Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Visiting Cuttyhunk Island ~ #Cuttyhunk #CapeCod #vacation

Living on beautiful Cape Cod comes with a lot of summer house guests, and I wrote a post last year on some of our favorite places to take our visiting friends and family.  Since then, we discovered another amazing location within an hour's journey.  It's not a particularly easy place to get to, which surely lends to the mystique and charm.  But it was on my bucket list, so we set up a plan with our neighbors to explore Cuttyhunk Island one day when the seas were calm.

Approaching Cuttyhunk
Cuttyhunk is the very last island in the chain of the Elizabeth Islands, which extend from Woods Hole at the extreme southwest corner of Cape Cod.  The Elizabeth Islands consist of: Nonamesset, Veckatimest, Uncatena, Naushon, Weepecket Islands, Pasque, Nashawena, Penikese, and Cuttyhunk.  All of these islands, with the exception of Penikese and Cuttyhunk, are privately owned by the Forbes family.  Penikese, the past site of Massachusetts's only leper colony, is now a bird sanctuary with no permanent inhabitants. Cuttyhunk is more accessible to visitors; but just because it's open to the public does not mean it's an easy exit off a turnpike!  You either need a private boat--and somewhere to tie up--or a ticket for the one ferry service out of New Bedford.

We had the boat part covered, and thanks to one of our friend's connections, we secured both a place to tie up and a golf cart, which is how most people get around the island.  We did not see many cars.  It truly felt like being in a different world.  About 86 people live on Cuttyhunk year round (that number swells to 400 in the summer), and at the time of our visit, the one-room school house only had 2 students enrolled - a pair of siblings.

Old Coast Guard Station
On our way in, we passed an old Coast Guard station, which I had to take a picture of, since my hubby was an officer in the Coast Guard.  The station has not been active since 1964, but there are still a few signs of military presence on the island.  Lookout Hill is the highest point of the island (154 feet above sea level), and it was home to one of the six defensive bunkers built by the Coast Guard in 1941 to watch the surrounding seas for Nazi U-boats.

Once we'd tied the boat off, we got our first look at the "Fish Dock", an adorable little boardwalk with a few shops dedicated to food or fishing.  There's actually only one "store" on the island, which we visited, plus another tiny indoor/outdoor boutique where I bought an old bottle that had washed up from the ocean.  Supplies and mail come in from the New Bedford ferry trips, and in many ways, that's the lifeline to the mainland.  There is no doctor on the island.  One church serves all religions, with time slots set up to accommodate all.

The Fish Dock
On the same street as the church, you'll find the Cuttyhunk Historical Society and Museum of the Elizabeth Islands, a treasure trove of information staffed with friendly volunteers.  A large part of the exhibit is dedicated to the history of the Cuttyhunk Club, an exclusive fishing club formed in 1864 by wealthy and powerful men from New York, who purchased a large portion of the island. The Cuttyhunk Fishing Club is now a tranquil Bed and Breakfast with eight guest rooms.

There are three beaches on Cuttyhunk: Barges Beach, The Channel Beach, and Church's Beach.  We got to see all three, courtesy of our borrowed golf cart.  We also brought our lunch up to Lookout Hill, which offers picnic benches along with a stunning view of the island and the surrounding water.

A view from Lookout Hill

It was such a memorable day, and a fascinating peek at life on a remote island paradise. Someday we hope to go back and stay for a few days.  If you ever have a chance to visit, it is worth the effort!  And until then, if you'd like to visit Cape Cod through the pages of a book, GULL HARBOR will bring you to our sandy shores as psychic medium Claire Linden struggles to unravel a mysterious haunting...and deal with the sudden appearance of her ex-boyfriend, who promised to love her forever, then abandoned her on graduation day without a hint of an explanation.  Steamy romance and spooky suspense combine to make it a page-turning read...and right now, this #1 Kindle Bestseller is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time!  Grab your copy, put up your feet, and come to the beach.

A dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend
await Claire in Cape Cod's Gull Harbor...

No comments:

Post a Comment