Eight days have passed since we left Nantucket and the memories are fading, but there are some aspects of our visit that I still hope to write about. Our Nantucket Historical Association house tour, for instance. And our dinner at DeMarco, which after 33 years is apparently closing. We got back just in time. For now, I’ll put up some of the photos I took with my iPhone.
The photos aren’t great. I’ve brought our digital SLR on past visits. It does a better job, to say the least. But there’s some funny business going on with its willingness to work with the memory card — intermittent claims that the card isn’t formatted. I didn’t want to lug it around only to find that it couldn’t take photos. Just before we left on the trip, I looked into a replacement. Too many choices. I decided to be content with the phone. And anyway, we’ll soon have iPhone 5s. Their cameras will be much better. For one thing, they’ll work better in low light. As you can see, the photos I’m posting here tend toward darkness.
Let’s review some geography first. Have a look at the map below. You see the island, with the entrance to the harbor in the center to the north and the town on the harbor’s west side. The harbor runs way east, separated from the Atlantic at its eastern edge by a thin sliver of land. We stay in Wauwinet, at the southern end of that sliver, where 250 yards of sand and dune separate harbor from ocean. There are about two dozen houses to the north of our inn, then a small gap, then one last house, beyond which the land is held in trust and not developable, running miles northward to Great Point and its lighthouse.
At the top of the photo is a photo I took at sunset two weeks ago from outside our inn, looking westward across the harbor. A couple of mornings later, just past low tide, I took a walk along the stretch of ocean beach that is near our inn. The photo below was taken looking northward, with that last house I mentioned visible in the distance. After that, it’s just beach and dunes for miles.
I also tried to get a shot that showed ocean, harbor, and dunes together. With a better camera, you would be able to distinguish them more clearly. But this is what I got. You see the ocean on the right, the dunes and some of those last two dozen houses in the middle. Take a closer look and you may see the water of the harbor to the left center, above the houses, with the land that separates harbor and ocean curving northwestwards, from right to left as you go up the photo.
On our first visit to town, we headed to the Nantucket Historical Association’s Whaling Museum to renew our membership and get information on their walking tours. The museum’s rooftop observation deck offers one of the best vantages of town and harbor, as illustrated below. The museum is just down the street from the landing for the Steamship Authority‘s car ferry to Hyannis. That’s why you see lots of trucks to the lower left. You also see some of the Nantucket Yacht Club‘s tennis courts, which abut both the ferry and the museum.
On our last trip into town, we took a short walk down Orange Street. The commercial strip of stores and restaurants that runs from Straight Wharf on the harbor westward and uphill along Main Street comes to an end at Orange. Main Street continues west, but as a residential street, with some of the town’s most historic homes lining both sides. The last two stores are among Nantucket’s classic institutions: Mitchell’s Book Corner on the southeast corner of Main and Orange; Murray’s Toggery Shop to the southwest. We headed south on Orange to see the Second Congregational Meeting House, dating from 1809 and now the home of the Unitarian Church. (It also serves as home for some of the activities of Congregation Shirat Ha Yam. We had the pleasure of attending Rosh Hoshana services there two years ago.)
Just a little farther down the street is the Levi Starbuck house, built in 1838. The Starbucks, as you may know, are a famous Nantucket family, though the most famous of all is fictional, the chief mate of the Pequod in Moby-Dick.
That’s it for now. I hope to be back with news of our historical walking tour.