Tags Posts tagged with "Gay Head Light"

Gay Head Light

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Aquinnah announced a series of parking and travel restrictions in connection with the upcoming relocation of the Gay Head Lighthouse. – Photo courtesy of the Town of Aquinnah

In anticipation of the relocation of the Gay Head Lighthouse, Aquinnah selectmen voted to make temporary changes to the traffic patterns around Aquinnah circle; these went into effect Wednesday, April 15. Parking will be very limited during the excavation and relocation time period. Town Administrator Adam Wilson urges drivers to use caution when arriving around the circle.

From 7 am to 7 pm, traffic will be allowed through the security fenced area to the parking and bus stop area up by the cliff shops. From 7 pm to 7 am, the gates to the security fenced area will be closed and locked. A turnaround area will be designated in front of the upper gate fence, so that traffic can go back down the circle road. From 7 pm on, traffic will be two ways up the left side of the circle. The relocation project is expected to continue until May 25.

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The Gay Head Light in its current position.

An open house at Gay Head Lighthouse on Saturday, April 11, offers Islanders a last chance to visit the iconic landmark before its relocation in late May. Lighthouse keepers Richard Skidmore and Joan LeLacheur will open the building from 2 to 5 pm. Admission will be free.

The open house will culminate a week of preparations for the lighthouse’s move from its current location, about 46 feet from the edge of the Gay Head cliffs, to a site 135 feet southeast, on an abutting lot and away from the quickly eroding coastal bank.

The U.S. Coast Guard plans to erect a temporary beacon on the Gay Head Cliffs overlook on Tuesday, April 7, according to a press release. A metal pole with a flashing LED light on top will be activated when the lighthouse goes dark the week of April 13, and remain in use until the end of June, officials estimate.

A lighthouse has stood at the Gay Head cliffs since 1799, replaced with the current brick one in 1854. The Save the Gay Head Light Committee has raised $2.5 million as of last month toward its goal of the $3 million needed to finance the project to move and restore the lighthouse at a location that will sustain it for many generations.

For more information or to make a donation, visit gayheadlight.org.

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This past Friday, March 13, the Save the Gay Head Light Organization hosted a book launch at Pathways in Chilmark to celebrate the release of the book “I Will Save You!” Poems & Drawings by the Students of Martha’s Vineyard to Save the Gay Head Lighthouse. All of the artwork and poems in the book were created by students from different schools around the Island as a show of support for the threatened Lighthouse. Richard Skidmore, keeper of the Gay Head Light, and poet Fan Ogilvie hosted the event and co-edited the book.

The event started with the Chilmark School children who contributed poems and drawings.

Lured off the playground of their nearby school with promises of popcorn and cookies, the children filled the tables of Chilmark Tavern with their parents. Mr. Skidmore introduced Meg Bodnar of Save the Gay Head Light, and she gave a very warm thank-you to everyone who helped with the book. All the children who had worked to publish the book were called on stage and presented with a copy, starting with Jake Glasgow, whose picture made the cover. Next the students from the Charter School and the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School arrived, and it was their turn to be celebrated and presented with a copy of the book that they helped bring into being. The evening ended with the great pile of books diminished and the popcorn gone.

Books will be available for purchase at Island bookstores for $20; proceeds benefit the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse project. Books can be purchased from Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Alley’s, and online at savethegayheadlight.org.

In the first Gay Head 10k in 2013, starters have lighthouse at their backs. — File photo by Lisa Vanderhoop

The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee announced that it has begun signing up runners for the second annual Gay Head 10K road race, A Race Against Time, to be held Sunday, Oct. 5.

The race is a fundraiser for the ongoing effort to restore and relocate the Island’s historic landmark.

The 10K will start at 10 am, under the beam of the Gay Head Lighthouse, then proceed down the hill past the Aquinnah Cultural Center onto State Road, and onto Moshup Trail, which leads back to the loop at the Cliffs, according to a press release. The finish line lands runners in the shadow of the lighthouse after they complete the circle.

“The course is at once challenging, historic, and picturesque,” said Martha Vanderhoop, committee member and 10K race director. “We are also working on having the race certified by USA Track and Field this year, which would, hopefully, make the Gay Head 10K a destination race appealing to elite runners.”

For more information and to register, go to gayheadlight.org. There is an entry fee of $30, and the field will be limited to 500 runners. The committee also welcomes donors to become involved immediately through various levels of sponsorship. For more information on sponsorships, contact Beverly Wright, chairwoman of the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee, at gayhead10k@gayheadlight.org.

To help save the Gay Head Light.

Dana Gaines made good time up Vineyard Sound and had 9 miles to go when this photo was taken. — Tad Thompson
Dana Gaines off Squibnocket at 6 AM on Saturday, an hour after he launched his kayak off Aquinnah for his round the Island paddle.
Dana Gaines off Squibnocket at 6 AM on Saturday, an hour after he launched his kayak off Aquinnah for his round the Island paddle.

