Big week.

The Chilmark School 4/5 class is back from their adventure on the Alabama. Captain Ian Ridgeway, his crew, teacher Becky Barca-Tinus, nurse Janice Brown, dads Adrian Higgins and Keith Fenner, along with Bella, Brooks, Fynn, Imogen, Keira, Menasha, Noah, Adam, Atlas, Emmett, Katie, Latham, Silas, Tegan, Tristan, Tyler, and William set sail last Monday morning.

They let the wind and the tide guide their adventure which led them to overnight stays in Tarpaulin Cove, Marion, Boston, and Provincetown. My guess is if you ask the children what their favorite moments were, you will get 17 different answers. Some of the many highlights were going under the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges as they made their way through Cape Cod Canal, catching dogfish, spending the night on Fan Pier, eating ice cream in P-Town, and the cook’s affinity for bacon. If you have an opportunity to chat with a student, please do. Their stories are both heartfelt and hilarious. The sailors are back at their desks continuing to share stories with teachers and their younger schoolmates. This adventure will be a topic of conversation that even the Derby might not be able to overshadow.

“Fair winds” and “tight lines” are a couple of the sayings you might hear during the next month. The 68th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby kicked off at 12:01 am on Sunday September 15. Chores are done. Boats are tuned up. Poles are rigged with new line. Lures are tied with skill. Paperwork is completed. This year’s pink and purple pins adorn black visors, camo, red, green and grey hats. Fresh bait is being caught. Pillows are placed in vehicles so a few Zs can be caught between bouts of fishing frenzies. Fish are caught. Coolers are filled with ice. Fish are delivered to the weigh in. Prizes are sought. Friends are made. Stories are told. Familiar names adorn the leader board. Check out for all of the latest information.

Anyone interested in rugby? It doesn’t matter whether you are an accomplished player or completely new to the game, you are all welcome to give it a go on Thursdays at the West Tisbury School field at 5:30 pm. If you need a little more info or just a little coaxing, email Chas Hollinger at He’s one of the folks you’ll see on the field if you decide you’d like to give the sport a go.

Bill Edison seems to think he bothers me with his calls and notes. Nope. Never a bother to hear from a friend. We had a chat the other day about what he does in the off-season. Bill and Lydia venture back to the other location where they rest their heads — Elk, California. Bill dons his troll hat (are you still impressed that I found the troll story about you, Bill?) and sits down to creating posters for the upcoming Flanders Field softball series. He already knows next year’s round of fun will begin with the swing of the bat and the crack of the ball on June 22, 2014.

Set aside May 4 on your calendars now. We are all invited to Bill and Lydia’s hometown of Elk to take part in Pepper Martin Day. Old-fashioned community softball, just like at Flanders Field, with hot dogs for all. It might be helpful to know that the little town of Elk is on the Northern California coast in Mendocino County, about 150 miles north of San Francisco and 15 miles south of the village of Mendocino. Watch out Edisons, you may just have house guests.