Beyond Our Shores

Occastionally, things happen off Nantucket that we think you might like to know more about. Read about events beyond the shores of Nantucket here.

  • Teaching Kids to Sail

    This article was contributed by LateSail.com, where you can find a wide range of sailing advice and the best deals on discounted bareboat charters.

    There’s no doubt about it- sharing the pleasures of sailing with your children is an incredible opportunity for family bonding. Simply the idea of spending the day (or overnight!) on a boat can be a thrill for kids of any age; when they’re young they can just enjoy the views and sea breeze along with everyone else. As they get a bit older the real fun begins; they can learn how to actually sail the boat. Continue reading

  • April's Lessons: Life with an Ex-Racehorse

    I grew up with horses. Thex-racehorseey have always been a part of my life. As a small child, I rode western because it's what my parents did, and it's all I knew. I was familiar with quarter horses, appaloosas, arabians and Tennessee walkers. My father was in the army so we moved every three or four years. I rode whatever horses were around. I was ten when we moved to Oahu, Hawaii and my world changed forever. It was there that I discovered English riding, more specifically the sport of eventing. The horses I rode in Hawaii were a motley bunch-- bored school horses with questionable heritage and a surly attitude, but they jumped! Continue reading

  • A Tribute to the Jeep Grand Wagoneer

    Tribute to the Jeep Grand WagoneerAn absolute legend of a high-end 4x4, a hugely influential and long-lasting progenitor of the modern-day sports-utility vehicle, and a smooth, spacious ride with an imposing grill and unmistakable faux-wood paneling -- the Jeep Grand Wagoneer may have ended production better than two decades ago, but it still boasts legions of loyal fans. Stylish yet rugged, it defined the luxury SUV market before it officially existed -- and hasn't ever been eclipsed for sheer character. Continue reading

  • Joe Dimaggio: My first interview

    English: New York Yankees slugger during the a...

    This is a guest post from writer Martin Z.

    “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
    A nation turns its lonely eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo)
    What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson
    Joltin' Joe has left and gone away
    (Hey, hey, hey...hey, hey, hey)”

    Simon & Garfunkel
    1968 song “Mrs. Robinson”

    Singer-songwriter Paul Simon wrote the stanza in "Mrs. Robinson" as a tribute to Joe DiMaggio’s quiet heroism and unpretentious nature. Simon admired DiMaggio. So did I.

    Like Simon, I was raised in the New York City area. In the 1970s, when I was a kid, DiMaggio was simultaneously a ubiquitous presence and the mysterious icon who was worshipped by baseball fans.

    Continue reading

  • Five Best Classic Beach Cars

    Sandy Beach with Tire Tracks and Words Five Best Classic Beach CarsWhen you say beach to most people, they conjure up visions of lazing on a towel and catching some rays. However, there is a devoted group of fans that think of great days spent speeding along the sand in their favorite beach car. Once you've stood up and felt the salt spray whipping around while enjoying the dunes on one side and the water on the other, you run the risk of becoming one of those fans.

    Five Best Classic Beach Cars

    If you live in an area where you can't actually drive on the beach, but you spend a lot of days enjoying it, there are also great cars to make that journey more enjoyable. Some even feel that God made the beach just so there would be a place to drive their favorite beach car. Here are five best classic beach cars for cruising the waterline: Continue reading

  • Bring New Life to Old Sails, Top Best Uses

    Old Sails New Life

    Know that old sail lying around that's hard to part with? It won't do much good on your boat but with the right elbow grease you can repurpose an old sail to good use. Here are some interesting and useful ideas for adding new life to old sails. For more ideas check out our Pinterest Board on the same topic.

    Use as a Removable Deck Sun Shade

     

    The sun can get pretty hot in the summer especially on a south facing deck. Want to hang out without getting scalloped? Just add shade with your old sail. It is easier than you think, has more character than most shades, and is portable. There are already three points to attach rope or a secure line of your choice. Here are the steps with a PDF from Instructables. Want to show off your new shade? Have a sailing themed party! The shade will fit perfectly alongside other nautical decor.

