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We are dedicated to the enjoyment & preservation of Nantucket Island, with our portal site Nantucket.net and online publication Yesterday's Island, Today's Nantucket.

Day Trip in August

We plan on taking Hy-Line cruise from Hyanis to Nantucket in early August. If we depart Hyannis at 12:00 on high speed arriving at about 1:00, are we giving ourselves enough time to get a feel for the island. Or should we plan on a 9:10 departure returning at 4:35? If we leave at 9:10, depart at 4:35 is there enough to do on Main Street to keep us busy and entertained for almost six hours?

Submited by Tom Ernster from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Definitely take the morning boat (9:10am)–there is PLENTY to do in the heart of Nantucket Town to occupy you for 6 hours. Pick up a copy of Yesterday’s Island/Today’s Nantucket for the map and fabulous events calendar to help plan your day. In 6 hours you can:

Visit the Whaling Museum

Have lunch at the beach: pick up a takeout lunch at one of the many downtown eateries and walk or take the NRTA Shuttle one of several beaches close to town.

Stroll around the wharves

Have a cup of locally roasted Nantucket Coffee Roasters coffee at The Bean, 4 India Street.

Take a 90-minute van tour with Gail’s Tours, led by Gail, whose family has lived on Nantucket for generations, or take a walking tour with Bill of Nantucket Walking Tours (his tour schedule is listed in Yesterday’s Island — you don’t need reservations)

Visit the shops, galleries, and antique shops in town.

We’re betting that you’ll wish you had more time on Nantucket Island when you have to head back to the docks.

Solo Swim to Nantucket from Cape Cod to Benefit Nantucket Cottage Hospital Cancer Fund


by Jason Graziadei

No one has attempted a solo swim across the 30 miles of open water between Nantucket and Cape Cod in nearly three decades. The only man known to have successfully completed a solo crossing is Paul Asmuth, an International Swimming Hall of Famer who swam from Nantucket to Hyannis in just over 12 hours back in 1986.

This summer Grant Wentworth wants to match Asmuth’s incredible feat.
In July, the 28-year-old Nantucket summer resident will attempt a solo swim from Cape Cod to Nantucket—the opposite direction of Asmuth’s crossing in ’86—in what will be an incredible test of his stamina, willpower, and mental toughness.

“I’ve been looking out at this body of water my whole life,” Wentworth said, “and I think the idea was always in my mind: is this something that’s possible?”

Last Monday, June 22, Nantucket Cottage Hospital announced that an anonymous donor has stepped forward with a $25,000 challenge grant toward Grant Wentworth’s solo swim from Cape Cod to Nantucket to benefit the hospital’s cancer care program.
The challenge grant means that every dollar contributed to Wentworth’s swim up to $25,000 will be matched by this anonymous donor.  Through the Swim Across America charitable organization, Grant has already raised more than $105,000 to benefit Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s oncology program, which provides on-island care for Nantucket cancer patients and brings oncologists from the Mass General Cancer Center to the island.
And he will need all the motivation and goodwill he can get. The swim will be a crucible of endurance as Wentworth navigates miles of shark-infested open water over the course of 12 to 15 hours.

“Initially there were a lot of people who thought it was a crazy idea, but once that initial shock wore off, it’s been really incredible to see the amount of support that I’ve received both emotionally and fiscally,” Wentworth said. “It resonates with a lot of people for a lot of reasons, but mainly because all of us have had someone close to us who has cancer, or had cancer. It’s touched all our lives.”

Grant Wentworth

Grant Wentworth

The sheer logistics of the swim are imposing. Wentworth plans to embark from Cape Cod’s Seagull Beach in West Yarmouth around 1 a.m., swimming for the first few hours in the dark before sunrise. Ensuring his safety during the trek across Nantucket Sound will be a team of supporters aboard two boats and kayaks who will follow him along the way. Wentworth’s goal is to finish at Great Point—the northern tip of the island closest to Cape Cod—but given the uncertainty of the winds and tides, he knows his landing point could be anywhere along Nantucket’s north shore.

