When I went across to town early on Sunday morning, there was barely enough water in the Chappaquiddick slip to float the ferry. Captain Bob attributed the low tide to a combination of the new moon and the high pressure of that bright sunny day. I didn’t know this, but high pressure tends to depress the water, while the low pressure, say, of a storm causes the tide to rise higher, in conjunction with the wind direction.
When I returned to Chappy just before noon, the whole inner harbor as far as I could see, as well as the outer harbor as far as the Cape Pogue gut, was cloudy with churned-up sand. I drove out to take a look at Norton Point since that seemed the likely source of so much sand.
The opening was very wide with the ocean pounding through it, and there was another place along the beach on the Chappy side where big waves were washing through. It looked as if a large section of the point had washed away causing the cloudy water.
Nancy Hugger told me that when she and Skip walk there lately, they don’t see tracks anywhere the length of the point because the tide washes over almost the whole thing. However, the Edgartown side looks as if it’s growing easterly toward us — but not as fast as our side is washing away.
In an e-mail from Frank Partel, he said that last summer he came across some charts in a Nantucket antiques shop, including a 1898 Eldridge chart of the Vineyard showing Norton Point beach with no less than four evenly spaced breaches or inlets to Katama Bay.
Frank says the ospreys are numerous where he is on the Indian River in Florida. At times there are twelve or more stacked at various heights fishing. One, which usually gets its fish around noon, positions the fish under its feet on one of their dock pilings and spends the afternoon feasting. A gull or two usually hovers around it hoping for a scrap, and occasionally a pelican will chase the osprey off the piling and claim the fish.
Gardener Jack McElhinney (painting is actually his trade) told me at the potluck last Wednesday that he’s excited about growing vegetables for the community center’s farmers’ market this summer. He usually has too much of some things anyway and is glad to have a place to pass them on to someone else.
There will be another potluck on Wednesday, March 19 starting at 6 p.m. hosted by Fran and Bob Clay. Come to the community center for some good food and interesting conversation. At the end of the last potluck, some of us sat around talking about island living for quite awhile. When I tried to think of what was said that I could put in the column, I realized there was nothing — but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting.
Work continues on the stone wall surrounding Bill Brine’s cemetery. The stone masons come here from Reading, Vt., to work for eight or ten days at a time. They expect to finish this 500-foot wall in two or three more visits. The stone comes from Civil War era walls at a Dighton farm that is being developed. Although it doesn’t look like an indigenous Island wall with rounded stones, it has a nice old New England look to it.
The teddy bears at the Edgartown library are getting dressed up. A bunch of Chappy knitters and others meet there on Friday mornings, and some of them are making clothes for the library’s fund-raising teddies. Shirley Dewing, Shirlee Miller, Sue Geresy, Annie Heywood, Susan Gomez, and Liz Villard are knitting, and they’re glad to have anyone else join them.
Pat Rose has been collecting returnable bottles and cans since last year, raising $2,700 so far for the campaign to build the new library. Last year an anonymous donor matched each 5 cents redeemed, to double the money brought in. Pat is looking for a donor to give the program an extra oomph again this year. If you are interested in helping, please get in touch with her at 508-627-3297, or tell any of the library staff and they will pass along the message.
On March 6, the special town meeting voted the money to start the library cleanup, refundable by the insurance company. The work is finally in progress and someday we’ll be back in our fine old library — but who knows if they’ll still serve the homemade goodies they have at the temporary town hall site.
Surprisingly, to Jeff Norton who misheard the voice vote and to me who didn’t think Edgartown would actually pass this, the meeting voted to support a resolution to call on our congressional representatives to vote against additional funds for occupation for Iraq, approving only funds necessary for withdrawal of our troops. In a standup count, the vote was 106 in favor to 85 opposed.
Don’t forget to check out the schedule for the Martha’s Vineyard Independent Film Festival at the Chilmark community center starting tonight. There are some great films, including a festival for kids at the library next door. Sidney and I plan to spend a lot of the weekend there — we’re hoping to snag one of the couches.