The Chappy Community Center invites everyone to the annual Open House and Crafts Fair on Saturday, Nov. 30. Buy a new Chappy calendar, browse the crafts tables and sit by the fire with hot cider and cookies. They still have space available for more crafts sales. Call Lynn at 508-627-8222.
I got a sneak preview of the CCC 2014 calendar. Our local neighborhood photographers really captured the essence of Chappy. Too bad Donna Kelly’s cover photo will not get its own month of glory. Get a calendar now and hang it up with the cover on top until New Year’s Day.
The first potluck dinner in December is traditionally dedicated to appreciating the Chappy Ferry captains and crew. Join your fellow islanders on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the community center at 6 p.m. for appetizers. Dinner starts at 6:30. Ferry captains and crew will be there. You will have a chance to converse with them for more than the normal allotment of 60 seconds.
If you ordered a Thanksgiving turkey through Slipaway Farm remember to pick it up at the farm on Wednesday, Nov. 27 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is the last day that the farm stand will be open this season. They will have a variety of veggies for sale for the holiday. This is also your last chance to buy Mermaid Farm yogurt and Chilmark coffee without having to wait in the ferry line.
The Chappy Open Space Committee is sponsoring a walk the day after Thanksgiving. Meet at the community center at 10 a.m. The route has not yet been determined so the CCC will either be a starting point or a place to carpool from. The long-range forecast for that day is sunny with a brisk northwest breeze, but just in case, the rain date is Sunday, Dec. 1.
The last two rainstorms have helped to end the drought as well as remove almost all of the leaves from the deciduous trees. Now what I notice is the many colored mosses on their trunks. The evergreens also look brighter since the rains rinsed off the dust. Our swamps and ponds show a little less mud now. At Wasque, lots of underwater sand is accumulating even though the dry land of Norton Point has been receding rapidly over the past three months. There is a low island a couple of hundred yards offshore midway between the two parking lots. If the barrier beach forms over that spot as the breach closes, the new swan pond it creates will be immense. With the Schifter house move completed, the shore protection of coir bags has been removed. Everyone seems to have his or her own idea of what Mother Nature has planned next.
The On Time III is still high and dry in Vineyard Haven. She continues to benefit from the uncompromising initiative to assure her well-being by Erik Gilley and George Fisher. They have found areas in three out of four corners where water was able to seep into the plywood layers of the hull through minute fissures at the deck edge. Waiting for her next haul-out two years from now to fix the problem would allow time for further damage. I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record when people ask me when the big ferry will go back into service. I don’t mean to sound like a wise guy but the only accurate answer to that question is, “When all of the work is completed and she goes back in the water.” With the chilly weather forecast for the next week making the work harder, I’m sure that you won’t see the On Time III returning until after Thanksgiving.
This week in the “It’s A Small World Department,” the subject is the big white sloop aptly named “MASS TRANSIT 105” that winters over in Edgartown harbor every year. She is quite an imposing sight even at a distance. Sunday afternoon, her owner and skipper Nick van Nes sailed her into town and tied up at Memorial Wharf. We were treated to a close up of her 105-foot length. From atop the wharf you could see how beamy she is. Her gigantic mast dwarfed the waterfront flagpoles. The construction of her hull was begun a quarter of a century ago at the Battery on Manhattan Island. Captain van Nes was sailing his father’s 70-foot yawl “PETREL” on daily charters.
Our fellow Chappaquiddickers Holly Saltzman and Kevin Ryan met aboard that vessel as crew members. They helped to build “MASS TRANSIT 105” and babysat her through a hurricane. Coincidentally, both the vessel and the couple now make Chappy their seasonal home. It also turns out that the guy who moved Schifter’s house out at Wasque, Jerry Matyiko of Expert House Movers, was a classmate of Nick van Nes in Navy SEAL school. Small world!