Monthly Archives: March 2011

Nantucket News of Summer

Carly Simon and Katie Couric at the Pops

Carly Simon will perform at this year’s Boston Pops, and Katie Couric will again guest host, scheduled this year for Saturday, August 13.

It’s the 15th Annual Pops on Nantucket concert to benefit the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, this year celebrating its 100th birthday.

Nantucket Beaches in top ten best in world

National Geographic’s book “The 10 Best of Everything” lists Nantucket beaches among the top ten in the world. Sharing the honor are: The Seychelles, Maldives, Bora Bora, The Hamptons, Lanikai Beach in Hawaii, Fraser Island in Australia, St. Bart’s, Langkawi in Malaysia, and Kauna’oa Bay in Hawaii.

“The most popular beaches on this island in the North Atlantic are Surfside and Children’s. The waters here are relatively calm, and there’s plenty of sand to use for sunbathing or castle-building. Madaket Beach is known for its rougher surf and not-to-be-missed sunsets. Quidnet Beach provides great views of Sankaty Head lighthouse.”

Nantucket Restaurants Open This Week


Click anywhere on the list below for the most current version of this list, and to download a printable pdf. Thanks to Nantucket Visitor Services, especially David Sharpe, for providing the most current restaurant list. Please report changes or errors to David Sharpe at Visitor Services at 228-0925. For last minute guest room availability, call Visitor Services at 228-0925.

Nantucket Business News

Calling all website designers

We’re compiling a list of website designers to make available to all subscribers of MAT. If you are a web designer living on island at least part of the year, please send me your name, the name of your business, your web address, and the web addresses of what you consider to be the three best websites you’ve designed. I’ll compile the list and include it in a future newsletter. Send to


A well known and loved character will not be seen in her normal post this summer. Don and Jere Freedman’s dog Savannah was put to sleep last month at 18 years old when only one leg was strong enough to support her.

“Jere and I can only say that deep in our heart we could not have had a better dog. Her spirit, her love, her gentleness and her intellect were more than we could have imagined. We feel that god sent her to us. I can only wish that many more people are as fortunate as we were in having a dog like Savannah.”

New art gallery in town

Robert Foster is opening a new art gallery on Daffodil Weekend called Robert Foster Fine Art at 8 India Street, or 8 India for short. It’s the former location of the Thomas Henry Gallery. (The Thomas Henry Gallery is moving to another part of town.) Robert has been an art dealer on Nantucket for 12 years now.

8 India will focus on local contemporary art of all genres and styles, with “quality, contemporary art accessible to everyone”. All artists either live or have lived on Nantucket at one time and still maintain connections to the arts on Nantucket. They include: John Devaney, Susan Lazarus, Daniel Sutherland, Deborah Vanderwolk, William McLane, Lisa Marie Duval, Robert Foster, Abigail Groff, Susan Whelihan, Whitney Kreb, Kirsten Sisk and Jeremy Tugeau. More artists are expected to join the roster later. Facebook page.

Business relocations

After 28 years, Noel Berry and Paul Bruno are leaving Main Street. Zero Main is moving to 34 Centre Street, first floor, and will open on May 1.

Judy Brust’s galleryblue will not be open on Old South Wharf this summer, but instead, Judy is exhibiting her own work on the second floor of The Gallery at 35 Main Street.

Woodmeister Master Builders has moved their Nantucket office from Old South Road to 147 Orange Street. Woodmeister offers residential construction, custom cabinetry and interiors, and Lifestyle Management Services, with offices in Newport, Rhode Island, and New York City.

Chamber networking mixer

The Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce presents a March Madness Member Mixer at the Rose & Crown, Wednesday, March 16 from 6 – 9 PM. All island business people invited for networking, a dinner buffet, door prizes and live music from the Shep Cats. Meet new Executive Director, PJ Martin Smith and join the Chamber as an Associate Member for only $30. Learn about new business programs, seminars, workshops and more now being offered by the Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members $20. Non-members $25. RSVP to 508-228-3643 by March 14.

Bookworks now selling e-books

You can now buy E-Books from Bookworks. The books are stored “in the cloud” and are accessible from your iPad, iPhone, NookColor, Sony Reader, and any smartphone or computer (except the Kindle) through a new program from Google E-Books. As you read, your page positions are saved across all the devices so you can pick up reading where you last left off – you can start reading on your PC, continue on your laptop, and carry on reading on your smartphone.

In most cases, the price is the same as you would pay elsewhere. To get started you’ll need a Google account, which you probably have already, and a Bookworks account.
More details here.

