Daffy for Dogs on Nantucket

a guest blog post by Ema Hudson •


It’s almost that time again on Nantucket – our annual Daffodil Weekend!  Spring is all around us and those cheerful yellow daffodils give us reason for hope. Our off island friends come back to celebrate the kick off of the season with us, with picnics and parties all around.

Nantucket Daffodil Festival Dog Parade

Mason at the Nantucket Daffodil Festival Dog Parade

Registration will be at the corner of Federal and Main Streets from 10 am – 12 pm, with the parade beginning at approximately 12:30 pm in front of Ralph Lauren.  This year we are proud to partner with Ralph Lauren Nantucket to bring you the best parade yet. If you venture into their shop, you’ll see framed photos of our adoptable pets on display!  There will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize awarded to the best dressed dogs.  The winners will also be listed by the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce in all official print material.  There is a suggested donation of $5 to register, all proceeds benefiting Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals.


Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals is a non-profit, mostly volunteer run animal shelter founded in 2011.  We take in and care for Nantucket’s stray and surrendered pets and willnever turn away an animal in need. All incoming animals receive sterilization, vaccines and microchip before going on to new homes. To date we have placed over 100 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds.


NSHA is also the town’s contracted stray dog shelter. All lost dogs brought in by Nantucket’s Animal Control Officer or citizens are cared for and safe until their owners can be located. Beyond animal care and re-homing, we offer behavior counseling, animal care training, and financial assistance information to island pet owners. If you are interested in volunteering or supporting our shelter, please check out our website at www.nantucketsafeharborforanimals.org  or email us at nantucketsha@gmail.com

Music Legends, New Performers Lead Nantucket Music Festival

With summer skies and salt spray on ocean breezes serving as a backdrop, the Nantucket Music Festival is set for Saturday, August 2, and Sunday, August 3, featuring a still evolving lineup of legendary bands and leading, new artists.


Boston bred, four-piece rock outfit Guster and singer/keyboardist Bruce Hornsby highlight the weekend slate along with notable acts such as Steel Pulse, Donavon Frankenreiter, Chadwick Stokes, Lukas Nelson & P.O.T.R., Ben Taylor, Freddy Clarke, Entrain, and Ayla Brown. Additional bands and performers are expected to join the lineup in the coming weeks.


“Too many years have passed since fans of rock music, blues and folk could enjoy an open air concert on Nantucket,” said NMF co-executive director Cynthia Dareshori, a longtime seasonal resident of the island who founded the event with her friend and fellow islander Cheryl Emery. Dareshori and Emery were inspired to start the NMF after attending several other similar events, including the world famous New Orleans Jazz Festival.


“Cheryl and I saw so many happy people at those festivals,” said Dareshori. “We knew in our hearts that the time was right to bring that kind of happiness to music lovers on our island.”


Daytime, open-air performances will take place both days from 10:00am to 4:00pm. In the evenings, sponsor dinners will occur under a tent with separate tickets and net proceeds to benefit the Celebrate Music Foundation to support local musical performance and education initiatives. Further information regarding sponsor dinner performances will be announced soon.


The festival will take place at Tom Nevers Field, a former naval base on Nantucket’s eastern side which has hosted several events over the years, including the Nantucket County Fair, and features plenty of space to accommodate up to nearly 4,000 ticket holders.


Tickets for the inaugural festival are on sale now at NantucketMusicFestival.com and via Ticketfly.com. Please visit the festival website for further information regarding patron passes, VIP packages, sponsorship opportunities, parking and shuttle bus service and the festival artist lineup. For more information on travel to and from Nantucket, visit http://www.Nantucket.net

Nantucket Winter

by Robert P. Barsanti


This winter remains in the shadows and in the base of the bushes.  It squats, cold and frozen, in the darkness, until the rain and the sun finally drive the dirty ice underground.  The crocuses remain hidden under the frozen turf, as do the daffodils.  Sometime in the third inning of the Red Sox season opener, they will push themselves through the newly mudded earth and bloom.  We will find them, take a picture, then look east for the next storm.


