Light crowds and every kind of weather were the hallmarks of Memorial Day weekend on the Vineyard this year, with fishermen hitting the shorelines from Menemsha to Chapaquiddick, day sailors tacking about in protected harbors and small groups strolling downtown streets. Incoming ferries Friday were sold out, although throughout the weekend few large crowds were in evidence, even in popular gathering places like Menemsha and Oak Bluffs. On Saturday a storm blew through, bringing a deluge of soaking rain and wind. Throughout the weekend temperatures stayed cool.

And while traditional holiday weekend events were canceled due to the pandemic, more than ever this year the Island was decked out with flags, bunting and Americana. Flags flew at half staff at the U.S. Coast Guard station Menemsha, and Old Glories of all sizes flew from homes and storefronts and decorated cemeteries in every Island town.

Today is Memorial Day. A nationwide moment of silence will be held at 3 p.m.

What follows are weekend notes from Gazette reporters.

At 2 p.m. Friday the ferry Island Home was back in service, making her fourth run of the day into Vineyard Haven. The SSA had ramped up its schedule for the weekend, adding the Island Home to its Vineyard fleet. A pared-down version of the fleet has included just the Woods Hole and the Martha’s Vineyard for the duration of the spring.

Phil Hale out for a sail in Vineyard Haven harbor. — Mark Alan Lovewell

But on Friday ferries were full, which had been the case for most of the week, and that morning there were no reservations available for the Woods Hole-MV route for Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

Around 50 passengers disembarked with suitcases and luggage on a beautiful, sunny, 70-degree day.

Ben Dasilva, wearing flip flops, shorts and a mask, walked off the ferry, a rolling suitcase by his side. He had traveled from Boston, where he lives, and was headed for his family house in Aquinnah for the weekend. He usually comes for Memorial Day weekend, and on Friday he was all smiles, ready for a holiday even though he was sure it wouldn’t be the same.

“The boat was not nearly as crowded as normal. I sat on the passenger deck and had a whole section to myself,” he said. “I felt good about coming since some time has passed. And we all [his family] feel conservative in how we’ve been interacting with others, so it felt safe.”

Later Friday evening in Oak Bluffs, Back Door Donuts was open for its first night of the season, a handful of customers waiting eagerly for their inaugural summer fritter. Of course takeout is nothing new to Back Door Donuts. The only difference Friday was the six feet of distance between customers, and the extra 50 cents on the fritter price.

“It’s worth it,” one customer remarked, a piece of fritter already sneaking under his mask.

— Noah Asimow

Friday night scene at the foot of Circuit avenue. — Jeanna Shepard

On Saturday the rain washed away any signs of summer that Friday had suggested. Oak Bluffs sidewalks were empty. A handful of boaters braved powerful northeast gusts and a small craft advisory to make the trip to the Oak Bluffs harbor.

Rental car lots stocked with Jeeps and Mini Coopers in anticipation of Memorial Day weekend remained full.

But nature seemed to be taking advantage of the new normal: a lone crane perched by the terminal building of the Oak Bluffs SSA dock claimed the space for itself, one wing pointing into the wind.

— Aaron Wilson

For a little while on Friday afternoon in Edgartown, it almost looked like a normal holiday weekend was getting underway. The Ice Cream and Candy Bazaar on Dock street was open. Small groups of people walked and bicycled through town. Later in the evening, after dark, some unmuffled whooping was heard in the historic district north of downtown.

Downtown Edgartown Sunday morning. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Saturday’s heavy rains dispelled any atmosphere of festivity, as most Islanders and visitors stayed indoors and bandwidths slowed. At 5 p.m., empty but for her masked crew, the Sandpiper ferry arrived at Memorial Wharf, where two masked people and a small dog awaited passage to Falmouth after an Island stay.

The Atlantic, the Wharf and other Main street restaurants were open for takeout.

Sunday morning began quietly, with only dog-walkers, strollers and the occasional young rabbit seen downtown. At the soon-to-open Quarterdeck on Dock street, new signs advised customers to maintain social distancing and come to the window one at a time.

Near the Edgartown Light, an oystercatcher glided in to fish a tidal sandbar between two private docks. A nearby seawall held a concrete goose, its long neck triple-wrapped in a strand of fading plastic Mardi Gras beads. On the sand, a surgical mask was caught in a tangle of driftwood and seaweed.

— Louisa Hufstader

After much anticipation and some strict new parking rules for the weekend, Menemsha was relatively quiet through Memorial Day.

Family fishing time at Menemsha. — Jeanna Shepard

Rain kept most away on Saturday. But as skies cleared on a windy Sunday, a handful of families gathered outside the recently opened restaurants.

At The Galley, a family perched on the rocks overlooking the harbor with ice cream, medical masks strapped around their ears.

Fish markets saw a slow and steady stream of customers. Half a dozen fishermen lined the jetty, hoping to reel in dinner themselves. There were rumors of striped bass breaking just offshore, and even more rumors of tautog. But by the end of the day, most came up empty.

“They’re not in yet,” said John Moore, a recreational fisherman, casting a Sluggo into the channel. “But they’ll be in soon.”

— Will Sennott

More pictures.