As the summer came to an end, our lives suddenly got crazy.
Four hours before the Mattapoisett Boat Yard burst into flames (100’ from Relentless), Maritimo America listed her on Yachtworld, and they immediately engaged several viable buyers.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Horne and I took up the mantle and started a major fundraising effort to help rebuild MBY culminating in a private evening event for 150 on October 20. We booked the Bay Club, created a menu, Mrs. Horne is doing the decorating, we secured over 75 donations, and I created an online silent auction platform. By the way, the event is nearly sold out.
Our grandson’s birthday is on September 19, which entails a blessed five-day journey to San Diego, but cuts a huge swath out of the middle of the month.
And to top it all off, I decided to finally “bite the bullet” and schedule total knee replacement surgery for September 2022! If you’ve had joint replacement surgery, you know it involves several pre-op doctor’s appointments, training, and preparing to be pinned down in your house for weeks following the surgery.
With this whirlwind schedule, something had to give, so my storytelling has been slow in coming for the last 45 days.
By the first of September, we found ourselves negotiating the sale of Relentless, and thus Labor Day Weekend 2022 was likely to be our final overnight cruise on Relentless. Ironically, we’d also spent our first weekend on Relentless in Edgartown two years ago,
If you’ve ever tried to book one of the two Harbormaster slips in Edgartown, you know how difficult it is. Vigilant’s Captain Tom and I pound Dockwa on the appointed winter day, hoping to land a weekend or two.
Serendipitously, we both got Labor Day Weekend!
We arrived in Edgartown around 11:30 and headed to The Atlantic for lunch at the bar. The Atlantic is, without a doubt, the most friendly eat-in bar on the South Coast.
The biggest challenge dining at The Atlantic is deciding what to order! I have too many favorites, so I ordered a Margarita and studied the menu.
Of the unique offerings at The Atlantic, the Charbroiled Oysters are the best. I began sharing an order with Mrs. Horne.
Next on my dining rotation came the Shawarma Tacos.
These aren’t tacos at all. The mouthwatering shredded lamb and veal is stuffed into a homemade (warm) pita bread. That, combined with feta and the Tahini and Amber sauce, is absolutely sublime.
Mrs. Horne went for the burger with mushrooms and blue cheese. I think I had a taste!
Such a gorgeous spot on a warm September afternoon.
Back To Relentless
As I’ve mentioned before, the road from downtown Edgartown to the Harbormaster’s dock is one of the most scenic streets in New England.
The temperature was in the mid-seventies making the Flybridge an ideal Friday afternoon perch.
Mrs. Horne was enjoying her red licorice and asked me to send a photo to Peter along with a “wish you were here” message (they shared several bags on the Maine trip.)
Doc Ruel had come over for the day on True North with the boys, and we caught a shot of him heading back to Mattapoisett.
Terry’s girlfriend Sheree was celebrating her birthday in Edgartown. The birthday entourage caught a ride over to Edgartown on Vigilant.
After a Margarita swim party, they headed to town for a bit of shopping.
Daneen’s husband, Dan showed up in his Hinckley 40X around 4:00 to bring the birthday girls back to Mattapoisett.
Of course, the girls were still shopping in Edgartown, so Dan and Sherrie’s husband, Jim, hung out on the Flybridge and enjoyed the splendid Friday afternoon.
At about the same time, we were treated to a visit from our old friends David and Monette.
David sold his 50’ Viking in 2020 and ordered a new Nordhaven 41. The new boat was due in June, but thanks to supply chain issues, it’s now looking like October!
Alchemy Bistro and Bar
We continued the Michelle Obama Restaurant Tour Friday night at Alchemy.
We had reservations but preferred sitting at the bar. The downstairs bar was packed, but the host brought us upstairs to a great bar at the back of the restaurant.
Alchemy offers a hip steakhouse vibe with plenty of action without the noisy din that disrupts conversation with new friends.
My only critique would be the brevity of the menu.
Six entrées is a little light – even for a bistro. But after the cocktail party on Relentless, we weren’t that hungry, so we started by sharing the Artichoke & Parmesan Toast.
It is a perfect “Flavor Bomb” that teases the appetite without filling you up before the main course.
Needless to say, I couldn’t pass up the warm sourdough rolls and room-temperature butter.
