Exploring Cuttyhunk

photos: New England Boating

The Northeast is home to many different types of boating destinations. Some boaters seek the bright lights of a city; a place with exciting nightlife, fancy restaurants and lots to do. Others seek out places where they can get away from it all; a place where they can enjoy a sense of solitude, get some peace and quiet, and be surrounded by natural beauty. For those looking for a simple, scenic, peaceful destination, the Massachusetts island of Cuttyhunk is among the best destinations in New England.

Located at the southern end of the Elizabeth Islands, Cuttyhunk is known for its breathtaking natural scenery and peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. It is home to a tiny village surrounded by gorgeous views and beautiful beaches. It also has a protected harbor, great fishing nearby, and it is a short trip back to civilization.

Boaters approaching Cuttyhunk from the north will find it easiest to enter Cuttyhunk Harbor from the east. From the east or southeast, enter Buzzards Bay via Quicks Hole, then head west until you see the red/white “CH” buoy southeast of Penikese Island and follow the buoys leading to the inner harbor. While some boaters may be tempted to enter the harbor using the Canapitsit Channel, anyone unfamiliar with it should avoid this dangerous, rocky inlet.

In the harbor, you can find slips, moorings and fuel at Cuttyhunk Marina (www.cuttyhunkmarina.net; 508-990-7578). Also, Jenkins Moorings (508-996-9294; VHF 9) has moorings in the inner and outer harbor, while Frog Pond Marine (508-992-7530; VHF 72) has moorings in the outer harbor. The island is also a short trip from larger destinations with more marine services.

Cuttyhunk’s appeal is its quite village and beaches, so it doesn’t have a lot of attractions. But while there you’ll want to visit the Cuttyhunk Historical Society’s Museum of the Elizabeth Islands (www.cuttyhunkhistoricalsociety.org; 508 984-4611), which has exhibits on the island’s history and ecology. For dinner, check out the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club (www.cuttyhunkfishingclub-bb.com; 508-992-5585). The club, established in 1864, is now a restaurant and bed and breakfast overlooking Vineyard Sound. Bart’s Cart offers breakfast and lunch at the town docks, weather permitting. And Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farms (www.cuttyhunkshellfish.com; 508-971-1120) is a floating raw bar that will deliver to your boat.