Whirlwind Tour of the Vineyard

Close your eyes, I’m gonna whine now. If I had $5 for every time the weather caused us to leave early, I could be cruising on a mega yacht not having to worry about the weather! What, you think I’m a sailor or an enjoys-the-elements person? After spending quality time with NOAA, Wunderground and WeatherChannel, the Captain decreed we’d better head for Block Island Monday morning or risk getting stuck in Oak Bluffs for a week. We could be worse places but we absolutely wanted a few days at Block Island.

Fortifying ourselves with donuts and fruit we headed out for the bus stop. For $7/pp you can buy an all-day bus pass and ride any bus your heart desires… except the ones that stop running after Labor Day, or that run a reduced scheduled on Sundays. Catching the highlights of the Vineyard is easy and depending on your abilities, stamina, wallet and the projected quantity of goods and libations to be purchased you can do this via bus, bike, moped, rental car, walking or hitchhiking.

Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs where we caught the bus to Edgartown

Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs where we caught the bus to Edgartown

Surprise! Bus won the coin toss and we left centrally located Oak Bluffs east bound for Edgartown. More shops and good food. A funeral service was in progress at the Whaling Church and I noted the unusually upbeat music- no traditional hymns here. Saturday we saw a wedding underway in Oak Bluffs; very dark charcoal gray (or were they black?) suits are “in” for men- or maybe it’s been that way for years and I am not keeping up with fashion.

Near the harbor entrance and the ferry over to Chappaquidick

Near the harbor entrance and the ferry over to Chappaquiddick

Ferry to Chappaquiddick. You can buy a "Chappy" T-shirt- of course

Ferry to Chappaquiddick. You can buy a “Chappy” T-shirt- of course

These folk are not seasonal.

These folk are not seasonal.

Made from nets and line washed up on the beach- transformed into pricey art

Made from nets and line washed up on the beach- transformed into pricey art

A deluxe Bloody Mary- part meal part beverage- wow!

A deluxe Bloody Mary- part meal part beverage- wow!

I liked this apropos sign

I liked this apropos sign

After lunch we hopped on a bus to Vineyard Haven, home of the famous Black Dog restaurant. Rather than take the same route back through Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven, we chose the one through the middle of the island. Being here during what is known as the “shoulder season” is divine. The ferries still bring in enough visitors for shops to remain open but not so many that you can’t breathe. Everything we wanted to do was easy and it hardly seemed like seven years since our last one-week Vineyard boating vacation.

A stone’s throw from the Black Dog is Vineyard Haven Marina. Couldn’t help but spot a certain blue-hulled yacht docked near the end; bet he didn’t think we’d notice being tailed.

Eating on the porch gives you a beach view

Eating on the porch gives you a beach view

Entrance to the Black Dog restaurant

Entrance to the Black Dog restaurant

By 4pm and a chill in the air I was ready to head back to Oak Bluffs. I snapped a few photos to complete my Oak Bluffs portfolio and we dinghied back to Ortolan who complained of too much wind all day long.

A darling purple gingerbread house in "Cottage City"

A darling purple gingerbread house in “Cottage City”

The Tabernacle in Trinity Park- seats 3,000. Built of wrought iron in 1879

The Tabernacle in Trinity Park- seats 3,000. Built of wrought iron in 1879

Closed down theater on Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs

Closed down theater on Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs

Originally part of Edgartown, in the space of 35 years, Oak Bluffs grew from nothing to the most famous Methodist camp meeting in the U.S.  By 1870 thousands came from all over New England to participate in or observe revival meetings- and to vacation in a town that quickly grew around the original meeting site.

Oak Bluffs, named Cottage City (not very creative) when it split from Edgartown and renamed in 1907, is a young ‘un by island measures. With an economy related to recreation vs. whaling or shipping trades it evolved with a more light-hearted air and drinking establishments!  We love the place in all her costumes.

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