The next potluck at the Chappy Community Center is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 4. Dorothy and John Dropick will be the hosts, with appetizers beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30. All are welcome. Please bring a dish for six.

So much for my long-winded hypothesis regarding the recent rebreaching of Norton Point and the process required to reclose the breach. The beach had healed itself before the ink on that issue of the Gazette was fully dried. I’m constantly guessing what Mother Nature will do next so that we aren’t taken by surprise in the operation of the Chappy ferry. But I am as intrigued when I am completely wrong as I am delighted when I am nearly right.

As a kid I loved the big storms. It was exhilarating for me to witness such overwhelming forces of nature. Wind shrieking in the phone wires, waves pounding onto the beach, sailboats lurching at their moorings, saltwater flooding the waterfront parking lots and rainwater gushing up out of the grate of an overfull storm drain. My brothers and I would claw our way up onto the top of Memorial Wharf and stand hunched over with our backs to the wind. Our wrinkled palms would be chalky white from clutching the waterlogged paint of the handrails. The gale-blown raindrops felt like pebbles hitting our backs. At that young age I could just enjoy the spectacle without any obligation to deal with the effects of the storm. But now the thrill is somewhat dampened since I care for so many objects that can be destroyed by wind and waves. I am still impressed, just not as happy about it.

I will be updating the sign at the ferry which indicates the starting date when only one ferry will be in service. We are awaiting the relaunching of a big sloop that is currently hauled out on the Packer Marine railway in Vineyard Haven. The moment the sloop goes back into the water the On Time 3 will leave town. Since we can’t be sure of when that moment will be I don’t want to make a promise too far ahead that two ferryboats will still be in service. I would much rather have you annoyed with me that you left home a half hour early in case there was a long ferry line, found that there wasn’t, and arrived in town with an extra half hour on your hands than to have you angry at me for missing an appointment because you expected two ferries to be running when it turned out there was just one and it was the smaller one at that.

The Chappy ferry maintenance team of Erik Gilley and George Fisher are taking full advantage of the ferry hauling delay to get as much repair work done on the Chappy slip as possible while the weather is nice.

Our neighbor Ed Seabury has suffered the loss of his mother Frances N. Seabury. She spent many of her 94 summers on Chappy and built a year-round house in Green Pastures way back in 1987.

The charter school has once again placed a Halloween scarecrow at the ferry as part of their annual fundraiser scarecrow contest. Parents and students design and construct the creations, which are then displayed across the Island. We always ask for something sturdy, because of the exposure down there, and not too scary. This year ours is based on the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. As usual the outcome is fabulous. An eight -foot-tall intertwining green beanstalk disappears up into a cloud. Jack is just scrambling to the ground as the giant’s boot appears above. The impression of action is uncanny. Well done!

Don’t be alarmed if you see smoke rising up from the south shore of Cape Pogue Bay during the weekend of Nov. 7 and 8. Weather permitting, the Edgartown Fire Department will be conducting live fire training exercises in the former Self house at the Hickory Cove Land Bank property. This is a golden opportunity for firefighters to experience actual conditions that they may encounter in a burning structure. Other fire departments from across the Vineyard will also participate. This will be the fifth structure removed from that stretch of shoreline. The Knight house was burned in a similar fire department training exercise. The Wasey house was dismantled. The Heywood house was moved to Tom’s Neck Farm. The old school house was moved to Slip Away Farm.

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