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This is our Sound - Enjoy! Under the Sea good health Calls of the Wild Lighthouse Keepers Growing from the Earth stargazers Maps

Just a


Good Energy Ecuador Surgical Mission

Walking Trails



save the dates

The shortest distance between you and a doctor is a direct line. 508-825-1000 It’s never been easier to find a physician on Nantucket. That’s what our MD ACKcess line is all about. Whether you are a resident or visitor to our island, our physicians and medical staff are dedicated to providing the care you and your family need, quickly and efficiently. In addition, physicians are available to offer expertise in a variety of specialty areas through our affiliation with Massachusetts General Hospital.

Call the Nantucket Cottage Hospital MD ACKcess Line at 508-825-1000. NOTE: if you are critically injured or need immediate medical attention, always call 911

Nantucket Cottage Hospital is an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of Partners HealthCare.

ageless partners Contemporary art for homes of distinction.

the works of Judith A. Brust Oil based Monoprints , paintings, watercolors, and sculptures

508 228-9929

by appointment

On exhi bi t at

The Gallery at 4 India 508-228-8509 4 India St., Nantucket, MA 02554

L’Attitude Gallery 617-927-4400 211 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116 mid summer 2013




The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment.

Sound Writers

Betsy Corsiglia, lives on Martha’s Vineyard and is a professional photographer for 25 years, decided to pursue her life-long passion in the field of nutrition by returning to Simmons College in Boston, where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Health Promotion, and a Certificate in Sports Nutrition and Didactic Program for Dietetics. She completed her dietetic internship through the University of Houston’s Distance Program. Trained in clinical, community, and food service settings, with an emphasis on acute care, diabetes, and renal disease, Betsy participates in outreach programs at both WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Head Start. Cherie Winner holds a Ph.D. in zoology from Ohio State and taught anatomy and developmental biology at university before launching a career as a science writer. She freelanced for 15 years, writing 22 books for children on subjects ranging from the ecology of Alaska’s North Slope to the history of blood transfusion. Since 2005 she has worked for magazines, first as science writer with Washington State Magazine and now at Oceanus, the flagship publication of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Dr. Michael West is Director of Astronomy at the Maria Mitchell Association on Nantucket Island. He received his PhD in astronomy from Yale University and held positions at universities and observatories around the world before happily washing ashore on Nantucket.  Most recently he lived in Chile for seven years, where he was scientific head of a major European organization that is building the world’s largest telescope there.  He is a frequent user of leading telescopes around the world, including the Hubble Space Telescope,  for his research.

DAN HART - Cape Cod became Dan Hart’s home after he retired from land protection efforts, educational work, and fund-raising with the National Audubon Society in New York City and in Greenwich, Connecticut, and with the Massachusetts Audubon Society in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Dan has published nature and environmental articles in numerous newspapers and magazines including Sanctuary Magazine, Stand Magazine and the Lincoln Review. He was one of the finalists in The Ernest Hemingway Writer’s Festival book contest in the “First Novel” category. Dan is also the author of The Witness Tree, a mystery and suspense novel. Jill A. Mooradian is currently writing a book drawing from 25 years of private practice. Her passion and gift which she calls Synergenic healing is oriented towards awakening consciousness and personal growth. The message of her writing discusses the fundamental structures that support conscious evolution of an individual at the soul level of their being. Jill is a highly sensitive intuitive with extensive training both domestically and internationally in Energy Mastery. Her skills in the healing arts are applied 2

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to address the individual needs of her clients at the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Jill continues to travel globally for her own personal growth and enjoys living on Nantucket year-round. Peter B. Brace is a freelance writer living on Nantucket specializing in environmental and natural world writing who published his second book, “Nantucket: A Natural History” in June 2012. His first book, Walking Nantucket: A Walker’s Guide to Exploring Nantucket Foot” published in 2004. Peter also did environmental reporting for the Nantucket Beacon and later the Nantucket Independent.

