From the Editor

I feel as if I’m in graduate school and Martha’s Vineyard is my field of study. It’s the middle of my fifth year on the Island, and I’ve completed my undergrad by learning the basics: year-round living, water-based recreation, small-town politics, and more. Now I’m delving deeper, revisiting some familiar subjects in a new way.

The opening at Norton Point in Edgartown occurred during my first year here. I remember coming to work after the Patriots Day holiday and hearing not only about the breach but about a dead body that was found in the harbor. The cut at Norton Point was something to be expected occasionally at a barrier beach like that, and there was some talk about how soon it would come back together. The dead body was much more of a surprise.

Here we are four years later, and the murder – though officially unsolved – seems to have an explanation. The breach, on the other hand, not only remains open, but it’s the first time since the sixties that this kind of migrating opening has so dramatically affected the Vineyard and those of us who live and visit here.

At first I went to the beach at Norton Point to experience the waters rushing through the opening – and actually floated along the bay side and around to the ocean. I also saw the strong currents in the harbor both from shore and from boats. Since last summer, I’ve tagged along a bit with writer Tom Dunlop as he’s been researching the magazine’s special report on the subject – a three-part series (pages 44, 46, and 60) plus additional coverage on our website, I highly recommend a trip to Chappaquiddick to see the changing coastline firsthand – you may find it’s an educational adventure for you too.