one up for you. Sharks, lobster and all:)