Out to Martha’s Vineyard

Entry begun Tuesday, June 24, at 10:10 am

Slept well, got up for breakfast, looked out the window at the harbor in the morning sun, and finished typing up yesterday’s entry.

Sunrise through hotel room window, Tuesday June 24

Sunrise through hotel room window, Tuesday, June 24

I am now sitting on the shade on the top deck of the Seastreak ferry, which is truly streaking for Martha’s Vineyard. If it takes one hour flat out at this speed straight through Wood’s Hole, and across Vineyard Sound, one can only imagine how long it took Ishmael and Queequeg on the packet boat in the early 1840s to get to Nantucket, much farther out in the sea than Martha’s Vineyard.

Seastreak  heading to Oak Bluff on Martha's Vineyard

Seastreak heading to Oak Bluff on Martha’s Vineyard

The sky is a soft light blue this morning. The water is a deeper blue, but about as light as the sky where boats cutting through it here have left their wakes. Vanessa was telling me before we got to the boat about Eva Liput, a former New Bedford fishing captain iwho is now creating huge semiabstract paintings whose patterns derive from the wakes made by the boats she has sailed.  (This concept reminds me of the Circuit prints that Frank Stella made in the 1980s, inspired by the tracings he saw in the plywood backing after cutting the metallic shapes for his Circuit relief paintings.). We see no wakes in the water now, as we head east and look south.  Only the deep, blue, breezy sea all the way to the distant, unobstructed horizon line.

Ocean Horizon from ed 9-14

Unobstructed horizon line to the south

As Vanessa and I were standing here on the upper deck, we were delighted to see Lesley Walker, our fellow Voyager from Australia. So now we are three. Lesley had prepared for our voyage on the Morgan by going on her first whale watch, from Plymouth out to Stellwagen Banks, where she saw a profusion of humpbacks for more than an hour, plus a minke whale breaching. One of the humpbacks came right up to their boat, slowly rolled, and playfully slapped the water with its fin.

Lesley Walker and Vanessa Hodgkinson on Seastreak to Martha's Vineyard

Lesley Walker and Vanessa Hodgkinson on Seastreak to Martha’s Vineyard

Entry continued, Thursday, June 27, 7:30 am

The weather and the ride to Oak Bluff on Martha’s Vineyard were perfect. We had a quick, distant glimpse of the Charles W. Morgan at the dock at Vineyard Haven as we passed outside that harbor on our way around to Oak Bluff on Nantucket Sound.

Passing Vineyard Haven on the way to Oak Bluff

Passing Vineyard Haven on the way to Oak Bluff

I think the water, as we got off the ferry at Oak Bluff, is the purest translucent green I’ve ever seen. I asked at the ticket booth where to find the terminal for the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority, where we each planned to purchase a day pass for $7. The agent pointed along the shore and said it was “three lampposts down and across the street.”

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