Wampum designs on exhibit in Aquinnah


Many people this week had ship fever, the ship in question being the Charles W. Morgan, the oldest wooden whaling ship left in the world. For the past week the ship has been docked at the Tisbury Wharf in Vineyard Haven. The Morgan lives in Mystic Seaport and the journey here was her thirty-eighth. Some people went out on their boats as she made her way up the Sound, and they said to see her under sail was a beautiful sight. Many people described their visits to the boat as like “going back in time” or of having a very deep historical and spiritual connection to the Island and its whaling ancestors. As beautiful as the ship is, no one can deny that it must have been a very intimate and at times tedious existence for its crew  — sailing, hunting, killing and processing whales and living side by side for three years at a time. Flip Scipio of Aquinnah summed it up when he told me, “The smell on board must have been awful.”

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open this upcoming week on Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday from 11 am to 4 pm. You can stop by any time during those hours and see their new exhibits and get a tour of the homestead.

There is still money available to qualified Aquinnah residents for child care subsidies. Applications are available at Town Hall.

While you’re at Town Hall you can pick up your Philbin Beach sticker and your new resident parking pass from Carolyn Feltz, Monday through Saturday mornings until noon.

Joan LeLacheur is having an open studio this Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm at 42 Old South Road. Beautiful reflections of summer in new designs of wampum, in combination with abalone, moonsnail, and pearls. She will have another one on July 5. You can contact Joanie at 508-645-9954 or Joanlela57@gmail.com.

Here is someone who is really committed to the cause — the cause being the relocation of the Gay Head Light. Dana Gaines, 56, will kayak around the entire Island to benefit the restoration and relocation of the Gay Head Lighthouse. Gaines will be raising funds through the website Indiegogo, where contributors can pledge donations to his 52-mile trip to benefit the lighthouse’s move. Gaines has circumnavigated the Island before: in September of 2012 he and two friends actually set the record of eleven hours and four minutes. Now I like kayaking, but that is a long time in a not very big boat. He is of course hoping to beat his record this time around. You can go directly to the Indiegogo website to donate or you can go to savethegayheadlight.org as well. The paddle is scheduled for Saturday, August 9, with a possible rain date of Sunday, August 10. Gaines will also be sharing his training through a blog, where he will be posting frequent training updates in preparation for the 52-mile trip, from paddling to cycling and running. Go Dana!

I received news of this very sweet sounding wedding the other day. Forty-seven year summer resident, Christopher Mead of Erie, Penn.. married his sweetheart of 17 years, Traci Lockwood (also of Erie) on the beach surrounded by Traci’s daughters, Carly and Brianne, and close family in a heart-shaped formation created by sun-drenched rocks. They exchanged vows on Monday, June 16, at 4 pm. Don’t think that just because the wedding was on the beach that it was without technology. They streamed the wedding over the Internet so that parents Sandra Mead and Julie and Al Rekitt could “attend.” The bride walked from the Rainbow house over a dune lead by her daughters and flower girl and niece Sierra Donn. Attending family included the groom’s sister, Karen Mead, brother Eric Mead of San Jose, Calif., nephew Morgan Donn and brother-in-law Randy Donn. Vicky Hanjian of Oak Bluffs officiated. After all those years together it sounds like it was about time to make it official, and it also seems like it was a lovely wedding filled with family.

Former Aquinnah resident Siobhan Westcott celebrates her birthday on Tuesday. Happy Birthday, Siobhan!