     

     

     

    Sail Beach Tote or Duffel Bag

    A good tote bag for the beach is worth it's weight in sand. Seriously, the ever worthy beach tote or duffel bag is always useful. As a project for your old sail it is an easy one. Plus you can use old rope hanging around for the project as well. Here is a full tutorial for the duffel bag.

     

    Sail Bag Image Credit: Pictures from GTB

    Sail Shower Curtain

    You know that pesky shower curtain that just doesn't seem to last? Take the older sail and have a shower curtain that lasts a lifetime. There isn't too much alteration, they look great, and are much better quality than any other type of curtain you might get. Don't want to do it yourself? Just check for places that do custom sewing and have them place grommets along one side. You also may need to have them cut to size and tape off one end. Then it is just a matter of getting some shower rings to match! Some still use an inner liner keeping the sail on the outside more for looks. There are places on Etsy that sell these you may contact for a custom job with your own sail.



    Sail Personal Sunshade

    Of all the setups this one is the easiest. There isn't any sewing but you will want to have the right size to make this actually portable. All you need is the sail, some rope, and something to secure the rope on one end. Having a smaller sail works particularly well. Bring it along next time you go to the beach for instant shade and conversation piece!

    Sail Chair Covers

    Design Sponge offers a great tutorial with images on creating sail chair covers. They also include some information on creating curtains with sails. Depending on what you have to cover you might be able to get away with using strong clips tucked away rather than sewing.

    Donate Your Old Sail

    If you just want to get rid of your old sail and put it to good use, donate it! There are a number of places including a small outfit in Gloucester, MA called Second Wind Sails that will take and recycle older sails. They also might be willing to do one of the projects above!

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  • Skiing Tuckerman Ravine

    Skiing Tuckerman Ravine Photo Credit: Patrick Gensel

    Tuckerman Ravine means business. Every year, at least one person gets injured or killed negotiating this steep-ridged bowl on the eastern shoulder of Mt. Washington. It can be hard to process that information in on a beautiful August day, when so many of us ascend the 6,288 foot summit of Mt. Washington via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail that the route seems tame. But in September of 2013, a 25-year-old man slipped and fell 150 feet to his death in Tuckerman Ravine because he ventured off the trail to fill his water bottle.

    Steep descents, dangerous crevasses, avalanche conditions, and strong winds all earn this bowl its reputation as a forbidding destination -- while the adrenalin rush of skiing down 45 to 55-degree pitches through up to 50 feet of snow makes it the consummate backcountry ski experience.

    Skiing and Hiking Tuckerman Ravine

    In the summer and early autumn, Tuckerman Ravine Trail is one of the most popular ways to reach the summit of Mt. Washington. The first 2.4 miles of the 4.1 mile ascent to the top is an easy ramble; we saw many families with young children along the way. And the ascent to the lip of the Ravine is easier than one might think, thanks to well-worn switchbacks. Beyond the Ravine, it's a tough scramble up the steep, stony cone of Mt. Washington, but the views from the summit over the entire Presidential Range are worth every step.

    Skiing Tuckerman Ravine is another matter. Every year, the bowl collects snow blown off the summit of Mt. Washington, where winds of over 100 mph are not uncommon. So much snow and shelter from the sun means that the bowl can have good ski conditions long after the season has ended in other locations. In fact, due to the risk of avalanche at the lip of the Ravine, the backcountry season doesn't usually start for Tuckerman Ravine until April. Some years, we're able to ski the bowl into June.

    Tuckerman Ravine, Bring Your Own

    Tucker Ravine Forest Sign Photo Credit: Jonathan Hinkle on Flickr

    Skiers need to realize that there are no lifts and no facilities at Tuckerman Ravine. We'll be transporting skis, ski boots, poles, food, and other supplies along a trail that may be covered in deep snow to the headwall of the Ravine. Good hiking boots are essential for this hike in.

    From there, it's a steep climb up the wall, followed by a descent at a constant pitch of at least 40 degrees. Intrepid skiers can hike beyond the lip of the Ravine to the snow fields near the summit, and it is possible to ski from the summit of Mt. Washington all the way down the Ravine to the Sherburne Ski Trail, which heads back to the trailhead.

