Monday, September 2, 2013

Port of Call: Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

A popular weekend getaway from Boston is Cape Cod, or the Cape, as it is affectionately called. However, during the summertime, the traffic getting to the Cape is horrendous! One of the reasons we love boating in New England so much is because there is no traffic on the water whatsoever. At least not until you get to the harbor of your destination. Only then will you encounter boats maneuvering in tight quarters.  

Edgartown Lighthouse in the background
One Labor Day weekend found us in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard. We had left Marina Bay in Quincy on a nice sunny day, but as Mai Thai pounded its way south, the rolling waves proved too uncomfortable for my sister- in-law. She and her husband were our guests for the long weekend holiday. She suffered from a severe bout of seasickness, so right off the bat, the trip had bad omen written all over it.
Oak Bluffs Marina, Martha's Vineyard
Sunrise at Martha's Vineyard
We had reserved a slip at Oak Bluffs Marina in Martha's Vineyard. We were delighted with the marina and its location. There's a hotel across the street, and the town is a few minutes walk away. The next morning, we grabbed breakfast at a cafe in town, rented some bicycles and went out to explore the island. We spent the entire day biking the scenic island, stopping at beaches and the charming Edgartown. When we returned, we found the marina shower/restroom facilities closed! It was only 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. A tad early on Labor Day weekend, don't you think? We were four adults on a 28 footer with a 3 day reservation, so of course, we needed to use the facilities. We walked to town to find the public restrooms closed also. This is a resort town and we were there on the one of the biggest holiday weekend! We were baffled. I remember checking out the hotel, and they were charging $5 for a shower. Per person, of course.

We left Martha's Vineyard on a late Monday morning. While topping off the tank at the fuel dock, we learned that a storm was heading our way. Just then, it dawned on us that we were the only boat around; most transient boaters apparently had already taken off. No sooner had we left the marina than the storm came. Thunder, lightning, followed by rain. Buckets of it. It rained so hard water was literally dripping through the canvas. In a frantic effort to keep the driving station and ourselves dry, we held towels against the canvas to soak up the rain water and wringing it into a bucket. My mind, however, was on the electronics. I wasn't sure if we could find our way home if we lost the GPS and the radar to the lightning. The only consolation was that we were not alone. There was a sailboat with a really tall mast bobbing nearby. We stayed close to her and waited nervously for the storm to subside. After what seemed like hours, it finally cleared. We breathed a sigh of relief and continued our trip back to our slip at Marina Bay. This certainly was one adventure we will never forget. 

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