For most of Chatham’s history, rip currents have meant striped bass. A plethora of stripers. However, in the 1970’s, stocks of this vaunted gamefish plummeted, which led to size limitations and regulations that conservationists and fishermen hoped would restore the species’ numbers. To many anglers, especially younger ones, the striper was verging on mythical status, an amazing creature that could no longer be found, like a dragon or a griffin. However, the conservation measures actually worked. Over the next twenty years, the striper population grew, and the rips off Chatham’s coast once again teem with schoolies and lunkers feasting upon squid rushing through the currents and chop. In a time when much news of the environment has been grim, the restoration of the striper, and the revitalization of Chatham’s rips, have been bright spots. Each year, the islands and shoals move a little, the sands shift, and the channels reassert themselves in new configurations, but the rips reemerge, and the stripers flock to them in June and July in an incredible example of rebirth.
Riptide, an iconic home on Shore Road, shares more in common than just its name with the story of the local fish and the rips. It, too, has long been a fixture of Chatham’s landscape; a 2021 BRICC Award Winner, this iconic home, like Chatham’s currents, has undergone a number of significant shifts. Since its original construction, various owners have completed three major renovations; the most recent is the most magnificent and vibrant yet. The integrated architecture and construction firm of Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders (PSD) are responsible for the two most recent reconsiderations of Riptide. Both times the thoughtful professionals took care to preserve the home’s historic appearance while updating its features in ways that have allowed its owners to optimize their own life in the home’s location upon Chatham Harbor.