Saturday was an odd day. It was very sunny when I woke up, but quickly grayed to a thin haze. Mrs. Horne was coming home around 11:00 and our dear old friends Peter and Mary Lee were arriving at 1:00. Since this was their only visit this summer, I wanted to make it memorable.
I told Peter to meet us Mattapoisett Boat Yard since it was going to be a 1:00 PM departure and I wanted to get out on the water as quickly as possible.
I thought about hitting up a Dock and Dine for a late lunch, but that would ruin dinner. Mrs. Horne suggested going to dinner by boat, but that would make for a long day. And as I said, I wanted to make it memorable.
What’s more memorable than Menemsha?
Although I had been to Menemsha once before, it was by land. I never even tried going by boat because they’re day docking is first-come, first served and I think that’s only if there is no one staying overnight. Highly unlikely in July.
My thinking was to pack a picnic of cheese, grapes, etc and if we failed at getting ashore, we’d revert to a gunkhole day and anchor off the beach.
My final rationale for Menemsha was the sun. We were still under a “vanilla sky”, but it looked clearer to the south so I loaded our destination into “Buddy” (Mrs. Horne’s new name for the Garmin Autoroute) and away we went.
Although there is plenty of water in Robinson’s Hole, we are having another King Tide due to the New Moon and it was pretty much low tide, so we veered off and headed through Quick’s Hole.
The entrance to the harbor is quite obvious and there is a large can with a bell just off the jetty. The main channel takes you straight into Menemsha Pond.
To the left is the entrance into the Boat Basin and just past that is a long pier that had a very nice spot for a 50′ boat so I immediately headed in like I owned it!
Mrs. Horne and Peter did a magnificent job hanging fenders between Vigilant and the pilings and I was thinking my plan was coming together.
Don’t get me wrong, I had not changed my mind about skipping the Dock and Dine, but I’m thinking a couple a dozen oysters on the half shell might go great with my Saint Clemens Blue Cheese.
Just as I was getting ready to head over to the Fish Market, I see a young man with a clip board talking to Mrs. Horne. His name was Tucker and he was the Harbormaster’s assistant. He is also the author of his own lifestyle blog – Cast and Blast with Tucker.
He said the spot was sold and he thought we were the boat who had reserved it. I told him we were just going to hang a while and we’d leave when they arrived.
He wasn’t so sure, he said “you need to stay on the boat” and “my boss wouldn’t like this” and finally, “I think that’s the boat coming in so you have to leave now.”
“No problem” I said — I new my plan was marginal at best, so it was time for Plan B.
Before we bid adieu to Tucker, we did get some up-to-date information on visiting Menemsha by boat.
Menemsha Marina Policy – From Their Website
- Our goal is to maintain an organized, safe and courteous harbor which is family oriented.
- Menemsha Harbor welcomes recreational and commercial boaters. We do not accept slip or mooring reservations in advance.
- On the morning of your anticipated arrival, please call the Harbor (508) 645-2846 at 7:00 a.m. (0700) and we will advise on availability and hold a slip or mooring pending your arrival later in the day.
- We accept Mastercard and Visa. We do not accept American Express or Discover Card.
Although there is a fee for hourly tie-ups, I suspect they’re not available during the summer and since the restaurants are only open in the summer, I’m not sure why you’d want to stay for a Dock and Dine in the off-season.
Dock, Gunkhole, and Dine!
I recall that my friend Henry told me that he goes there all the time and orders takeout from one of the restaurants and goes out and anchors. He told me that he drops someone off at the gas dock and then drives around while they pick up the food.
I mentioned this to Mrs. Horne and she said “oh yeah, Tucker asked if we wanted to do that…” – maybe next time. There are a couple of seafood restaurants and fish markets that also offer raw bar, chowder, even steamed lobsters.
Although it’s nice to sit in a seaside eatery, I think this Dock, Gunkhole, and Dine is also very appealing in a beautiful venue like Menemsha.
A Jimmy Buffett Afternoon
I mentioned that I thought Jimmy Buffett had once kept his schooner in Menemsha until the selectmen passed a law chasing him away. With that, Mrs. Horne requested his Pandora channel — of course I complied!
We found a nice anchorage south of the jetty and spent the afternoon taking in the view, sea air, and great summer music — all while enjoying our picnic!