New businesses

Babies and Bellies will be opening above Peach Trees at 19 Main Street this April, carrying baby and toddler apparel, junior apparel, kids shoes, swimwear for babies, maternity clothes, nursery furniture and accessories. The owners of this year round business are Nicole Whelden and Stephany Hunter. The store is designed for children up to 10 years old, and will be kid friendly with a play area for children. Website.

The Nantucket Cycling Studio is a new business located at 15 Amelia Drive, next to Accessible Dental, with stationary bikes for workouts and classes. No commitments or membership fees. Website.

More on the Wreck of the Two Brothers

More on the wreck of the Two Brothers

Earlier Story

In a firsthand account about the wreck of the Nantucket whaleship Two Brothers on the evening of February 11, 1823, boatsteerer Thomas Nickerson recalls the moment that the whaleship ran aground on French Frigate Shoals, under command of George Pollard Jr., the Nantucket captain who had survived the tragedy of the whaleship Essex. Nickerson’s account of the wreck of the Two Brothers, along with a poem about the sinking, is on display in the Essex Gallery of the Nantucket Whaling Museum, 13 Broad Street. A detailed account of the incident is available online at

Nickerson’s Two Brothers Account

For the past 188 years, the wreck of the Two Brothers has been buried beneath the ocean in the shallow waters of French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. On February 11, 2011, on the 188th anniversary of the wreck, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries formally announced to the press that they had located the nationally significant wreckage in the waters of Papahnaumokuakea Marine National Monument, nearly six hundred miles northwest of Honolulu.

In the Fall 2010 issue of the NHA’s quarterly publication Historic Nantucket, an article written by NOAA’s Kelly Gleason, Ph.D., and Jason T. Raupp, Ph.D. candidate, featured the exciting discovery and the mounting evidence that the wreck site was indeed the remains of the 1823 Nantucket whaleship Two Brothers. Since that time, the NOAA team has found further evidence at the wreck site, including try-pots, harpoon heads, a grinding wheel, a blubber hook, and fragments of china that make the case that the wreck site relates to an early-nineteenth-century wreck, most likely the Two Brothers.

Ben Simons, Nantucket Historical Association’s Robyn & John Davis Chief Curator, and his colleagues at the NHA Research Library and Gosnold Collections Facility have been working closely with Gleason and hosted her on a research visit to the island last summer.

The NOAA team has looked into the original account of the uncanny events surrounding the original wreck left by Essex survivor Thomas Nickerson, and used other supporting documentary evidence in the NHA collection and elsewhere to link the material evidence of the wreck site with the events as they unfolded on February 11, 1823.

“Their work has brought this dramatic historical event back to life out of the pages of history, and offered a thrilling glimpse of Nantucket’s storied whaling past,” he continued. “Very little of the physical legacy of Nantucket whaleships remains, so the exciting prospects of marine archeology are seemingly just beginning to open new windows into the whaling past.”

At this point, the precious archeological artifacts will remain in the marine sanctuary, as they are protected by federal law. Gleason hopes that a small selection will eventually be placed on display in Hilo, Hawaii. Gleason has been invited to speak here this summer, but nothing has been confirmed. The NHA will continue to work with NOAA to discuss their plans for the future of the wreck material.

“In the meantime, we will be displaying the key material in the NHA collections, in particular Thomas Nickerson’s firsthand account and poem describing the wreck” Simons said.

4th of July Fireworks Are On

Fireworks Fund exceeds goal – There will be fireworks this 4th of July

The Town of Nantucket, Nantucket Visitor Services and the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce announced that their goal to raise $50,000 to fund this year’s 4th of July fireworks has been met and exceeded. The annual fireworks show will take place on Monday, July 4, 2011 at Jetties Beach, with a rain date of Tuesday, July 5.

This annual patriotic event, enjoyed by visitors and residents alike, is essential to Nantucket’s tourism economy. Realizing that time was short and seed money non-existent, Gene Mahon designed and proposed a zero cost fundraising plan when he heard from the Town Administrator that there was no money in the budget to fund the fireworks this year. Mahon is the Chairman of the Visitor Services Advisory Committee and serves on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce. He received approval for this proposal from the Nantucket Board of Selectman in November, 2010, after he announced that he had already secured an anonymous $10,000 donation.

The fundraising plan was a joint effort of Gene Mahon, Kate Hamilton Pardee, Director of Nantucket Visitor Services, and PJ Martin Smith, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. The campaign was an internet-based island-wide viral campaign integrating e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, combined with advertising and articles generously provided by the Inquirer and Mirror. The Chamber collected the donations, and will gift the proceeds to the Town.

