Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Naked and Afraid", Nantucket-Style

We'd been on Martha's Vineyard for nearly two weeks and the kids were getting a bit restless so we boarded the boat and headed for Nantucket.  The plan was that we'd explore some of the "points", grab some dinner and an ice cream, breakfast in the morning and then head back to the Vineyard.  It would be a quick adventure, just enough to shake things up a bit. 

The sun was high and hot on the ride over and we were thankful for the wind that kept us cool.  Travel time between islands is short, just over an hour mooring to mooring. 

Nantucket, MA We settled quickly and boarded the inflatable to set out for Coatue.  Coatue is one of several "points" or "fingers" that are situated on the eastern side of Nantucket Harbor.  The points are part of a larger wildlife refuge called Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. The beaches are covered with shells and ocean polished stones.  It's an unspoiled location where finding other beach goers is a rarity if at all.  Each point is a peninsula of sorts which means that portions of the points, or all in some cases, disappears into the ocean with the changing tides.

Today's destination was the first point.  It was a quick ride through the harbor and we were there.  We beached the dinghy and anchored on the shoreline.  Two of the kids took off down the narrow beach with Dad in search of the perfect shell,  I was on the hunt for stones and my other son was fishing. 

 We hadn't been there long when I noticed that the tide was coming in and it was coming fast.  I mentioned it to my son and then motioned to my family to return.  As we repacked beach towels and coolers I happened to look over my shoulder and noticed the boat floating away!!!!  I wasn't overly concerned as the boat really wasn't that far away (yet) and it WAS anchored after all.  I assumed it was just tethered on a long line.......but it kept going, getting further and further away.  I mentioned it to my husband and children.  I commented that someone ought to grab the line and pull it in.  My daughter tried to get it but got scared when she was waist deep due to an earlier run-in with a horseshoe crab.  My son tried to get it but the boat started to really pick up speed across the water and was too far away for him.  Finally my husband dove in and tried to swim out to it but he couldn't catch it in time.  Meanwhile the tide kept coming and the beach--the entire peninsula--was rapidly disappearing.  I was a bit nervous but still I was calm.  There are boats out here, I'll just flag one down--no problem, right?  
I started to walk the length of the diminishing peninsula toward the mouth of the harbor.  

I saw a sailboat and tried to flag it down... no luck.  I saw a speedboat and waved a bit more frantically but they only waved back!!  UUUUUUUUUgh!!  This is no time for friendly waving--I need help!  I continued down the disappearing beach and I could hear my family screeching in the background and flailing their arms in an attempt to get someone's-- anyone's-- attention.  Finally a party boat sailed into the bay and saw me-- I yelled to them and pointed at our unmanned boat floating away.  They heard me!!!  

While it all ended well, living our own episode of  "Naked and Afraid" was not my idea of a good time.  I'm not fit for survival on an island that comes and goes as it pleases nor am I adept at fire starting, fishing with my bare hands or bug eating, even if it is in paradise!


+Michelle Morrissette Cucchiaro
+My Baked Stuffed Life

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