For most of my time on island, winter never quite crossed the canal.  It came rolling up the coast, collided with a cold front of Worcester, and cancelled school in every town where you couldn’t hear a rolling surf.  But, the months out here would pass in sweaters and drizzle, with the occasional windstorm blowing melting flakes of snow over from Hyannis.  The crocuses would sprout by Valentine’s Day and the first daffodils burst yellow before Spring Training started.


This year, the season came with ice storms, blizzards, and snowy owls.  Heroic snow drifts formed over Cliff and Polpis Road, then slowly melted into the turf.  One polar vortex after another locked the harbor in ice and protected the scallops from rakes and drags.  In between storms and freezes, we left the sofa and went in search of Snowy Owls hunting in the dunes and grasslands.  The silent hunters became our quarry, just out of range of gigantic lenses.  We caught them occasionally when the perched on a fence post or dead tree.  Mostly, however, they flitted just barely out of our range, like the eye of God.  They danced, darted, and hid.


Winters on Nantucket, even in the coldest and most violent of years, do not have a great deal of snow, ice, or owls.  When the snow falls, it comes as a catastrophic novelty.  The winds sculpt great towers and walls, the ice reshapes the horizon, and we take pictures to show the familiar scenes marred by a storm.  Winter is unusual and odd in those flooded and wind-blown moments.


An island winter, however, isn’t marked so much by storms as it is by sand.  All summer, we fool ourselves into thinking that the island is a golf course encircled by beaches and bike paths, but the winter blows those happy truths into the sea in a blizzard of sand.  Downtown, the streets are pulled aside to reveal the slippery foundation of the island.  At Dionis, In Sconset, and along the western shore, the rich amass sand castles at the base of their homes.  They truck the sand out, parcel it out on a conveyor belt, then drop it onto the beach.  Then, one storm, or another, or perhaps just a full moon, will sweep thousands of dollars of protection away and return it to a sand bar.


We stand, build, live, and die on sand.  We pretend to live on beautiful rolls of turf.  The landscapers lay it out, roll it down, and then water it for a few days until it seems to take.  But underneath an imported roll of bluegrass and two inches of dirt sits a thousand feet of shifting sand.  The storms come and heave away tons of these stuff, while the turf pauses in mid-air at the top of the bluff.  The tides settle it into Dionis or Jetties, or swirl it back out to the sand bars and rips that circle the island.  Illusions and make-believe fantasies dry up and blow away in the winter; the brown truth of our lives hold us up.  We all know the future.  We all know his how the story ends.  The sand will wear away everywhere and our small hillock will sink under the dark water.  We are all bound for the ocean, one way or another.


In the middle of this winter, a former student died alone and in the cold.  At his memorial, we stood together and wished for another ending; we thought of sofas, and blankets, and anything we could have done or said to have kept him from washing away.  We survivors stood in the parking lot, wrapped in winter clothes, topped with hats, and leaning back into the wind.  The ocean sent breaker upon breaker onto the beach, the clouds passed over us, and a dozen seagulls huddled against the bluff.


We took a lesson from those wiser birds and circled up between two dunes.  We sang “Amazing Grace,” said a few prayers, and then, as the wind picked up and the sand flew like hail, we sang “The Rose” into the apathetic air.  For a brief moment, we considered placing the ashes into the ocean, but realized that they, like the sand, would soon fly into the wind and across the island.  His final rest in the dark water could wait for another day and another beach.  Sand has no rush.


But we were there.  We had raised him, taught him, listened to him, befriended him, laughed, cried, and now mourned what was inside a small urn.  In the howling infinite of the mid-afternoon, we did the only things left to us; we circled, we stood, and we sang.  We remembered a young man who was gone too soon and we stood against the wind in his memory.  We huddle together, we stare into each other’s faces, and we sing words that will be whipped and shredded in seconds.