Lawrel Strauch of the Chamber of Commerce sent out an appeal letter, written with the help of Bill Ferrall, to all Chamber members asking for their donations. The Chamber then sent out a second appeal a week later to the same businesses asking that they forward the letter to their customer and friend list. The Chamber also posted the appeal on Facebook and Twitter. The Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror sponsored several ads and wrote articles both reinforcing and supporting the appeal. In late January, the Mahon About Town Newsletter sent an appeal to its subscribers and to all island non-profits, again asking that the letter be forwarded by e-mail to their friends, clients, and customers.

The final result was that more than 50 people and businesses donated or gifted $79,000 to this Firework’s project. In combination with Visitor Services t-shirt sales, more than $86,000 has been raised – enough to fund this year’s fireworks and most of next year’s event.

Gene Mahon, Kate Hamilton Pardee and PJ Martin Smith thank all who donated to the fireworks fund. Contributors will be formally and publicly thanked at a later date through an ad in the Inquirer and Mirror after the 4th.

Nantucket Historical Association’s History Quiz Bowl

The Nantucket Hstorical Association’s 2nd Annual History Quiz Bowl took place on Saturday, March 5, 2011
at the Whaling Museum. Questions covered Nantucket history, people, geography, architecture, whaling, historic places, and pop culture. The winners were The Proprietors’ De scendants with Marcia Tooker, Pittman Grimes and Maurice Gibbs.
Photos by Gene Mahon. More at

Nantucket Film Festival All Star Comedy Roundtable 2010

The Nantucket Film Festival All Star Comedy Roundtable took place on Saturday, June 19, 2010 at the Nantucket High School Auditorium. Presented by Ben Stiller, the participants were Zach Galifianakis (writer/comedian, The Hangover, TV’s Bored To Death), Sarah Silverman (writer/comedian, The Sarah Silverman Program), and Andy Samberg (writer/comedian, Saturday Night Live). Photos by Gene Mahon. More at

Nantucket Comedy Festival: Simpson’s Night of Comedy

Felt the need for a summer breeze:

The Nantucket Comedy Festival: Simpson’s Night of Comedy took place on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at Jetties Beach, MC’d by comedian Mike O’Malley of television’s “Yes Dear”, “Parenthood”, and “Glee”, and writer Showtime’s “Shameless”. Panelists included former island resident Donick Cary, John Hodgman (“The Daily Show” and Mac computer commercials), and Mike Reiss (writer for “The Simpsons”). Vito Capizzo, former NHS football coach, was roasted for being the inspiration for one episode of The Simpsons. The evening ended with stand-up from Jackie Flynn and Rich Ceisler, with Lewis Black looking on. Photos by Gene Mahon, assisted by Amanda Morgan. More at

New Nantucket Restaurant: 12 Degrees East

Jonas Baker, owner of Slip 14 on Old South Wharf, has taken over the former location of Cambridge Street Victuals which closed for good at the end of last year. Photos of closing party.

The new place will be called 12 Degrees East, and will “feature foods from around the compass” according to Jonas.

Jonas ran Bluefin from 2000 to 2005 in what is now LoLa 41, and then launched Slip 14 on Old South Wharf in 2006.

Jonas was a big fan of the old Cambridge Street, so will keep many of the same elements and add a few new ones.

In order to focus attention on the restaurant more than the bar, you will enter through the other front door, the one closer to the harbor. Jonas says “I want this to be a restaurant with a bar, not vice versa.”

On your right as you enter will be a room for private parties of up to 12 people. Turn to the left and on your right will be a 6 seat raw bar with a chalkboard menu featuring seafood from Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Cape. Walk on through that room and you’re in the bar room, with tables generally arranges as they were at Cambridge Street. The bar will be just where it was, no changes there, and the open kitchen is still the open kitchen.

The full menu will evolve throughout the season. Most entrees will be in the $12 to $20 range, “simple and affordable” says Jonas. Cambridge Street was famous for its barbecue, and many will be happy to know that you’ll find barbecue on the menu at 12 Degrees. The seafood section of the menu will include Fruits de Mer and a cold seafood dish of raw and cooked shellfish. Apps may include a variety of things including cheese and charcuterie plates, ceviche, trio of sliders, tartars and flatbread, along with a small “Bar Snack” menu.

One welcome addition will be a late night bar menu in high summer – we never seem to have enough places to eat at 11 pm, do we. 12 Degrees will serve a reduced bistro menu from 10 to 11:30 pm, weekends to start, nightly if the demand is there.

