Nantucket Brand Blog

  • Eleanor Roosevelt Quote

    Eleanor Roosevelt Quote Photo Credit: Carters Collection on Flickr

    "Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You"

    --Eleanor Roosevelt

    What is the next big thing you are doing that scares you?

  • 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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  • Caught Adrift: Superstitions of the Sea

    Fleetwood Mac - Albatross Music: Fleetwood Mac's Albatross

    Listen to this classic rock group's Albatross, the bird we mentioned as a potential bearer bad luck on the seas.

     

    Logan Hicks Artist: Logan Hicks

    On display in NYC, many of Hicks' paintings reference nautical superstitions and nautical traditions

     

    BermudaTriangleCocktailRecipe Bermuda Triangle Cocktail

    Try this mysterious cocktail recipe this weekend.

     

     

    chinas atlantisChina's Atlantis

    Take a look at Lion City, the intact city China purposefully flooded.

  • Superstitious Sweater Sale

    Superstitious Sweater Sale - Nantucket SweaterAs part of our Superstitions of the Sea series this week, we've got a Superstitious Sweater Sale. Take 33% off all men's sweaters and women's sweaters this weekend with the code LUCKY33.

    33 is a lucky number, right? Well if not, it is for you this weekend. Find a Nantucket sweater for yourself or a friend now and save 33%. Plus, we always offer free shipping on clothing orders over $100.

    Do you think 33 is lucky now?

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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.

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  • Moving Sankaty Head Light

    Moving Sankaty Head LightSankaty Head Light is a lighthouse that sits on a bluff illuminating a portion of Nantucket island's 80-mile coastline on its Eastern Shore. Technically, it sits in the village of Siasconset fulfilling its role reminding seafarers in the Atlantic Ocean to beware of the island's craggy shore.

    Today, Sankaty perches safely nearly 480 feet from shore, however, it was not always situated so cozily inland.​ After the island eroded for decades, it came within 79 feet of the edge, and some authorities claim that a few strong storms could have toppled it into the sea. Continue reading

  • We Must Sail

    Must Sail Quote

    "I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving - we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."
    — Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

    If you have ever stood on the shore in good wind and felt a bit uncomfortable then you know why we must sail. There is no comfort found in being adrift nor is there in having a boat at anchor. When the winds are alight the sails should be aloft. Go with the wind, go against the wind, feel the movement of the craft through the waves, the sail within the breeze for it is a comfort known to those who sail because they must.

  • Throw a Penny at Brant Point?

    Throw Penny at Brant PointTraveling to and from Nantucket Island involves a 30-mile ferry trip over potentially choppy seas, and it’s best if we take this trip with at least one penny in our pocket. The penny is not to pay the ferryman, but rather to engage in the age-old tradition of throwing a penny overboard while departing the island.

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  • 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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