This morning just after 5 am, Dana Gaines stepped into his kayak and began to paddle. At 6 am he was still paddling, passing Squibnocket. At 7 am, he paddled on, approaching Edgartown. By 8:45 am, he paddled still, passing The Farm Institute.

By 8:45, Dana was off Katama and being followed by fans and photographers in Juno.
By 8:45, Dana was off Katama and being followed by fans and photographers in Juno.

Dana will paddle all day, until he reaches the shores of Aquinnah again- probably some time early to mid- afternoon, where he will be greeted with a Finish Line party, celebrating his efforts to raise money to save the Gay Head Lighthouse.

To follow his progress, go to the Gay Head Light’s Facebook page, or GayHeadLight.org and check back here for photos throughout the day.

For a rundown on his route, see MVTimes story here.

Here’s his route:

Dana Gaines will paddle over 50 miles, counter clockwise, around Martha's Vineyard on Saturday.
Dana Gaines will paddle over 50 miles, counter clockwise, around Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday.




Dana Gaines raises money for Gay Head Light.

Dana Gaines will paddle over 50 miles, counter clockwise, around Martha's Vineyard on Saturday. — Courtesy Google Maps

On Saturday, August 9, Dana Gaines will paddle counterclockwise around Martha’s Vineyard to raise money for moving the Gay Head Light.

Excerpted from Mr. Gaines’ training blog on “Full Circle for the Gay Head Light” at gayheadlight.org.

Monday, August 4 — With five days to go, I decided to catch the early ebb current this morning from Lake Tashmoo down the Sound to finish off the Aquinnah cliffs — mainly to gauge the effect of the current against a very light SW headwind. From the Tashmoo jetties I bore north of west towards Tarpaulin Cove on Naushon, in order to move further out into Vineyard Sound; as expected, once a half-mile offshore I began to see the effect of the current on the GPS, as it ticked upwards of 6 mph, then 6.5, 6.7 and higher,  eventually settling at 6.9-7 mph for the stretch from Cedar Tree Neck to Menemsha Hills; it decreased measurably off Menemsha Bight, but recovered to 6.4 for the final three miles to the Cliffs. Still, it was nothing like the 2.5 knots shown in the Tide Book, which must be due to a weak phase of the moon.

This also gave me the opportunity to survey the waters off the cliffs in bright daylight, and decide to stay well offshore, rather than risk hitting any submerged rocks, of which there are dozens, if not hundreds. I spotted one large half-tide rock far offshore of the Aquinnah Shop restaurant atop the cliffs, moved 100 yards further offshore from that, and marked the waypoint on the GPS; this will serve as the location of the Start/Finish line buoy. It’s wide open to the Atlantic, so I just have to hope the seas aren’t too chaotic there this coming Saturday afternoon; it’s not likely that I’ll see conditions nearly as calm as this morning,  but I can dream, I guess!

I then paddled back to Menemsha, on the way checking the distance from my launch site to the Start —  exactly one mile. Here’s hoping when I paddle that mile in near darkness on Saturday morning both the wind and the seas are moderate-to-calm! Tashmoo jetties to Cliffs, 14:06 miles, average speed 6.6 mph, maximum 8.5, in 2:08; total trip 19.4 miles in 3:05. That’s it for long workouts;  time to rest, “taper,” hydrate, and attend to the many small details so Saturday’s trip can go off smoothly.

The long range forecast is for a beautiful day on Saturday, with fairly light north winds; unless the forecast changes with higher wind speeds, I’ll do the course counter-clockwise, starting at 5:30AM and aiming to reach Cape Poge (the half-way point) by 10…. that should put me passing East Chop around 11:30 am, West Chop around noon (give or take a half-hour)…. I’ll pick up the fair ebb current at West Chop and thereafter have it with me the whole way down the Sound for the Cliffs. This is, of course, all theoretical; there are many variables which might slow down or— preferably— speed up progress…. but all of my training to date makes that timeline realistic.

In closing, a huge thanks to my good friend Tim Wolff for all his shuttle and livery services; I could not have done all these distance paddles without Tim’s willingness to get up early, drop me off and pick me up at various harbors around the Island!

You can follow his progress on Facebook: (facebook.com/SaveTheGayHeadLighthouse) and

Twitter (TheGHLight). The Indiegogo campaign, (indiegogo.com/projects/full-circle-for-the-gay-head-light/ ) runs until August 15th. Donations for the lighthouse fund can be made on our contributions page any time, at gayheadlight.org. The Save the Light Committee is hosting a finish line party at the Aquinnah Shop Restaurant atop the cliffs, fom 3 to 5 Saturday afternoon. Despite the pressure of this deadline, Mr. Gaines feels safe in saying he will arrive at the finish line within this time frame.

