Maritime Month

About Maritime Month

In September 2017, the Oak Bluffs Public Library celebrated the first Maritime Month to honor local mariner, Gordon Goodwin, whose family had donated a memorial fund to the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs with the request to add maritime collections and programming in the library. In Gordon Goodwin’s memory, the library plans to host Maritime Month each September to celebrate our island’s maritime culture.


Maritime Month Programming

2023 – 7th Annual Maritime Month Flyer


2022 – 6th Annual Maritime Month – See post to view photos of another successful year of programs.

Shellfish Seeding in Senge Wednesday September 14th at 10 am. Must pre-register by calling or emailing library 508-693-9433 or Get out your water shoes & beat-up long-sleeve or rashguard! Assist Emma Green-Beach, OB Selectperson & Director of MV Shellfish, and Chuck Fisher, OB Shellfish Constable, to empty the oyster cages and seed Sengekontacket. Volunteers will get muddy & wet up to their waist, some lifting & bending required. Bring gloves if you have them.

2021 – See what fun we had for the 5th annual Maritime Month!

Vanessa the Sea Serpent Author talk with Amelie LoyotEnjoy the video of our outdoor presentation. Also streamed on Facebook Live, this recording has better sound quality than the live stream. There is also an option to turn on closed captions for when the audio sound is low. At the end of the presentation, you will notice a guest appearance opera skit, performed by Bruce Nevin from Samuel Barber’s opera, “Vanessa”.

Maritime Reads 2021- Sunday Morning stories with Reference Librarian, Nina E. Ferry Montanile- See our Youtube Channel to listen to Nina as she reads from our Maritime Special Collection. This year we hear about the mysteries of seaglass, whaling captains of color, the Derby and fishing on MV, and ancient navigation techniques of Pacific Islanders. See all the videos on our Youtube channel:

Virtual Cooking with Carolina – Saturdays at 6pm
Every Saturday night Carolina demonstrates how to make a new recipe from her home kitchen on Facebook Live. For Maritime Month, she makes seaside classics! See all of her cooking from home videos on our Youtube Chanel:

Kayaking with Island Spirit Kayaks  See pictures from our outdoor programs! Patrons learned safety techniques from Carolyn “Chick” Stapleton and Liam Cosgrove of Island Spirit, while playing a game of “Ultimate paddle float” and touring the area.

Shellfish Propagation and conservation-

On another day, patrons were able to volunteer to help the town harvest oyster seeds and then place them in Sengekontacket for shell fishing in 2022 and beyond. Guest speakers were Emma Green-Beech, Director of MV Shellfish and Town Select Person, and Chuck Fisher, Oak Bluffs Shellfish Constable. If you are interested in volunteering for shellfish conservation in the future, we were able to accomplish massive amounts of work in a short time! Email: and I will pass on your interest in volunteering!

Fishing with Jonathan- Patrons joined librarian Jonathan on two differed mornings to fish the OB Pier. Here, Cam, Emery and Bo have big smiles!

Outdoor storytime with Mary Jane! Our first in-person storytime since the Covid-19 Pandemic began, families enjoyed a maritime themed story and yoga on our South lawn.

USS Constitution Museum video!

See this animation short on the building and launch of the USS Constitution, long retired from battle, she is still manned by active duty US Navy sailors on special assignment. For over 223 years, the ship has been integral to maritime history and can explored in Boston Harbor.
Can’t make it to Boston? The USS Constitution Museum provides a lot of remote resources for you to explore from home.
This post is part of the Oak Bluffs Library’s 5th annual Maritime Month in honor of Gordon Goodwin. Video shared with permission from © USS Constitution Museum @USSConstitutionMuseum @usscm Interested in more videos, the education series, or pictures of artifacts? See the museum’s website –





MV Museum presents Item of the Week—Thursdays at 10am
Ann DuCharm, education specialist at the MV Museum, will unveil a new mystery “Item of the Week” relating to the maritime trade. Tune in to to see the video, guess the item, and learn about additional resources.

