Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for Up Island


My favorite places on Martha's Vineyard, including Aquinnah, shown above, are all "up island," which is somewhat odd because they are actually in the southwestern part of the island. I never knew why the area was called "up island" but chalked it up to typical Vineyard eccentricity.

But while researching posts for the A-Z Challenge I learned that the name comes from the fact that as you travel west on the island you move up the scale of longitude. The longitude of Aquinnah is -70.800786399999990000 while the longitude of Edgartown on the eastern edge of the island is -70.51335990000001. 

Apparently the phrase "up island" is a holdover from the island's seafaring history. So I learned something new this year thanks to the A-Z! 




My A-Z of Martha's Vineyard theme is inspired by my book, The Ghosts of Aquinnah, which is set on the island. Click here for all the info on the book.

22 comments:

  1. I can see why this place is your favorite. It's beautiful. I'm sure the view is great from it, too.

    Hugs and chocolate!

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  2. There is a lot of erosion to be seen there as your photo shows - some interesting differences in colours exposed.

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  3. Great pic! And I'm learning lots of new stuff during this A-Z Challenge. :)

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  4. So cool! I don't know what I was thinking. I think I always assumed Martha's Vineyard was just a tiny little place with the house the Kennedys live on, a few other houses, and some businesses!

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  5. I guess it is similar to research before writing a book. Writing blog posts, I mean. I have learned so much both from writing and reading blog posts.

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  6. I was about to ask what you were going to do when it came to the letters U and Z. Guess you were resourceful. Very interesting bit of information about the longitude.

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  7. @shelly, it is, definitely. Hugs back to you!

    @Bob, yeah, erosion is actually a serious problem as it is threatening the lighthouse now.

    @Alex, yay! :D

    @Madeline, that's one thing that is always fun about it. :)

    @Stephanie, yeah, I think it definitely has that image, I would probably think the same!

    @Inger, yeah, that's a good point.

    @Lee, these letters at the end of the alphabet always present such a challenge LOL.

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  8. Very interesting. I love little tidbits like that.

    True Heroes from A to Z

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  9. It's always great to learn something new. ;) I've been learning a lot of new things because of your posts for this Challenge, as well as posts from many other participants.

    I love the picture you shared! Beautiful!

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  10. How interesting and I wouldn't have thought that at all so you taught me too:)

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  11. I've always wondered that, too! Thanks for solving the mystery! :)

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  12. Ha! I like the "typical Vineyard eccentricity". But it's cool that you discovered the meaning while researching for this challenge!

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  13. Up island...in the southern part. That would be very confusing unless you knew that fact!

    River Fairchild – A to Z April Challenge
    Untethered Realms

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  14. So cool! Now I learned it too. It looks so pretty! :D

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  15. That's neat! I've learned so much on this year's A-Z!

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  16. That is a neat little fact and a neat little island :)

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  17. I'm always interested in learning new things. I'm particularly interested in how we manipulate words in Jamaica so they don't quite sound like the original. We do this with place names as well. We have some place names that make you wonder how they came to be.

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  18. Oh, that is too funny. Not too creative on their part, the naming of the island...but wait, maybe it was! Uh...getting late here and the brain just stopped. Too much A-Zing!
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  19. It's always fun to learn something new! :)

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  20. Hi Julie - interesting connotation - names always offer up much, if we can link back ..

    Love that photo of the rock and its geology features .. cheers Hilary

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  21. Thanks, Hilary! It was interesting to learn about this name as I've been wrong about it all my life LOL.

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Thank you for your comments!