As we leisurely enjoyed our evening, the bar filled with locals coming to watch Serena in her final US Open.
I never would have considered Alchemy a Sports Bar, but the back bar would be a perfect spot to watch a ball game.
Mrs. Horne and I negotiated a shared dinner. We went with the Lobster and Fillet Surf & Turf.
I’m not a big mashed potato fan, so Mrs. Horne could have them all, and I ordered the crispy sprouts as my side.
I have a pet peeve when it comes to mashed potatoes. I hate it when the chef uses them as a “platform” for the protein. In our case, it made it difficult for Mrs. Horne to get a clean forkful of spuds, and every bite of filet or lobster was coated in mashed potatoes.
From now on, I’m ordering mashed potatoes on the side!
We ended the evening with a lovely half-mile stroll downtown and back to the Harbormaster’s slip.
I woke up around 6:00 to a gorgeous sunrise.
I thought I’d treat Mrs. Horne to a blueberry muffin and got on my bike in quest of The Great Edgartown Bakery.
I discovered Rosewater Market and although it barely qualifies as a market, it is a perfect spot of a muffin or light breakfast.
Around 9:00, we grabbed Tom and Terry to head out to the State Forest Bike Trail before lunch.
I gave the camera a rest since I’d covered it well last month when we first discovered it with Jake and Peggy.
Here’s a short video I shot of this long and spectacular path.
After 20+ miles, we descended on 19 Raw for the first time this season. We discovered it in 2019, and it’s a beautiful place for Al fresco dining on a mid-seventies temperature day.
It pains me to report that they seemed to be having service issues the day were there.
It started with my Margarita. I ordered their House Margarita with “just a little heat.” After a ten-minute wait, it arrived, but the rim was covered with Chili Powder, completely overpowering the lime and the tequila.
Having already waited too long, I took it straight to the bartender and pointed out that chili powder isn’t “a little heat.” It’s chili.
He told me he added a splash of habanero for heat. The chili was their house rim salt. I asked if he could make me one with plain kosher salt, and he said, “sure.”
After another ten minutes, our server returned with a normal-looking margarita. I took a sip, and my breath was taken away. It was the hottest margarita I’d ever had. All I could taste was habanero on my burnt palate.
I sent it back and asked for just a plain margarita. After another ten minutes, a manager brought me one that was okay.
Our food and everyone else’s second drink appeared at about the same time as my correct margarita.
As always, the food was delightful. Mrs. Horne and I shared the Baked Oysters ($17) with Pancetta and Cabrales Bleu Cheese.
We also shared the 10 ounce Steakhouse Burger ($22) with Smoked Onion A1 Mayo, and Sriracha Fries,
It was perfectly medium rare.
After lunch, Mrs. Horne hit the street with a handful of posters for the fundraiser we’re doing to rebuild the Mattapoisett Boatyard following the fire in August.
Meanwhile, Tom and Terry returned to biking and took Chappy across the harbor for a bike ride out to Nature Preserve. They shot a nice photo of Vigilant and Relentless from the ferry.
Mrs. Horne took a nap and went upstairs to read my Charles Thayer book – Death and Due Diligence.
We met Charles in Boothbay and Mrs. Horne got me an autographed copy. Charles writes his stories set at Kim’s marina and weaves her, and real places and people of Boothbay into his mystery novel.
At first, I thought it was hokey, but the underlying mystery story was quite good and eminently readable.
We had dinner reservations at 6:30, and the plan was to rendezvous on the Flybridge around 4:30. At 4:45, I sent out a group text.
In late August, I realized that I’d forgotten to make dinner reservations for Labor Day weekend. I hustled and got good ones every night, with the best being L’Etoile at 6:30 Saturday night.
I have several favorite restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard, but at this point, I can unequivocally say L’ETOILE is the best restaurant on the island.
In addition to incredible food and atmosphere, they are exceptionally good at nurturing customer relationships. When I approached the entrance, an elegantly dressed woman said:
“Welcome, Mr. Horne; we haven’t seen you since June. Have you been away from the island?”
We were all very impressed. Later, our server asked about Mrs. Horne’s sister Paula, who’d been with us in June.
Needless to say, the meal was delectable. It began with homemade focaccia topped with pesto.
