It is school vacation this week and the Island is noticeably quiet. With many families away on off-Island adventures, Edgartown’s Main street was nearly empty late Sunday afternoon. Only a handful of cars remained parked between upper Main and the ferry, and the sidewalks were void of pedestrians.

Last week, I parked on the Chappy side and went to town on foot for a few errands. On my return, the captain, Brad, loaded two school bus vans ahead of me and asked me to wait while he counted the occupants. If he was over 15, the boat would be at capacity and I would need to wait for the next one. The count on that particular day was 14, so Brad motioned me on, leaving behind one car in line.

Two aspects of the trip were remarkable. First, not once in my seven years of living on Chappy, with the exception of post-parade on July 4th, have I ever had the experience of the ferry being at capacity. Here I was experiencing this not in August, the busiest time of the year, but in lonely, quiet February. (I assume the capacity number is higher if there is a deck hand on board, but still.) And secondly, the ferry was at capacity not because of an influx of tourists on a busy weekend, but because there were so many students headed home from school.

Although he did not know the exact numbers, Brad estimated there are 16 elementary students and three to four high school students currently living year-round on Chappaquiddick. For a little island as sparsely populated as ours, I found this impressive and also hopeful. I imagine my own daughter growing up with other young Chappaquiddickers just down the road, playing together on the trails and beaches, a world all their own.

Katie Kidder and Tom Kent are excited to announce that Victoria (better known as Tori) Kent is engaged. Tori, who had her first solid food on Chappaquiddick many years ago, worked on the Chappy Ferry and for the Edgartown harbor master for four summer seasons. She met her fiance, Braudy Bersin, three years ago at a Halloween party. They are planning an October wedding in Calistoga, Calif. Congratulations to all!

In other Chappy news, rumor has it that Dick and Daryl Knight spotted an adult squirrel at their bird feeder. While the “big Island” is plagued with these pesky critters, we have been blissfully squirrel-free over here on Chappaquiddick.

Until now. (Dun dun dun...)

Don’t panic quiet yet, though. This particular squirrel only appeared at the feeder once, and has not been seen since. Your guess is as good as mine on how it made it here. Rumor has it squirrels don’t swim, but a popular theory suggests firewood deliveries might be the culprit.

The Chappaquiddick Community Center is raising funds to purchase a new sanitizing dishwasher. The dishwasher is required by Edgartown board of health for the center to continue to be able to host events with food. The new machine will cost $4,000 and Leslie Floyd, co-president of the CCC board, started a fundraising campaign through the Chappy Chats Facebook account. Donations can be made on the Facebook page or checks can be mailed directly to the CCC at P.O. Box 2966 Edgartown 02539. Please write “dishwasher” in the memo line.

Elizabeth Whelan is hosting the next Chappy Winter Art Workshop this coming Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 at the Community Center. Elizabeth will set up a still life, and all are welcome to come draw or paint. For questions, contact her at or by phone at 508-560-0083.

The next potluck at the Community Center is this coming Wednesday, March 6. Please call the CCC at 627-8222 if you are interested in hosting a future potluck. The hosts supply the drinks and appetizers and attendees bring the main dishes.