Mystic to Marthas Vineyard

Thu 14 Jul 2011 18:31
We woke up on Friday to thick fog.  The morning was spent with Andrew cleaning the decks and Celia borrowing a bicycle and going to the supermarket which was about a mile out of town.  It was a good supermarket so a bit later both of us went back to get some more provisions.  We checked out some of the boatyards as we have decided to take Alice out of the water for bottom painting in Mystic.  Sandy came to meet us and guided us down river to a mooring in Noank.   We went ashore at Ram Island Yacht Club and spent the evening with Sidney and Sandy at their home.  They had invited some fellow OCC members to meet us - Sam, Frank and Dorothy and Tom.  We had a lovely evening and found that we had mutual friends.  We had even been in the same marina in the Spanish rias at the same time as Dorothy and Tom who were on the same rally as Elizabeth and Martin - small world. 
Pouring rain all evening and half the night seemed to clear the fog away and we woke on Saturday to clearer skies.  We stayed another day at Noank and had a delightful walk ashore, bumping into Sidney and Sandy again.  They recommended Carsons Store and we stopped there for a drink.  It was like stepping into the 1950s.  The most delicious milk shake full of strawberries.
Noank with Sidney and Sandy.  Their boat Shandygaff is centre and Alice is to the right
Inside Carsons Store
Carsons Store - one of the things on offer is "conversation"
Signpost on Block Island
View from the top of Cuttyhunk. Alice is anchored outside the harbour
Menemsha Beach - any sign of Jaws?
Whaling captain's house in Vineyard Haven
Flying Horses - the oldest operating platform carousel in the USA built in 1884
The 3000 seat Victorian Tabernacle at the Camp Ground, Oak Bluffs
Next stop was Block Island.  We motored the 15 miles across and anchored in New Harbour, Great Salt Pond.  We had a walk into the town of New Shoreham, walking down some greenways, we would call them footpaths.  We came round one corner and saw a beautiful deer in front of us.  He leapt away when he saw us and there was no time to get the camera out.  We had dinner at the Oar which had come recommended.  We sat on the terrace with a wonderful view overlooking the harbour.  We then met up with Sidney and Sandy again later as they had also come across with their sailing club.
Monday morning we motor sailed over to Cuttyhunk.  We had been told that this island is very much like the Caribbean.  We didnt agree.  The island is tiny and didnt take long to walk.  The harbour is chockablock with moorings and we decided to anchor outside where there was more space.  This was very peaceful until 04.00 when there was an almighty thunderstorm.  We were then on anchor watch ( I use the royal we) for an hour.  Thankfully everything was ok and we went back to bed at 5.
We left in the morning with a mass exodus of boats heading to Marthas Vineyard.  We went through Quicks Hole and into Vineyard Sound.  Even managed to SAIL about a third of the way and motor sailed the rest.  Anchored outside Edgartown and went into the town by dinghy.  The town is one of the prettiest we have seen, it looks as though it should be a film set.  Steven Spielberg obviously thought the same and the town of Amity in Jaws is actually Edgartown.  We were anchored amongst several superyachts.  They were all floodlit at night which was a lovely sight.  Wonder if they were impressed with Alice's solar powered garden lights - courtesy of the 99p shop!
We spent a day touring round the island by bus.  First we went "up island" to the western end and the cliffs and lighthouse at Gay Head.  Then it was another bus to the fishing harbour of Menemsha.  From there we went to Vineyard Haven.  This is another pretty town and harbour.  There are a lot of lovely homes built in the 1800s by the captains of whaling ships.  We had a walk round and lunch there and then caught a bus on to Oak Bluffs.  This is another pretty harbour.  In mid 1800s there was a camp ground where Methodists held meetings.  Originally the site had tents, which were then raised off the ground and filled in.  After a while the owners built cottages and added filigree trim and painted them bright colours.  This is known as Carpenter Gothic style.  Over 300 of these homes still exist around Trinity Park where there is The Tabernacle.  This was built of wrought iron in 1879 and is 100 feet high, 130 feet across and has seating for over 3000.  We sat in there for a while as there was a pianist playing the grand piano on the stage. The homes are known as Gingerbread Cottages and are all in private ownership.  An absolutely enchanting place.
When we got back to Edgartown, Suzanne and David on Susie Too had arrived.  We had drinks with them and caught up on the last couple of weeks since we saw them in Oyster Bay.  There was a thunderstorm approaching so we went back to Alice for supper and to then keep anchor watch for the evening.  Just as it started to pour with rain a dinghy came adrift from the boat in front of us and Andrew got drenched rescuing it and returning it to its owners - who did not know it had gone. Our anchor held well but unfortunately a motor boat had anchored about 20 feet away from us and they stayed below watching their television while we kept watch throughout the night!!  The storm lasted all night.  At 05.00 we decided to up anchor and go into the harbour.  We found a vacant mooring buoy and are staying here until tomorrow when hopefully the wind will have calmed down - it has been 20 to 30 knots so far today.  Hopefully tonight we will get a night's sleep after the disturbed night last night.