Many years ago when we were on a charter trip to Lanzarote with the whole family we wanted to see more of the island and as the charter company offered bus tours on the island we choose one of these tours. The one that we choose had as main attraction the Emerald Green Lagoon, and as supporting selling argument they also through in some albino cray fish. It was with great expectation the whole family went on this tour, but it was rather disappointing. The Emerald Green Lagoon, was a pond about 75 meters in diameter full of seaweed which made it green, with a lot of imagination one could call it Emerald Green. Along most of the coast line in Sweden we have the similar seaweed, and it is not very popular at all, as it foul the water front were we take our summer bath and sometimes we have to put a lot of efforts to clean the beaches from the sea weed. The cray fish yes they were albinos totally white, one found them in a “pond” a few meters in diameter and they were in the size of normal ant, not very exciting. Since that we have learned that most places has it’s “Emerald Green Lagoon”, most often as they do not have very much more to offer but also surprisingly enough even places with a lot to offer, offer “Emerald Green Lagoons”. We have over the years learned not to visit such places but now and then we do fall into the trap.
When we got to Martha’s Vineyard we visited the tourist information to get information about buses and what to see, one of the main attractions of the day was the Farmers fairs, it sounded interesting, maybe we can buy some nice vegetables and other homemade stuff we thought. But this was not very exciting, maybe for children as they had an amusement “park”, pig race and a some animals that kids probably loved
Pig race, they run around the short court and swam a few meters the kids liked it.
Big bulls rather impressive size, they had a bull polling contest, we thought it might be how much can a bull pull, but no it was precisions pulling, not very action packed.
After a while we got hungry and there were many places to choose from, but this hamburger place managed by the fire brigade had by fare the longest queue, I asked the one in the queue is it really worth to stand in this long queue, absolutely it is the best hamburgers on the island they said. It was not, but the profit went to a scholarship so we were happy anyway.
The main attraction for me were old engines like this old combustion engine that was running at very low revs one could count every cycle, very charming
I would have guest that it was older but this kind of engine was made between 1925 and 1930.
This farmer’s fair definitely could be categorized as an “Emerald Green Lagoon”.
You might think I’m unthankful, maybe so, but the rest of our experience of Martha’s Vineyard was very delightful.
Once up on a time a Captain Valentine Pease lived in Edgartown and he became the inspiration to Captain Ahab in Herman Melvilles novel Moby Dick.
The home of Captain Pease
He had a nice view of the water front.
Edgartown has also a past related to whaling industry, which has brought a lot of wealth to the town, which is showed by the many very nice old wooden houses
A very impressive tree,
A giant Pagoda tree indicating trading with Asia in the old days.
Today the harbor is very busy not with sailing ship but leisure boats
Nice seafront villas.
Old restored “sea shed”, we have similar in Sweden one see a lot of them, especially on the west coast of Sweden, they use the same technique for the foundation
Very simple and efficient foundation seen all over the world, even in the posh Edgartwon.
Edgartown is very popular and we can understand why, another evidence of its popularity was also showed in the massive buss queue back to Vineyard Haven were we had anchored Kerpa.
Luckily extra busses were in traffic so we did not need to wait for more than maybe 15 minutes and three busses.
Menmsha is another very charming fishing village on the North Wester side of Martha’s Vineyard, it was here they filmed part of the old cult movie The Jaws. Don’t miss the village if you are in the neighborhood, it is very charming.
We were recommended to have our lunch at “The Bite” a small fast food place where they do excellent fish food according to some of the verdicts from “Active Captain”
Again a rather long queue even as we were there well after lunch hour, it was not cheap as one maybe could expect from the appearance, on the contrary but it tasted good, and we consumed it in a very nice environment
down at the beach
There were other more chic places which served exclusive delicatessen such as oysters and other sea food.
The harbor in Menemsha.
Another very interesting village is Oaks Bluff, it attracts loads of tourists by boat, ferry and car. You see cars everywhere in all tourist places, unfortunately that take away some of the charm, but despite the cars Oaks Bluff is a very nice place.
This time the harbor was extra full of boats due to the annual 40.000$ fireworks, but the harbor is probably pretty busy all days during season.
Some has more fishing rods than others.
There are loads of very old well maintained wooden houses, with a lot of “snicker glädje” we say in Sweden, direct translated “carpenters delight”, very nice to look at but a burden to maintain.
Most of them in excellent conditions, the pressure from neighbors to keep the house and garden in good order must be immense. One of the houses had a Finnish flag the lady in the house was Finnish and we had a chat, she confirmed a lot of job to keep the house up to standard, probably as much job as to keep a cruising boat up to standard.
The whole place was as an open air museum.
We anchored in Vineyard Haven, the main anchorage, but I would recommend to anchor outside Edgartown it’s a nicer place, both of them are exposed to northerly wind, and instead of taking the bus to Menemsha, take your own boat and anchor outside it’s very beautiful and not very much more exposed than Vineyard Haven.
View from the dingy dock, looks as a very calm and peaceful place.
With old sailing boats cruising the bay were we were anchored.
But also very modern “vessels” this kite surfer was very fast on his foil, he came by and said hallo, his wife was from Sweden. One get surprised how many Americans we meet that have Swedish connections.
Each village we have visited has had its own police force and Police station.
This policeman we meet in Oaks Bluff, he had nothing against us taking a photo of him, on the contrary.
Two police cars one from the station in Oaks bluff the other one from the station in Edgartown, and we also saw policemen in small type electric golf cars type polis vehicle from the station in Menemsha.
So at least three different stations on the Island, it could probably be more as there are six towns on the island. The total population is less than 20000, but during holiday period there are around 100.000 persons on the island. This is a holiday place for the very rich, some example of visitors are Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, the Clintons, Beyoncé, but if one google and scratch the surface there is also a dark side with alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide. So police is probably necessary. It is interesting to compare with Sweden. If one read and believe the Swedish newspapers, large areas are without Police stations, it could be several 100’s of kilometers to the nearest police station in less populated areas (N.b Sweden is a rather large country compared with how many lives in Sweden, about 20 persons per sq km, if I remember right). It get worse during summer when we are on holiday. Even at the most exposed areas to crime some police stations could be force to close during summer due to lack of policemen. One can read in the newspapers that insecurity is increasing among the citizens, several investigations show that, as well as that gang crime are increasing, solved criminal cases going down year by year and are on a (modern) historic low level. The politicians are competing with promises how much more resources the police authority will get if they win the next election.
So how many policemen are there in USA respectively in Sweden. Obviously it has to be much more in the USA as one can see them everywhere? Even at the most calm places were the need of a policeman does not looks very necessary. Well 2012 USA had 256 polis officers per 100.000 citizens, and Sweden had 208 Police officers per 100.000, but it was 280 officers per 100.000 citizen 1995 so numbers has gone down in Sweden. Other examples New Zeeland 247, Australia 217, Austria 326, UK 307 and Finland 143 polis officer per 100.000 citizens. Well what’s my point? Not sure myself, but I believe it’s important that the policemen are visible on the streets, especially in areas where crime is high, so people regain their feel of security when walking the streets, that’s one very important responsibility for the government whatever color it has.
Police station in Oaks Bluff, looks as an attractive place for an office.