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Tuesday night’s concert, featuring Rosanne Cash and her husband John Leventhal, raised about $127,000 for the Save the Gay Head Light Committee. — Michael Cummo

Rosanne Cash and her husband, John Leventhal, a duet in every sense of the word, treated a sold-out Martha’s Vineyard audience to a display of their rich musical and songwriting talents at Flatbread Company on Tuesday night, and in the process raised a heap of money for the effort to save the Gay Head lighthouse. For those who paid $200 and more for a ticket, donating money never sounded so good.

Tony Shalhoub, left, and Lenny Butler worked the crowd during the auction portion.
Tony Shalhoub, left, and Lenny Butler worked the crowd during the auction portion.

Aside from her well-known country music lineage as the eldest daughter of the legendary late Johnny Cash, for some time now Rosanne Cash has added considerable accomplishments to her personal and professional resumé. Singer, songwriter, author, and mother of four daughters and one son, she is a star in her own right, and on Tuesday night she shared her insights on life with the audience through her music.

Many of the songs were drawn from her latest album, “The River & the Thread,” her first album in four years, which her husband produced and arranged.

“Cash comes full circle as a storyteller and singer of exceptional grace and grit,” James Reed of the Boston Globe wrote in a review. “It’s among her finest work in a 35-year career, assured and at ease, and one of 2014’s first great albums.”

Each song is built on a story drawn from shared experiences of Ms. Cash and Mr. Leventhal during a series of road trips through the south and a reconnection with the southern culture that defined her childhood. In brief introductions, Ms. Cash described the foundation of each song. For example, “Etta’s Tune,” a sweet ballad, tells the story of Etta and Marshall Grant, her father’s longtime bassplayer. The couple remained married for 65 years, a record in the industry of touring bands, Ms. Cash said. Every morning when they woke, she said, they asked each other, “What’s the temperature, darlin’?’’

Rosanne Cash, playing with husband John Leventhal.
Rosanne Cash, playing with husband John Leventhal.

Ms. Cash’s songs provide a narrative of her not always easy life. Her interaction with Mr. Leventhal, alone on the stage with their guitars, provided a sense of intimacy and a display of Mr. Leventhal’s musicianship, which might not have come across so easily in a larger venue.

The evening began with an auction of five items, that included a trip to a resort in the southwest and a week in a Paris flat, that raised a total of $27,000. Actor and Chilmark resident Tony Shalhoub brought his deadpan skills to the job of auctioneer with able assistance from straight man builder Lenny Butler of Aquinnah, who heads the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee.

“It is not an easy thing to move a lighthouse, and it isn’t cheap,” Mr. Butler said, noting that after the night the committee expected to be half way to its goal of $3 million to save the iconic beacon.

In a conversation with The Times following a sound check Tuesday afternoon, Ms. Cash, who was greatly looking forward to a nap after a long drive from Truro where she had performed the night before, spoke about her connection to the New England and the ocean.

A portion of the sold-out crowd.
A portion of the sold-out crowd.

Ms. Cash said the Vineyard connection stems from the long friendship between her husband and master guitar restorer Flip Scipio, husband of Mitzi Pratt, one of the organizers of the effort to save the lighthouse that is now within 46 feet of the cliff edge. Ms. Cash and Ms. Pratt got to know each other last year when Ms. Cash asked Ms. Pratt, a custom book binder, to bind a book as a special gift for her husband.

“Mitzi just asked us, she was involved with this, with saving the lighthouse and asked us to do it and I thought, what could be bad about this? Saving a lighthouse, coming to the Vineyard in July, seeing friends. So we’re here.”

Ms. Cash has roots in the area. “My first Cash ancestors went to Salem, and then a group of them went to Nantucket. And William Cash was a whaling captain in the early 19th century. In fact, the jawbone of the whale that hangs in the town museum was brought by William Cash.”

Ms. Cash, who now makes her home in New York City, has written about the sense of loss she felt when she moved from Malibu to Nashville and was not near the ocean.

“The ocean is like religion to me, I don’t feel myself unless I get a regular trip to the ocean.”

Asked what she misses about the south, Ms. Cash said, “The food. Really good cornbread. And sweet tea, but I don’t have to miss the south, I go down often enough.”

Being a mother, she said, helps feed her songwriting. “Getting your heart opened, getting your heart broken, you wrangle with all your deep issues, so all of that goes into songwriting somewhere or other.”

Writing songs or prose all require discipline, she said. She said she has no preference but that songwriting is her first love. “I do love the prescribed nature of songwriting that your lyrics are married to a melody and you’ve got to do it in four minutes. I like those limitations.”

She and her husband have been performing together for about 20 years. “We enjoy it,” she said. “We do this duo show quite a lot. It is intimate — we play off each other.”

On Tuesday night, the audience got to listen in.

The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse committee is committed to raising $3 million to complete the project before next spring. For more information, visit gayheadlight.org.