Nantucket Current, June 21, 2021


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B y  J a s o n   G r a z i a d e i

GOOD MORNING NANTUCKET: The photo above was captured almost exactly two years ago today from the Steamship as an early summer storm descended on the island. Tropical Storm Claudette formed over the weekend and is making its way up the eastern U.S. Although it has been downgraded to a tropical depression, the storm could still cause rough surf and rip currents on Nantucket tomorrow as it passes off to the east. 

Construction Near Amelia Drive
Causes Confusion

At 10 a.m. yesterday, the town announced the “total closure” of Amelia Drive starting today and lasting through Friday due to the construction of the new road Waitt Drive. The e-blast from the town prompted a flurry of texts, social media posts, confusion and concerns from business owners, and ultimately, a retraction by the town stating Amelia Drive was, in fact, not closing. A new notice stated that site inspection and business notification would begin today. An apparent miscommunication prompted the original notice to be sent out. Department of Public Works director Rob McNeil said yesterday that he had not yet received the final construction schedule from the town’s contractor, and that he was unsure why the original notice was released. Construction around 7 Amelia Drive will likely cause some disruption, but certainly not a total closure, McNeil said. The new road, Waitt Drive, will connect Old South Road, Amelia Drive, and Ticcoma Way, and will eventually serve the new 64 unit affordable housing development the town is planning off Fairgrounds Road.

Back in late April, the town did warn that “on-street parking on portions of Amelia Drive may be temporarily disrupted or occupied by construction vehicles during this necessary construction.”

Atheneum To Fully Reopen
Library by July 6

The Nantucket Atheneum has set Tuesday, July 6 as the date to fully reopen the island’s public library and bring its operations back to normal. The Atheneum cautiously reopened its doors to the public on a limited basis back on May 27 for the first time in more than a year, allowing “express browsing,” which gives people the option to browse or use a computer inside the library for brief periods between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. It continues to offer curbside pickup of library materials, which became a hit during the pandemic. As of today, the Atheneum will further expand hours for in-person express browsing and computer use to 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday. Library users are still being asked to wear a mask, use hand-sanitizer, and self-distance inside the building. Curbside pickup will cease on July 6 when the Atheneum fully reopens and goes back to its regular hours and operations. 

Atheneum Summer Hours, Beginning Tuesday, July 6:
  • Monday 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 9:30 a.m.– 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Nantucket Beats Vineyard
In Island Cup of Fishing

The 20 member Nantucket beach fishing team, made up of Nantucket Anglers’ Club members, defeated the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association in a week-long contest that ended, June 19.  The Island Cup was decided by 7.5 pounds, or approximately one bluefish. Things looked bleak for the Nantucket squad going into the final night of the tournament.  The MVSA had worked to a 40-pound lead in a contest that had remained close all week.  The Nantucket team was energized, striving to win back the Island Cup that the MVSA had captured with their win in 2020. Willis Ferreira, a first-year member of the Nantucket squad, changed everything in the early-morning hours of the final day of fishing when he pulled in a 42-inch striped bass, the biggest fish of the tournament. 


Vehicle Access to
Great Point Restricted

Vehicle access to Great Point has been restricted by the Trustees of Reservations, which manages the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, following the hatching of threatened bird species over the weekend. The restriction is in place at marker 4 along the east beach, by Great Point Lagoon. Access beyond that point is pedestrian only. Diane Lang, the Trustees stewardship manager for Nantucket, said only a small portion of the area is restricted. The current access for beach driving extends 2.7 miles north of Coskata Pond along the beach to marker 4. 

Possible fog today and tomorrow. Tropical Storm Claudette passes well SE on Tuesday, causing slightly elevated seas on south facing beaches. Today we’ll have clouds early and it will be breezy, with winds at 15 to 25 mph. Tomorrow will be cloudy with a chance of rain late. SW winds at 10 to 20 mph shifting NW at night as a cold front passes from the west. For today:

  • High temp: 74º 
  • Low temp: 65º
  • High tide: 9:39 a.m.
  • Low tide: 3:17 p.m.
  • Sunset: 8:18 p.m.

Captain Blair Perkins is an avid weatherman who has spent his life on the waterfront as a commercial fisherman, boat captain, naturalist, and surfer. His family business, Shearwater Excursions, offers oyster tours, cocktail cruises, eco tours, whale watches, kid’s fishing trips and more. Look for Blair’s weather updates in each issue of Nantucket Current. 

– SUPPLY AND DEMAND:  It’s no secret that the combination of pent-up demand, encouraging COVID-19 numbers and vaccination rates, along with an improving economy have sent vacation rental costs soaring. USA Today published an extensive piece yesterday on the phenomenon, focusing in part on Cape Cod, and how the surging demand for vacation rentals has prompted hosts to react accordingly by setting their rates higher. On Nantucket, Fisher Real Estate principal broker Jen Shalley Allen has observed a similar trend: “We saw vacation rental bookings occur earlier in the season than is typical, with both significantly higher booking volume and requests for longer stays than we’ve ever witnessed. And while demand has seemingly never been higher, available rental properties have been harder to come by as many families who might normally rent for several weeks when they wouldn’t be using the property (due to kids’ schedules or international travel) are using their properties for longer this summer.  As a result, weekly rental prices have increased quite substantially in many cases.”

– “UNPRECEDENTED” JET FUEL SALES: Nantucket Memorial Airport announced on Friday that jet fuel sales for the month of June were on pace to hit 642,000 gallons, “shattering 2019’s record.” Calling it “unprecedented demand,” the airport gave a hat tip to its staff members in operations and FBO (fixed base operator for private aviation). 

Power Player

Nantucket summer resident Jim Hackett has a long and storied career in the energy industry, including nearly a decade as CEO of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Hackett Tower, a thirty-one-story high-rise building located at Anadarko’s headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas, was named in his honor. But in 2012, Hackett famously left the boardroom to return to school—specifically Harvard Divinity School—where he studied the difference between spiritual and intellectual values, and sought to learn more about injecting spiritual purpose into large institutions. As part of a relatively large group of Texans that come to the island during the summer season, Hackett and his wife Maureen have made Nantucket a special retreat for their family since the 1970s and have donated generously to organizations like Nantucket Cottage Hospital and the Boys & Girls Club. Hackett spoke with N Magazine and shared his insights on the future of energy, legislation like the Green New Deal, and his family’s difficult journey that led to their philanthropic initiatives and focus on mental health.


Nantucket restaurants: A complete list of open restaurants by the town’s Office of Culture and Tourism.

Nantucket Current is published by N Magazine on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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