E. Vernon Laux is a Birder, butterfly enthusiast, photographer, radio commentator, columnist and author. Vern has birded extensively all over North America and has birded on all 7 continents seeing some of the most spectacular wildlife and scenery on the planet. He has written thousands of newspaper columns about birds and the natural world (appearing in the New York Times, the Cape Cod Times, the Martha’s Vineyard Times, Vineyard Gazette, and Nantucket’s Inquirer and Mirror, published magazine articles in a variety magazines including Birder’s World and Birding) and is author of the book “Bird News-Vagrants And Visitors On A Peculiar Island”. He is the Resident Naturalist and Land Manager for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation on Nantucket. Natalie Ciminero is a spacial designer, writer, event planner, private chef and founder of Nantucket Liaison. She was an over-achiever in her youth and pursued her academic career that led her to Harvard University. Her diverse interests drove her to explore a variety of interests and she simply refuses to “draw within the lines”. Natalie yearned for more than traditional universal studies and rounded off her education by becoming certified in holistic health and belongs to the American Society of Alternative Therapists. Social awareness, humanitarianism, and advocacy for animals - all topics that Natalie engages in and use her talents to effect positive change. She lived in Boston and Hyannis, MA for many years and now lives on Nantucket full time with her wife, 2 dogs and one very bad black cat. Siobhain Klawetter washed ashore on Nantucket when she was seven, after having spent her formative years in a European city. Although she felt as though she had moved to another planet, she quickly lost her funny accent and started to feel a part of the island, developing friendships and connections that would remain with her throughout her life. She has traveled the world on a constant exploration of the human experience, with the most of the last decade spent raising awareness on the issue of hunger in America. She currently lives on Nantucket with her husband and daughter.

Contents 16

Under the Sea

Listening to the Sounds

25 Calls of the Wild 32

Lighthouse Keepers


Growing from the Earth


Skyhoppers & Stargazers

Good Health


Storing Herbs

52 Remarkable Story A Picture Tells a Thousand Words 60



Honey 101

63 Good Energy Community Networks in Health & Healing


Maps & Directory 4 Just a thought 15 Drink to your health 43 Islander Recipes 45


Walking Trails 23 & 39 Save the Dates 64



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Woods Hole




Elizabeth Islands




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Martha’s Vineyard Nomans Land Island National Wildlife Refuge

Inter Island Ferry Martha’s Vineyard - Nantucket






2:00 pm

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Operates daily 9/2-9 then Friday-Monday only 9/13-30

1:25 pm 4

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2:35 pm

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For complete schedules, visit

Advertiser Index

Hyannis Port

Page numbers match the locator numbers circled in red on the detailed town maps on pages 6, 8, & 10. Color code Cape Cod Nantucket Martha’s Vineyard





: In















51b Accommodations et Al 43a Annye’s Whole Foods 38b Bartlett’s Farm 11 Cape Cod 5 22b Cape FLYER 59b Cisco Brewers 9c Dockside Inn 57b Gallery at 4 India 1 Gallery Blue OBC Great Point Properties 51c Grey Lady Marine 14b Housefitters & Tile Gallery 7 Hy-Line Cruises 51a Linda Loring Foundation 45a Lisa Lates Pilates Studio 13a Maria Mitchell Assoication 27b Mass Audubon - Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary 14c Nantucket Atheneum IFC Nantucket Cottege Hospital 59a Nantucket Dreamland Film & Performing Arts Center 21c Nantucket Energy 27a Nantucket Land Council 45c Nantucket Liaison Event Planning & Design 21b Nantucket Moorings 21a Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum 57a Oliver Hazard Perry 38a Peter Beaton - HYDREX Philanthropic 9b Plymouth & Brockton 22a Pumpkin Pond Farm 13b Stephen Swift 43b The FARM Institute 57c Tom Hanlon Landscaping 24 Tonkin of Nantucket 14a UMASS Boston - Nantucket Field Station 45b 97.7 ACK-FM

Muskeget Island

Tuckernuck Island


© 2013, Mind’s Eye Communicaitons, Inc. Maps designed by Frederick Swartz

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FALL Travel specials AVAILABLE AFTER LABOR DAY WEEKEND. Check them out at or

Hyannis Port, D

































BAY ST Hyannis Transportation Center 2 blocks from Hy-Line Landing Plymouth & Brockton Bus offers frequent depatures to and from Logan Airport & South Station in Boston.


Cape Flyer Train offers weekend travel from Boston to Hyannis.


Hy-Line owns and operates on-site parking lots along Ocean Street, all within walking distance of the terminal (no shuttle hassles). When driving down Ocean Street, pull into our dock (on left) where you can unload baggage/ passengers and then you will be directed to a nearby lot.









The Hy-Line Cruises shuttle will pick you up – No Charge – at the Hyannis train station and bring you directly to the HyLine Landing.