12 Degrees will be open year round for lunch and dinner – most likely 4 days and 7 nights in the summer, and 3 days and 4 nights at other times of the year. Evening hours will be from 5 pm to 1 am. Reservations will be accepted, and walk-ins will always be welcome. Casual attire will prevail.

Behind the line, former Cambridge Street chef Dante Benati (at right with Trish Gallen) will join with Timothy Thatcher-Renshaw (Slip 14 and Cinco) as co-chefs; Matt Oakley (Slip 14) will be the sous-chef.

The restaurant manager will be Sara Balloffet (Slip 14), who will also be bartending along with Lonelle Rogers (Slip 14).

Jonas expects to dedicate a lot of his time at 12 Degrees while also working with his team at Slip 14. 12 Degrees will open around the first of April with a year-round food and full liquor license.

12 Degrees East
12 Cambridge Street
Visa, MasterCard and Amex

Nantucket Whaleship Remains Found in Hawaii

Nantucket Whaleship Remains Found in Hawaii

Trypots, blubber hooks, and other artifacts found in 2008 in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands 600 miles northwest of Honolulu have been authenticated as from the Nantucket whaleship “Two Brothers”, which sunk on February 11, 1823 in a shallow reef off French Frigate Shoals in water now 10 to 15 feet deep. “Two Brothers” was the second ship that sunk under the command of Captain George Pollard Jr., who survived both after having reportedly said that “the lightning never struck in the same place twice.” Pollard had also commanded the whaleship Essex, sunk by a sperm whale, which story was told in “Moby Dick” and Nat Philbrick’s New York Times bestseller “In the Heart of the Sea”.

I asked Nat Philbrick for a quick comment early this morning: “Yes it is exciting. Kind of amazing that they’ve found bits and pieces from Nantucket on the other side of the planet.”

Maritime heritage archaeologists working with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries found the remains of the wreck on a reef off French Frigate Shoals, nearly six hundred miles northwest of Honolulu, in the remote Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

This is the first discovery of a wrecked whaling ship from Nantucket. All of America;s whaling ships are now gone, broken up or sunk, except one, the National Historic Landmark Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut.

Excerpts from the mission blog written on August 24, 2008 by Kelly Gleason, Maritime Archaeologist:

“Our next task at French Frigate Shoals was to search for some of the other shipwrecks that have been recorded lost here. Easier said than done–looking for a shipwreck site at this large atoll is a little bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.

“Within minutes of the first tow, the towboarders spotted a large traditional kedge anchor in about 15 feet of water. It was big and definitely old‚Äö and didn’t look like it was simply lost in an anchorage… After snorkeling around in the area, we came across the first clue that this site was more than a lone anchor – a trypot!… The team discovered two more trypots (for a total of three), another large anchor, and hundreds of bricks scattered in pockets of the reef. As the team explored further along the shallows, we discovered hawsepipes and rigging. Just as they did on the Gledstanes discovery, the trypots and bricks clearly indicated a whaler, and examination of the anchors point toward an early 19th century date.

“Nevertheless, the identity of this unexpected find remains a mystery. What ship could this be trapped on the sea floor beneath the waves at French Frigate Shoals for so long? Only three whaling ships, all American vessels, have been reported lost at French Frigate Shoals: the South Seaman, a wrecked in 1859; the Daniel Wood, wrecked in 1867; and the Two Brothers, a Nantucket whaler wrecked in 1823.

“The maritime archaeology team collected a considerable amount of information at the site: measurements, distribution, and location of artifacts are all clues that will help us to figure out what the identity of this ship may be and how it likely came to its end. The team will take this data, the still and video images, measurements, and field notes back to shore. From there, we will search through archives, consult our peers and experts in the field, and begin to put the pieces of this shipwreck site together. … We will be patient and appreciate the journey as we discover the true story behind this unidentified whaling shipwreck site.

Archeologists working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in 2009 and again in 2010 found more artifacts, 80 in all, which were used to date the ship. Kelly Gleason, the writer of the blog above, visited the Nantucket Whaling Museum for clues. Additional scholarly research provided first-hand accounts from Two Brothers crew members, including an approximate location of where the ship grounded, which matched the location of the wreckage.

The team plans to return to the shipwreck site again to look for more pieces of Nantucket whaling history. The artifacts will be displayed at the Discovery Center in Hilo, and the exhibit may travel to Nantucket.

The following photos of the Two Brothers Discovery are courtesy of NOAA/Greg McFall.

French Frigate Shoals


Blubber Hook

Blubber Hook

Cooking Pot

Cooking Pot

Ginger Jar

Ginger Jar

Grinding Stone

Sounding Lead

Spear Tip

Try Pot

Try Pot