That’s the other awful truth of the winter.  Other seasons indulge the illusion that this door is for members only and that only yachtsmen and their guests are allowed beyond this point.  Winter scrapes those fantasies bare. We have only each other.  For better or worse, on one side of the law or the other, we remain huddled in the lee of the wind, beset by waves and wind, and clinging to another’s jacket.

When the Worst of Times Turns into the Best of Times

There are times that to be reminded of the best of Nantucket we first must experience some of the worst of living on an island.


This weekend we got stuck in Boston while returning from a trip off-island.  Fog had enveloped Nantucket, stopping all air traffic.  Determined to get home after a week in America, we conferred with two other island residents equally resolved to not let the weather prevent a return home.  Knowing there are more travel options available in Hyannis, we decided to rent a car and drive there together.  We made reservations for four on a 9:50 am Cape Air flight from Hyannis to Nantucket, quickly gathered our belongings, and dashed to the rental car counter in Logan.


We were on the road within 20 minutes and hoped that the driving rain would clear the fog.  We chatted during the drive about what brought each of us to Nantucket, what we do there, how much we miss the island when we’re Off.  By the time we got to Hyannis the stress of the situation had been relieved by laughter and camaraderie.


We arrived at Barnstable Municipal Airport with two minutes to spare.  As we were checking in, Nantucket Airport, which had reopened, closed again due to weather.  We rebooked on an 11:30 am flight and settled in to wait.  The airport cafe was closed, so we shared some cheddar chips and soda for breakfast.


The rain stopped but the fog got thicker.  The flight to Nantucket that left just before the one we were to take was forced to return to Hyannis. Barnstable airport closed.  It was time to head to the ferry.


We shared a cab to the Hy-Line docks, bought tickets on the 12:00 high-speed, and settled into the third waiting room that morning. As noon approached, more island residents filed into the room bound for home.  Our party of four split to greet other friends and share tales of foiled travel plans.  We regrouped to board and sat together.  Half-way across, we toasted our success with a round of Bloody Marys, settled in for the rest of the ride home.


In the span of just a few hours, a morning of frustration had been transformed into a day of friendship and fun.

How to Make Sure You Don’t Get the Job

Hello XXXXX:
Thank you for applying for the summer internship at our magazine and publishing company on Nantucket Island.  We do not serve cocktails in the office
(not even during deadlines), we must decline your offer to tend bar for us,
despite your vast experience in the field.


Each time I search for a summer intern I am impressed by the number of students who apply without bothering to read the job description.  Three weeks into our 2014 call for applicants, we have six good prospects, and a number of others who appear to think our internship is at an engineering company, an inn, an accounting firm, in a kitchen, and in a cocktail lounge.   I even had an interesting email conversation with an applicant who insisted that we must be a restaurant because our ad was posted on  http://www.nantucket.net/


I would consider hiring a student majoring in a field other than English or journalism if he demonstrates that he understands we are a publishing company.  Some of our most successful employees have been trained in other fields.  But there’s no better way to be eliminated at the first stage than to apply for the wrong job.  Our staff gets a good laugh every time we receive one of these misguided letters, but I doubt that is the reaction the student is hoping to get.



Nantucket Students Place in State-Wide Aviation Art Contest

Nantucket young people were given the opportunity, through the Nantucket Flying Association (NFA,) to enter the International Aviation Art Contest, sponsored by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI.)  This contest challenged students, ages 6-17, to illustrate the importance of aviation in an interactive, fun medium such as drawing or painting.   Out of nine winners from Massachusetts, two were from Nantucket and will represent the state in the national judging in Washington, DC:  Eleanor Hofford, who placed 3rd in Category I (ages 6-9) and Nantucket New School’s Samuel Hofford, who placed 1st in Category II (ages 10-13); other Nantucketers, whose artwork was sent on to MassDOT for jud

ging, were Ella England, Elena M. Tittel and Louisa G. Liddle, all from the Nantucket New School.

