Thursday, May 31st, 2012
May 30, 2012
By Kate “Bob” Addison
After a busy and exciting weekend at Greenport Tall Ships festival it’s nice to have arrived at the peaceful and pretty harbour of Vineyard Haven on the north side of Martha’s Vineyard. We cast off under sail from Greenport yesterday about lunchtime and sailed in company with Pride of Baltimore II, Bounty and Summerwind for a while before leaving the fleet and sailing northeast overnight. We arrived early this morning and came alongside a pier owned by Ralph Packer who has kindly let us tie up for a few days.
Our sails are clewed up, hanging in their gear to dry. This looks rather pretty and is already attracting attention, people dropping by to say hello and find out about the ship. Half the crew are chilling out, catching up on some sleep or exploring the town while the other half are on watch: busy clearing out the hold and painting topsides using one of the small boats as a floating platform to work from.
There are some beautiful ships and boats at anchor or on buoys out in the bay here at Vineyard Haven: Shenandoah, the big wooden square topsail schooner was built to sail the coastal waters in these parts in 1964 and still does just today; sailing being a neccessity for her since she doesn’t have an engine.
There are big, shiny yachts here too: one from Jersey in the English Channel is flying the red ensign which makes me feel a little nostalgic for home, really noticeable amongst all the stars and stripes. The big racing sloop Sophie right by us has a beautiful varnished hardwood hull, so she looks rather like the mahogany dory we’ve just taken out of the hold – just one of the wooden boats that we’ve brought along from Lunenburg. Hand built by The Dory Shop in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the dory is best known as a rowing boat, but they are equally happy chugging along with an outboard or rigged for sailing. Our mahogany dory has an eight foot bottom length and she’s called a ‘little sister’ dory so we think she would look pretty sweet tied up alongside Sophie – they could even call her Sophie’s Little Sister.