(September 21st-23rd 2018)
One of the last spots on my list of New England locations to visit this Summer was Martha’s Vineyard and I got to cross it off just in time, getting there on the last official calendar day of the season. With my birthday coming up the following weekend the trip was also a celebratory one, bringing along two of my best friends Nick & Mike. We took the ferry over to Oak Bluffs from Woods Hole, MA and brought my SUV along to be able to get around easier on the island. Was able to even shoot a bit from the top deck of the ferry on the ride over. Our first stop was at the popular Lookout Tavern to grab my first adult beverage of the trip and a tasty fish sandwich. Then we walked over to check out the infamous Gingerbread Cottages, a collection of 318 whimsical Victorian cottages that were once Methodist camp meeting houses. In a wide variety of shapes and bright colors, these cottages feature incredibly detailed designs in facet of them. Definitely an interesting place to walk around and take in before we headed to where we’d be staying. I found this amazing cottage through Airbnb that was right on the water in the town of Chilmark which lies in the Western part that’s consider to be “up-island”. The location looked amazing in the listing online but didn’t come close to doing justice to it in person! Situated off a windy dirt road the cottage even had it’s own staircase down to a secluded rocky beach that we had all to ourselves and a huge deck that offered incredible views of the water. It was the perfect homebase for the long weekend to really be away from the touristy spots and just relax. After getting settled in and enjoying the cottage for a bit we headed to the nearby Menemsha Beach, known as one of the best sunset locations on the island, for the end of the day. Unfortunately complete cloud cover rolled in 45 minutes before sunset so it was a dud on that front to kill my chances there. We headed back into Oak Bluffs for dinner and drinks to end our first day there.
I woke up early the next day while the other guys were still sleeping and headed over the nearby Lucy Vincent Beach to enjoy the morning and capture some images. The beach is resident only during the Summer season but after September 15th is open to anyone so I was able to go enjoy it in beautiful sunny 71 degree weather. I pretty much had the beach all to myself and even sent my drone up for a flight to get a bird’s eye view of the landscape below. This stunning clay cliffs and rock formations on the beach itself reminded me more of a west coast beach than the classic New England look. After heading back to the cottage with supplies to make breakfast and getting the guys moving we headed back down island to Edgartown. One of the first two original towns formed on Martha’s Vineyard this timeless area also played host to the fictitious town of Amityville in the taping of the movie JAWS. Such a cool place to just walk around and take in the incredible homes along the main streets, with many being built by whaling captains and other prominent people of previous centuries. Made our way over to Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse and just sat on the beach there for a while soaking in the sun and warm breeze off the water. Really enjoyed the slow pace of the trip compared to the majority of my photo adventures where I’m constantly on the move to get in as many locations possible. With our bellies starting to feel empty we headed back to Menemsha Harbor where some of the island’s most notable fresh seafood spots are located, including Larsen’s Fish Market. Keeping up with my Summer long tradition on adventures I had to get a hot lobster roll and had some of their homemade lobster mac-n-cheese on the side sitting right by the water. A local fisherman has a tiny shack right next door to there where he sells fresh sashimi that he caught that morning so we had to sample a bit of that as well. That night’s sunset destination was the Aquinnah Cliffs and Gay Head Lighthouse in the southwestern most part of the island. Such an incredible landscape there with the red clay cliffs contrasting with the bright greenery above them. Mother Nature once again ended hopes of a colorful sunset but was still able to capture some great shots. We decided to head back to Edgartown that night for dinner and drinks at The Port Hunter, which is one of the busier night spots in town and had some great food. We shared a handful of different small plates including burrata, duck wings, elote, & pork belly steam buns and I had an amazing harrisa marinated chicken sandwich with Vermont bacon, avocado & chive aioli on focaccia bread. There was an awesome reggae band from Boston performing there as well that night so kept the good vibes going after dinner.
Our last day on the island was pretty low key as we spent some time earlier in the day just enjoying our time in the amazing cottage before we had to check out in the later afternoon. We then made our way up to Vineyard Haven where the ferry would be leaving out of to take us back to the mainland. With 30 minutes to kill before having to line up my car in the ferry boarding area I noticed a small beach harbor nearby and decided to spend the last remaining time there. As it got closer to sunset the sky began to glow faintly and there was hope that I’d finally get a colorful sunset. With not much time remaining the sky become more impressive with each passing minute and just before having to head over to the ferry the sky just exploded. Deep pinks and purples filled the sky and reflected in the calm water with a grouping of sailboats positioned perfectly for my composition. Was so pumped to get the shot of the trip literally right before having to hop on the ferry home. And may even end up being one of my best shots of the entire Summer!