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For Nantucket, Irene was pretty much of a no-show, a non-event and an early end to many of our summer visitors’ vacations. On Sunday, along with what seemed like half the population of the island, I went out to take a look around various sections of our shorefront. First up was Codfish Park, which was packed with sightseers. The ocean was huge, though I’ve seen it looking more dangerous at other times.
Then taking a look at Sankaty Head there were several people wandering about. A moment later, the sky suddenly darkened and rain began. For a minute or so it came down hard, then lightened up and then poured again. I headed for the west end at that point.
At the Walter Barrett Public Landing, water was about a foot below the top of the pier. I remember several times over past years when that pier was at least two feet under tidal waters. From there it was a quick drive to the end of Madaket Road. I didn’t stay long, as the blowing sand scoured my legs in seconds. Over at the end of Long Pond, the ocean washed over into the pond. Miacomet Pond suffered the same situation.
From there a quick look at Steps Beach was enlightening. The wind was coming directly from behind and the water out in Nantucket Sound was a little beat up. Had I not known there was a storm, this would have been a nice spot to lie on the beach and even take a dip in shallow, placid water.
My final stop was Cisco. I expected to see surfers out in the waves, but there were none to be seen. The roiling water wasn’t formed up well enough to suit the wave-riders. Again, I didn’t stick around long, because the blowing sand was painful to deal with. It did feel as if the strongest gusts I’d felt for the day were coming onshore right there.
We certainly dodged a bullet this weekend. People from North Carolina’s Outer Banks, all along to New York City, up through southern Connecticut and then into Vermont suffered damage and many are still without electricity at this writing and have lost homes. On Nantucket, storms are something we’re used to and prepare for as a matter of fact. Most people here keep enough food and supplies around to survive for weeks should an emergency strike.
I’ll be interested to see if Irene qualifies as a “dry storm.” This is where the salt sprays, carried ashore from the high winds, lands on local foliage and the salinity withers the leaves and plants. If that takes place, at least most of the growing season is past.
I was off-island for part of last week, due to medical procedures needed for a slight problem related to my liver-transplant. Two years ago, in late July, I was on my way to Boston when I received “the call.” That’s why I was very glad to note that Chris McLaughlin and the New England Organ Bank, in concert with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, recognized Donate Life Day here last month.
This is something we all need to get involved in. I have always been listed as a donor, ever since I got my first driver’s license at 16. We all talk about not wasting things and recycling. Being an organ-donor is the ultimate reuse of a life. I sent a letter to the family of my donor through the New England Donor Bank. So far, the family has chosen not to read my, or any other letters, from people saved by their loved one’s organs. I would give anything to be able to let them know how much what their actions meant to me.
David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror