Living The Dream!

Good To The Last Drop – The Final Cruise of 2019

For the third time in Vigilant history, we planned a final cruise of the season in late October. The first attempt (2017) was a wash out with Peter and Mary Lee. The second was last year when Mrs. Horne and I were planning an overnight to Vineyard Haven, but it never cleared on Saturday, so we ended the season with a day trip to Oak Bluffs.

As they say, “the third try is a charm” and this year our final cruise was truly memorable.

Post Columbus Day Marina Scene

While many consider Labor Day the end of the summer season, hearty mariners know that there’s great cruising through Columbus Day. Last year we sought Pilgrims in Plymouth on Columbus Day and this year we closed the Chart Room for the season.

But what about after Columbus Day? As we all know, there are plenty of “Bluebird Days” on Buzzards Bay well into November, but where can you go if you want to dock overnight, eat, and drink? Unless you’re towing a dingy, you need a slip or a mooring and launch service.

Since we were planning on leaving Saturday and returning Monday, we needed an open Marina with power (for heat.) After about 20 minutes on Dockwa, I turned up four options; Newport, Plymouth, Nantucket, and The Black Dog Wharf.

I have no idea what Nantucket is like this time of year, but given that there was a chance that Hurricane Nestor might brush the island on Monday, I took a pass.

Plymouth is always nice, but we were there last month, plus MV and Newport had special appeal.

Bowen’s Wharf was hosting the Seafood Festival and Jennifer Lawrence was getting married in Newport, so there was a good chance for Mrs. Horne to do a little Star Gazing. The best part was that even Bowen’s wharf was under $90/night!

Oak Bluffs was hosting Lady Fest, which is a massive street concert that closes Circuit Ave and offers continuous live local music on multiple stages. And MV is just 20 miles away while Newport is 45.

There was just one problem – Oak Bluffs Marina was closed for the season…

We could always stay at The Black Dog and take a cab, but that’s kind of a pain. And I’ve been to OB enough in the offseason to know that plenty of people just show up and tie up (without paying).

The challenge was that we were planning on 3 days and with low’s in the 40’s, we’d need heat. That meant we’d need power.

First I called Todd the Harbormaster. No answer, no return call. Then I called the Town Administrator – again, no answer. Finally, I went to Dockwa’s Facebook Page and posted the question…

The next day, I got the response I was looking for…

That was the sign I was looking for and Oak Bluffs became our destination. I went to Dockwa and requested a booking for Saturday night (I wasn’t booking Sunday until I had a better feel for Hurricane Nestor).

The only downside was that that OB was $168/night – double Bowen’s, but I figured the cost of diesel for the extra 50 miles made it a wash, so I ignored the cost.

Then as I was walking out the door on Saturday morning, I got a message from Dockwa saying my requested reservation was denied!

I immediately called the Oak Bluffs Marina and this time someone answered the phone and told me “We’re closed for the season, but you can still come and tie up.”

“Do you still have power and water?” I asked…

“Yes…” and the plan was set in stone!

What’s Opened on M/V in Late October?

I knew that all my favorite restaurants would still be open in Newport (and Plymouth for that matter.) And I’ve been to the Vineyard enough in the fall to know that things start closing down after Labor Day.

There is a good Facebook Page called Whats Open on MV that does a great job reporting what’s opened, what’s closed, and when seasonal restaurants plan to close…

Closing Day at The Shanty

I confirmed that both The Cardboard Box and MV Chowder Company would be open for dinner. I also stumbled across a post reporting Saturday was closing day at The Seafood Shanty…

We’d never been to Edgartown in the late fall and we love The Shanty, so that became the plan for lunch.

We decided to grab the #13 Bus and enjoy the quiet tranquility of the coast road on this beautiful Bluebird day…

As soon as we got off the bus and started walking to the Shanty, it became obvious there was a lot more going on in Edgartown than OB or Vineyard Haven…

Sure, there were plenty of shops closed…

…but Vineyard Vines and Murdock Fudge were still open and busy…

Lunch At The Shanty

Much to our chagrin, the upper deck at the Shanty was closed. I guess this makes sense. It was barely in the 60’s and we were going to sit at the bar if it had been open. The deck was open the weekend before.

We sat downstairs once before out of the last 50-75 times we’ve eaten there, but we love the deck. The downstairs dining room is very nice and the hostess gave us a corner table on the porch facing Katama…

As you can see in my photo above, I had taken off my vest and long sleeve shirt. It was absolutely hot behind the wind screens and eventually we had the hostess open them to the outside breeze.

Years ago the Seafood Shanty gave me a card that’s good for 10% off for life. Unfortunately, I often forget I have it, but not last Saturday! I gave it to the server and a few minutes later, Louis the manager came over to our table…

Louis – The Manager at the Seafood Shanty

We’d met few years back when Mrs. Horne’s burger was overdone and he fixed it in proper fashion.

