Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

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Kayaking adventures on Martha’s Vineyard

BY RICK | 07 July 2010

long point wildlife refuge-resized-600

My family has been vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard for so long, it seems as if we’ve done all there is to do and seen all there is to see.  This summer we put that myth to rest.

For an island of only 87 square miles, the Vineyard is home to an amazing variety of landscapes, living spaces, and ecosystems.  At my wife’s suggestion, we went exploring via kayak one such area we had never set eyes on before: Long Point Wildlife Refuge.

Long Point is managed by The Trustees of Reservations. The Trustees manage dozens of spectacular properties all over Massachusetts.  Long Point is one of several on the Vineyard.  For a reasonable fee (especially for those who are members of the Trustees) we joined a kayak tour with several other people to explore this Undiscovered (to us) Country.

Our two hour voyage took place on Tisbury Great Pond, located on the south coast of the island.  Our group was led by a young man named Guillermo.  He was personable, knowledgeable, helpful, and more than patient with those of us who were kayak-challenged.

The only negative aspect of the trip turned out to be a benefit of sorts.  Our entire tour took place under the cloak of a fog that made anything more than fifty feet away look otherworldly and those over one hundred feet mere objects of our imagination.  It was a real impetus to stay as close as possible to Guillermo’s lead kayak.

Though we could not see the sights that were distant in that near dream world, we could see the birds and sea life that were nearby, and there was plenty of that.  We also learned a lot about the earliest native inhabitants of the area.  The blessing of the fog was that we were protected from a hot sun that we knew was somewhere beyond the misty shroud.  The exertion of paddling kept us plenty warm.

At one point we disembarked on the narrow beach that separates the pond from the ocean.  With the serene pond on one side and the turbulent waters of the Atlantic on the other, all lit by the ethereal glow of daylight in disguise, our intrepid band was energized and moved.

While the trip was a first for us, it will not be the last.  I want to go back to see what was beyond the fog!  We were also inspired to explore other unfamiliar Island locales. I doubt we will ever exhaust the possibilities of our vacation home.