The state portion of the contest was coordinated by the Commonwealth’s Department of Transportation with all students receiving a certificate of recognition from the MassDOT Aeronautics Division.

Winning entry, aviation art contest - 1st place, ages 10-13 - Samuel Hofford

Winning entry, aviation art contest – 1st place, ages 10-13 – Samuel Hofford

The U.S. portion is sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA,) managed by the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education and sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University – Prescott, Ken Cook Co., the FAA and the National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education with additional support from many NASAO members.

The contest subject, “Flying Saves Lives,” was extremely relevant to Nantucket as aviation is important to the safety and medical needs of islanders, along with those who transit the area by water or air.  Judging, with the state winners moving on to national judging, was based on the creative use of the theme with “national” winners heading to the International Jury in Switzerland.

With the assistance of Tom Lucchini, who staffed the 2013 NFA aviation camp, “The Sky’s the Limit,” students were shown a presentation about the contest including inspiring photos; their work was then submitted to the MassDOT and photographed for an upcoming exhibit of all the art at Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK.)

Winning entry, aviation art contest - 3rd place, ages 6-9 - Eleanor Hofford

Winning entry, aviation art contest – 3rd place, ages 6-9 – Eleanor Hofford

You Knew You Had Great Taste, Didn’t You?

For the second consecutive year, Nantucket has been honored as one of the best islands in the world. This time, Nantucket ranked as number eight in TripAdvisor’s annual Travelers’ Choice awards, in the category for Top 10 Islands in the U.S. This simply means that those who didn’t vote for Nantucket just haven’t been here, right? Here is the 2014 run down:

Top 10 Islands in the World:

  1. Ambergris Caye, Belize
  2. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  4. Marco Island, Florida
  5. Lewis and Harris, Scotland
  6. Naxos, Greece
  7. Aitutaki, Cook Islands
  8. Nosy Be, Madagascar
  9. Easter Island, Chile
  10. Ko Tao, Thailand

Top 10 Islands in the U.S.:

  1. Marco Island, Florida
  2. Chincoteague Island, Virginia
  3. Anna Maria Island, Florida
  4. San Juan Island, Washington
  5. Maui, Hawaii
  6. Kauai, Hawaii
  7. Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
  8. Nantucket, Massachusetts
  9. Hilton Head, South Carolina
  10. Key West, Florida

Not that you need any further convincing, but don’t you just love it here?  For more on the Trip Advisor views of Nantucket, check out Trip Advisor Info.

Nantucket Romance Is Yours for the Taking

Guest blog by Johnny Greene, President/CEO of ETS International


Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled family retreat, or a romantic weekend away, bplNantucket Island is the perfect destination. Settled in 1641, Nantucket is wrought with New England history. The Island has been cited a National Historic Landmark District, and is said to be the “finest surviving architectural and environmental example of a late 18th and early 19th-century New England seaport town.”

With 81 miles of coastline, Nantucket Island is the beach-lovers dream. Enjoy an afternoon of surfing or sunning, or even a relaxing, casual stroll on one of the many trails around the island. If you plan to visit before the summer months arrive, have no fear. Plenty of indoor activities are also available, especially for those seeking romance.

For Wine Lovers

Wine connoisseurs will be delighted with the Nantucket Vineyard. Established in 1981 by Dean and Melissa Long, Nantucket Vineyard once had the distinction of being America’s only outdoor brewery. There’s a certain ambiance at Nantucket Vineyard that we can only assume is a product of the owners themselves; a group of close-knit friends who care a great deal about what they do, and each other. With wine tastings, tours, and even live music, it’s the perfect addition to your weekend getaway.

Stay a While

On Nantucket, you’ll certainly have no shortage of options for places to rest your head and rejuvenate between daily adventures on the island. Set in the heart of Nantucket’s Historic District, the Brass Lantern Inn is just a short walk from an array of restaurants, shops, and even the ferry terminal. With casual elegance and the comfort of home, you’re sure to love the beautiful Greek Revival design of this inn. Enjoy The Brass Lantern’s fresh baked pastries and homemade granola with your morning coffee before setting out to relish the rest of your day.