Mrs. Horne and Terry shared the warm baby spinach salad with grated cured egg yolk, chopped egg whites, applewood bacon, sunflower seeds, frizzled sweet red pepper & shaved parmesan, warm apple cider-mustard vinaigrette.
I had the Sautéed potato & truffle gnocchi MVM shiitakes, shimeji mushrooms, black truffle, pine nuts & shaved parmesan.
Tom had the Braised boneless short ribs, Tony Meyer’s style Maple-Smoked Cheddar Polenta, Topped w/ Roasted Tomato & Onion Marmalade.
Mrs. Horne and I shared the Rack of Lamb.
Tom and Terry shared the Etuvee of 1 1/2 lb. Menemsha lobster with lemon-pepper pappardelle, shiitake & farm vegetable sautés, lobster, chardonnay, roasted garlic & parsley sauce.
I’ve had the rack two or three times but never the Etuvee. Maybe next time.
The short walk home was delightful.
Blue Bird Sunday
I woke Sunday morning to an incredible sunrise over Lighthouse Beach.
We planned a picnic lunch there later in the day, but before that, I decided to enjoy the relative absence of traffic with a bike ride to Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.
This was a nice 20-mile ride with a lot of ocean views and bike trails.
When I got to Oak Bluffs, I took a right out toward East Chop.
Shortly after the East Chop Yacht Club, the road is closed to thru traffic but perfect for biking.
The East Chop detour is far safer than the Temahigan Avenue run from OB to Vineyard Haven. You still need to travel about a quarter of a mile on Temahigan to reach the bike path that runs through the hospital.
The hospital path still dumps you on a treacherous section of Beach Road, but the town is almost finished building a nice wide sidewalk all the way to downtown Vineyard Haven, and it should be done by 2023.
I did run into my first draw bridge opening as I approached downtown, Vineyard Haven.
Change of Plans and New Friends
I returned to the boat around 11:30 and queried Terry about lunch on the beach. She’d run into an old friend who wanted to have lunch at the Seafood Shanty – an idea I’d never argue with!
It was “Blue Bird Day” with dry temps in the upper 70s with a light breeze; pretty much a 10 when we met our new friends, Lisa and Paul, on the Shanty upper deck.
Although it was 12:30, on a perfect day, on Labor Day, in Edgartown, we only waited about 15 minutes for a spectacular outside table for six.
The food, drink, and atmosphere were spot on (as usual).
Our server was a very charming young man named Farma from Croatia. Like so many of the young Eastern European people we meet along the way, he’s totally driven to pursue the American Dream.
Like my father, when he came to America in the 1920s, Farma was taking advantage of the excellent money one can earn waiting on tables in high-end resort towns while putting himself through college.
Pivoting To Funday
Mrs. Horne, Terry, Tom, and I are seasoned “Yachties.” We diligently plan each day in port (well, I do,) but we always “go with the flow” when something special presents itself. And on Labor Day Sunday, there was a lot of “go with the flow” going down in a good way. Tagging along with Lisa and Paul’s mini vacation made this an extraordinary day.
I may not have their story exactly right, but here’s what I remember. The trip to Edgartown was a Mother’s Day gift to Lisa. Their son is working on his pilot’s license, and they flew over in a four-seater. Paul had sprung for a room at the Sidney, one of the most elegant hotels in Edgartown. And that was the extent of their plan.
Needless to say, we were all on Cloud 9, and no one had to twist our arms to join in the festivities!
Terry has a good feel for fun, and when the boys weren’t looking, she bought the appropriate girls’ attire from the Seafood Shanty shop making the new plan official.
Then she loaned Vigilant’s beach chairs to some kids fishing at the end of the Harbormaster’s dock.
With good spirits flowing like a river, we all retreated to the Relentless Flybridge for a lazy afternoon on Edgartown Harbor.
Our Sunday Funday continued until around 5:30 when I suggested we start working on a plan for dinner. With Lisa and Paul staying at the Sidney, I fully encouraged them to lean on the concierge to get them a romantic table for two at L’ETOILE.
But no! They insisted on joining us at The Atlantic. Atypical for me, the plan was to show up with a party of six, no reservations, and hope to eat around 7:00 on Labor Day Weekend. No problem.
The Atlantic Fish and Chop House
Although the Atlantic is my favorite lunch spot in Edgartown, I’ve never had dinner there.
