Chappaquiddick Island, the island off of Martha’s Vineyard
Located off Martha’s Vineyard is Chappaquiddick Island, or Chappy as the locals call it. Barely connected to the main island by a thread of beach, often breached in storms, the main way to Chappy is by ferry from Edgartown. Exploring this remote island is one of the highlights of a visit to Cape Cod and can be accomplished in four easy steps from the Woods Hole Inn.
1 — Take the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry
The ferry terminal is about 100 steps out the back door of the Woods Hole Inn, with ferries departing to Oaks Bluff and Vineyard Haven regularly from 6am- 9:30pm. The trip takes about forty minutes ($17 RT passenger fare plus an additional $8 for your bicycle). My friend and I hopped on the 9:30am ferry to Oaks Bluff to start our bike adventure to Chappaquiddick Island.
2 — Ride the Beach Street Bike Path
Once in Oak Bluffs, we hopped onto Beach Street. This six mile bike path takes you along stunning Joseph Sylvia State Beach, right onto the center of upscale Edgartown, MA. It is a beautiful ride of about 45 minutes, and we successfully resisted diving off the famous Jaws Bridge — saving that for the way back.
3 — Find the Chappy Ferry
The Chappy Ferry is located right next to Memorial Wharf, off Dock street in Edgartown. The ferry travels 527 feet, lasts about 2 minutes and delivers you to a whole other world ($6 round trip with a bike). The ferry is called “On Time” as it has no official schedule, just goes back and forth all day. We enjoyed the brief ride, waved to the ferry driver and zipped out the only road.
4 — Explore Chappaquiddick Island
We biked about four miles on pavement before the road turned to dirt. Wobbling over pebbles and spinning out in sand pockets was a bit tricky in our street bikes, but we managed. After about a mile, we crossed a small bridge which opened up to the gorgeous Wasque Point, facing the Atlantic to the southeast. From here, it’s clear sailing, blue sky ocean as far as you can see, next stop Spain.
Our Chappaquiddick Island adventure took us to a whole other world with 38,000 acres of pure nature, conservation lands and unparalleled ocean views. The Island is larger than you think, so I highly recommend taking your bike over — maybe with tire repair kit for that sandy road. Bikes are also available for rent in Oak Bluffs.
Next time, we will visit Poucha Pond at the Mytoi Japanese Gardens or find the famous Cape Poge Lighthouse. There is much to see on Chappaquiddick, the island off the island, a memorable day trip from the Woods Hole Inn. I called them four easy steps, but only you can be the judge of the “easy” part. Enjoy exploring!
Every Thursday evening at the Music and Arts Pavilion, Marina Park, next to Falmouth Harbor; all concerts are free of charge and open to the general public. Bring your chair or blanket for your comfort and enjoyment. www.falmouthmass.us
Sail Martha’s Vineyard is expecting over 100 sailboats of all descriptions, designs and ages from schooners to catboats to modern design racers. Based out of Vineyard Haven harbor on Martha’s Vineyard Island, the race courses have been designed to both test the skills of the skippers and crews and to provide great shore-side viewing of boats on the racecourse from a variety of Island perspectives from the East an West Chop Lighthouses to Eastville Beach to State Beach between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs to the beach at the entrance of Lake Tashmoo.
6th annual Falmouth to Hyannis Race which begins from in front of the Falmouth Yacht Club. Falmouth is an excellent place to stop for the night if you are heading east to participate in another racing event. The Race to Hyannis offers the opportunity to tune your boat and practice your boat handling before competing in another event. Registration information is contained in the Notice of Race, which can be found at link below. Come enjoy the company of your fellow sailors the evening before at the Falmouth Yacht Club bar and breakfast on race day morning. http://hyannis.sailspace.net
Island Queen Sunset Cruise to benefit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul St. Anthony’s Parish, East Falmouth
Thursday September 17
Rain date: Monday, September 21st from 5:30-7:30
Complimentary Light Supper Buffet
Silent Auction, Basket Raffles, 50/50 Raffle
Free Parking at 5pm – Island Queen Pier Parking Lot
Late September is often cool and crisp, punctuated by the smell of woodsmoke as people start using their fireplaces to take the chill off rather than fire up the gas-burning boiler. Grass mowing ends as the cool air ends the growing season and the tomato crop withers on the vine.
Not this year.
It has been hot, like middle-of-summer hot here for a week now. Research vessels in to prep for peregrinations to southern climes are lingering to enjoy the fine weather. Even the hard-working scientists are off early to go fishing or ride the bikepath. I know the locals are into it because I see people sneeking off from work in their bathing suits, and heads bobbing way out in Buzzards Bay on long-distance swims. In this calm, warm weather, why not?
I got out in my boat over the weekend, trudging across to Great Harbor with my oars, launching my tiny rowboat from the beach on Penzance and rowing out to my slightly bigger boat to go explore the Elizabeth Islands. I brought a sweatshirt because you never know on the water but, wow, was that unnecessary! It was so hot I was yearning to jump in by the time I had the engine fired up.
Woods Hole Great Harbor is filled with the most wonderful and eccentric boats. I love this one, a tiny tug boat all made of well-polished wood from another era. Not too practical, but adorable.
Clearly, I am a little obsessed with this vessel as I look through my photo-files for other shots of the harbor and find only more of the “Amycita.” I don’t see her off the mooring often, but I do look forward to meeting her owners. Imagine a cruise over to Oak Bluffs (a great destination on Martha’s Vineyard) in this stylish vessel!
And this is NOT the only miniature tug in our little harbor. My friend Kimberly is lucky enough to have this wonderful boat, small as the smallest skiff but ooh, what style. She was seen leaving work early yesterday madly texting to friends about a sunset tug cruise. These are the perks of living so close to the water:)
So I guess this is what you would call Indian Summer. Since my visit to Plimouth Plantation, I may need to re-name that Native People’s Summer. Whatever you call it, it is something to be relished — summer weather long after is it expected to be gone is like a gift from the Gods (the Wampanoags called him/her “Moshop”). Something to inspire us and help us prepare for the long winter ahead.
Off to swim!