    It's not for the faint of heart, but during the height of the season, as many as 3000 backcountry skiers arrive at Tuckerman Ravine daily to experience the thrill of this experience.

    Hikers and skiers access Tuckerman Ravine the same way, from Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center on New Hampshire's Route 16. The Mount Washington Avalanche Center posts the latest conditions at the Ravine each day.

    Tuckerman Ravine Top View Photo Credit: Doug Letterman
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  • Ice Sailing, What Makes Those Blade Runners Go?

    Blade RunnersIt's winter. It's cold. If you still want to sail what do you do? Just like fisherman who drill a hole in the ice and sit for hours for the love of it, dedicated sailing leads those who still want to sail in winter to one thing:

    Ice Sailing.

    According to an older article from Red Bull, "Sailors race without a seat belt, protective panel, or brakes. Not that they care much"

    “You never know with this sport,” says Ron Sherry, a five-time world ice sailing champ and genial Detroit native who journeyed over for another shot at the title. “There are many things that can stop it from working. Too much wind, too little wind, too much snow, too much ice, not enough ice… but when it’s right, there’s nothing like it. It’s absolutely the most fun you can have with your clothes on.”

    Ice Boat Close Up Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik

    Want to know about the history? Check Wikipedia. Want to know about the psychology of it all? Stick around because these "blade runners" are one crazy bunch. One reason they do it? Adrenaline. (view more photos on our Ice Sailing Pinterest Board)

    “When you’re flying almost silently over the ice, all alone, you feel a deep sense of happiness,” explains Austrian Niklas Müller-Hartburg. “And it’s a battle: a battle with yourself, with nature, with your opponents. And it’s not that cold. Adrenaline makes sure of that.”

    There is a certain something about going speeds up to 80 mph on single-seater boats only 12 feet long. Wanna take a ride? You won't be joined by a crowd, nor will there be prizes, still interested?

    “No spectators, no sponsors, and no prize money in our sport,” says Müller-Hartburg. “And that’s just fine. This is a sport for freaks, for idealists. Not for showoffs.”

    If you are there is typically a few hanging about any long stretch of lake that freezes over nicely in the winter.

    The Fastest Wind-Propelled Sport

    A bold claim from a veteran ice boater from NJ Neis Lybeck who enjoys ice boating along the Navesink river. The narrowness of the river certainly adds a lot of interest to the sport.

    Recent years it has been harder to consistently get the ice boat out. The overall warmer trends certainly pay a toll and, "In terms of ice boating conditions, Vermont, upstate New York, and a lot of the places out west are better venues." Does this deter them at all? No way.

    Expensive Sport Just for the Young? Think Again

    Think this is an expensive sport just for the young? That's because you haven't met Leonard Lang. He is 88 years old and owns an ice boat he made for $10. It is certainly adventurous to be cross country skiing at 88 but ice sailing takes it to a whole new level.

    He gets a huge smile on his face when he tells the story of how he got this boat. Many moons ago, his wife gave him a $10 dollar budget to make the ice boat. That may not seem like a lot today, and it did not seem like a lot back then either, he laughs.

    So if you are missing sailing during the winter take another look at ice sailing. This is one way to catch serious wind even when the snow is flying and the thermometer is going the wrong direction.

     

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  • Superstitions of the Sea: Good Luck at Sea

    Sometimes you can tell when a person has saltwater in their blood by the superstitions they keep. Omens considered bad luck to a landlubber become good luck signs for the sailor. Test this concept on your next sea voyage by shoving off on Sunday, carrying a black cat onboard with you while whistling and see if your luck changes.

    Continue reading

  • Sailor's Superstitions: Bad Luck at Sea

    Sailor Superstitions: Bad Luck at SeaNo one purposely hops on a boat hoping for bad luck, but sailor's superstitions say we could easily bring it if we don't pay attention to what we're doing. Three major faux pas are bringing a banana on board, setting sail on a Friday or going out of our way to slay an albatross.

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