As I pull into the Grange Hall parking lot in West Tisbury five minutes before nine, I see Ashley Hunter eyeing the cyclists assembled for the weekly Vineyard Off-Road Bicycling Association (VORBA) ride. It’s a cold, but not frigid, early winter morning, and the half-dozen riders are regulars, which simplifies Ashley’s task: gauging the abilities of the group and deciding on the skeleton of a route – though the ride’s path always changes once we’re underway.

By Jim Miller


Legend has it that in 1816 Henry Hall of Barnstable County cleared the brush from around some native cranberry plants, and as a result, sand from a nearby dune blew onto the plot. Henry was surprised to find that instead of the cranberries being destroyed, they actually flourished and produced a wonderful crop. And so was born the modern cultivated cranberry bog.

By Geoff Currier


A real estate agent once told me of a client who rented a house for a month unseen, made ferry reservations, and drove out to Chilmark, only to discover that his Porsche didn’t have enough clearance to get down his mile-and-a-half dirt driveway. Dirt roads do much to give the Vineyard its rural character, but don’t let their natural appearance fool you – they require more upkeep than Joan Rivers.

By Geoff Currier


“You should try yoga.” It was a suggestion I’d been hearing for years – everyone from my mother, to my doctor, to any number of bendy, mat-toting friends seemed to have an opinion – but it wasn’t until a well-meaning pharmacist delicately noted my frequent splurges on over-the-counter sleep aids that I finally sat up and took notice. “I hear it helps you sleep,” he said, eyeing my basket full of Benadryl and Tylenol PM.

By Alexandra Bullen Couts


It’s a lucky thing for Steve Ewing that he works on the water. If he toiled on the land, he’d never earn a dime, because he’s one of those Vineyard guys who can’t walk more than twenty-five yards down a village street without running into someone he knows.

By Tom Dunlop


I know it’s called the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, but for a lot of anglers it’s all about the false albacore, or albies. These little ocean-going baby tuna invade the shorelines of the Vineyard sometime late in August and might stay as long as early November, with the peak of the season falling smack dab in the middle of the five-week fishing frenzy known simply as The Derby. For shore-based fly-fishermen, the albie is the perfect Derby fish.

By David W. Skok


It turns out that the ferry, in addition to being a place to get a really overpriced pretzel, is also a good spot for birding. As Susan B. “Soo” Whiting, of Chilmark, points out in the book Vineyard Birds II (Vineyard Stories, 2007), which she co-authored with Barbara B. Pesch, “Several species of gulls and terns, cormorants, sea ducks, and migratory passerines and hawks, depending on the season, may be seen from the decks of the ferries.”

By Geoff Currier


On a glorious late summer’s afternoon, the Gay Head Cliffs glow with color on one side; the sea gently laps at the warm sand on the other. Ah, nature! But on the strip of sand between cliff and sea there is what looks like a trade show for outdoor furnishings: umbrellas, coolers, chairs, tents, tote bags, volleyball nets, entire patio sets. Oh, naturists!

By Mike Seccombe