I climbed up Mt. Everest at age 7 and lived in some of the most remote and exotic corners of the earth, BUT I have yet to explore much of the United States. Thus, I decided it was time to venture east to the distant land of Boston and check out the lost island of Martha’s Vineyard.
I settled nicely into New England life, excited to surf a new land!
With no waves on the horizon, I teamed up with the awesome “Fish Brothers” who run the Los Angeles Malibu Surfrider Foundation. They grew up surfing the Vineyard.
They showed me around their home turf and we teamed up for an epic beach adventure that turned into “operation clean up.”
We went for a beach walk at Zack’s Cliffs that turned into a Macgyver-style cleanup where I combined my survival skills with my love for the environment to create a “trash sleigh!”
Before you buy a “Happy birthday balloon, think about where it may end up!
Getting to attend the elegant and perfectly quaint Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival was a highlight of my adventure. I saw a timely movie called “Divide in Concord” about an incredible eighty-four-year-old woman named Jean Hill who spent years relentlessly spearheading a cause to make concord Massachusetts the first town in the US to ban the use of single-serve plastic bottles of water. I hope she is a witty and wonderful inspiration to us all!
Here is us all at the festival! Isn’t she adorable? If she can do it so can we too!
I even got to surf with the film festival director Thomas Bena, who rides a wave with the same skill, ease, and smile that he rocks while putting on a great film festival! Here he is surfing Hurricane Arthur.
I attended this festival thanks to Barbara Lee who started the Barbara Lee Foundation. The Barbara Lee Family Foundation advances women’s equality and representation in American politics and in the field of contemporary art through nonpartisan political research, strategic partnerships, and grantmaking.
Serendipitously, Barbara was a founder of the White House Project that brought me to NYC a few years back when I was honored by Meryl Streep and many other incredible women like Kerry Washington and Gina Davis for being a top emerging filmmaker through their EPIC awards.
Barbara’s wisdom and commitment to helping women shine and be themselves across all platforms is truly inspiring! I will probably run for president now after reading her Keys to Elected Office: The Essential Guide for Women ????
She showed me her ancient fossil collection including whale bones from millions and millions of years ago that were found on Martha’s Vineyard.
The island is rich in history and I could still feel the powerful remnants of the Wampanoag Native American culture that once inhabited this area. Many names of the places on the island still hold their Wampanoag names like Gay Head which is natively know as Aquinnah where a tribe still lives and operates businesses mainly devoted to tourism and seafood.
After having blue corn pancakes at The Aquinnah Shop, I met a lovely young girl named Jessica Helen who makes local hand made jewelry which she sells at Hawk House and on Etsy.
I love my fossilized shark took necklace from her, and it seemed an appropriate special souvenir because the film Jaws was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard.
I think it protected and saved my life while trying to surf Hurricane Arthur in the sharkiest conditions I’ve ever seen!
Luckily the next day Hurricane Arthur moved on and left us with one of most picturesque memorable surf days of my life. The waves were not huge, but my smile was!
Here is the only photo captured of me surfing Hurricane Arthur…thanks to the Fish Brothers for capturing this one.
An adventure would just not be an adventure without CHOCOLATE! I waited in line for a half hour and it was well worth it ????
I can’t wait to return one day. If you live in the area, keep me in the fruit loop if you see a big hurricane on the horizon!
alison keep on doing what your doing