Please note that there are also privately owned lots along Ocean Street, however we cannot confirm their rates or policies. HY-Line Landing & Parking


Parking Lot

D Parking Lot mid summer 2013 | E Parking Lot



Parking Lot











More than just a ferry ride. Voted the best boat line since 2004.

a q Family owned & operated since 1962 a q Did we mention KIDS RIDE FREE on traditional boats? a q Onsite parking, no shuttle hassles a q Island Networking: tours & special offers a q Insider’s Travel e-Guides a q On board food service with full bar, including local spirits a q Cafe & raw bar at Hy-Line Landing a q Same day online reservations a q Inter-Island Trips between Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard a q Travel Alert System that sets the standard

Bob Levine Captain, Great Point | 800 492-8082

NaNtucket & Martha’s ViNeyard

Best Service. Great Value. Better Choice.

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East Chop

OAK BLUFFS High-Speed Ferry to Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard DEPART HYANNIS



JUNE 29 - SEPTEMBER 1 8:15 am 9:10 am 9:20 am 10:15 am 10:30 am 11:25 am 11:40 am 12:35 pm 12:50 pm 1:45 pm 4:45 pm 5:40 pm 5:50 pm 6:45 pm 7:00 pm 7:55 pm 8:05 pm 9:00 pm 9:10 pm 10:05 pm SEPTEMBER 2 - OCTOBER 13 9:25 am 10:20 am 10:35 am 11:30 am 11:50 am 12:45 pm 4:15 pm 5:10 pm 5:25 pm 6:20 pm 6:35 pm 7:30 pm * 7:45 pm 8:40 pm *8:50 pm 9:45 pm * 9/2 - 9/7 only

OCTOBER 14 - OCTOBER 27 9:25 am 10:20 am 10:35 am 11:30 am 3:20 pm 4:15 pm 4:25 pm 5:20 pm 8


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Our maps are online and smart phone user friendly. Check them out at

The easy way to travel


Our walk-in rate starts at $99.


Hyannis Transportation Center (508) 746-0378


We’re at the end of the Hy-Line dock. FREE bottle of water to all our Facebook followers (friend us now and come see us).

Check out our ongoing Travel Specials to Martha’s Vineyard available online

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Nantucket Island 14a

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Our maps are online and smart ST CK BA phone user friendly. Check them out at ATLANT IC


























*Operates daily 5/16-9/5, then Fridays only 9/6 - 10/11

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PR MAY 16 - OCTOBER 15 O S 7:30 am 7:45 Pam 8:45 am EC 10:10 am 10:35 amT S 11:35 am T 1:00 pm 1:25 pm 2:25 pm 4:10 pm 4:35 pm 5:35 pm 7:00 pm 7:20 pm 8:20 pm 9:45 pm *10:00 pm 11:00 pm

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OCTOBER 16 - DECEMBER 31 6:30 am 7:30 am 7:45 am 8:45 am 9:10 am 10:10 am 10:35 am 11:35 am 12:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:25 pm 2:25 pm 3:10 pm 4:10 pm 4:35 pm 5:35 pm 7:00 pm 8:00 pm 8:10 pm 9:10 pm






























































































6:30 am 9:10 am 12:00 pm 3:10 pm 6:00 pm *8:45 pm



High-Speed Ferry to Nantucket Island DEPART NANTUCKET

















































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As a mutual savings bank our success is not handed to stockholders, but recycled throughout the local economy - something we’ve been doing for over 150 years. When you want a great place to bank, as well as one that’s solely committed to the Cape and Islands, then consider Cape Cod Five. In so many ways, we reinvest in opportunities for you and others in this special place.

