Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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Wednesday I had one of those days one might expect in the spring. I was showing a first-timer some spots to find scallops. As we pulled out of Fisher’s Landing, there were orange cones and a police officer directing me to head back into town and not turn right. So Madaket was a wash, due to sewer-line installation.

As we came into town, I realized that my gas gauge was low and as I turned into a station, there were orange cones blocking the pumps and a tanker truck. I got gas across the street. After taking a look at harbor spots to try next week, I returned my student to her car. Going up Main Street, what did I spy but more orange cones on Pine Street, a police officer and yellow electric-company trucks. Hopefully, these were the only places shut down due to my case of Murphy’s Law.

We’ve fallen too quickly into fall. The weather has generally been beautiful, except the wind makes nice days feel cooler than they actually are. Between the wind and ocean swells, surfers and kite-boarders are in heaven. I do worry about some of the people who are less-than-proficient swimmers once they end up in the drink.

Our summer was outstanding. Let’s see if the next couple of months are able to match the past season’s perfection. All of the people living here for years have said that given past history, we should see another summer season like this in 15 years or so.

My first summer on-island was identical to this one, and I remember thinking how lucky I was to be living somewhere with such great weather. Despite the realization that my first summer was an aberration, my love of living here blots out any (well most) of my complaining about the weather. A perfect day on Nantucket is worth 10 anywhere else.

Now for a tremendous event that’s taking place this Saturday. The Nantucket Maritime Festival (I&M Story Here) that’s going to be held at Children’s Beach isn’t the old Seafest, but it promises to be everything that many of us remember and more. Unless it rains, show up at Children’s Beach from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.. (The rain date would be Sunday). You’d best arrive early, because the sheer number of activities to choose from would take every bit of the six hours it’s open.

There should be a flyer in the I&M to guide you to what, when and where every event is taking place. If you’re looking to enter any of the various races or contests, then you definitely need to show up at 10 a.m. to register. You will be able to sample food from quite a number of different vendors and there will be musical entertainment. Some of the activities will be taking place at Coast Guard Station Brant Point.

Having an event like this is a good thing for the island. Most of the people attending will likely be residents. This is an easier place to get to, unlike the Island Fair a couple of weeks back. Obviously, the fair couldn’t take place in, or near town.

The only fear I have is that this could turn into a tourist weekend, much like the Stroll. I heard that there are two dozen weddings taking place this weekend, so a fair chunk of islanders will be working hard at other festivities, not relaxing at the Nantucket Maritime Festival.

Yesterday, The Providence Journal ran an article concerning the cost to remove the wind-farm turbines that are to be built in Nantucket Sound. After 25 years, Cape Wind says the cost would be $66 million. I don’t know anyone could estimate what costs will be a quarter of a century from now. My estimate, which is every bit as accurate as Cape Wind’s, would be to add a zero on the end of the aforementioned guess.

By now, we all know about the break-ins in Madaket and Surfside (I&M story here). Most of the folks I’ve spoken with say the island is changing and that these activities are a sign of the times. Living on Fair Street back in the early 1980s, my apartment was pillaged. It took place during the day, while I was at work. Apart from $400 in quarters, the worst part for me was feeling violated in my home. There are thieves everywhere and they’ve been around since the beginning of time. Locking your doors and cars will prevent most people from trying to rip you off.

Have a wonderful weekend, preferably at the Maritime Festival, or perhaps at one of the many weddings.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space, and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror

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