Rather than set an arbitrary date for the swim, Wentworth has targeted a weeklong window of July 24 to July 31 in order to take advantage of the most ideal conditions in which to embark from Cape Cod. “There are things you can control and things you can’t control, and the weather is the biggest wildcard in this,” Wentworth said. “Anyone who knows Nantucket knows the winds can change several times in a day.”

But what about the sharks?

“That’s really something outside of our control,” Wentworth says with a laugh. “It pops in your mind and there are precautions you can take and we are taking. I’ll have kayakers with an electromagnetic device called a ‘shark shield’ which hopefully acts as something of a deterrent. It’s something we all think about but not something you can train for.”
Wentworth was an athlete growing up, participating in a number of different sports, but he didn’t get into open water swimming until after he suffered a back injury following his college years. Swimming became part of his rehabilitation, and Wentworth eventually worked his way onto a Swim Across America team that completed a relay across the English Channel last year.

To prepare for the Cape Cod-to-Nantucket swim, Wentworth is training with the assistance of Chloë McCardel, one of the world’s most accomplished open water swimmers who has completed seven solo crossings of the English Channel, and won the 28.5 mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 2010. McCardel set a world record in 2014 for the longest unassisted ocean swim when she covered 77.3 miles from South Eleuthera Island to Nassau, Bahamas in 41 hours, 21 minutes. “When I mentioned to her last summer that I was thinking about this, she was really excited to get behind it,” Wentworth said of McCardel. “She’s been coaching me through the winter.”

Wentworth is now training by swimming about 40 kilometers every week and preparing his body for the open water conditions—what he calls core climatization.
“I’m confident my body will hold up at this point,” he said. “Now it’s the mental challenge of working through various conditions in that 12- to 15-hour window.”

And even as he prepares for the swim and considers all the factors and conditions necessary to make it a success, Wentworth is still hoping to raise even more money on top of the $100,000 he has already solicited for Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s cancer care program. Through a partnership with the Mass General Cancer Center, NCH is now bringing a team of world-class oncologists to Nantucket to see island cancer patients, allowing them to stay close to home for as much of their oncology care as possible.
“Cancer has touched all our lives, and there are a lot of cancer charities out there, but the Nantucket community is something I feel close to from my time there,” Wentworth said. “So for a swim in the water up there, I couldn’t think of a better cause to be the recipient of this.”

To donate to Wentworth’s swim, visit his Swim Across America page at swimacrossamerica.org/site/TR?px=1258157&fr_id=3411&pg=personal

Book Fest Authors Write about Setting a Novel on Nantucket Island…


This weekend nationally- and internationally-acclaimed authors and hundreds of book-lovers will gather on Nantucket Island to share their love of books, their enthusiasm for writing, and their insights on the written word during the fourth annual Nantucket Book Festival.

More than 70 published writers participating in the three-day event will give talks, sign books, and discuss their work with readers and other authors, often in fun and conversational gatherings designed to foster personal relationships.  Invited authors, chosen by the Book Festival committee, represent a diverse range of genres and styles: novels, memoirs, poetry, children’s books, young adult fiction, history, cookbooks, and more.  We asked a few of them why they decided to participate…

Author Rosalyn Berne

Author Rosalyn Berne

Rosalyn Berne, author of Creating Life from Life – A Biotechnology and Science Fiction and When the Horses Whisper:  “I am participating because my novel was inspired by, and is set on Nantucket. What a wonderful opportunity to share my book with others who are physically right there, who will have walked past the buildings described, and along the streets where my main characters are living and moving around. Waiting in the Silence is a near term, historic science fiction novel, so the Nantucket Book Festival gives me an eerily delightful chance to go from from the historic, to the imaginative future, to present day reality. How surreal!”

Charles Soule, author of A Biker Undone, In the Same Space, Whaler’s Gold, andmore:  “My novels are set on Nantucket, and I’ve found it is an important event to promote the books.  Also, it is a great opportunity to visit and discuss writing with other authors.”