COMMUNITY BANKING SINCE 1855 Customer Service Center: 888-225-4636 •

Member FDIC Member DIF

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From the Publisher What a season it has been so far! The entire region is bustling with travelers from all over the world and the local population is working full throttle. I encourage you to take a moment to read Jill Mooradian’s “Just a Thought” column. Her words of wisdom remind us to take some time for ourselves. If you are picking up this magazine for the first time, this is our second issue. You might be wondering, “why such a dark cover?” I created the cover as a digital illustration—a composite of various elements that represent the things so many of us value, but sometimes miss. For example, who doesn’t love a full moon over the ocean, or our night sky? The Sound region is one of the best places to observe the stars, and possibly catch a shooting one. What’s even more alluring is looking beyond the surface. Our editorial sections range from introducing Arlene O’Reilly, Publisher WHOI scientists, Listening to the Sounds (Under the Sea), to sharing how to store your garden’s herbs for winter (Growing from the Earth), or showcasing healers and health practices in our Good Energy section. We have attracted some new writers since our premier issue. I am very pleased to have Dr. Michael West join us; he shares his theories on whales using the stars as migration tools. Dr. West is a world-renowned astronomer. He has recently moved to Nantucket and is now working with the Maria Mitchell Association. Also joining us from Martha’s Vineyard is an long-time associate of mine, Betsy Corsiglia. Betsy is one of the region’s best photographers. She has recently obtained her Master of Science degree and national certification in nutrition. Betsy’s goal is to share the nutrition education by exploring options for daily routines that can affect lifelong change. The timing is perfect for her to begin her alliance with the Sound Magazine. Further expansion is achieved in introducing Dan Hart who lives on the Cape. Dan has worked for numerous years with the National Audubon Society and is widely published with a focus on nature and the environment. For those who live on the islands, check out Dan’s walking trail in Cotuit. It’s a great combination of history and exploration of the variety of wildlife in that area. For those of you who love lighthouses and history, Peter Brace has written an account of the three local lighthouses recently moved, and highlighted the fourth (Gay Head Light on Martha’s Vineyard) which is in danger of being lost due to coastal erosion. Communities united can move “mountains,” as you will see. Last but not least, we have our Remarkable Story by Natalie Ciminero spotlighting two people, one from Nantucket and one from Cape Cod. They met in Ecuador on a surgical mission. This snapshot story is a true representation of the generous spirit that is shown in so many ways by so many residents of the Sound region. Thank you for all of your interest so far; the publishing group and myself value your feedback and want to hear from you. Here is our first letter below that I am pleased to share.

Publisher / Editor Arlene M. O’Reilly

Copy Editors Betsy Rich Natalie Ciminero Siobhain Klawetter Tracy Leddy

Writers Betsy Corsiglia Cherie Winner Dr. Michael West Dan Hart E. Vernon Laux Jill A. Mooradian Natalie A. Ciminero Nancy Woodside Peter B. Brace Siobhain Klawetter

Photography Arlene O’Reilly Betsy Corsiglia Dan Hart E. Vernon Laux Greg Hinson Lisa Frey Mathew Hull Siobhain Klawetter Special thanks to: NASA Space Telescope Science Institute Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Graphic Design/Illustrators Arlene O’Reilly Mary Emery

Frederick Swartz Dr. Michael West

Multimedia Production Arlene O’Reilly Alexandra La Paglia Lisa Frey Tihomir Ivanov

Advertising Sales 508.325.7163

NANTUCKET Laura Burnett

Martha’s vineyard John Tiernan

Mid-Cape Nancy Jane Woodside

Distribution partners Hy-Line Cruises, Inc.

Arlene O’Reilly, Publisher & Editor

Letter to the Publisher I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the first issue of Sound Magazine. It was so refreshing to read columns written by local authors about the very things that make up the essence of our unique island lifestyles. I especially enjoyed the column written by Jill Mooradian. Her piece was inspiring, uplifting, and filled with insightful wisdom. I also really enjoyed Peter Brace’s eloquent description of the amazing things one can hope to see on a spring day at the U-mass field station. Start to finish, the magazine imparted a sense of being amongst a community of diverse and gifted people who share an immense appreciation for living in such a special place and a specific talent for sharing why. Thank you for your efforts to keep us connected to one another. I will very much look forward to your next issue. — Megan Anderson


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Design & Layout Mind’s Eye Communications, Inc.

Subscriptions Subscription rate is $28 annually and available at A digital interactive Sound Magazine will be also be available, rate is subject to change.

Letters Your feedback is important to us and we want to hear from you.

