For the fourth year in a row, we visited Oak Bluffs the last weekend in September. I think it’s the best time of the year to visit. The tourist have mostly left town and the locals cheerfully recall why they live there.

I have always enjoyed being able to actually grab a spot at the Ritz bar to watch Rosie’s Ritzy Review or The Holy Rock and Roll Revival perform.

And then last year we discovered The Coop deVille Pig Roast and the incredible performance by Mike Benjamin’s Band from a boat on the bulkhead…

Of course this year we have none of that thanks to government intervention in the name of public safety – oh well!

OB 2020

With the last weekend in September now hard wired for OB, it seem to make sense to recruit the MBB Flotilla to join us.

Doc Ruel and his wife Joan on True North have been with us since year two. This year we added Dave and Monette on Ocean Drive, Captain Ben and his four lovely daughters on Sea La Vie, and Tom and Terry aboard our beloved Vigilant.

Oak Bluffs is a great destination from Buzzards Bay in that even in typical chop, every boat in the Flotilla can plow through and get there in an hour.

Of course with 1200 HP and Zeus Pods, Relentless cruises at 31 MPH and the 20 mile run took a mere 40 minutes…

Captain Dave came over on Thursday and hauled his tender so he picked up a town mooring right in front of us…

We had Gail, Rudy, and Paula on board Relentless. Shortly after we tied up, the whole gang showed up to test out the fly bridge…

We then headed over to The Lookout for a late lunch and took in this summer-like day…

In case you didn’t know it, the Lookout serves up an incredible Lobster Bisque…

It’s not too thick, very flavorful, and loaded with more lobster than any other bisque I’ve had.

Edgartown Saturday

The plan was to rent eBikes and return to 19 Raw for lunch in Edgartown. We visited MVBikes on Friday afternoon to see if we could reserve five, but Paula needed to pass a drivers test and they didn’t have any bikes her size.

By the time we got there Saturday morning, they were sold out so we ended up taking a cab to Edgartown.

As we waited for 19 Raw to open, we heard “Hi Dave” and turned to see Mark and Joan (Precious Cargo – Back Cove 37) out for a power walk.

They were planning to take bikes over on Chappy and visit the Wasque and South Beach.

We had a much lazier day in mind…

Concert on the Dock

Covid has been very cruel to those of us who love live music. Many municipalities have outright banned it and even where it’s legal, restrictions on bars and restaurants have made live entertainment financially unviable.

I’m not sure where the idea came from, but by noon on Saturday I was getting texts requesting a concert on the dock. Of course I love doing this sort of thing.

The show started around 3:30 and ran 90 minutes…

The audience included folks on Relentless, Vigilant, and the benches on the dock – probably 30 people, but all safely distanced. And although I started on the aft deck, I did get up and move around like a traveling troubadour.

At one point I was performing on the sidewalk as a security guard approached me. I was prepared to “pull the plug,” but he just nodded and kept on walking.

Flotilla Dinner at The Oyster Bar 02257

My favorite restaurant in Oak Bluffs is The Oyster Bar 02257. They don’t take reservations, but are available for advanced booking for larger groups. So that’s what I did.

Captains and Crew from Relentless, Vigilant, and True North met up for a great dinner…

We actually had two tables, but I forgot to take a photo of my table!

eBike Sunday

Rudy and I were determined to eBike Sunday morning and I went over to MVBikes at 8:00 just to be on the safe side. Around 8:30, the first guy showed up and by 9:00 I had two eBikes booked for us.

We booked two hours since the plan was to grab lunch with the girls at noon and then watch the Patriots game back on Relentless.

We took off for Edgartown and everything was going smoothly. The paths weren’t crowded like Labor Day weekend and the temperature was perfect.

Right after the JAWS Bridge Rudy shouted out “There’s something wrong with my bike.”

Sure enough, he had a flat!

I called in to MVBikes and they said they’d be out with another bike in “10-15 minutes.”