Author Daintry Jensen

Author Daintry Jensen on Nantucket Book Festival


Daintry Jensen, author of The Hidden Forest:  “I was really thrilled to get an invitation from Amy Jenness.  I think this is a wonderful event because there’s such a diverse group of people participating with one purpose – to celebrate books and the creative spirits behind them.  And of course, it’s on Nantucket, the place I think of as home.”


Author Scott Turow

Author Scott Turow

Scott Turow, author of Identical:  “Because it is summer on Nantucket!”

John Thompson, author of Salem VI: “Why am I participating in the Nantucket Book Festival? Are you kidding? First, it’s probably the most beautiful spot I know of that has a book festival. Second, I am absolutely a fan of so many of the great writers who will be attending. I am humbled and pleased beyond words to be included, and so excited I can’t stand it. Thank you, Nantucket Book Festival!!”

We also asked these featured authors about the importance of place in their novels…

Rosalyn Berne:  “I suppose that given the novel’s general subject of technology in the future, and how it affect human lives and communities, it could be set almost anywhere on earth. But I wanted to be able to use the history of the Island, especially the presence of Quakers  and the whaling industry, drawing heavily from the past to spin a tale of the future. The other reason why is that Nantucket is relatively pristine, environmentally speaking. The novel touches on the potentially devastating effects of climate change. Because of its wild beauty and also its environmental vulnerability, Nantucket is a really good setting to dramatize such.

“I honeymooned on Nantucket 35 years ago.  Dear friends live and work there year-round, so I visit when I am able. The island is a gem that I hold in my heart. I never actually planned to write a novel set on Nantucket. It just came up, actually in the middle of the night; the idea woke and I sat up and wrote until dawn a short story that eventually became the novel. Perhaps Nantucket was stored somewhere in my subconscious, as a representative of “the way that things use to be.” In my teaching and research on the emergence and convergence of newly developing technologies, my concern is that we may soon lose some very important elements of that “way” of living. Science fiction is the best means I have personally,  to express those concerns in ways that others may be able to relate to.”

Author Charles Soule

Author Charles Soule on Nantucket as a setting

Charles Soule:  “The settings of my novels on Nantucket has played a central role in my creative approach to the plots of my books. Being familiar with the island for more than thirty years allows me to select scenes that will be recognized by the reader and allows the reader to picture him or herself as a participant in the story.”

Daintry Jensen:  “I see setting almost as another character in the story – so very important.  Nantucket adds a whole other heightened element to this because it’s such a changeable place – from the weather, to the people, to the different areas – many of them hidden, off the beaten path.  There’s a real mystique and magic to the island.  With such dramatic history, realms of the unseen (how many ghost story collections do we have?), unparalleled natural beauty – it’s all here.  How lucky are we?  I actually didn’t even realize I was setting so many of my stories here until a good friend of mine pointed it out.  I guess you could say it’s in my blood.”

Scott Turow:  “The setting is often another character in a good novel.  Nantucket certainly has the charm and atmosphere to be that prominent.”

Author John Thompson

Author John Thompson

John Thompson: “Is setting important? Heck yes! It can be so important, so rich, so full of life and mystery and intensity in some stories that it becomes a virtual character. In others stories a unique setting provides the possibility for a story to exist that would simply not be able to take place in any other place. Think about Jaws and the sea, Huckleberry Finn and the river, Robinson Crusoe and the deserted island, or Dorothy in Oz. Think about Tolkien and Middle Earth, Robert Heinlein and space, George R. R. Martin and the Wall in Game of Thrones. Setting defines what can happen, how it can happen, who the players will be, and setting is often the ultimate source of a story’s conflict. In that sense Nantucket would be a great setting for a novel, a place that is small and contained with lots of big characters, perhaps something in the vein of Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, or Tom McGuane’s The Sporting Club.”

Lodging for 3 people?

Hi, I want to ask,is any room available for 3 people to sleep on Nantucket? We are coming on Nantucket for work, and planning to stay till end of september. Can you please tell me about the availability of the rooms, the dates, the rent weekly? Thank you very much, Hope to hear from you very soon. Regards, Vlatko

Submited by Vlatko from Hyannis
Please check out our “Lodging” page on Nantucket.net for more information. http://nantucket.net/lodging/index.php