A Salty Corner

Edgartown waterfront, Dock Street and Memorial Wharf.

Edgartown waterfront. A capstan on the left offers further evidence of this town’s rich history.

There is a pretty spot along the Edgartown waterfront that could be named “Salty Mechanic’s Corner.” I’ve noticed a more than usual number of boat mechanics working away in the span of these long-summer days. There is the big powerboat, the sailboat, the little powerboat and a high tech law enforcement boat. And not too far along the dock, there are a couple of fishing boats, worked hard, that make daily trips at dawn to Nantucket Sound and back.

Being among this fleet of character vessels and a sailor, I applaud our small commonality as mariners with boats. We share not only the same water, the same views of the harbor, similar issues and sometimes the same dock line obstacles. We represent a piece of the history of the town. Edgartown is rich in maritime lore. With so much gentrification of this lovely town in so many other places, I guess we are the last part of a town that has changed so much.

But in truth, add to this little neighborhood, the occasional presence of what every mariner appreciates avoiding and not being a neighbor too…. a persistent or an “out of nowhere” mechanical problem

We are stewards and love and hate our Allen wrenches, screwdrivers and damp oil soaked rags. And we also love our time, that deliberate quiet moment to ourselves on the water, as long as we are not stuck. Our boats work. So don’t think I am describing a waterfront junkyard or a place for dereliction of duty. No.

The boats in this dockside corner do the business of the harbor. These boats fish, and they crisscross the familiar and not so familiar waters, picking up and delivering happiness for their owners…. nearly all the time.

Edgartown waterfront, Dock Street and Memorial Wharf.

Edgartown waterfront. A view from atop Memorial Wharf.

These boats look just great and have character, especially to those who visit and watch from afar.

Sidewalk mariners are mesmerized by what they see in our boats and along the dock. We are the old Edgartown. Our visitors wander by comfortably and enjoy what they see and they are mostly unaware of the challenges of boat ownership. Don’t ask these visitors how to do an oil change or how they’d feel after recovering a water soaked cell phone out of the bilge. With ice cream cones in one hand, and a camera in the other, they happily compose and take lovely pictures.

Mind you, we are not always appropriately dressed for all this visual attention. Every photograph, painting and drawing they take of us is a keepsake. We are part of an idyllic spot and the cameras are clicking.

Again, all our boats work; but it seems not all at the same time.