© Copyright 2013 Sound Magazine. Sound Magazine is locally owned and published by Mind’s Eye Communications, Inc. It is published three times a year. Reproduction of any part of this publication is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Publishers disclaims all responsibility for omission, errors and unsolicited materials. 2 Windy Way, #114, Nantucket, MA 02554. 508.325.7163

Fertilizer Facts:

What you should know Fertilizers promote plant growth by helping meet nutrient needs. Excessive, incorrectly timed, or inappropriate fertilizers can contaminate water resources. Excessive nutrients find their way rapidly into the coastal waters, harbors, ponds, and streams where they may cause harm to aquatic organisms as well as to human health and welfare. On January 1, 2013 a regulation went into effect on Nantucket to control the content and application of fertilizer containing phosphorus and nitrogen. The purpose of the regulation is to improve and restore the quality of Nantucket’s water resources. Fertilizer should not be applied immediately before or during heavy rainfall. Fertilizer should not be applied between October 16 and the following April 14. Regular soil tests are necessary components of any turf or ornamentalplanting management program that includes fertilization or the addition of soil amendments. Provided by the Nantucket Land Council. This information has recently been provided to land councils on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. The basics of the new regulation for Nantucket property owners are contained in a pocket brochure, “Guidelines for Landscape Fertilizer Use on Nantucket Island.” Also available, primarily for professional landscapers, are copies of the 65-page “Best Management Practices for Landscape Fertilizer Use on Nantucket” in English and Spanish.

To access these documents and get further resources, go to Click on

Fertilizer Facts

SSwift_sound comp.indd 1

mid summer 2013 | 13 7/17/13 8:00 PM

Open to the Public Summer Classes start June 27th

NFS is a 107-acre field site of pristine salt marsh, rolling uplands, and harbor waterfront which provides education, research, and community service.


Nantucket Field Station Research in Action NFS-Sound-1/6h-13.indd 1

4/19/13 6:02 PM


it’s a beautiful thing!



Nantucket Breeze

Kitchen & Bath Design

July 15 8 pm Great Harbor Yacht Club Dr. John Donoghue, Brown University neuroscientist on using machines to restore brain function.

August 7 8 pm Great Harbor Yacht Club Dr. Robert Kirshner, Harvard University astrophysicist examines the accelerating universe.

August 12 8 pm Unitarian Church Maureen Orth & Luke Russert on the media today.

September 16

Window Treatments


Whatever stage your interior project is in, we can help! Visit our showroom.

8 pm Nantucket Atheneum Richard Goldstone, UN prosecutor discusses international crime and the United States’ role. All lectures cost $25. Tickets online and at the library.

1 India Street 508.228.2815 16 Sparks Avenue, Nantucket


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} A Different Kind of Souvenir

just a thought

By Jill Mooradian


n a world where we often complain about the burden of our stuff and the fast pace of life, I’d like to suggest that, upon your arrival at your destination, you give some thought to returning home with a different kind of souvenir. This souvenir will fulfill the definition in that it will be a memento, keepsake, or remembrance, but what you take home will not be an object you spent time and money obtaining. Instead, I’m suggesting you consider also taking home an experience. The demands of the so-called To Do list seem to make us spend much of the ordinary day in our heads figuring out how we will get it all done. Thinking ahead to stay on top of the relentlessness of the many requests, responsibilities, and obligations often leaves little space for anything else. As we get away from the routines of our work-a-day lives we have a wonderful opportunity to explore new patterns, focuses and behaviors. Whether your journey today is the beginning of a vacation trip or just running errands, here’s a thought: try something different and consider shifting your focus from being in your head in the “getting things done” mode to being in your senses. Bring to each activity, conversation, and experience an awareness of the specific sounds, smells, textures, colors, tastes, and sensations around you. Permit yourself to shift your focus to your senses and absorb as much out of your moments as possible. When you find yourself sitting down for dinner, tune into the flavor of your food. Can you detect all the ingredients in each bite? Is there music playing in the background? How comfortable are you? Are you warm or cold? What color is the room you are dining in? Is there anyone wearing perfume and can you smell it? Most of all, are you really listening to the person you

are dining with? In other words tune in to the subtlety of each moment by taking the time to notice as much as possible. Take this opportunity to be clear about what your intentions are for this trip. If they are for relaxation, adventure, and pleasure, I can guarantee you, connecting with your senses will ensure that you will return home more nourished and rested than usual. Whether you decide to try this sensory approach to life for an hour or a day or a week, consider letting go of the plan and being in the moment, by choice. By making this decision you will stay more involved in your experience. A real benefit of trying this is that you won’t be inclined to judge whether things are going well or not. Instead, they will just be what they are, and you can meet the moment without the concern that it has met your expectations or not. It’s a great way to avoid the disappointment of failed plans. The message here is that, today, you have the opportunity to change your habit of planning and to allow your day to unfold: you may be very surprised. The Cape and Islands are known for the sweet smells of the beach plums, roses, and honeysuckle, the salty taste of the air, and the unique quality of the light because of the reflection of the sun off the sea. Take the time to give yourself the gift of absorbing each moment here with more of your awareness by being present. You will find you take home a different kind of souvenir: this souvenir is an experience of your trip through your senses. As a result you will most certainly remember more details of this trip, because you showed up with more of yourself. Like a child you will feel the pleasure of letting it all in. You will be sure to carry home more of your memories enhanced by your ability to recall and share them with all the enjoyment of their deeper impressions.

