The Vineyard: Not all Shops and Beaches

Sailing ship Shenandoah heads out of Vineyard Haven harbor

Sailing ship Shenandoah heads out of Vineyard Haven harbor

Happy on the beach, happy in the shops, happy dining out and even happy in an island museum. Getting through the museum first is important so that a cultural stop can be ticked off the list for certain. Located in the more la-di-da Edgartown where I am more than happy to visit.

Oak Bluffs, which I have written about before, is a busy harbor even on summer weekdays. We arrived around 11am and found a good ball in the big boat section. The first order of business was laundry! Oak Bluffs has a large public Laundromat near the docks with large front-loaders that almost make you feel like the $6 (please insert 24 quarters) isn’t too pricey.
The second order of business was not business, but doughnuts from Back Door Donuts. The bake shop on Circuit Ave bakes their doughnuts, fritters and fried dough at night and from 7pm until 1am just go around to… their back door, stand in line and get served up fresh, hot out of the fryer doughnuts, fritters, fried dough and whatever else they’ve got.

The line gets longer as the night wears on

The line gets longer as the night wears on

Can't seem to get these elsewhere- chocolate and coconut- yummy!

Can’t seem to get these elsewhere- chocolate and coconut- yummy!

Wednesday topped out at 77 F with enough breeze to keep sailors and landlubbers happy. Hopped on a MVTA bus bound for Edgartown and as we passed by the long stretch of beach that lies partially in Oak Bluffs and part in Edgartown, one of the two small bridges turned out to be the “Jaws Bridge”, officially known as the American Legion Memorial Bridge. This was quite obvious as several youngsters stood on the wood railing, and jumped into the water that leads to a substantial inland pond (another beach breaching in two spots I guess), perfect for the scene where the shark swims into the “safe” inlet and Brody’s son is traumatized by the attack. Back in 1975 the bridge was all wood which gave it more character than the concrete version we drove over today.
IMG_0163 (800x589)The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is located several small blocks off Main Street which means you want to go there, not simply stumble upon it as you stroll around downtown Edgartown.
Comprised of several structures, including a house, barn, top part of a lighthouse and a climate-controlled exhibit building, the museum was easy, educational and fun to explore. In many places you could use your cell phone or a remote to listen to stories of old and explanations of such contemplations such as, “why are the rooms painted in these colors?”

Pulley power: easy lifting with a double

Pulley power: heavy lifting made easy with a double

Hands on tea sniff and feel. Just break off a small piece for your morning cup

Hands on tea sniff and feel. Just break off a small piece for your morning cup

This next item would have stumped us completely if not for the group of kids who received an explanation of how this gadget was used.

A Jagging Wheel from the mid-1800s

A Jagging Wheel from the mid-1800s

Pie crimpers or jagging wheels are among the most common scrimshaw items carved by American 19th century whalemen. They were useful, as well as decorative kitchen implements. The fluted wheel was used to cut dough or seal the top of a pie crust to the sides before baking. The fork was used to decorate the edge and/or poke holes in the upper pie crust to vent the steam created by baking.
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A substantial display was devoted to Vineyard life in the era of love and peace. I loved these groovy outfits.  Anyone own something similar?

Famished after all that heavy lifting-lunch at the Atlantic

Famished after all that heavy lifting-lunch at the Atlantic

Our lunch spot was the Atlantic which sat perched not quite right on the harbor but with a partial view of it and the always interesting dinghy dock.

I opted for Katama Bay oysters; fresh from the bay right here in Edgartown, and the rarely seen sautéed baby artichokes.

We sucked down those six oysters so fast that I never got a photo of the fabulous presentation that included artfully placed fresh kelp, teeny bottles of Tabasco and lemon wedges. We think these are the best tasting, plumpest oysters ever to slide down our gullets. Better than Kumamoto or Watch Hill.

My three oysters plus a side order of artichokes made this one of the best lunches I’ve ever had. I love, love artichokes and to see them on the menu, never mind that the preparation was perfect, I was Blissed Out!!

 

The always on time ferry crosses over to Chappaquiddick by the entrance into the harbor

The always on time ferry crosses over to Chappaquiddick by the entrance into the harbor

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