There were last swims, last hugs and promises to be back next year. Long lines of cars and people stretched around the docks at both Steamship Authority terminals this weekend, signaling the end of summer on a sparkling Labor Day weekend.

See-you-next-year hug at the Vineyard Haven terminal Sunday afternoon. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“The boat is coming in, my heart is sinking and I have to go back to work Monday,” said Glenn Fahey of Scituate from his seat on a bench at the wood-planked Oak Bluffs wharf Sunday afternoon.

“Labor Day weekend is the last hurrah. This is precious. I’ll be thinking about this during the long winter.”

Nearby, Sheila Hanley Longval was hugging and bidding farewell to her son, daughter in law and granddaughter who came to stay with her and her husband during August. She said she is always sad to see them go.

“Summer is very short and fleeting,” she said. “There’s less people and less traffic, but when we close down our place then it’s very hard."

A few minutes before the ferry pulled out into Nantucket Sound, a small group rushed down the passenger gangway but was too late. A boat line employee waved them back. They had an excuse to stay on the Vineyard for another hour.

“This last weekend is so gorgeous. You don’t want it to end,” said Jen Carvajal, a daytripper from New Jersey.

All aboard for the mainland. — Mark Alan Lovewell

She and her friends, the Langley family from Cape Cod, said the group spent the day on the beach and went for ice cream and arcade games. It was the first visit for Ella Langley and Jackson Langley. Their mother Denise Langley said she was already planning a return trip for next year.

“It’s peaceful here. You feel like you’re in another world,” she said.

September signals the unofficial end of summer and also a shift in rhythms on the Vineyard. The Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby begins a week from Sunday and already fishermen are in evidence on Island shorelines, chasing late summer schools of false albacore.

Ocean water temperatures are warm after a hot August with almost no rain.

Public schools on the Vineyard open Tuesday.