If you prefer something with a bit of privacy, consider renting this gorgeous Nantucket beach house. You and your loved one can wake to the sunrise over the ocean, stroll the sandy beach during the day, and enjoy all the comforts of home. You’ll be just moments away from everything this gorgeous island has to offer.

Candlelit Dinners for Two

For a romantic dinner, you’ll be pleased with the stunning view of Nantucket Bay from Topper’s.  Revered as one of the nation’s most acclaimed restaurants, and a favorite on Nantucket, Topper’s offers its guests a delectable selection of seasonally inspired dishes, and fresh island cuisine.

Brant Point Grill is another favorite of locals and visitors alike. Renowned for the fresh seafood, the restaurant fills quickly with diners ready to enjoy some of the island’s best fish, shrimp, and lobster. Steak lovers will also find delicious cuts of meat on the menu. In the warmer months, the deck is open for dining, but winter visitors can also enjoy a stunning view of the harbor from the warmth of the dining room.

Arrive in Style

Unless you’re an exemplary Olympic swimmer, you’ll more than likely be taking a ferry to the island for your weekend getaway, but that definitely doesn’t mean you’ll have to be without transportation during your trip. With the luxury of a chauffeured Nantucket vehicle, you and your love can relax and enjoy each other’s company while traveling to your destination.

We provide several different vehicles from which to choose, from luxury sedans to stretch limousines. If you prefer a casual, laid-back evening, one of our chauffeured SUVs might be the perfect choice. In addition to impressing your special someone, you can also enjoy the practical aspects of car service. You won’t have to worry about navigating the island, or even finding parking. Simply enjoy every moment of your special time together, and allow someone else to do the work for you.

NCH Seeks Applicants For Beinecke Scholarships

Nantucket Cottage Hospital is inviting Nantucket residents to submit applications for its 2014 Beinecke Scholarship Fund. This special fund, created by the late Nantucket businessman and civic leader Walter Beinecke, Jr., is intended to further the education and training of island residents in medical and health care fields by helping to finance their studies. The scholarship fund is open to graduates of Nantucket High School, employees of Nantucket Cottage Hospital and any other island resident who can satisfy the guidelines and requirements.

The Beinecke Scholarship Fund focuses on six areas of health care study and training. Nursing is the fund’s first priority, followed by radiology and imaging services, laboratory services, pharmaceutical fields, physician and physician assistant studies, as well as physical therapy training. Last year Nantucket Cottage Hospital awarded Beinecke scholarships totaling $30,750 to 44 individuals. The recipients included 30 Nantucket High School graduates, seven staff members of Nantucket Cottage Hospital, and seven other island residents.

Beinecke, the man who founded Sherburne Associates and is credited with transforming Nantucket into a modern destination resort, was a life member of Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s Board of Trustees. The Beinecke Scholarship Fund’s origins date back to the early 1950s when his father, Walter Beinecke, Sr., made annual gifts through the hospital to Nantucket High School graduates to help them pay for nursing school. After his father’s death in 1958, Walter Beinecke, Jr. formally established the scholarship fund in his memory. Over the years, Nantucket Cottage Hospital has used the scholarship fund to assist several hundred island students further their education.

The eligibility of applicants is verified by an independent ad hoc committee consisting of NCH and community leaders. No consideration is given to applicants whose desired course of study is outside of the realm of health care or medicine.

Applications are available for download on the NCH web site, www.NantucketHospital.org, and must be completed by May 1, 2014. For more information and questions, please call Lina Gillies at 508-825-8200.

Cabin Fever & Curiosity: Oils

On Nantucket, it’s sometime around mid-February when the monotony of winter starts picking your curiosity up at 8, and driving it to unexpected places. This year, winter took my curiosity to the oil aisle of our friendly neighborhood Annye’s Whole Foods shop. I have personally tested each of the oils mentioned today, with results varying from alien experiences to acne solutions.




