Two Right Whales Observed off Menemsha Coast
Mark Alan Lovewell

Normally, the Coast Guard is on the lookout for mariners in distress. But on Sunday crew members aboard a 270-foot cutter stationed in Portsmouth, Va. spotted a more welcome sight: two right whales swimming northwest of Menemsha in Vineyard Sound.

The sighting was made at 9 a.m. Sunday.

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Trapped in Time, Fishing Film Highlights Lost Art
Tom Dunlop

If you had walked the shoreline of the Vineyard between roughly 1870 and the middle 1930s — especially the muscular, rocky north shore from Lambert’s Cove west to Gay Head — you would have seen something there’s absolutely no sign of today: row after row of wooden stakes stretching up to 100 feet outward from the beach into Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds.

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Menemsha Dock Plan Set for a Vote
Remy Tumin

The character of Menemsha is expected to be a topic for debate at a Chilmark special town meeting on Monday, when voters will be asked to approve an extensive new dock and pier system in the historic fishing village.

The meeting begins at 8 p.m. at the Chilmark Community Center. Longtime moderator Everett Poole will preside over the two-article warrant.

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Sleeper Hit of Summer Music, Ballyhoo Heads for Squid Row
Julia Rappaport

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, Islanders are reclaiming Circuit avenue parking spots, swimming at Squibnocket and finally savoring the Menemsha sunset. Brad Tucker, front man for the Island band Ballyhoo, the sleeper hit of the summer music scene, is thrilled Vineyarders are taking back the Island. Mr. Tucker and his band mates have spent Sunday evenings since June playing free music down at the docks in Menemsha. The seasonal slowdown allows them to get back to what they really love doing — playing low-key music for their friends and family, the Islanders.

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Menemsha Open for Business Again

Parking lots are filled and people are once again crowding the restaurants, shops and fish markets of Menemsha.

But the village did take a hit to business, at least in the few days following the fire.

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Chaos in Menemsha as Fire Destroys Coast Guard Boathouse
Julia Wells

A huge fire erupted in the U.S. Coast Guard boathouse in Menemsha yesterday afternoon, completely destroying the 68-year-old building along with an extended wooden pier that leads to the west dock on the Menemsha harbor. Also destroyed in the blaze were at least one truck and an unknown number of small boats nearby. Miraculously there were no injuries save one minor injury to a volunteer fireman, a Coast Guard public affairs spokesman confirmed last night.

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Dock Destroyed in Fire Rebuilt, Fishing Village Honors Success
Remy Tumin

The view over Menemsha harbor may be forever changed after last year’s fire destroyed the historic Coast Guard boathouse and town pier, but one thing remains unchanged: the heart and soul of the picturesque fishing village that is Chilmark’s downtown.

Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the July 12 fire, a fitting day for the dedication of the rebuilt drive-on dock. A large group of Chilmark elected leaders, emergency service chiefs and residents gathered in Menemsha to mark the occasion.

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Harpooning Swordfish: A Lost Local Tradition?
Mark Alan Lovewell

Harpooned swordfish, once synonymous with the Fourth of July holiday and a staple of the Menemsha fishing fleet, are no longer being caught by Vineyard fishermen.

Though prevalent in local fish markets this season, harpooned swordfish are now all being caught by fishermen from afar.

The reason has to do with a convoluted bureaucracy, an expensive permit system and waning interest in the age-old method of catching fresh swordfish.

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Squid Row Jigs From Legend to Landmark
Timothy Stanley

In the still-dark mornings, at the Texaco gas station in Menemsha, local fishermen load up on lures and bait, cheap cups of coffee and the daily newspaper before setting out to sea. Behind the rustic station is a long wooden bench where the men gather.

“Early in the morning, it’s always the same crowd,” recalls Albert Fischer 3rd, an 11th-generation Islander. Mr. Fischer, a commercial fisherman in his younger years, can still rattle off names of the old guard.

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