There was no new moon during the month of February so March will have two. The first one occurs just three hours into the month leaving plenty of time for the second one to occur on March 30 at midday. The new moon doesn’t draw the same attention as the full moon but is just as noteworthy. A common misconception is that the moon cycle is 28 days when actually the average lunar month is 29-and-a-half days. My favorite moon fact is that the moon orbits around the earth in the opposite direction that the earth rotates. So, if the earth didn’t spin on its axis, the moon would travel across the sky in the opposite direction. That makes sense when you consider that the moon rises about an hour later each day. So rather than rising in the east and setting in the west as the sun and all other celestial bodies do, the moon would rise in the west and set in the east.

The next Chappy potluck will be on Wednesday, March 5, hosted by Pat Rose and John Ortman. Catching up on gossip begins at 6 p.m. with the dinner bell ringing at 6:30. The potlucks are always a lot of fun and lately have a good turnout of children. Don’t tell anybody that I said this — but if you’re coming home late from work on a potluck night and just couldn’t get anything together, come to the dinner anyway. The food may be the central activity but getting together is the purpose. I usually eat for two and I’m several days ahead on my feeding schedule anyway, so I can easily share mine. I hope to see you there. Here’s a hint: ice cream and pizza are always a big hit.

If you want to stay up-to-date with the changes occurring at the Wasque opening, you will need to go out there every day for a look. Depending on the tide, there may be as many as three sandy islands. There’s a whole lot of sand stockpiled out there. Although it may be years away, from what I’ve seen so far, I believe that the final closure might be an overnight event. Skip Bettencourt has purchased a remote controlled mini-helicopter with a video camera and has done a lot of flying at Wasque. You can see some of the still shots on the Chappy ferry website or Facebook page.

Chappaquiddick was well represented at the oyster feast at the Harbor View two weeks ago. If you attended Romancing the Oyster you got to taste the results of the hard work that goes on out on those rafts in Katama Bay. It was a fundraiser for the shellfish hatchery. Judging from the standing-room-only crowd, it was a great success. I noticed that the salad bowl was almost untouched. We knew what we had come for and it wasn’t vegetables! We can eat lettuce anytime. There are many ways to prepare oysters and we sampled them all. There was a high concentration of commercial fishermen and women. It occurred to me that most of them I had not laid eyes on after nightfall unless they were dealing with a problem like a sinking boat. Otherwise they would be toiling away in the shucking shed or already in bed in readiness for an early morning start to their next day.

This past week was school vacation for Vineyarders. The Chappy ferry was pretty quiet, but the SSA ferries were mighty busy. On the last day of school before the vacation began, dense fog enveloped the Vineyard. My daughter and grandsons were scheduled to fly to Logan and then on to San Francisco. The fog was so thick that the Island airlines cancelled their flights. Our backup plan was to drive to Boston. We raced up to Vineyard Haven and got in the standby line. The folks at the SSA did a great job handling all of the traffic associated with a Friday before school vacation. After less than an hour wait, we were on a freight boat headed out into the Sound with the foghorn blaring every two minutes. We arrived at Logan with time to spare amid a downpour complete with thunder and lightening. I ran into four island families just in the short time that I was in the Jet Blue terminal. For those of us who don’t get off-island on a regular basis it’s a real treat to see a familiar face in the hubbub of Boston. Often the conversation starts with them asking me who’s running the ferry while I’m away. I like to respond with a look of shock as if I hadn’t thought of it.

Since I was off-island I took the opportunity to visit my brother in Maine. Those folks are having a real winter. If you think that the mound of snow in the Edgartown post office parking lot is the ninth wonder of the world, you would be awed by the huge piles in parking lots north of the New Hampshire border. Those will probably still be there for the fourth of July.