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under the sea


Listening By Cherie Winner


Seismic Studies Capture Whale Calls The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Image Š Catmando, 2013. Used under license from

16 16 mid midsummer summer2013 2013| |




to the

New software could reveal songs amid the sounds


n November 2012, the California Coastal Commission met to consider a request by Pacific Gas and Electric to study a geologic fault that runs along the central California coast just 300 meters from the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

The Shoreline Fault had not been discovered until 2008. With the 2011 Fukushima disaster still fresh in people’s minds, permission to examine it in detail might have been an easy call. But whale conservation groups opposed the study, claiming that underwater airguns to be used in the research would endanger marine mammals.

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under the sea


It was the latest round in a decades-long clash between seismologists and conservationists. The former use airguns to generate sound waves that penetrate and reveal Earth’s structure; the latter worry that those sounds could injure or kill whales and dolphins. “The thing is, nobody really knows how whales react to airgun shots,” said Dan Lizarralde, a seismologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). In an intriguing twist of fate, he and two WHOI colleagues think they may be able to shed light on that question—using an untapped trove of data from seismic studies. Ears Underwater It turns out that hydrophones (underwater microphones) and seismometers used in seismic studies don’t record just the rumbling acoustic energy from airguns, seafloor volcanoes, and earthquakes. They also pick up the vocalizations of passing whales. “We’ve been recording whales since the late ’70s with these ocean-bottom instruments,” said John Collins, a seismologist at WHOI. “In some ways, the whales are a problem, because they make loud sounds and they can obscure an earthquake.” (See “Probing With Sound,”on page 19.) “John had mentioned it to me a couple of years ago,” said WHOI cetacean researcher Laela Sayigh. “I remember him saying to me, ‘I’m getting these sounds. What are the frequencies of blue whale sounds? Could it be them?’ ” She looked at his seismic records and told him, yes, some of the sounds could definitely be attributed to blue whales. “Then I think he started thinking about it and realized, ‘Wow, this could actually be an amazing data set that could be mined.’ ” Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner A plan began to take shape in Collins’s mind. He invited Lizarralde and Sayigh, who did not yet know each other, to join him and his family for Thanksgiving dinner in 2011. The new acquaintances quickly found ample food for discussion: a 2002 Lizarralde-led research cruise during which conservation groups blamed airguns for the death of two whales. That was the version of events Sayigh had heard, at any rate. She had never been told about the timeline showing that the whales had beached and died when Lizarralde’s ship was still at least 100 kilometers (66 miles) away—and that hundreds of other whales and dolphins, observed by spotters on the ship and in small planes overhead, showed no signs of distress or even of interest in the research ship. “Talking to Dan was very enlightening, because he had such a different take on it, and one that seemed to me more grounded in fact,” said Sayigh. They soon realized that data from the cruise had the potential


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to reveal whales’ behavior before and after the airguns started firing. Lizarralde had used 36 airguns, ramping up the array one gun at a time, the shots about half a minute apart. The hydrophones, some near the surface and some on oceanbottom seismometers (OBSs), had recorded during that whole period, including long stretches before any guns fired and the silent gaps between shots. “That is like the perfect experiment to assess how these animals are responding to airgun shooting,” said Collins. Excited about the possibilities, the researchers examined data recorded by Lizarralde’s hydrophones. Although they looked very different from the kinds of spectrograms of sounds studied by whale scientists, Sayigh could identify within the data the calls of fin whales and blue whales. A flurry of higher-pitched sounds remains unidentified, and still more might be extracted. But the potential is clear, especially for seeing what the whales were doing before the shots started and then during the rampup to full airgun use. “Do they change their behavior? Do they go away?” said Lizarralde. “That would be the first thing you could look for, and it would be so easy to do.”

