Friday, September 6, 2013
In Search of Martha
We sailed out to Martha’s Vineyard and anchored in Vineyard Haven harbor at the town of Tisbury. The weather wasn’t great, so we stayed a few days to let it settle down. They have a great bus system and for $7 you get an all day pass. Took the bus around the island and out to the Gay Head light. The bus gave us a good tour of the coast and inland part of the island. Its a big island, at 20 miles long with something like 16,000 year round residents.
Here’s Becky (with Denny, off Kokomo) searching the island by bus looking for Martha Stewart’s house. Turns out she has an island house on Mount Desert Island, Maine – but not here. I think Becky was pretty disappointed and still a little confused as to why they call it Martha’s Vineyard. The island was known as Martin’s Vineyard (Capt. John Martin), then Marthas Vineyard and finally Martha’s Vineyard.
Next stop was New Bedford, MA, famous for its old whaling fleet and current fishing fleet.
There’s a surprising number of fishing boats in New Bedford. Apparently they haven't caught the last cod yet. Its clearly a working harbor. Not many pleasure boats.
The entrance to New Bedford is crossed by a long breakwater. In the middle is a cut for ships to pass. It has huge gates on it – the Hurricane Gates. They can close them up in storms and keep the storm surge out of the harbor. At least that’s what it said in the sales brochure.
New Bedford has a great whaling museum. In-depth and well done. Here’s a large model of a Concordia Yawl in the museum’s model ship collection. A lot of years ago I delivered one of these from NJ to Annapolis – not the model, but a full sized one.
As we were leaving New Bedford, we passed the Nantucket Lightship coming in. In the past, this lightship shone her beacon about 40 miles SE of Nantucket Island. This one was built in 1950 and was in use till 1983. The first Nantucket Lightship was in place on the 1850’s. Now there is a large navigational buoy in place of the manned lightship.