A large crowd gathered at the Chappy community center over the weekend to celebrate the combined sixty-nine years of service of four Chappy ferry captains: Brad Fligor, Jeff Lamarche, Becca Hamilton Lamarche and Maddie LeCoq. Until recently, all four captained the boat year-round, getting to know residents and summer visitors alike as they made the trip back and forth, thousands of times, from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick. The turnout reflected their wide reach and the impact these four had as the gatekeepers to our little island.

The event was co-hosted by the Chappaquiddick Island Association and the Chappy community center. Guests signed copies of Edwina Rissland’s Morning Shore and Gail Rodney’s A Martha’s Vineyard and Chappy Sketchbook, one for each captain, and enjoyed a range of appetizers and drinks while mingling. The crowd was so large, it spilled over onto the front lawn and included a wide range of ages as well as a mix of year-rounders, seasonal residents and summer visitors.

All managed to squeeze inside for a short presentation led by Sidney Morris and Woody Filley, which included a slideshow of photographs of the captains at work. Cheers were heard at some of the more dramatic ones: Maddie at the helm of the ferry in a frozen harbor, Jeff and Becca’s wedding on one of the ferry decks, Brad in a raging snowstorm. Afterwards, Chappaquiddickers shared stories and poems about the captains and expressed their gratitude for the reliability these four have offered our community over the years. In addition to the signed Chappy books, each captain received a parting gift of Dana Gaines’ map of Chappaquiddick.

Thank you, again, to Brad, Jeff, Becca and Maddie. We wish you all the best in your next endeavors.

Over the past few days the humidity has lifted from Chappaquiddick, leaving the island with a distinct fall-tinged feel to the air. For the cooler evenings, extra blankets and sweatshirts have been pulled out of musty closets. Even with one more week in summer left to go, the Island feels quiet once more.

On Sunday my family and I ventured out to East Beach for a morning swim. Strong-wind advisories were issued across the Island that day and East Beach was so blustery there were actually waves in the usually calm surf. It was too choppy for us to get in, so instead we simply had our coffee and biscuits on the shore, backs turned against the wind, and headed home. Several families arrived together just as we were headed out, eager kids on vacation hoping for a beach day. “How long did you last?” one mother shouted into the wind to us as we walked past.

For all who are not already aware of it, we are happy to receive your household compost at Slip Away Farm. You are welcome anytime to deposit your food waste into the barrels set up in our driveway, on the left just past the farm stand. We can take all food items, including coffee grounds and meat (but no bones, please), but we cannot take any trash. Unfortunately, this includes compostable plastic bags — our compost piles do not get hot enough to break them down fully. If the barrels are full, kindly do not leave your bag of compost outside the barrels, as this welcomes pests. Instead, please bring it home with you and try again the next day. We try our best to empty the barrels regularly.

The Slip Away Farm stand will continue to be open every Friday and Saturday from 10 to 5 until Columbus Day weekend. While we still have tomatoes and flowers available in the field, we will set up our roadside stand a few days a week as well.

The Chappy Store is now closed for the season.

Safe travels to all those headed home this week.

Send Chappy news to slipawayfarm@gmail.com.