|View from the top to the pond|
The Elizabeth islands lie twenty-five miles east from Newport between mainland Massachusetts and Martha's Vineyard island and the first island, Cuttyhunk, is the only one not privately owned. The Forbes family of publishing fame own the rest.
We'd looked at the tide and current tables for the area and opted to leave Newport just before midday to go with the flow of the east setting current. On a windless afternoon we motored along, waternaker on and taking it easy. At Cuttyhunk there is a dredged inner pond with a close packed mooring field ($45 a night) and a small area for complimentary anchoring. You can also anchor outside the main channel. We thought we'd have a look inside just in case and got lucky; four boats anchored with one leaving. We took his spot in the north east corner, but only swinging too wide of the dredged area and touching bottom with the keel. We kicked up some mud but didn't stick.
|local oysters, byo Californian rose|
Cuttyhunk is cute; small, neat, uniform grey and white houses, a handy dinghy dock and a handy halfway on the journey from Newport to Martha's Vineyard. There's a mobile oyster and seafood delivery boat which delivers shucked oysters on request every afternoon. First night we had a dozen of these sweet and creamy shellfish, a bowl of clam chowder and a stuffed Quahog. A Quahog, pronounced co-hog, is a half clam shell filled with a mix of breadcrumbs, clam meat and scallop meat. It tastes of breadcrumbs.
Following a very quiet night we set out to explore. It's sufficiently small to be able to walk all the roads and paths in a couple of hours. First we had to reach the highest point for an overview; the pond, the clay cliffs of Martha's Vineyard and to the memorial to Bartholomew Gosnold who was the first European (English) to land and settle on the island.
The settlers now come from mainland Massachusetts for a summer of family fun, kids doing sailing school in the morning and playing on the beach in the afternoon. We met one family, Walt, Carolyn and daughter Angela sailing on La Dolce Vita, for who this is the start of their cruising life. Walt and Carolyn told us the history of the island and made recommendations of where we might explore further afield. We think New Englanders and especially friendly and helpful people. For example if you stand at the side of the road waiting for a break in the traffic to cross the drivers will stop and wave you across. Drivers allow other drivers to pull out from side roads. They really are most considerate people.
On day three we lifted anchor and negotiated the channel on a rising tide, out to an east setting current and another twenty something mile trip to Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard.