Summertime on Martha’s Vineyard is definitely wonderful, adding adventures to other Islands can make it even more memorable. Come Island hop with us and Island Girl Excursions.
WE LOVE MV: Island Hopping With Island Girl Excursions – Meet The Captain
Captain Eamonn Solway and his wife Rebecca wanted to spend more time on the water with their family. What better way to do this than getting a bigger boat? This would make the surrounding waters more accessible. Eamonn, a full-time paramedic, has his Captain’s license, so why not get a boat big enough for charters?
In 2019, the Solway family had Island Girl made for them, and she made it into the waters of Martha’s VIneyard in June. Island Girl has been sailing people off to new adventures since.
WE LOVE MV: Island Hopping With Island Girl Excursions – Out On The Boat
We met Eamonn at the Owen Park dock in Vineyard Haven. You can also be picked up in Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, or West Basin, making it really convenient no matter where you are on the Island. With COVID, we went over safety procedures, and what was required from us. It was easy to comply, and the boat was exceptionally clean.
Then, off we went, sailing past West Chop, Makonikey, and Chilmark, admiring the beautiful landscape and homes that line the shores. We were headed to Cuttyhunk. A trip that has been on my Vineyard Bucket List for years, and can finally be crossed off thanks to Island Girl Excursions!
We sailed passed Naushon Island, privately owned by the Forbes family, admiring its natural landscape, and learning so much about it from Eamonn. Did you know that Naushon is home to one of the oldest lighthouses in Cape Cod? Eamonn is extremely knowledgeable about the Elizabeth Islands and is a great guide. Naushon really is beautiful, and I think a trip to Tarpaulin Cove or Kettle Cove for swimming is next on my list!
Then we sailed past Pasque Island, very small and beautiful. Up next was Nashawena Island which was quite large. Here, there were a couple of houses visible from the shores. The island is known for its cows in the water, a very special variety, Scottish Highland cattle. Yes, cows like the ocean too. We were not disappointed for we saw a small heard of cows in the water and one even sunbathing. Seeing these large animals with their imposing horns in such a state of leisure was really something.
One of the best parts of the trip came next, right before Cuttyhunk, a stop off the shores of Gull Island, also known as Seal Island. I bet you can guess why! There were so many seals on this tiny stretch of sand, swimming all around the water, on the beach, sunning on rocks. They are curious, so some swam closer to the boat, and boy are they vocal. This was especially fun for the kids!
WE LOVE MV: Cuttyhunk
Island Girl Excursions is well known by the harbormaster on Cuttyhunk, and greeted the boat fondly, offering a great place to dock for our outing. We planned for about an hour onshore.
We sailed into the harbor, passing sunbathers from boats sprinkled along the shores. It was a Monday, so there were not as many as you’d find out on the weekend. One of the most notable things was the number of golf carts. There are very few cars and golf carts are the preferred mode of transportation (definitely fun on an Island).
Once we docked, Eamonn gave us the lay of the land so to speak. Cuttyhunk is very small. There are a couple of places to grab a bite, a place for ice cream, a general store (closed sadly when we went), and a landmark not to be missed — Lookout Park.
Cuttyhunk is at the end of the Elizabeth Islands chain. Lookout Park or sometimes called Lookout Hill, sits on the highest point of the Island. From here, you can see for miles and miles on a clear day. This spot was important during WWII because you could see activity in the surrounding waters. The bunker is now buried but there is a viewing platform that offers a stunning 360-degree view. Also, the walk up the wall lined street to the platform offers amazing views as well.
After visiting Lookout Park, it was time for ice cream for the kiddos and a treat for the parents. The kids got store-made ice cream sandwiches from the only game in town. Of course, the cold treats were delicious and a nice reprieve from the hot summer day.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so we opted for local oysters from Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farm raw bar. I can’t resist fresh oysters harvested from the local waters! What a treat to sit on the water, enjoy local bounty and explore the other businesses on the small wharf. Parents and kids were both very happy.
Back onto Island Girl, and back home to Martha’s Vineyard we went. It was actually on the way home we were able to see the cows on Nashawena. We had sailed through Robinson’s Hole on the way to Cuttyhunk and through Quick’s Hole on the way home (both different passages through the Elizabeth Islands) allowing for different vistas.
Sailing home was bittersweet. I wanted to spend more time on Cuttyhunk, walk its trails or watch the sunset from its shore, but the Vineyard sure is special in its own way, and there really is no place like home (or Martha’s Vineyard).
WE LOVE MV: Choose Your Island Girl Adventure
How to have your Island Girl Excursion? It’s easy! Visit their website and choose your adventure. They offer a number of options in addition to Cuttyhunk Island Sightseeing. You can go to Nantucket, have an Elizabeth Islands Beach Day, an Aquinnah Cliffs Adventure Day, fishing and more!
So, choose your Vineyard Bucket List adventure, click here, and experience the Island or surrounding islands in a whole new way! It is $175 per hour, with a minimum of three hours. Not to worry, there is a head (bathroom) aboard Island Girl. Not only will you have a unforgettable experience, but you will also leave the boat with a lot more understanding of the neighboring Islands.
Island Girl Excursions is only one experience to add to your summer on the Vineyard. Whatever you do, we hope that you have a wonderful time. Summer is in full swing! It promises to be a summer of new experiences, finding new favorites — enjoying the Vineyard unscripted. Reimagined. We Love MV is our ongoing series capturing the new spirit of summer.
Author’s Note: As a family, this was definitely one of our favorite days of the summer, a tough one to beat. Eamonn was so great, as a captain and a guide. We felt welcomed and safe and left feeling grateful for all that we experienced!
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