"This is a nice one, this is an old one. It's made out of separate pieces of, uh, loud material, sewn together in squares." - Bill Murray on Madras
30 Miles Blog
March 20, 2014
March 19, 2014
All season long, Nantucket Island swarms with nature's most vibrant, inviting color palettes. Sunrises brighten our mornings with purple and skies, hilly bogs fill with maroon and red cranberries, and the deep blue tides turn frothy and white as they crash toward our shores. We think that's why madras and Massachusetts go so well together; the distinct, colorful plaid fabric is a summertime essential, and we offer several ways to style it just right for your own Nantucket adventures. Don't miss the video at the bottom with Bill Murray talking about Madras!
It's easy to figure out what to wear with madras if you stick to one rule: keep it simple! When it comes to accessorizing such bright colors, soft is safe and showy is too extreme. We do offer several options in lighter, more muted patterns; it's okay to bring out a pale blue scheme with pops of neon, but neutral is best for the rest of it. The vibrant colors in our madras apparel really shine when we pair them with white, tan, or gray fabric that stays out of the way.
Our Montauk madras shift dress is bursting with the rainbow's warmest colors; strips of lavender are scattered throughout a pattern dominated by bold neon pink, bright yellow, and oranges that range from peach to deep blood orange. Its flattering bateau neckline doesn't leave room for a necklace, but jewelry should be kept to a minimum anyway to let the dress make the statement. Simple earrings from Loren Hope, such as delicate Sophia studs with coral glass stones, offer a subtle complement to the dress's color spectrum.
Skirts are versatile summer staples that add a feminine touch and breezy comfort to strolls along the beach, afternoon lunches, and even trips to the mainland. We think madras skirts are even better at making you look confident and comfortable, especially when you accent them with elegant jewelry.
For a final addition to your green Madaket madras harbor skirt, drape Loren Hope's long, gold-plated turquoise pendant necklace over a white tank top or tee. Meanwhile, Kiel James Patrick's hand-knotted Adalie Sunkiss sailing bracelet is a perfect match for the aquamarine, perwinkle, and salmon in our mid-thigh or knee-length Beach House madras skirt.
Women's Madras Hoodies
Madras has continued to evolve since its journey from the marketplaces of South India to the shoes of Nantucket Island. It was first crafted in Madras (now Chennai), India, with the hot sun in mind, and it's still sported under that same sun every summer. Thanks to the addition of women's hoodies to our inventory, you can incorporate it into your nighttime wardrobe too.
After the sun sets and the sand gets chilly, strike up a bonfire and spend the evening in our Newport madras hoodie sweatshirt. With black that matches the starry sky and blues pulled straight from the ocean (including the pale blue of its soft, terry cloth lining), it's a fitting choice for a night on the beach. Channel seaside nostalgia with Eliza B. leather ascots in stingrcobalt blue.
Our Myrtle Beach madras pattern is one of our favorites. Its patchwork pastels are feminine and summery, and it's easy to find a shirt in pale pink, green, blue, or yellow. Because it's available in shorts, Bermuda shorts, or pants, that shirt can be anything from a tank top to a silk blouse, depending on the event you'll be attending. If it's a casual one, we recommend a Harding-Lane needlepoint hat like their pale blue mermaid hat. And if you're going formal in the form-fitting pants, make a statement with Loren Hope's small dahlia cuff in lilac; each of the brass bracelet's five, hand-polished glass petals are surrounded by real Swarovski crystals.
Men's Madras Shorts
Esquire Magazine called shorts the "easiest" way for men to introduce madras into their wardrobe. They recommend a simple, plain white T-shirt to pull off the loud pattern as casually as possible. To support the neutral, laid-back look, opt for the white cotton and split leather in Kiel James Patrick's Mariner and Cape Poge Bay sailor rope bracelet.
