The Chappy Ferry Captain and Crew appreciation potluck supper will take place at the Chappy Community Center as per tradition on the first Wednesday in December. Appetizers begin at 6 p.m. with the buffet line forming up at 6:30 p.m. The official host of this potluck is the CCC, which means Lynn Martinka. She will need some help setting up before and cleaning up after. This potluck has the greatest turnout of all as our neighbors come together to express their appreciation for the dedication of the captains and crew in keeping the ferry moving through all kinds of weather. Liz Villard will present her slide show of ferry personnel. She warned me that she may not find time before the dinner to delete from the sound track that song with the refrain “don’t pay the ferryman ‘til you get to the other side.” Catchy tune, but the silliest notion I ever heard!

Good news! The 25th anniversary matching fundraiser has reached the goal of $25,000. Thanks to all who made that happen. This Saturday is the CCC holiday open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Drop by for goodies and get a head start on your holiday gift shopping. The CCC calendars will be on sale as well as creations by local artisans.

We have several new households on Chappy. A few are folks who are usually here only in the summer but have decided to stay year round. Some have returned again to their winter rentals, while one family is brand new to Chappy. Welcome! I hope that we see you at the potluck suppers. I know that on this small island folks value privacy so I won’t invade anyone’s, except of course for the new occupants of the apartment at Mytoi.

I asked TTOR’s Chris Kennedy to give me a few details and he wrote an A+ essay. I feel that such initiative should be encouraged, so I quote him here in the entirety. “Chris Bruno is our new assistant superintendent for Chappaquiddick. He takes over the position which was until recently filled by Katie O’Donnell. Chris and his wife, Caitlin Borck, have moved into The Trustees’ apartment at Mytoi where they will live year round. Chris is a New Orleans native who previously worked for Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation on their property management staff. He also has worked as a Prescribed Burn Crew member with The Nature Conservancy on Martha’s Vineyard, National Park Service and the Student Conservation Association. He is an avid fisherman and gardener. Chris is responsible for the day to day management of Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge, Wasque Reservation and Mytoi. Caitlin Borck also works for The Trustees as our Islands Ecology Assistant. In that capacity Caitlin is in charge of our Shorebird Management and Ecological Restoration programs on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Caitlin did a superb job this past summer balancing The Trustees’ mission to protect our wildlife ecological resources while providing public access.

“The early November gale clobbered our east and north-facing beaches which required a temporary closure of much of the outside Chappy beaches to vehicle access. Most have been reopened but sections of outside the beach under the Cape Pogue Lighthouse, portions of East Beach and on the Elbow are still closed to oversand vehicles. We are anticipating that sand will eventually return to those spots making the steep beaches accessible once more. The storm also broke a cable on the 100-year-old Cape Pogue Lighthouse, which helps stabilize the tower and it also exposed the skeleton of an old wooden ship on East Beach which state and local archaeologists believe sank in the mid 1800s. The Norton Point breach is racing eastward and the opening is now only about 75 to 100 feet in width. Will it close this winter?

“Most fish have now “left the building,” but a few diehard bass fishermen are still out trying their luck at Wasque. A few fish are being caught, but the recent cold snap is quickly drawing the 2014 surf fishing season to a close. The recent cold weather also reminded us that not all marine creatures got the message to find warmer waters soon enough. We received a text message from a Cape Pogue resident a few days ago along with a photo of a stranded green turtle that became trapped in Cape Pogue Bay when the weather suddenly turned cold and the unfortunate animal became cold-stunned. Caitlin Borck and Chris Bruno responded and found the young turtle alive, but in a weakened condition. They transported the turtle to Suzan Bellincampi at Felix Neck and she was able to hand off this endangered sea turtle to the New England Aquarium where a team of veterinarians and zoologists will nurse the turtle back to health and release it back into the wild, but in a much warmer locale than the winter shores of Chappy.” Thanks to Superintendent Kennedy for such a comprehensive update.

If you listen to public radio you probably have heard Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion start his dialog with the phrase, “Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon.” Just the opposite has been true of the past couple of weeks here on Chappy. We’ve had gale force winds, torrential rains, thunder and lightning. One of our neighbors suffered a life-threatening accident. Another neighbor had to put down the longtime faithful family dog. My own son in law lost his big brother. I’m not saying that these events are all of the same degree. But I am reminded once again that we humans live at the mercy of nature and that our seemingly firm grip on life is really quite fragile.

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