CastorOilCastor oil. From its humble beginnings as a Nazi torture device (two words: laxative qualities) to its modern use as a face wash, castor oil has long enjoyed a working relationship with human beings. Today, it is commonly used in the oil cleansing method (OCM), an approach to facial cleansing for oily skin. The OCM eliminates soap from the equation, citing the basic chemistry principle “like dissolves like.” In addition, there is empirical evidence that castor oil boosts hair growth. We understand that the actor who played Chewbacca in Star Wars was a faithful castor oil cleanser for several years in preparation for his role. If you would like to look in mirror and see someone who looks a little more like Brooke Shields or Fabio–or Groucho Marx, if that’s your thing–then spread some castor oil on your brows and lashes. If you can handle its sticky consistency, go ahead and smear it in around the edges of your hairline. Many proponents say an hour a day for a month is enough to make a difference. After each use, one thorough shampooing will wash it all out. Also note that castor oil can be drying, so it is wise to mix it 50-50 with another oil, such as olive.




GreenOil*Hemp seed oil. As it turns out, the hemp plant exhibits uses beyond rustic rope making and college dorm aromatherapy sessions. For example, go ahead and grab two tablespoons of hemp seed oil. Slosh one on your face, then make some salad dressing with the other. Although it’s green and doesn’t smell as fantastic as you hope it would, its nutritional value is a force your body would love to reckon with. Out of all edible fats, hemp seed oil is the most unsaturated. It is high in Essential Fatty Acids–the good fats that you must ingest, as your body cannot make them on its own. For the non-nutritionally savvy among you, that means goodbye, heart disease; hello squeaky-clean arteries. Assuming you get the food grade stuff, note that it really should only be used in cold edibles; its low smoking temperature renders it an ineffective frying oil. Incidentally, one might describe the taste as “grassy.”*There is no THC in hemp seed oil.




Tea tree oil. This oil is steam distilled from the leaves of an Australian plant of kangaroothe same name. (Hence, the aforementioned “alien experience.” And you thought it was just February on Nantucket getting to me!) Anyway, I have struggled with cystic acne since roughly the same time Facebook was invented, inconveniently enough. This winter, after having spent my early adulthood trying everything from Proactiv to antibiotics, I decided I had dumped more than my share of hope and money into harsh chemicals. The interwebz suggested I make like a hippie and try embracing a tree, or at least its oil. Essential tea tree oil has by no means cured my acne, but it has slowed my breakouts significantly. It definitely helps my lesions to heal more quickly than they did when I was using benzoyl peroxide and all of its nasty little cousins. It is one of two essential oils that can be used neat (undiluted) on the skin. The smell, somewhere between rosemary and turpentine, is quite strong. However, given the two methods I have for frightening people away, I choose stinkiness over a mug full of biblically proportionate boils. Nothing is a cure-all for cystic acne, but my experience says it won’t hurt to make this Australian oil your good mate. Note however that neither your cat nor your dog wishes to make good mates with tea tree oil.




levenderLavender oil. Meet the only other essential oil that can be used neat on the skin. Lavender oil is commonly used in aromatherapy as many people find the smell relaxing. I personally feel like vomiting when I breathe it in; but its antiseptic and analgesic qualities have made it another valuable solider in my battle against acne. I apply it sparingly to my skin some nights, and usually wake up the next morning with smoother, softer skin. In other words, this oil is kind enough to offer acne sufferers a choice: vomit or skin that closely resembles it? Can’t win ‘em all.




oliveoilOlive oil. You knew you could cook with it, but did you know you could moisturize with it too? Olive oil may as well be called Mother Nature’s emollient. Or perhaps the Olive Garden’s emollient. Regardless, Italian or not, go ahead and slather up. Because when you smear, you’re family.



The pureness of these oils makes them all great candidates for use by vegans and earth children. (Note: do not use essential oils on any actual children.) Pregnant women should also avoid essential oils.



Until next time,


Sarah Teach