Our loudest pair by far are the Marblehead madras whaler shorts, on which patches of bright green, picnic-blanket gingham are stitched between a variety of bold plaid squares, some in matching shades of green and others in jarringly sophisticated deep reds and blues. Offset the potential for clashes by bringing out those patriotic hues. Try a Smathers & Branson cotton twill, needlepoint hat; they have plenty of choices in both faded rust and navy, which are adorned with everything from a mako shark to a fishing lure. To really balance out this ensemble, we recommend a navy hat with a sea turtle that unites the bright greens and dark blues in one swift move.
March 18, 2014
Every summer Nantucket is home to a number of sailboat races. Nantucket's location is ideal for sailing and the races draw a number of participants. If you are considering a visit to Nantucket consider a time when one of these races are going, they are fun to watch. Here is a list of some of the best sailboat races in and around Nantucket. Some of the dates below are approximate, check the websites for exact dates for the upcoming season which haven't been posted at the time this post was published. Continue reading
March 14, 2014
One of the best things about summer is the wardrobe. Nantucket Island is never more beautiful and relaxing than when we’re underneath the summer sun, being rocked by the tides or the salty ocean breeze. Seersucker fabric is a lightweight summertime favorite among the nautical at heart, thanks to a unique weaving process that creates its signature “crinkled” look and airy feel. The fabric is designed to touch the skin as little as possible, leaving plenty of air to circulate and warding off heat and moisture. Continue reading
March 13, 2014
March 11, 2014
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 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!
March 7, 2014
March 7, 2014
Dead Horse Valley is not only the most popular place to go sledding on Nantucket, it is one of the only places. This makes it a highlight of the winter months with both visitors and locals alike, on those rare occasions when Nantucket gets real snow. Teens and kids especially love it, as the sledding area starts out nice and gentle, but then gradually becomes more steep, making for a smooth, fast ride to safety at the bottom. It's almost like riding a roller coaster. Anytime there is snow on Nantucket, you can be sure that there will be plenty of people of all ages at Dead Horse Valley. The kids and teenagers will be enjoying sledding, while their parents watch happily from the sidelines. It's winter family fun at its best! (Don't miss an older video of sledding at Dead Horse Valley at the bottom!)
Great Fun If There Is Snow
Dead Horse Valley is located on public property on Nantucket. The whole area is approximately 400 feet long and has a 50 degree slope. The terrain is smooth in some places, and bumpy in others. While it's not an officially designated sledding place, it is the only real place to sled on the island. It doesn't get to be used nearly often enough. This is because most winter weather on Nantucket is mixed with rain or sleet, or only a light dusting of snow forms. When there is any real snow on the ground on Nantucket, though, Dead Horse Valley is the place to go. There isn't any parking nearby, but Nantucket is a small island. It won't be hard to get to from wherever you park.
If you're visiting the island for the first time, Dead Horse Valley is easy to find. Nantucket is only 17 miles long, so it's hard to get lost. Just get a map and find Mill Street. Mill Street will take you up a small hill. At the top of the hill, turn left at Mill Hill Lane. This street eventually becomes an unmarked country road. Look at the house numbers. When you spot #11, which is on the right side of the road, you will see four white markers in the distance, about 20 yards past house #11. This is Dead Horse Valley, and the start of your sledding adventure.
Origins of the Name
Dead Horse Valley is rumored to have been the places where dead horses were buried on Nantucket back in colonial times. However, there is no solid proof to this rumor. What is known about the place is that it's been active as a place of business since at least 1746, when the first known windmill was built near there. This is mentioned in several books on the history of the island, and its veracity can be seen today in the names of the streets leading to the valley (such as Mill Street and Mill Hill Lane). Today, however, Dead Horse Valley is a place for nothing but fun. People walk their dogs there in the summer, but in the winter, when it snows, this gorgeous public land on Nantucket is all about sledding.
For what not to do when sledding...
March 6, 2014
"Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You"
What is the next big thing you are doing that scares you?
March 5, 2014
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
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.