After 15 pandemic-clouded months, the skies refused to part for a hotly-anticipated Memorial Day reopening weekend, which quickly turned into a washout as Islanders and hordes of visitors hunkered down for a raw, wet and windy holiday.

Dodging raindrops for some takeout at Giordano’s in Oak Bluffs. — Jeanna Shepard

The Island’s traditional start of summer brought busy Main streets but little activity elsewhere, with quiet harbors and frequent interruptions in ferry service throughout the weekend. Minor incidents occupied police both up and down-Island. And although stores and restaurants reopened — some shuttered for far longer than their traditional winter hibernation — they weren’t met with the expected record-breaking flood of visitors.

Rain and wind began just as sundown fell Friday night and continued through Sunday, bringing 2.66 inches of precipitation in Edgartown, 2.84 inches in Chilmark and 2.93 inches in Vineyard Haven, according to data filed with the National Weather Service.

With 1.68 inches of rainfall, Saturday represented by far the wettest day in an otherwise unusually warm and dry May, which saw a total of 4.67 inches of precipitation.

Both the Steamship Authority and Coast Guard issued weather and travel advisories for vessels and small crafts that continued through Sunday. The SSA diverted most ferries from the exposed Oak Bluffs summer terminal to the more sheltered port of Vineyard Haven. Even then numerous trips were canceled Saturday due to weather conditions.

But the soggy weather did not deter a stream of holiday weekend visitors from arriving on Island. Oak Bluffs police Sgt. Dan Cassidy said Circuit avenue was crowded both on Friday and Saturday.

“It was busy, definitely a lot of people out,” Sergeant Cassidy said. “All the establishments were pretty busy, and for the most part, people had a good time, even though the weather was terrible.”

At the foot of Circuit avenue the Flying Horses carousel began turning for the first time since 2019, to the delight of children, families and the young at heart.

Oak Bluffs police responded to a variety of minor service calls, with a handful of individuals taken into protective custody, but no major arrests, according to Sergeant Cassidy. Along with a single-vehicle moped crash that sent both the driver and passenger to the hospital Friday, police also responded to a late-night car rollover. The incident occurred at 3 a.m., with no injuries reported.

“It didn’t appear that alcohol was a factor, but it was rainy and wet, and the person ended up losing control of their vehicle,” Sergeant Cassidy said.

Next up: porch-sitting days of summer. — Tim Johnson

In Tisbury and West Tisbury, Sgts. Max Sherman and Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd reported no major incidents, although wind gusts led to a downed tree on Lambert’s Cove Road. A similarly quiet scene was reported in Edgartown.

Up-Island, Chilmark police and Menemsha harbor master Ryan Rossi responded to a small capsized catamaran in Nashaquitsa Pond Friday. Mr. Rossi said Chilmark police and a private vessel assisted in righting the boat, ensuring there were no injuries.

Out in Aquinnah, Cliffhangers restaurant had plans to open Saturday but postponed to Sunday because of the weather. Buffeted by winds and chilly fog, other businesses near the lighthouse, including the Aquinnah Shop, opened for the season.

Aquinnah police Sgt. Paul Manning said it was a quieter Memorial Day than usual, even at the Island’s outermost reaches.

“We’ve had better Memorial Day weekends,” he said. “But as windy as it was, it was relatively peaceful.”

Even a possible scare in Lake Tashmoo ended up innocuous, when a nefarious fin spotted earlier in the day turned out to be a rare ocean sunfish that had found its way into the pond.

West Tisbury resident David Stanwood filmed the large, harmless creature as the tide carried it out to sea, joining thousands of human visitors Sunday afternoon and Monday in their wet and rainy exodus through the Vineyard Sound.