Labor Day weekend has come and gone. In years past I would have been bidding farewell to many summer visitors and making note of kids back-to-school adventures. This year is different. Folks are lingering a little bit longer with many children facing delayed starts, virtual school, hybrid options and some families jumping head first into a homeschooling routine. Many soon to be college kids have deferred enrollment until fall of 2021 seeing Covid-19 as an opportunity to simply be a kid for one more year, embrace an opportunity to linger on the water a little bit longer or take a soul searching cross-country road trip.

What didn’t change is the long weekend, once again, made for perfect excuses to travel. Tori, Will and Will Dolan ventured to town from their Hingham home. Son Will, who is a high school senior, enjoyed some prime time palling around with friends including my son Brooks and Tegan Fenner. Tubing in the Pond off the stern of Galley Girl with Keith Fenner at the wheel was a highlight. Tori and dad Will laced up their running shoes and hit the pavement along with enjoying the standard Menemsha sunset.

Celia, Chris and Caleb Slater checked in on Jane at her Basin Road home before taking to the water. Bonito and False Albacore were landed by each and, as always, fishing stories were transformed into memories. Celia took the opportunity to tell her grandmother about the first week working at Homology Medicines. It’s amazing how quickly kids grow up navigating their way through school and into a job. Time flies. As an aside, Chris and Caleb celebrated their 29th anniversary on Monday.

Lori Keefe ventured to town from Colorado. Her kids Grady, Allie and Quinn, although Quinn really isn’t a kid anymore, have been sprinkled around town for the past couple of months, but she just arrived. As in years past, Squibnocket has been her daily go to spot so seek her out from six feet away if you’d like to catch up.

I’m not exactly sure how I missed sharing the arrival of my newest little neighbor Iris Demers. She’s fast approaching half a year old now. Goodness, time flies. She’s happily at home receiving a whole lot of love from her parents, doting grandparents and just about the right amount of tormenting from her big brother, Clive.

After harvesting an abundance of kale and tomatoes from his garden, George Oskan managed to reel in his first shore Albie of the season. It put up a fun fight and was released after a quick photo opportunity.

Jackson Cabot seized the opportunity to fish while at work. Not many bosses allow that, but when the harbor has one of the biggest blitzes I’ve ever seen casts must be taken. What looked like it was going to be False Albacore turned out to be Striped Bass. He hooked up on the first cast and reeled in one that was just shy of 40 inches. She was beautiful, but didn’t meet the slot requirement imposed this year which is 28” to 35”. After a quick snapshot she was released. We watched her dart off and disappear into the shadows of the harbor.

Speaking of fish, this Sunday Sept. 13, 12 a.m. marks the opening moment of the 75th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby. Although numerous modifications have been made to accommodate for Covid-19 social distancing and gathering regulations, the underlying feel of the Derby remains the same. It’s about family, friendly competition, the great outdoors, sunrises, sunsets, fresh salt air, sea spray and laughter. Other modifications include Derby swag being offered at an online store (I had my new sweatshirt in a week!) and the ability to register and pay online. Menemsha Texaco is, once again, a pick up point for registration buttons. The Derby committee is urging folks to register online so all of the paperwork is done in advance. So, once you’ve registered and received a confirmation code online stop by the Texaco between the regular business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to grab your button and swag.

Be patient. The fish will wait.