Virtual Cooking with Carolina – Fridays at 5pm
Every Friday night Carolina demonstrates how to make a new recipe from her home kitchen on Facebook Live. Join in at

Red Sky in Morning (Roast) : Maritime Book Talk – Sundays at 8am
Library staff talk about books from our Maritime Collection. Book talks will be posted on Facebook and YouTube for you to enjoy during your Sunday morning coffee. Tune in to https://www.facebook. com/illuminateob or

Esther Aboard a Ship in Edgartown History Talk – Tuesday, September 22 at 6pm
Local history talk on “Esther aboard a ship in Edgartown” being added to the national register’ s Underground Railroad: A Zoom interview with Elaine Cawley Weintraub, Founder of African American Heritage Trail and local historian.

Intelligencer, Short Story Book Group – Tuesday, September 29 at 2pm
Join the OBPL staff as we take a quick sail back into Martha’s Vineyard maritime history. Call 508-693-9433 or email to sign up for the discussion and to get your free issue of the Intelligencer, the quarterly publication from the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society (now the MV Museum).

Special thanks to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum for sharing their resources with us. Funded by the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs through the Gordon Goodwin Maritime Fund to preserve our maritime history and culture. This program is part of our annual Maritime Month.


2019 Maritime Month Report (pdf)


Adult Events:

Boating Safety & GPS Orientation
Tuesday, Sept. 11 | 6 – 8pm
Hands-on, informative boating safety course taught by Coast Guard Auxiliary, Chris Scott.

Sailor’s Valentines chat w/ Gregg Roberts
Saturday, Sept. 15 | | 2 – 3pm
Join nationally recognized maritime artist Gregg Roberts as he describes the history, misconceptions and artistry of Sailor’s Valentines.

Knot Tying Workshop
Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 6:30 – 8pm
Join William H. Mabie, recently retired Merchant Marine, for a fun and informative knot-tying workshop.

WHOI Field Trip
Thursday, Sept. 27 | All day
Join the library for a free day trip to Woods Whole Oceanographic Institute.

Eric Jay Dolin Book Talk
Saturday, Sept. 29 | 2 – 3pm
Celebrated author Eric Jay Dolin discusses his new book Black Flags, Blue Waters, The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates about the “Golden Age” of American piracy.

Children’s Events:

Maritime Storytime
Wednesdays | 10:30am
Weekly storytimes feature a marine or ship-themed craft (Ages 3+)

Sailor’s Valentines
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 10 – 11:30am
Kids of all ages can glue shells on a simple cardboard base.

Tivoli Day
Saturday, Sept. 15 | 10am – 1pm
Stop by our booth to decorate a pirate treasure chest

“I Spy” Bottles
Thursday, Sept. 20 | 5 – 6pm
Children and teens can fill a plastic bottle with beach sand and small objects for others to find.

Scrimshaw Craft
Saturday, Sept. 29 | 10 – 11:30am
Using ivory soap and shoe polish, children and teens can create their very own scrimshaw

Saturday, Sept. 29 | 10:30 – 11:30am
Meet the Coast Guard at the library and tour a Coast Guard boat


Adult Events:

The Ocean Unites Us
Aug. 31 | 6pm
Learn about the efforts to memorialize the 400th anniversary of slavery in the US

Tour of the MV Solar Shellfish Hatchery
Sept. 2 | 10:30am
See where millions of shellfish are produced for the island every summer. Participants will be able to touch and hold baby shellfish. For more information about this organization, explore

The Literature of Adventure
Sept. 14 | 6pm
Sailor, boatbuilder and writer Harry Ricciardi – who recently returned to the island from seven months at sea with no engine – discusses some of his globe-trotting and sailing predecessors.

“Conch” Fishing & Cooking Demonstration
Sept. 28 | 6pm
Learn how local “conch” fisherman, Wes Brighton, harvests channeled whelks – then learn how to cook whelk fritters from Chef Deon Thomas.

Women and the Sea : Exploring Women’s Roles in Maritime Songs
Sept. 30 | 5pm
Join folksinger Debra Cowan as she sings songs and ballads about women of the sea

Nat Benjamin’s Sail to Haiti (Rescheduled)
Nov. 7 | 6pm
Nat Benjamin, of Gannon & Benjamin, talks about his sail to Haiti aboard Charlotte, a 50′ schooner he built. He’ll also answer questions about boat building and sailing. A re-scheduling of a presentation from September 19th.