We ended up talking for quite some time. We learned that Louis was from Old Lyme Connecticut, that he’d been on MV for over 3 decades, and that he’s been at The Seafood Shanty for 24 years!

He also shared a interesting tidbit. Louis told us that when he was alive, Walter Cronkite was a regular at The Seafood Shanty.

New Spot in Edgartown

When Mrs. Horne and I cruise alone, things tend to be even more spontaneous. We left the Shanty around 2:00 and knowing that Lady Fest didn’t kick off til 4:30, we had time to stroll around town.

Sporting my Turk’s Seafood Vest (thanks again Richie)

As we passed the Edgartown Yacht Club, Mrs. Horne said “Let’s go in there for a beer…,” pointing to The Atlantic…

Without thinking, I said “No…well…okay… yes!”

We’ve never been in The Atlantic, but I know out friend Karla’s is a huge fan. It turned out to be a great spot and one we’ll definitely try again for lunch.

There was room at the bar and a couple of seats next to a younger couple enjoying a Seafood Tower…

We sat down and Mrs. Horne immediately made two new friends! Among other things, we learned that the Seafood Tower cost $58 and based on what I saw, it was nearly a bargain…

It was something the Atlantic calls LE GRAND BOUQUET, and it contained a little of every cold seafood dish they offered.

And they turned out to be a wonderful couple from Boston who were in town for a wedding…

Matt and Julie

Matt’s runs the Coast Guard Shipyard in South Boston and Julie’s in sales. They haven’t been going out long because after agreeing to allow me to post their picture here, they said “This will be the first photo of us together on the Internet.”

After about an hour, Matt said “We gotta go, we’ve got a wedding in an hour.” Julie took another 5 minutes to finish her drink – what a stud. How many woman do you know who can get ready for a wedding in 45 minutes!

A Near Encounta with Michelle Obama!

Around 3:30 we headed back to the bus giving us an hour before the show started at Lady Fest. When we turned onto Church St. we noticed a crowd near a store, but we saw the #13 bus waiting and ran to get on.

As we rode to Oak Bluffs I was checking out my Instagram feed and saw what the crowd was all about…

Yep, we missed a near brush with the former First Lady. Although we differ politically, I totally respect the office of the president and would have enjoyed seeing her in person. It was nice to hear that she surprised a bunch of kids by showing up at The Edgartown Library.

It looks like we may get another chance to see her and Barack in the future now that they’ve bought Celtic CEO Wyc Grousbeck’s home in Edgartown

Back on Vigilant, we savored the last evening of the season before heading over to Lady Fest…

Lady Fest 2019

As reported Sunday Morning, we took in everything Lady Fest 2019 had to offer for the first 2-3 hours…

Here’s my full report. It was great to see/hear Rose Guerin doing folk music along with James Taylor’s sister Kate.

Although it got chilly after the sun went down, the crowd was large, friendly, and we all kind of kept each other warm. I might wear another layer next time, but it wasn’t unpleasant by any means.

After a light dinner at The Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company, we retired back to Vigilant to watch a little Bar Rescue.

Last Morning on MV

By Sunday morning, my weather models showed a significant chance of serious wind on Monday morning…

Normally, this wouldn’t have concerned me for the 20 mile run home, but without a working stern thruster, I really didn’t want to deal with a 20 knot crosswind.

I took Mrs. Horne to Linda Jeans for breakfast with a new plan to get back to Mattapoisett before noon and start stripping things off of Vigilant for her long winter’s nap.

As usual, Breakfast at LJ’s was delightful. I had the Hash (Old School Flat Top Burnt)…

Mrs. Horne isn’t a big fan of breakfast, but she decided to try the Burrito and it was very good…

The key ingredient in this grilled roll-up was bacon.

We had a very smooth run home taking in what was left of the summer on nearly flat seas on Buzzards Bay…

We hauled off two SUV Loads of stuff and Vigilant was ready for her 6 month nap…

And on Tuesday, she left Buzzards Bay for the last time in 2019…

Although this is my last cruising report of the season, I do plan to capture the last third of the season in an MBB Video, and I’ll continue to share reports and updates about restaurants and other topics of interest over the winter.


Categories: Living The Dream!

4 replies »

    • I’m not exactly sure. We have 360 after 3 years and I know year one was 135. I’m guessing 120. We were at sea more days this season, but we also visited the nearby Islands more and stayed in one place more multiple days (Nantucket – 5, Block Island – 4, Oak Bluffs – 4, etc..)

      Thanks for following and remember SHARING IS CARING!

  1. Thanks for sharing all the fun, David. You certainly had a great time. Have a great trip back to California and a wonderful Winter. Hug your Mom for us before you leave. Barbara

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