Probing with sound Illustration courtesy of National Science Foundation

Seismologists rely on sound to learn about the parts of Earth that lie under the ocean. They can map the surface of the seafloor with sonar that uses relatively low-energy sound waves, but to probe deeper, all the way down to the crust and magma far below, they need more powerful tools. Airguns provide low-frequency, higher energy sound waves that can travel through kilometers of sediment and rock. Their name is accurate in one sense—they build up a charge of compressed air that is released in one big shot, creating pressure waves in the water like the waves created in air when a balloon pops. But it is inaccurate in that it suggests a resemblance to destructive weapons such as artillery cannons. Airguns used in seismic studies fire under water, and if you’re on the vessel towing them, a shot is barely perceptible, like the thump of a dinghy hitting the side of the ship. In a basic seismic survey, a ship tows several airguns and long streamers carrying hydrophones, or underwater microphones, that will record the sounds of the shots and their reflections after bouncing off hard structures at or below the seafloor. The airguns fire at set intervals, from every minute to every several minutes, as the ship moves along a set path. Another kind of study uses instruments anchored to the seafloor. Long lines or grids of ocean-bottom seismometers (OBSs) detect rumblings from natural geologic events such as landslides, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Deploying these OBSs is expensive, and they’re usually left in place to record sound waves and ground motion over several months to more than a year.

Seismologist John Collins and geologist Susan Humphris with an ocean-bottom seismometer (OBS). OBSs are placed on the seafloor in precise lines or grid patterns and are usually left in place for several months to over a year. The orange plastic “hard hats” house instruments that record ground movements. Many OBSs are also fitted with a hydrophone, or underwater microphone, that records pressure (sound) waves, which may be made by ground movements, ships, or whales. (Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Coordinating airgun studies with OBSs in place, rather than either technique used alone, gives seismologists a much better view of the Earth’s structure in an area. Hydrophones towed by the ship pick up reflections of the airgun shots off structures at or beneath the seafloor, and the OBSs pick up the airgun waves after they have refracted through layers of sediment and crust. The angle of the reflected waves, their strength, and how long it takes them to reach the hydrophones depend on how far the waves traveled and the hardness and density of the materials they encountered. All of that information produces a profile, or image, of the structure beneath the seafloor.

Chart Graphic (blue) - Time (seconds) Panel 1. This spectrogram of sounds was recorded by a hydrophone mounted on an ocean-bottom seismometer (OBS) in the Gulf of California in 2002. The instruments recorded continuously but this panel shows only the periods when airguns were being fired. Dark blue portions of the spectrogram represent nighttime, dawn, and dusk when the airguns were not being fired. Color indicates the loudness of the sounds, with yellow being the loudest. WHOI researchers Laela Sayigh and Dan Lizarralde have identified the bright yellow signals ranging from about 17 to 30 Hertz as calls from fin whales.

Panel 2. Zooming in on a 5-hour span from Panel 1 shows more detail in the sounds. The brief “blank” periods between intense call activity represent short silences by the calling whale. The source of the sound that hovers around 40 Hertz is not known. The signal near the bottom of the panel is background noise that occurs in almost all recordings from seafloor hydrophones. Panel 3. Zooming in on 5 minutes from Panel 2 reveals the presence of at least two fin whales, one much closer to the OBS hydrophone than the other. New software could pull out even more data from this and other recordings, allowing scientists to track individual whales and observe their calling midairgun summershots. 2013 | 19 behavior before and after


under the sea


Investment Needed There’s just one small problem: Seismic data had seldom been used for that purpose before, and never in the detail the WHOI researchers have in mind. Recordings from OBS hydrophones could be especially valuable because OBSs are located in large arrays in precise geographical positions, which would allow researchers to track individual whales traveling through the area. But to pull out whale sounds from the mass of recorded rumblings and present them in a way that allows biologists to distinguish the kinds and numbers of whales present will require sophisticated software that has not yet been created. That will take money—nowhere near as much as the initial seismic study, but not a trivial amount, either. It’s what Lizarralde calls a “terraced” project—there was a big investment of effort and money to obtain the seismic records, and now “to do anything beyond this is another pretty decent step,” he said. “It’s not a million-dollar step; it’s about a hundred-thousand-dollar step.” That’s not a huge grant in ocean science, but as often happens with interdisciplinary studies, this one faces the problem of not quite fitting into the categories under which research proposals are evaluated. “The biologists will be like, ‘They’re writing a bunch of code and looking at spectrograms; that doesn’t sound like biology to me,’ ” said Lizarralde. “And the geophysicists are going to be like, ‘They’re not going to learn anything about the Earth, so …’ We fall into that crack.” A Rich Vein The potential for seismic data to enhance our understanding of whales goes far beyond the records from the 2002 study. Software developed for the purpose could be a Rosetta Stone allowing scientists to return with new eyes to collections of data from seismic surveys done all over the world. Since 1999, data from all seismic studies funded by the National Science Foundation and using ocean-bottom seismographs have been archived in the Data Management Center at IRIS, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. Those data are available for analysis by anyone with the interest and the means.