Then we inspected the tire…

There wasn’t anything piercing the tire, but it was bald down to the threads. It wasn’t a flat, the tire just gave out after years of us.

NOTE TO THOSE WHO RENT BIKES: Check the tires before you take off – flats are no fun.

Needless to say, the new bike didn’t arrive in 10-15 minutes, so I called again, ten minutes later – I called again, then again, then again!

The replacement bike arrives an hour after my first call.

They did extend our rental to the full day so I texted the girls and told them we’d be back at noon and off we went.

We took the bike trail to Edgartown, then Vineyard Haven before returning to Oak Bluffs. The path is very nice all along the way, but the run from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs is mostly on the main road with cars buzzing by.

Traveling on main roads on an eBike is a little less nerve wracking in that you can go 25 MPH and avoid getting passed.

Here’s a link to the map of Martha’s Vineyard bike paths.

I think it was possible to get back to Oak Bluffs on a path by heading back toward Edgartown from Vineyard Haven and banging a left on County Road. I also think there are a lot of new areas to explore in 2021.

Back To The Coop!

I’m not sure if it’s the wings or just helping Petey keep the lights on, but we hit up Coop deVille for lunch for the 5th or 6th time this season.

Things are definitely shutting down for the winter in OB as demonstrated by the Coop running out of draft IPA on a warm Sunday afternoon.

After a brief consultation with our server (who’s from Dublin,) Rudy and tried the Hop, Hop, and Away IPA in a can…

It was very good (for a can).

On the way home I shot a couple of photos that really seem to capture the OB Dock feel…

Gail bought some tuna from the crew cleaning fish on the dock and shared some with Mrs. Horne. She ate it raw with just a little soy sauce and reported it was YUMMO!

Slippery Dock – Captain Down!

When we got back to Relentless, I settled in to watch the Patriots game while the rest of the crew played LRC on the Fly Bridge.

Mrs. Horne was doing laundry and since I was still troubleshooting the city water, I realized that our water supply was running low and I needed to fill the water tank with the hose.

As I stepped from the cockpit to the dock (barefoot with hose in hand), my foot slipped out from under me and my shin slammed into the edge of the wooden dock.

As an avid biker, my shins have taken quite a beating, but this was probably the worst injury ever. There was a good sized gash and I had blood squirting as well (something I’d never seen before).

Rudy is a retired deputy fire chief and a trained EMT. I immediately called to the crew on the bridge “Tell Rudy I need him right away.”

By the time Rudy arrived I had moved well away from Relentless to avoid getting blood on the seats. Rudy tended to my wound with the help of Mrs. Horne and Gail running First Aid supplies from below deck.

Rudy did a great job patching me up…

POSTSCRIPT: After we returned home on Monday, I did go to the ER to get a Tetanus shot and ended up with 4 stitches. The doctor said Rudy did a great job.

There is a good lesson here for all of you senior citizen boaters. I’ve been jumping on and off docks for over 50 years and this was my first accident. It’s really important that we all realize this is danger zone and BE MORE CAREFUL.

Quiet End to the Weekend

With the drama on the dock accident behind me, I retired to the fly bridge to watch the final afternoon fade.

As we watched Vineyard Sound, we saw this beautiful Sport Fisherman come in and drop people off at the gas dock. It turned out to be a Whiticar 56 named Picasso Moon.

Whiticar’s are top-of-the-line tournament fishing yachts. According to Yachting Magazine, one of these beauties ran $3,500,000 or more in 2007!

We dined on board again. This time we had the Captain’s Rubens, Giordano’s Pizza, and Miss Vicki’s Chips…

And in light of my “broken wheel,” Mrs. Horne and Gail cleaned up…

As the crazy summer of 2020 winds down, I think it’s fair to say that Oak Bluffs has been the closest to normal of any port in this “storm.”

By the way, our trip home Monday was far from normal. It was gray and raining as we left…

…but turned into pea soup fog about half way across Buzzards Bay as we bid adieu to Martha’s Vineyard for the season.