23 Apr 2013

Hey Nantucket, What’s Up Dock?

Hey Nantucket, What's up Dock

The empty docks at the Great Harbor Yacht Club last week were a picture perfect representation of the island’s eager anticipation of spring.  While we all enjoy the rest and reprieve that comes with a few months of an “empty nest,” Nantucket residents eagerly look forward to that moment when the island awakens from its winter slumber.  As I stood on the dock gazing out over the pristine (and very empty) Nantucket harbor, I realized that all too soon the scene would be replaced with boats bobbing on their moorings or tied to their slips and another Nantucket summer would be in full swing. I wondered who these seafarers will be; a long time Nantucket family with a home in Shimmo and a boat in the harbor.  Perhaps a couple with their vessel moored calling the boat basin home all summer. Or maybe a young captain and first mate who chart their first-ever course to Nantucket for a day trip.

In anticipation of the first events of the season, Daffodil Festival this weekend, Wine Weekend and FIGAWI in May, there is exhilaration in the air as landscapers begin their spring clean-up and planting, shopkeepers design their new window displays, restaurants unveil summer menus and homeowners begin to open and freshen their homes for the season.  While the tasks and methodologies vary depending on which industry one is in, the objective is the same – all are preparing to welcome honored guests to our beloved Nantucket.

Nantucket has a long standing history of readying itself for the return of its loved ones.  Centuries ago, whaling captain’s wives and children stood atop their widow’s walk and scanned the horizon for a glimpse of a ship’s expected arrival. As communication methods improved, messages were sent across radio waves to inquire about a vessel’s location and ETA.  Today we make cell phone calls or send text messages to establish what time we need to be poised on the sand at Brant Point to greet friends as they round the corner.  Technology has progressed, but the sentiment remains unchanged – we are excited to welcome friends, loved ones and first-time visitors home to Nantucket.

Whether you plan to travel to Nantucket by plane or boat, for the first time ever or the first time this season, you can be assured that weeks of thoughtful preparation and enthusiastic planning have been underway in anticipation of your arrival.  While here, plan to take a walk along the docks to look at the sleek crafts in the boat basin, browse through the quaint shops or slide on to a bar stool at Cru, Slip 14, Straight Wharf or The Tavern and raise a glass to another eventful Nantucket summer.

Ship shape.

Shellie Dunlap

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