The summertime hubbub at the Chappy Community Center has died down and my favorite fall activity is about to begin again. Potluck suppers will resume on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. and will continue through spring on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. We still need someone to host the very first potluck of the season. You will be setting the bar for all who follow. Call Lynn at the center (508-627-8222) to sign up.
We currently know of 266 homeowners who have said that they will send in their commitment letter to Comcast. Remember that your letter has to be sent to Comcast, c/o Edgartown National Bank, P.O. Box 1029, Edgartown, MA 02539. Telling one of the members of the Utilities Committee isn’t sufficient. Comcast needs the signed letter itself. If you need help with this please call Dennis Goldin at 774-310-1020. We’re coming down to the wire. The deadline is Oct. 1st.
The Chappy Book Club will discuss Restless by William Boyd on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the CCC at 10 a.m. with Dorothy Dropick leading the discussion. Perhaps you saw the BBC-TV presentation based on the book.
After working his deckhand shift aboard the Chappy Ferry, Jared Livingston still found time this summer for rehearsing his parts in the recent Island Theater Workshop presentation of the Wizard of Oz. He ably portrayed the Town Crier and Commander of the Flying Monkeys as well as filling out the ranks of the Ozians and Winkie Guards. Our own John Ortman traded in his Vineyard purple VTA driver’s jacket for the more formal attire of Professor Marvel. As the Wizard of Oz he donned a colorful pigtailed hat that he found in Madira. John has a long resume of characters in his performance career including Ben Franklin and Scrooge. We can expect to see more of both of these neighbors on Vineyard stages in the future. I admire them for their artistic endeavor and bravery in performing before an audience.
The pumpkins are ripe at Slip Away Farm. They range in size from just filling the palm of my hand to just a little bit bigger than my head. The farm stand is open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They also have plenty of carrots, beets and greens. Think about joining the CSA program for next year.
A new season for the MV Table Tennis Club begins this month according to club president Bob O’Rourke. With school now open, the group will gather two nights a week at the West Tisbury School and Saturdays and Sundays at the YMCA. Chappy residents Allen Slater, Tom Pardee and O’Rourke are group players as is Dave Kolb of Oak Bluffs who works with the Trustees. The club provides table tennis coaching for newcomers, and welcomes players of any age including beginners. Transportation to West Tisbury during the week is available. Club membership is $50 annually with first time playing session for free. Call Bob at 508-627-7902 for information. The Trustees of Reservations have good news for fishing folks. All of the over sand vehicle trails are open and accessible to permit holders, except of course for the extreme southern end of Leland Beach due to erosion. Plus, starting Sunday, Sept. 15 the front beach will be open to vehicle traffic heading northwards, allowing you to drive straight out from the Dike Bridge, turn left and travel on the outside beach all of the way to the Elbow. The drive-on access at Wasque remains open on a day-by-day basis as steady erosion brings the bank closer and closer to the vehicle trail. Their advice is to check it out during the daytime to get your bearings, observe the fencing and signage, drive dead slow and appreciate it while we have it. You can purchase OSV permits at the Mytoi Ranger Station seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the Wasque and Dike Bridge gate houses as well during the weekends. Call 508-627-8390 for up-to-date information on beach access.
Every day I talk to people waiting excitedly at the ferry point for the TTOR van to get them started on either a lighthouse or a natural history tour. Some are first-timers while others make it an annual treat. The tours will be offered through Columbus Day. Call 508-627-3599 for tour information. Mytoi Garden is just gorgeous as the Japanese maples begin turning red. The Franklinia has a few “fried egg” blossoms remaining and just beyond it is the new planting of 21 Japanese hydrangeas that promise to bring even more blossoms to the garden. The golden larch is quite startling. At first sight you will conclude that Chris neglected to water it during the whole summer but on closer inspection you will see that it is perfectly healthy, just very golden.
With the worst of mosquito season behind us, you can once again enjoy Chappy walking trails. Directly across from Mytoi is the start of the salt marsh trail that takes you along the shore of the Mumcheag Creek. Another TTOR trail starts at the Wasque gate house and runs along the south shore of Poucha Pond. You can link up there with the Land Bank trail system and, through the generosity of private landowners and other conservation organizations, you can walk clear across Chappy to Cape Poge Pond.
The Edgartown highway department has informed me that the repaving of Chappy Road will recommence on Monday, Sept. 16 and continue for at least two and perhaps three days. Remember what that was like the last time? I’m going to go out on a limb here and give you an idea of when the asphalt hauling will be in full swing so that you can avoid using the ferry then. This is based on the predicted heights of the tides so keep in mind that this is a rough estimate. On Monday they will get an early morning start and continue until around 1 p.m. Tuesday will also be an early start but will go for an additional hour later, say 2 p.m. or so. Wednesday, the tide will probably be too low until 8 a.m., but they will be able to run heavy trucks until 3 p.m. This makes sense if you recall that the tides run about an hour later each day. Then afterward, of course, all of the rollers and pavers have to get back off of Chappy. So for a few days of adjusting our personal schedules, we end up with a nice smooth roadway.
My brilliant plan to get the On Time III inspected and painted during the first week of September met with disaster. The smaller On Time II was not capable of keeping up with the unprecedented traffic. So after only getting her bottom cleaned and postponing her Coast Guard hull inspection, the On Time III flopped back into the water and hurried back home to help out her little sister.
However, the work and inspection still have to be done. Traditionally the ferryboats come out of the water at the end of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Therefore, beginning Oct. 20 the ferryboat On Time II will be solely responsible for carrying all of the traffic to and from Chappy, while the On Time III is in Vineyard Haven getting new propellers, cutlass bearings, bottom paint and a biennial hull inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard. Last year things were pretty busy on the ferry right after the derby as contractors hastily prepared for winter projects. So delays are still what you should expect and no amount of tears or scowling will bring the boat back before the necessary work is finished.