Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

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My Sweet Spot on Martha’s Vineyard

BY RICK | 06 July 2009

I suppose everyone has their favorite Vineyard spot.  For some, it’s a place to appreciate the beauty of creation and be alone with their thoughts.  The less contemplative among us might, to lift a line from Ms. Lauper, “just wanna have fun” and so seek out a more active corner of the Island.  At the risk of exposing it to others, I’d like to share some thoughts on my special spot.

Down on Edgartown Harbor, behind a parking lot, a row of benches stand sentry on the dock.  Occupying one of those seats is, for me, the ultimate in Vineyard leisure.  Now, you wouldn’t think that a parking lot would lend itself to a relaxing respite.  However, with my back to the asphalt, facing the waters of Edgartown Harbor, I can forget what’s behind me… in more ways than one.

On my rude bench – though not so rude since the old corroding wooden benches were replaced – I lose myself in thought, soak up the sunshine, and absorb the ever-changing, diverting spectacle on the waters before me.

The sights are wonderful.  Launches come and go.  Ducks and even the odd swan swim up looking for handouts.  Mad Max sits patiently, riding the swells while awaiting its next set of patrons.  The On Time ferry does its curious commute from Edgartown to Chappy and back, all the while fighting the current created by the breach at Norton’s Point.  Sunshine sets fire to the restless harbor waters making them look like a troupe of dancing diamonds.

One of the most spellbinding sights I’ve encountered was a seagull cracking open a crab shell by dropping it over and over from high in the air onto the dock until the meat was easily accessible.  He earned that meal.

While the view alone is sufficient to stimulate my reverie, all my senses are involved.  The calls of the birds ring over the slapping of the waves against the seawall.  The aroma of fare being cooked up at a local eatery wafts over the scent of seawater.  The feeling of the hot sun on my skin is relieved by a cool breeze off the water.

To satisfy the taste sensation, however, I have to take matters into my own hands.  Thankfully, the wondrous Ice Cream & Candy Bazaar (an institution worthy of its own blog entry!) is conveniently located directly on the dock.  The picture is thus made perfect with an ice cream treat, a bag of penny candy, or – my personal favorite – a mix of chocolate covered pretzels and cookie dough.

And I don’t even have to drop it on the dock to get at it!

Image courtesy of Chris Vandyck