Chappaquiddick island is still firmly attached to Martha’s Vineyard. The Trustees Of Reservations staff has determined that Norton Point is sufficiently stable to accommodate vehicle traffic. I have spoken to a few folks who “went by the beach.” It may not always be a short cut. It’s nearly a five-mile drive. If you start from the asphalt at Katama, at the point where your tires roll onto Chappy soil at Wasque, you are only two-thirds of the way to the hard dirt road at the Dike Bridge. So it’s a long way around but there may be times when it makes more sense than going by ferry. Before you set out on that journey, call the TTOR hotline, 508-627-8390, to find out if the beach is open for travel. Over-sand vehicle permits are required year round.

The U.S. Coast Guard subjected the ferryboat On Time III to an out-of-the-water inspection back on Tuesday the 17. They added just two items to our own list of things to do. So if the weather cooperates she should go back into the water by mid-December. Until that time only one ferry will be in service. In the meantime please approach the ferry line on the Edgartown side via Simpson’s Lane just in case Daggett street is full and the line has backed up onto North Water street. On the Chappy side, remember that if you are behind a large vehicle or a trailer leave enough room to pull around if directed by the ferry crew. You may fit aboard when the vehicles ahead of you may not. Also, if your trailer hitch isn’t totally rusted into the receiver, removing it may give that extra few inches that make enough room for a third vehicle to fit on the ferry.

The 2016 Chappy Community Center calendars have arrived. You can get your first peek at one at the CCC open house and craft sale this Saturday, Nov. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. The new calendars, local crafts, warm cider and cookies will be available. Anyone wishing to include their crafts please call the center at 508-627-8222. You can also print out a calendar order form from the CCC website, Do it quick so that you will get them before Christmas.

The annual Chappy Ferry Captain and Crew Appreciation Potluck Dinner will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at the CCC from 6 to 8 p.m. Please bring a main or side dish for six. Ironically, the appreciation dinner was founded years ago by our newest deckhand, Mary Spencer, way back when she was president of the CCC board. You have to admit that’s some pretty clever long-range planning on her part. This is a golden opportunity to have a normal length conversation with a ferry crew member. If you find that you are both at a loss for words after 60 seconds don’t worry, that’s just habit. Give it a moment and you will remember all of the things that you always wanted to talk about with these folks who are such an integral part of your lives. I happen to know that all of them have very full and interesting lives away from the ferry.

Geoff Kontje has been a member of the Chappaquiddick fire brigade for three decades. Even before he officially joined the department he would respond to fires when he heard the fire siren sounding. Remember the good old days of the fire siren? I liked the idea of the whole community becoming aware that something was going on somewhere on Chappy that involved our neighbors. Geoff will be turning 65 years old on Nov. 28. That is the age when we put our firefighters out to pasture with a job-well-done pat on the back and a heartfelt thank you for spending countless hours training and being always at the ready to drop whatever you were doing, day or night, fair weather or foul, to rush to the aid of a neighbor in distress. I like to ask retired firefighters what they are doing with all that free time now that they are off the department roster. They always respond with something like, “What free time? The time I spent with the fire department came out of family time and work time.” Still Geoff has not turned away from civic duty. He has been serving on the Edgartown conservation commission for the past half year. Thank you Geoff. Job well done.

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