A little bit of Cape Pogue Pond was splashed onto Charlotte, Nat and Pam Benjamin’s new schooner, at its launching last Saturday in Vineyard Haven. Pam asked Sidney and me to bring over a bottle of the pond water because they had organized the christening ceremony to use water from various Island ponds rather than do the traditional breaking of the champagne bottle.
The launching was a real Island kind of event with lots of boat people and familiar faces, good food, inspiring speakers, music and the drama of a big beautiful boat majestically gliding down the beach and into the water to the strains of Tony Peak’s bagpipe.
Chappy’s David and Lucia Tyler were at the launching along with their son, Andrew, who was still wet and shivering from sailing in the Gaff Rig race where the boats had been knocked down by a fast-moving front on an already windy day.
Tomorrow, the long-awaited launching of Rick and Chrissie Haslet’s boat, Destiny, will take place at noon at the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard.
The landscaping crew is back at work on Bill Brine’s land across from the community center, site of the future tennis courts for the center, a cemetery and a sheep pasture.
Bill is working on a design for the cemetery with Lil Province and, at this point, is planning to enclose most of the area with stone walls wide enough to sit down on and to build a circular bench center area. He says he’s open to suggestions on any of his plans — nothing is cut in stone yet.
Eventually, Bill plans to create a nonprofit entity to run the cemetery. He wants to set up a Web site where obituaries can be permanently posted. The cemetery will be for ashes only and he does not plan to sell off sites but to have them available as needed.
After consultation with farmer Mitch Posin of Chilmark, Bill is thinking of getting about 20 sheep and two black angus steer to graze on his soon-to-be pasture, which he plans to get seeded this fall, even if it means doing it himself. He plans to fence about three acres at a time for grazing. The animals would be there seasonally unless any enterprising person — Bill mentions “young person” — would like to take care of them year-round.
The farmers’ market at the community center is finished for the season. Between the fresh produce and flowers of Will Geresy and Sharlee Livingston, the market became quite successful as time went on this summer. Hopefully, would-be farmers will be dreaming of their next summer’s gardens that will include a little extra for selling to their neighbors.
This is the time of year when we can appreciate the way the ocean holds the summer’s heat a little longer than the land does. The difference is especially noticeable early and late in the day down near the water. It’s the payback we get for enduring those teasing, freezing days of April and May and June when the sun says spring and the breeze says winter.
I rode my bike to town early last Friday morning, following the up and down path between my house and the tar road. The temperature had cooled off during the night so in the bottom of the dips it was quite cool, like fall, but then as I reached the crests of the rises, the temperature had gone up and it felt like summer.
On the way, I passed areas thick with the aroma of ripe wild grapes and patches of black speckles on the road where the choke cherry trees had dropped their fruit. At Brine’s Pond, little wisps of mist rose off the surface where the sun’s rays had reached high enough above the trees to hit the water. I felt lucky to have gotten out of the house in time to see start of the new day.
The phenomenal harvest from my volunteer peach tree (sprouted in a friend’s compost pile from a peach pit about 10 years ago) has kept me in my kitchen far longer than I normally spend there. I’ve made peach butter, jam, sauce and pies to freeze and eaten fresh peaches every day for a couple of weeks. On Sunday, feeling a lot of gratitude for so much good-tasting fruit, I picked the last three peaches and the next day, got to work on the grape and the apple harvests.