Quahogging and Martha's Vineyard

Trip Start Aug 11, 2007
Trip End Nov 08, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, August 19, 2007

Our last day on the Cape!

A beautiful morning and after the obligatory wake-up coffee, it was off to Les and Ruth's for a lesson in harvesting quahogs (the yummy clams we had for dinner the previous night).

Les and Ruth live in a very cute shingled holiday cottage about 5 minutes away from Diana's on the shore of one of the finger inlets off Vineyard Sound. Around here they call it a pond, but its salt water and tidal, with an outlet to the sea. There's a number of these ponds around Falmouth, but most of them are used as marinas. Les and Ruth's pond is shallower than most and has a low bridge at its outlet so only dingies and canoes are moored there. Since they are right on the water front, they have the right (once they buy a licence - for about $6 per year!) to collect the shellfish that still live in this pond. Les gave Chris a quick lesson, then out they both went into the water. They managed to get around a dozen quahogs in about 10 minutes - not bad going! Meanwhile Ruth got some more coffee going and we sat on their deck just relaxing in the sun and admiring the picture perfect view.

Then off to the Falmouth Harbour to board the Harbor Queen ferry and off to Martha's Vineyard for lunch and a bit of a wander around. Martha's Vineyard is an island about 6 miles south of Falmouth. Like Nantucket (30 miles further out), Martha's was settled from very early on as a fishing and whaling base. Tourism is now the major income earner, but the old houses have been lovingly preserved, even if what's in them now are multiple shops selling Ye Olde Quaint Stuff and very upmarket clothes and knick-knacks.... We reached the main island town of Oak Bluff after a very pleasant 45 min ferry ride. The summer is prime tourist season for the Vineyard and a lovely weekend day during the summer means Oaks Bluff is packed with people. Chris and I had already been to Martha's Vineyard 2 years before and explored Oaks Bluff and Edgartown then, so we didn't bother stopping there this time and hopped on an island bus for a short trip to Vineyard Haven on the east side of the island. The whole island is a series of very pretty villages, usually centres around lovely harbours and marinas. Vineyard Haven, while having a bit of 1960's/70's development on the outskirts, still retains a very attractive town centre - lovely Victorian houses and buildings - and even a bank that looks like it was built by Hobbits!

We had a great seafood (what else) lunch - fish & chips for Chris and Ken, fresh made sushi/sashimi for Diana and Tina. Obi just had to sit there. Mind you walking around with Obi makes for very slow progress as every second person stops to ask what kind of dog he is, then pet him and tell Ken how much they love him. We decided we could make money by charging $5 per cuddle to all the people on vacation missing their own dogs....

After lunch, a wander around the cute little Main St - some very interesting shops - then back to Oaks Bluff and home to Falmouth. A great day!

We've loved our time visiting Ken and Diana - thanks to them both for their wonderful hospitality. And after several visits and finding more things to see and do each time, we can highly recommend Boston, the Cape and Martha's Vineyard as a great destination here in the US!
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