They ate lots of potatoes while on their Canadian adventure, but the MacLeod family is now home and settling back into the work and school routine. Their two-week adventure took Linden, Finnegan, Hope, and Chris to Centerville, New Brunswick, and back again. Cousin Lindsey's wedding was certainly a highlight, but visiting with Nana and Grampie D. was the bee's knees. The MacLeod family had fun swimming, kayaking, and catching up with upwards of 100 cousins and extended family. An event worthy of the Audubon daily journal was the three nesting pairs of bald eagles the family saw.
Connie and Bob Taylor spent the last two weeks of June traveling through the Canadian Rockies and through the inland passageway of southeast Alaska. Their first week was spent traveling by motor coach and the second was spent cruising. The scenery was spectacular. Highlight was standing on deck in cool, blustery weather surrounded by Glacier Bay National Park. They saw grizzly and black bears, big horn sheep, bald eagles, and several whales breaching near the ship. It was a great trip, but they had to admit that there is no place like home. Back on the home front, Connie and Bob enjoyed a month-long visit from their daughter Susie, son-in-law Mike Parsons, and grandsons Kane (6) and Ronan (3) from Petaluma, California.
That Bill Edison, he is a tricky one. Bill told me some crazy story about the award he was presented with at the last 2011 Flanders Field softball game and I, of course, believed him. It seems as if he was too humble to give me the real scoop. The group couldn't come up with an MVP this year, so Bill was honored with a trophy for his relentless enthusiasm, his efforts to resurrect and maintain the game over the past 10 years or so, and his longstanding involvement with the Chilmark softball game over the years as player, umpire, and now Commissioner. He was given an extended ovation at the game as an expression of sincere and heartfelt appreciation. Many thanks to Sig Van Raan who was kind enough to clarify things for me.
Icelandic mussel farmer Vidir Bjornsson will speak about his experiences establishing an aquaculture project in the waters of the North Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea at the Chilmark Public Library on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 5:30. The talk is sponsored by the Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund, which has a pilot mussel farming project under way in Vineyard waters.
Bill Rossi, Johnny Graham, and Craig Keefe all of Chilmark notoriety, completed the Vineyard Warrior Triathlon this past weekend. Training took a lot of time out of their busy schedules, but the thrill of finishing the 1-mile swim, 25-mile bike, and 6-mile run was well worth the test they dished out to their bodies. I am not sure about Bill and Craig, but Johnny finished 19 minutes faster than he anticipated. Craig stopped in to the Texaco later that same day, signed up for the Derby and planned to fish the afternoon away.
Derby fever is catching, and it is making its way around the Island fast. There were a band of pint-sized fishermen on the jetty on opening morning of the Derby. Most were hoping to go to the weigh-in that night but, to the best of my knowledge, went home to hit the shower and call it a day. Brooks and Westley Wlodyka landed a few scup each, but, alas, the weigh-in would have to be saved for another day.
Don't forget, the American Heroes Saltwater Challenge will take place September 18 to 22. The brainchild of now 10-year-old Jack Nixon is in its third year of existence based out of the Beach Plum Inn. Local charter captains, Derby members, businesses, and friends like you and me are donating both their time and goods to allow a few of our nation's wounded veterans the opportunity to fish. In the process, may they enjoy a few moments connecting with nature and continuing to heal. Contact the Beach Plum at (508) 645-9454 or email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering, donating items or, perhaps, sponsoring a vet. Veterans will be joining us in town from both Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (formerly Walter Reed) and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. These two top-notch facilities are intake hospitals straight from Afghanistan and Iraq.
You know her as the captain of Femme Fatale but she's also a really cool singer. Jennifer Clarke's latest cd, "Trinkets in Rubble," is now available on ITUNES and CD Baby. Jennifer plans to tour in the near future and share her music with as many folks as possible. I am sure she will leave a little time, however, to fish the Derby.