When we arrived, it was packed, I told the host we were a party of 6, and she asked if “we’d be okay in the private dining room?”
“Of course, we would.” We had “brought our own party,” and we’d be less likely to bother anyone else in a private room.
It’s a great room, right at ground level, with windows facing Main Street. I think it could seat twelve people. The Atlantic doesn’t take reservations, but I bet they’d take one for eight or more in this room.
We immediately got excellent service from Nemanji. He’s from Serbia and loves working in America.
It was apparent that we were in for a spectacular evening.
Having enjoyed a lot of appetizers on the Flybridge, we engaged the menu with a lot of sharing.
Terry and Lisa started with the Buratta Di Bufala Salad.
Mrs. Horne went with her usual, the traditional Caesar.
Mrs. Horne and I shared the Filet Au Poivre. Terry and Lisa did too.
It was perfectly done – medium rare. We also ordered Potatoes Au Gratin for the table. They, too, were great – cheesy, complex, and like everything at the Atlantic, the portion was huge,
Being “growing boys,” Tom and Paul each ordered the New York Strip.
As we were enjoying our steaks, a familiar face came into the dining room.
It was Farma, our server from the Seafood Shanty. He was dressed like all the other servers at the Atlantic, and we quickly realized he worked here as well!
The entire dining experience in the private dining room at the Atlantic was incredible, and the fact that we enjoyed it sitting in the heart of Edgartown made it even more so.
By the time dessert came around, Paul had started ordering for the table and called up two delectable desserts.
First up came the Chocolate Cake.
Chocolate Cake – Layers of chocolate cake, Ecuadorian cocoa, chocolate & hazelnut cream, hazelnut crunch, and chocolate glaze.
Then the Tiramisu – Layers of sponge cake soaked in espresso & mascarpone cream, cocoa powder dust.
It was already one of the best meals we’d had in years when Nemanji and Farma brought out a flight of chilled Limoncello.
Labor Day 2022
We’d enjoyed three Blue Bird days in Edgartown. The forecast for Monday was for things to deteriorate in the afternoon, but you couldn’t tell as the sun-splashed the Chappy Ferry.
Looking at this view and considering our options for Labor Day, my heart grew heavy, contemplating the impending end of the 2022 season. If the forecast was worse, we’d undoubtedly head straight home. If it was going to be another Blue Bird Day, we’d certainly be on the water all day.
But given the situation and the okay forecast, my ole heart wanted to spend Labor Day on the water.
I tried to recruit Tom and Terry, but Tom had a golf match on Labor Day, so they headed back to Mattapoisett. After some discussion, Mrs. Horne and I concluded that we needed to carry out an annual tradition and head to the Chartroom for lunch.
My heart smiled…
NECN Weather Master Matt Noyes had laid out the weather map showing the Cape would be right on the line between sun and clouds. He was right.
As we approached Bassetts, the view to the northeast was truly ominous.
But once we turned toward Red Brook, the southwest sky cleared out nicely.
I hailed Kingman on Channel 71 and simply told them “This is Relentless.”
Much to my delight, I heard the Dock Boss tell her crew, “She’s 50 feet, and we’re putting her on the north finger pier.”
This was our third or fourth docking at Kingman in the last month, and it’s wonderful to be known by name only.
Although it was Labor Day Weekend, the summer crew was gone, and Sophie (the Dock Boss) and her senior crew tied us up. Suddenly it occurred to me that this would be a great time to ask about tying up our new 60-footer.
I sized up the north finger pier, and it was just big enough for a 60′ boat. I told Sophie that I was willing to prepay for this spot when we were coming in, and she gave me her cell number and said, “Just call me in the morning, and we’ll get you in.”
It was a bit of a gray day, which was appropriate for the day’s mood. That’s when it hit me – this was the beginning of the end for Relentless and us. And the end of our 2022 Cruising Season while it was still technically summer!
My mind wandered as I took a few photos of our excellent lunch.
The Road Ahead
As we ran across Buzzards Bay and closed our cruising days on Relentless forever as well as the 2022 season, my mind drifted to the crazy schedule ahead. Virtually every day until Halloween was booked, and while it was easy to get overwhelmed, I took solace in knowing we’d done everything possible to prepare for it.
- Final Day Trip Weekend on Relentless
- The Tale of The Sale
- The Maritimo Migrations in Newport