Tue 4 Jun - Falmouth, MA

Back to beautiful weather and a ferry trip over to Martha's Vineyard is on the cards. Our Falmouth Motor Lodge is advertising that they are selling discounted ferry tickets to the island, so we purchase 2 tickets from them in the morning, to the unbelievable bargain of $19 each rather than $20. Fantastic.

Departure time is set to 9am and is only 5-10 minutes walk up the road from where we are staying, so by 8.30am we are on our way. Here is Di at the wharf waiting to board the Island Queen.

Hans is showing the very retro looking tickets for the ferry. One ticket to get there and one ticket to get back again. Pretty in pink... Or magenta??

View over Falmouth Inner Harbour from the top floor of Island Queen.

While waiting for Island Queen to leave port, we notice activity across the harbor at the 3 storey boat storage. It looked to us that the boat's owner just wanted to get a couple of fishing rods off his boat. The boat was back in top storage when we returned later in the afternoon.

And Island Queen is on her way... Here we are leaving Falmouth Inner Harbor.

On the move...

Island Queen has 3 decks and we were sitting here on the top deck.

Hello Oak Bluffs.

Approaching Martha's Vineyard. This is a sight that we see every now and then. Ospreys having built a nest in a very visible place. Doesn't look that protected from either predators (maybe there aren't any?) or the environment.

Arriving at Oak Bluffs harbour on Martha's Vineyard. It all looked and felt very pleasant.

We caught the local bus 13 from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown so we could see another part of the Martha's Vineyard and also to see a lighthouse there that is supposed to be open to the public.

The lighthouse was definitely there and was very photogenic but it does not open again to the public until 10 June. Bummer - we were a week early.

Still, it's a lovely place for a break and we eat fruit and enjoy the views. Hans was resting in the shade on the left side of the lighthouse.

See... Very photogenic (and we don't mean Di)...

Edgartown is on the south eastern corner of Martha's Vineyard and the waterway is quite protected due to nearby Chappaquiddick Island (more on that later). The water was warm and calm and everything here seemed "gentle" and pleasant.

This place is called Harbor View Hotel and Resort and it looked very pleasant overlooking the lighthouse and the inlet between Edgartown and Chappaquiddick. We bet it is expensive to stay there. A place for American royalty perhaps... Kennedy's anyone? More on that later...

There were two different ways to get down to the lighthouse from the local waterfront street. We arrived via the natural elements such as rock and sand and left it via this cycle path between two waterfront properties. The path was inconsistent with our experiences on New England privacy, and we wondered how in particular the waterfront homeowner to the right would think about it.

We wanted to check out a nearby smaller island, called Chappaquiddick, which is part of the area of Martha's Vineyard. Chappaquiddick (aka Chappy to the locals) was infamous in 1969 for a car accident involving Senator Ted Kennedy driving, where a young lady died when after a party their car went off a bridge and into water. He escaped but did not report the accident until the next morning. Lots of conspiracy theories on what happened that night but we don't have to worry about the notorious bridge - it's on the other side of Chappy - and here the cars, bicycles and passengers are safely ferried across (for a price). And, according to maps, it looked like he was staying at the hotel above...
We love that these punts take no more than 3 cars at a time.

Arriving at the Chappy end...

Yep, it was a stunning day...

Danger - keep off the dock Di! Some maintenance is required here...

A young man came over and sheepishly told us that the dock was dangerous and the area was private and hurried us along with some mention of nails sticking out of the dock (hmmm we think it had more to do with us plebs being on their private beach and perhaps getting injured and suing them...)

We lingered to take some photos...

A long line of bath huts along the water on the Chappy side. Looked almost English apart from much nicer weather of course.

Di is getting her feet wet...the water was lovely and warm for a change.

The happy chap in Chappy...

We returned on the ferry to Edgartown and found a reasonable takeaway place next to the ferry for lunch (fish and chips for Hans and a Reuben fish sandwich for Di, seemed very appropriate for the environment)

We watched the ferries go back and forth as we ate our lunch at the nearby pier. All good.

After lunch we wandered through the central streets of Edgartown. Overall we thought Edgartown was very charming. Lovely homes and old buildings, most built in the late 1800's.

This is Main Street in Edgartown.

Di's favourite home and land "package", running down to the water.

We believe Edgartown was a prosperous whale oil town as there are lots of plaques referring to "Captain XXX" house. This one very clearly was part of a Whaling Agency.

Once oil was found in Pennsylvania, the whale oil business took a nose dive and Martha's Vineyard was economically challenged but the Methodists' summer camps at Oak Bluffs kept the place going (strange but true).
We caught the bus back to Oak Bluffs and uncovered the rest of the story...
In the early 1800's the Wesley Methodists regularly held their large summer camps in a clearing at Oak Bluffs. They kept coming back year after year. Eventually a smart land developer built a grove of small cottages for "tourists" and the summer camp tents were given up for cute cottages instead.
Warning - a whole section of cutesy cottages follow. Restored Methodist camp cottages, painted in any color you can think of.
Second warning - we pollute the ascetics in some of the pictures by being in them.

In the middle of the main green central expanse was a very nice restored church (of course) and also this open air tabernacle (next 2 pictures)

Such a quiet and relaxing place that we went and bought an ice cream and sat in the grove enjoying it and the sunshine.

This is the Wesley Hotel. We had a peekaboo inside and, yep, it was all very lovely yet again and kept in period style.

We have no choice but to leave Martha's Vineyard on the 3.45pm ferry as it is the last (and second) for the day in this "shoulder season". Back in Falmouth harbor, we pass Lady Di.

Safely back in port, we wander home, have a dip in the pool (nice and not too cold - we guess 18 to 19 degrees), have a few drinks sitting outside. We finish off our very pleasant and relaxing day with homemade "spanish" sludge and a lazy night. The sun and alcohol have made us sleepy...Good night.

No comments:

Post a Comment