Friday turned out to be a less than perfect day on Beatitude. It’s the first time in months that we decided to head out against winds and waves. Winds were supposed to be about 15 knots out of the NE with seas of 1-3 feet. We were heading in an ENE direction. Sounded okay! However, it was a pretty rough 44.3 miles from Newport to Martha’s Vineyard. First, the good news: We were able to sail sans motor for a good while. The bad news is that the winds were sustained at 25-30 knots for quite some time with gusts over 40 at times. The other bad news is that the waves were actually 2-5 feet and pretty steep. So, we endured a pretty rough seven hour and forty-five minute sail. The other bad news is that my Georgia Bulldog flag which was mounted on my topping lift wrapped around my wifi-booster antenna and broke it. The other bad news is that my hot water heater was leaking again and, finally, my shower drain pump broke. The other bad news is that I thought I had reserved a mooring behind the breakwater. In fact, our reserved mooring was outside the breakwater and fully exposed to the howling NE winds and 3-plus foot waves which provided for a pretty wild ride on the mooring. But, as they say… a bad day on the water is better than a good day in the office. At least, that’s what I told myself right then.
After tying up to the ball (which was also a little more challenging due to the conditions, although Cindy once again did a great job snagging the pennant and securing us), we decided to call the launch service to come out and pick us up. It would have been a very wet ride into town on the dinghy. The launch boat was out within five minutes and took us into Vineyard Haven, one of the three main towns on Martha’s Vineyard. There, we walked around and did a little shopping before having a fantastic dinner at the renowned Black Dog Tavern. Afterwards, the launch transported us back to Beatitude to spend the evening riding the waves.
I actually slept quite well given the conditions and awoke refreshed. The wind and wave conditions had improved slightly Saturday morning, but were still far from calm. Our main mission for the day was to find a bar or restaurant in which to watch the Georgia Bulldogs first game of the season at noon. Since they were playing a weak team, the game was relegated to the SEC-Network. After several calls, we found a place in a neighboring town, Edgartown, called The Wharf.
We caught the Martha’s Vineyard Bus from the Vineyard Haven Ferry Station into downtown Edgartown, about seven miles away. We walked past the huge old Whaling Church and the Martha’s Vineyard Museum on our way to the harbor front. It turns out the wharf was a great place to watch the game. We sat on the end of the bar (which didn’t officially open until 5 p.m.) and had the TV directly in front of us to ourselves. Georgia, as expected, won the game handily, 51-14. It was a weird game that was called early due to lightning in the Athens area. We left during the first lightning delay in the 3rd quarter to hop back on the bus to the third major town on the island, Oak Bluffs.
We were let off the bus in Oak Bluffs by an oceanside park which was full of people flying kites. We paused quickly to watch the kites before walking into town. Our first stop was the Flying Horses Carousel, which was brought to Oak Bluffs from Coney Island in 1884. It is the oldest platform carousel still in operation. Our next destination were the gingerbread cottages which grew on an old Methodist campground. These beautiful little structures are bright and multi-colored with elaborate frames, scrollwork, and decorative trim. As we walked down Clinton Street it was as if we were walking down a storybook lane.
After another bus ride back to Vineyard Haven, we did a little grocery shopping before returning to Beatitude for the evening. By the time we returned to our vessel, the chop had died with the wind and we enjoyed a peaceful, calm sleep on our mooring.