The next Chappaquiddick Community Center potluck is scheduled for Wednesday March 18. One of three candidates for board of selectmen, Juliet Mulinare, will be there. Appetizers and political conversation starts at 6 p.m. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Please bring a dish to serve six.

The next Art Night on Chappy will be on Thursday March 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the CCC. Enjoy the warm fire and a cup of tea. Bring your own project, an idea to share or draw from a still life set up for the evening. For more information call Margaret Knight at 508-627-8894.

I noticed the following message on the bulletin board at the ferry point: “Please return my blue kayak to the Jeffers Lane landing, Thank you.”

Apparently, what appeared to be an orphaned kayak actually has a devoted guardian concerned about its whereabouts. Waterfronts and shorelines have their own set of ancient courtesies and honor systems. By the very nature of maritime activities, boats and gear must be left unattended. On our islands, you can reasonably expect your fellow citizens to abide by at least one of many golden rules or commandments. Off-island, it is a somewhat different circumstance. The barriers and contraptions necessary to limit access from land onto a pier or wharf usually combines sharp points with very challenging obstacles. The irony is that anyone in a boat can get at anything on the water side of the fence. The saving grace is that most mariners want to be able to have trust in their fellow seafarers and therefore are trustworthy themselves.

A new Chappy Ferry loading ramp is being fabricated for the Edgartown slip. It will replace a ramp that has reached the end of its service life after a quarter century of exposure to the elements. The base of the ramp on the Edgartown side is half a foot lower than that on the Chappy side. This extra six inches of saltwater immersion may have something to do with its more rapid deterioration than its counterpart on the Chappy side. Next year the Chappy ramp will be replaced. The counterweight frames are also up for replacement. The basic design and function of these components has worked very well all these years so the new structures are for the most part replicas of the existing one. Many small improvements are being incorporated into the new ones with the intention of protecting the steel from wear. Stainless steel is being used wherever paint would be worn off. And it won’t be your everyday porch and floor paint, it will be state-of-the-science two-part epoxy with a great ability to adhere to sand blasted steel. The swapping of the old ramp for the new one will take place on a Saturday around the end of April, beginning of May.

The northeaster that blew last Friday evening into Saturday brought with it a midmorning high tide that surprised us with flooding a foot deep at the Edgartown ramp. The Chappy Ferry shut down for just over two hours as the tide rapidly surged onto Dock street. It fell just as quickly as it rose. The day before, the trustees had announced the closing of Norton Point, Wasque Beach, Leland Beach and Cape Pogue to over-sand vehicles for the duration of the storm in expectation of forecasted drifting show, coastal flooding of the bayside trails and extreme north winds.

By Saturday afternoon, all Chappy and Norton Point OSV trails had been reopened with the exception of East beach on Chappy from the Dike Bridge to the jetties on the ocean side due to extremely soft sand. The storm had scoured the east and north facing beaches but there were no apparent lasting negative impacts. There are a half dozen large wash-over fans on Norton Point beach which will not impact bayside travel but will most certainly be viewed as prime shorebird habitat by returning shorebirds in the next few months. Superintendent Chris Kennedy anticipates that OSV travel on East Beach between the Dike Bridge and the Jetties will again be possible this week but the sand is still wet and unconsolidated due to the recent storm. In the meanwhile, all interior OSV trails on Chappy are accessible for travel.