President Kennedy, Mrs. Kennedy and Caroline dropped over from Hyannisport Sunday afternoon for an interlude of informal recreation afloat and in the water of Edgartown harbor off the Chappaquiddick beach. Thus came true both the wish and the prediction uttered so often on the Vineyard this summer that the President would surely appear - though the manner of his coming was a complete surprise.
The President’s party arrived in the now-famous Marlin, picked up the J.P. Marquands, whose summer home is on Chappaquiddick, and anchored in everyday fashion off the beach. This was offshore from the Edward H. Fitch and Stedman Alger places, some distance from the Chappaquiddick Beach Club.
Soon after the Marlin had anchored, a Coast Guard boat appeared, a rather small and unpretentious escort for the President, and the Gazette’s Chappaquiddick reporter, Farrell Fitch, and her assistants could see two men in police blue, two in brown, and three or four in plain clothes.

Word Soon Spread

Farrell, Ned, and Jonathan Fitch and Joy Williams were sailing in the Fitch twelve-footer, and the new arrivals prepared to share the area unobtrusively. Word spread, though, as to the President’s coming, and pretty soon thirty-five or forty people were walking down the beach to get a good view. Mrs. Fitch used her good offices, successfully at first, to ask privacy for the Kennedys, but soon the curious were pressing on.
Then it was that two swimmers dropped over from the Coast Guard boat, swam ashore, and kept people out of the area. The Fitch and Williams families remained free of any interference, for, as Mrs. Fitch said later, the ail obviously was just to preserve the situation as it had been. The presidential party wanted to share a perfectly free Sunday interlude with those who were already on hand, but did not want invasion from outside.
Presently a Boston whaler appeared, in which were a woman and a teenager, with a boy skillfully waterskiing behind. These arrivals did not know of the Kennedys’ presence, for the woman skipper was heard to say, “Heavens, that’s the President!”
President Kennedy hailed the Boston whaler and soon Mrs. Kennedy - well, Jackie, then - clad in an aqua mallot swimsuit, tightly fitting, a white-petaled swimmer’s cap, was water-skiing behind the Boston whaler. She was expert at the sport, taking two big swoops and dropping off quite a way out to swim back. This was, by all odds, the most exciting part of the afternoon.


A Decorative Party

The Presidential party was decorative, incidentally. The President himself wore a blue shirt over blue swim trunks. Caroline wore a bright orange life preserver all the while over a bright red swim suit with a white cord around the neck.
The President and Caroline jumped overboard and swam, and when Ned Fitch hailed with the words, “Hello, sir!” the President replied, “Hi, how are you?”
Meantime, of course, some of those who had walked along the shore called “Hello, Jack!”
The four famous Chappaquiddick riders appeared and rode along the shore. Meantime the afternoon was turning gray and rather chilly, and some observers wondered why the Presidential party didn’t call it a day.
When Mrs. Fitch and Farrell went out in their boat along about this time, the Coast Guard boat bore down on them, and Mrs. Fitch said, “Don’t ram us!”
“We’ll be good to you because you’ve been good to us,” was the reply.
The Marlin ultimately steamed along to the Chappaquiddick Beach Club pier, dropped its guests off, and turned to run back to Hyannis Port after a successful outing.
It was observed that the Coast Guard boat turned back all power boats heading for the area while the President was there. The fact that most of these craft were waved off so easily seemed to show that they were coming in deliberately because of the President.
Walter Bettencourt had sailed his 22-foot sloop Snafu out of the inner harbor and anchored just off the beach before the Kennedy party arrived, to enjoy a chicken lunch with his Korean army buddy, John J. Sullivan Jr. of East Boston and John’s brother Walter.
The Marlin arrived soon afterward and anchored a few hundred feet from the Snafu. At first no particular attention was paid to the newcomer as this is a common occurrence along the Chappy beach. But when the Coast Guard boat with plain clothesmen and uniformed police arrived and began maneuvering aroung the beach and the Kennedy yacht, the suspicions of the Bettencourt party were aroused and confirmed.
The Coast Guard ignored the presence of the Snafu and its occupants, at the same time warning off other boats in the vicinity.
The Snafu made sail once again after lunch, sailed around the Marlin, made a trip to Cape Pogue and back to the Marlin without causing concern aboard the Coast Guard patrol boat.
When the Snafu returned from its second trip to Cape Pogue the Kennedy party and escort had left the beach and returned to the cape.