Thursday, November 8, 2007

Capelin Islands (2)

Here we are making the fast 25 mile trip in the 'Cat'
from Hyannis across the very rough waters of Nantucket Sound.

Pulling into the harbour. Nantucket is both
the name of the island and the chief city.

Being met by some of the locals. Life on the island has hardened them a bit.
You can tell from the signs below just what this place has been al
l about.

Yes, 'Nantucket', the tiny island that for more than a century, was the headquarters of the world's oil business and the inspiration for Melville's "Moby Dick" (based on the tragedy of the whale ship "Essex", the story of which is a New York Times bestseller and which we are currently reading out loud to each other: "In the Heart of the Sea," by Nathaniel Philbrick)

Beginning to explore the back streets of this
scenic & historic town

On the walking tour through the captains homes
and the characteristic the cobbled streets

See the widow walk on top? Nantucket spawned
the feminist movement, as women were left for months and years at a t
to manage civic affairs. The first woman astronomer,
artists, and so many others.

Recently there was an exhibit here, entitled "the gutsy gals of Nantucket".

We all know that Nantucket has also been the context of countless
limericks. We never did meet the "man from Nantucket", though his presence
was chronicled on many T-shirts.

We did, however, encounter his bizarre counterpart ...
the ill-fated old gal from Nantucket, with a bust to heavy to lug it. So to help
her poor spine, when not in recline, she toted each jug in a bucket.

(Sorry) .. on to the tip of the Cape at Provincetown, to do some of our own

pulling out of harbour - pictures celebrating the legacy of Portuguese mothers of sailors - so many Portuguese and Cape Verdians became whalers /fishermen on these shores.

Scooting out past the point to the "Stellwater banks". This area was declared a national heritage habitat through the political advocacy of Gerry Studds, a congressional
candidate, whose campaign Elizabeth helped with back in 1970 (?)

"Thar she blows!"

We had the joy of encountering 7 sperm whales, including two first time mothers and their calves. All of them are known personally by today's professional whaler watchers.

Here's an underwater view!

Dramamine assured this mariner a comfortable voyage, though
leaving him a bit subdued. Relaxing on a hallowed out log.

Tim - this pic is for you!