With that as motivation, I plan to start beneath the cliffs at dawn on August 9th-- weather permitting-- and hopefully arrive back below the light in late afternoon.... ideally beating the record of 11 hours and 4 minutes which two friends and I set in 2012. The date was picked to coincide with favorable tidal currents which run strong up and down Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds, and are absolutely key to a successful circumnavigation by paddle-power. The course is roughly triangular, comprised of 16 miles in Vineyard Sound, 14 miles in Nantucket Sound, and 22 miles in the open Atlantic. The direction I choose will depend entirely on the wind forecast for that day-- but given the prevailing summer southwest breeze, odds are 80% that it will be the counter-clockwise route. If the wind is simply too strong for safe paddling, the following day will offer equally advantageous currents for an early morning start.
I hope that you can support me with a donation in any amount. While the Gay Head Light is particularly dear to the residents of the town of Aquinnah-- including members of the Wampanoag tribe whose roots go back 10,000 years-- it is also a beloved icon to residents of the five other island towns, a "must see" for all visitors to Martha's Vineyard (presidents included), and a national treasure with a storied history, listed as one of America's 11 most endangered places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Most critically, it stands as an enduring symbol of our nation's past, and reassuring presence for all who are touched by the sweep of its beacon. Together, let's keep the light upright and burning!