The Holiday Tea last Saturday was enjoyed by many. As expected, Rose Kaszuba, with the able assistance of Tom Osborn, baked up a huge assortment of treats. Rose really knows how to put on a tea party. She even employed that little-known trick of giving the room a yuletide atmosphere by leaving the fireplace damper closed just for a few minutes when the fire is first lit. The hot chocolate was as rich as it could be and yet still flowed from the urn. I had a chance to catch up with some folks who I had not seen for a while, including former ferry captain Bill Dunn.

There will be no potluck at the Chappy Community Center on the first Wednesday of January since that is New Year’s Day. The next potluck will be on the third Wednesday, Jan. 15. Dennis Golden and Nancy Slate will be hosting.

As part of the need for on-going fundraising, the CCC successfully applied for a grant from the Felix Neck Foundation to purchase and install a much-needed public address and sound system. The application was approved as a matching grant of $2,500 on the condition that we also raise $2,500 for this project.

The CCC board has many challenges ahead in maintaining the quarter-century-old community center building. The next big issue to be addressed is the rot and insect damage along the edges of the porch floor.

Of course there is also the cost of operating the building, as well as providing all those wonderful programs and activities. Here is your golden opportunity to do some year-end giving. The CCC is a non-profit organization under IR Sec 501(c)(3), so your donation is tax deductible. There are three funds for you to choose from — the Cressy Building Fund to help with structural repairs to the porch and building; the General Operating Fund dedicated to program expenses, salaries and utilities; and the matching $2,500 fund for the sound system. Donations can be made on the CCC website with PayPal or a credit card. Call the CCC at 508-627-8222 or email with questions. Those of you who have an Island Club card can designate 20 per cent of your membership fee to the nonprofit of your choice when you renew. How about choosing the Chappy Community Center?

Nothing new to report regarding erosion at Wasque other than it continues. Tom Dunlop’s research shows that in recorded history Katama Bay has been open to the sea more than not. Sometimes there were several small openings piercing Norton Point and at other times it was a wide-open expanse all the way from Mattakessett to Wasque. Offshore fishing vessels used to head out to sea through Katama Bay. Only during the last few generations has Chappaquiddick been predominately connected to the Vineyard by dry land.

Several people have mentioned that they are planning on staying up after midnight on New Year’s Eve and wondered if the Chappy ferry captain will also be staying up late. Traditionally the ferry has run a late trip for New Year’s Eve. Each year folks head out to parties with the promise, “See you next year!” but then they often arrive back at the ferry at 11:15 p.m. with the comment, “I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m tired. I’m going home to bed now!” So given that usual outcome, you have to sign up and pay up during the day on New Year’s Eve or that evening on your way to the party. The captain will collect the additional $10 per person fare. It doesn’t matter if you are in a car or which way you’re going. The additional fee is per person. You still pay the regular car or passenger fare. The additional fare is non-refundable, because the captain will still have to show up even though you don’t. Captain Liz Villard will be driving that night so check in with her on your way to the party to arrange for the time of your return.

Remember to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks show courtesy of the Harbor View Hotel beginning at midnight. The fireworks are launched from a barge moored in the harbor next to the Edgartown Lighthouse. In years past it has been quite impressive.

The first full day of winter certainly didn’t feel like it with a temperature of 55 degrees and thick fog. It was also pretty gusty. I motored out to check on my sailboat moored near the entrance to Caleb’s Pond. I leave it in the water throughout the entire off-season because that’s when I have more free time to use it. I ended up going for a quick sail to the outer harbor. Even with the sails fully reefed, it was an exhilarating ride. Usually my goal is to get out into the middle of Nantucket Sound to get away from land in order to change my perspective a little, but it was so foggy that I was out of sight of land at the red nun buoy. Along with the cold spray in my face and water coming over the rail in the gusts, that was enough to affect plenty of change in my perspective.

Way back in the sixth grade, my teacher, Miss Hayes, had us memorizing poems. John Masefield was still alive when I recited his classic 1902 poem Sea Fever to the class in 1964. Somehow all three verses have remained intact in my cluttered brain. Masefield also wrote: “Men on ships are always looking up while men on land are always looking down.” I try to remember those words daily and make a conscious effort to be observant in all directions.