26 Jan 2016

Roiled Up on Nantucket

In his 2015 release, “Killosophy,” author and philosopher Criss Jami writes that “the weather is nature’s disruptor of human plans and busybodies.” He goes on to say, “of all the things on earth, nature’s disruption is what we know we can depend on, as it is essentially uncontrolled by men.” I was pondering this premise this past weekend as Nantucket waited with trepidation for the arrival of our nemesis Jonas.
Not only was this storm “uncontrolled by men” – this one was entirely unpredictable by even the most seasoned weather experts. Early reports indicated Nantucket might just get “glanced” by the storm with little more than some wind and a dusting of snow. By Friday night, with the models in a constant state of flux, some suggested we might have up to 6 inches. As dawn broke on Saturday morning, the entire eastern seaboard was getting whopped and new models hinted Nantucket and the Cape might take some of the final brunt of Jonas’s fury. New predictions indicated 12+ inches, which left many of us placing wagers on what that plus sign would look like when it was all said and done.
Dubbed #ACKJonas by the local social media buffs, Jonas gave a memorable performance. The snow fell gently at first creating a Nantucket snow globe effect. But it didn’t take long for Jonas to show his true colors. As the snow and sleet began to fall in blankets by mid-day, Sir Jonas picked us up and shook us hard with 74 mph gusts from Madaket to Sconset and all the grains of sand in between…before not so quietly departing and leaving us with 10 inches of the white fluffy stuff.
I didn’t venture out during the actual storm, but by Sunday afternoon I was anxious to head to the beach to see what the ocean had to say about the weekend events. When my kids were little and the waves were big, they used to say the ocean was angry. Let’s just say that by late Sunday it was still downright furious. The waves were ferocious and the wind was still howling, but what struck me from my perch on the ledge overlooking Cisco Beach, was there was not one set of footprints on the sand. Just the beach…and the water…and the sky. And even on an angry day, it was stunningly beautiful.
The ocean and the wind might get roiled up in the winter months on Nantucket, but the people are always warm and hospitable. Many of the restaurants are open with delicious winter menu items and the beaches are at their most picturesque. If the weather threatens to disrupt your plans, come enjoy a few nights at the Nantucket Hotel with one of their winter packages, stop by the Fog Island Café, Faregrounds Restaurant or The Brotherhood for a hot bowl of chowder or plan a few long beach walks and let yours be the first set of footprints in the sand on the morning of your choice. We might not be able to control Mother Nature, but we can certainly join in the fun she has planned.
Shellie Dunlap  
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