Saturday, July 8, 2017

1982 (11) – A Change of Plans

Nantucket Lighthouse.  Acrylic Painting, 16" x 20"

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard, was a harbor that offered lots of services, most of which we passed up on, as they all cost money.  But we did take advantage of the launch service, as we were anchored a mile down the harbor from the town.  Launches ran frequently, and responded to three toots of the horn.  We depended on the launch while we were at Edgartown, and never even took the dinghy off the deck, where we stored it on passage.  We went in to town for a movie one night, and were returning to the boat at 9:00 p.m.  It was so foggy, you couldn't see from one boat to the next.  It was really tricky locating people's boats, as there were over a hundred anchored in the harbor. 

After Kathy and Bill left on August 9th, the weather turned bad, with rain and fog.  We had been down in the Caribbean for too long.  When the temperature dropped to 70 degrees in the boat, I was wearing my thermal underwear, with a floor-length flannel nightgown, and we were buried under wool blankets.  We were planning to sail from Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket, and we waited a few days before leaving.  Thanks to the fog, the weather report was listing zero visibility at Nantucket.

Kathy and Bill had asked us what we’d be doing for the winter; we answered that we had no set plans.  We assumed that, after summering in New England, we would spend the fall in the Chesapeake, and then head south to Florida for the winter.  All those plans went out the porthole when we sailed into Nantucket the following week.  While walking around the lovely old whaling town, we stopped to visit Nantucket Looms, where people were working as hand weavers, producing beautiful crafts and fabrics. 

Mileage chart on the side of the Nantucket Looms building.

We hung around; we talked about our travels, and the fact that we'd both woven as a hobby, back in Michigan.  We chatted with Andy, the head weaver, who was also one of the owners.  I left for a while to satisfy a craving for French fries.  By the time I returned, Ed had been tentatively offered a job.  He was enthusiastic at first, but then decided it would be boring, since it involved weaving hundreds of yards of fabric.  But by then I knew I wanted to stay at Nantucket, and talked Ed into it, despite our qualms about wintering the boat at the island.  Since I wasn't willing to spend another year sitting around while Ed worked, like I'd done in Tortola, we told the folks at Nantucket Looms that we'd both like jobs.  They had large orders to complete over the winter, and we were both hired.

In one week on the island, we not only landed jobs, but I found us a studio apartment, and arranged dockage (winter storage) for Tropic Moon at the marina.  The cost for the boat slip was $350 for the whole winter!  The studio apartment was on Easy Street.  (Yes, I loved telling people we were living on Easy Street).  The apartment was within two blocks of Nantucket Looms, the boat basin, and the supermarket.

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