NEBO TV Report from the Field: Menemsha Harbor, MA
August 17, 2016
Two weeks ago, the crew of New England Boating TV arrived in the picturesque Martha’s Vineyard harbor of Menemsha, on the island’s southwest (or is it northwest?) shore. As any boater who has been to this small but beautiful port will tell you, Menemsha is unique among Vineyard harbors, and we couldn’t agree more!
The crew arrived in late afternoon after launching in nearby Falmouth, and found the harbor bustling with preparations for the upcoming “Meet the Fleet” event. Despite the chaos, Harbormaster Dennis Jason, Assistant Harbormaster Landon Steele and the rest of their first-rate staff found a home for the Pursuit C260 next to the fuel dock. With the boat secured, we offloaded our gear and made our way to the charming Captain Flanders House bead-and-breakfast, a former farmhouse set amid the rolling Chilmark fields.
The next 2 days were spent exploring the harbor and surrounding area. This included a short hike through Menemsha Hills, hosted by the Trustees of Reservations. Well-groomed walking trails wind through this wooded property, some leading to a scenic overlook offering views of Vineyard Sound and the Elizabeth Islands. This is a great spot to stretch your legs and enjoy the natural side of the Vineyard.
Another segment focused on the terrific kayaking available in Menemsha Pond. Co-host Tom Richardson, Director Gene Allen and cameraman Tommy Costello got up at dawn to paddle with instructors from Island Spirit Kayak, which offers kayak rentals, guided tours and lessons all around the island. As the sun rose over the pond and creek, the team paddled through waters teeming with baitfish, crabs and striped bass, as well as egrets, herons, ducks and cormorants, eventually ending up at a small beach where Tom, Gene and Tommy were treated to a tasty picnic breakfast—complete with fresh fruit, croissants and Mimosas!
Later in the morning, co-host Parker Kelley took her bike across the creek on the convenient bicycle ferry to meet with Bettina Washington of the Wampanoag Aquinnahs and a member of the tribe’s Cultural Heritage Program. Bettina told Parker about the history of the area and the changes it has seen over the years. The tour ended at Gay Head Light and observation point overlooking the magnificent clay cliffs of Aquinnah.
After a dockside lunch of chowder, stuffies and lobster rolls at Larsen’s Fish Market, the crew jumped in the harbormaster’s boat with Landon Steele for a harbor tour. Although young, Landon proved a font of information on the harbor and dispensed valuable information that all visiting boaters need to know.
You can learn more about Menemsha this fall when new episodes of New England Boating TV air on NESN. And stay tuned to NewEnglandBoating.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on show times and dates, and to find out where we’ll be filming next!