Collins and Lizarralde also see a possibility of adapting ocean-bottom seismometers to detect the sounds of more kinds of whales in future studies. They could be outfitted with additional hydrophones that pick up the higher frequencies used by different species and that have something like a voiceactivation switch, so they begin recording only when whale sounds are detected. Since the instruments are in place for many months, they could record the comings and goings of several species of whales in the deep sea through the seasons— information biologists currently have no other way to get. And they would do it without bothering the whales. A Fact-based Evaulation For Sayigh, the bottom line is that deciphering the seismic records offers a chance to get closer to answering the question: Do seismic studies harm whales? Some kinds of sonar are known to harm marine mammals, but evidence that airgun shots endanger them is circumstantial at best, such as a whale washing up on a beach within a few days of a seismic experiment. As a precaution, federal law requires scientists using airguns to employ marine mammal observers and to cease work if even one whale or dolphin is seen within about a mile of the ship. Such measures did not persuade conservation groups or the California Coastal Commission, which denied permission to do a seismic study near Diablo Canyon. “To me it seems like a hasty evaluation by the marine mammal conservation community, sort of assuming that these seismic surveys are dangerous to whales,” said Sayigh. “Which may well be a valid assumption, but I think it should be backed up with real data, not just coincidental strandings. I would love to work with Dan and John and use an existing data set that has so much potential.”

“The goal is that other people can milk the data for things that you haven’t had time to work on or you don’t even have an interest in doing,” said Collins, who chairs the IRIS Instrumentation Committee. “It costs so much to get these data. The more people that use them, the better.” The scientists would especially like to see WHOI take the lead on this line of inquiry because, as Collins said, “Somebody else is going to do it. WHOI researchers have provided a huge amount of the data in IRIS. It would be nice for WHOI to say, “Hey look, WHOI showed that you can mine these data for other things.’ ”  20

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Chart Graphic (red) - Time (seconds) WHOI cetacean biologist Laela Sayigh studies the communication signals of whales and dolphins using spectrograms such as the one shown here. This spectrogram, which was recorded by a hydrophone in Georges Bank, shows calls from two fin whales, one much closer to the hydrophone than the other. Each call lasts about one second and falls from about 25 to 30 Hertz to about 17 Hertz. Color indicates the loudness of sounds in these recordings. Violet is less loud, red is louder, and yellow is the loudest. On this spectrogram, sounds other than the whale calls are “background” that may include waves, far distant ships, and other sound sources. (Courtesy of Watkins data archive at the Marine Mammal Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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Walking Trails Photos: Lisa Frey


Nantucket - Squam Swamp


og: scourge of island air travelers and sun worshipers everywhere, but for me, and for others who love this harbinger of the first of two annual solstices, it’s a true sign that summer has arrived. The beauty of living on Nantucket year-round is being able to experience each and every one of our island’s little meteorological peccadilloes, which islanders view favorably or with disdain for their annual annoyances. Fog: eerily drifting through small island forests at dusk, lit only with fireflies and fading sunlight, bathed in heady, delicious scents of beach roses, sweet fern, and honeysuckle in the soft air.

Squam Swamp, out off Wauwinet Road, and the adjoining Squam Farm property, both owned by the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, is one of the island wilderness haunts I go to in order to indulge in summer escapism cravings. A dense forest of serpentine black tupelos, spreading swamp maples, squat white oaks, and regal American beeches grows out of the high-and-dry spots. It provides the cover for avian


By Peter Brace

heralds of the summer solstice and a hush from all sounds manmade. Gray catbirds meow and mimic all the other birds; ospreys from nearby nesting poles on fishing sorties around the Head of the Harbor call to each well over the canopy of lush green swamp tree leaves; and Carolina wrens call back and forth to each other around the forest. There’s a background sound of frogs; green and bull audibly gulping and chugarumming along with the odd few late spring peepers chirping away from their soggy nocturnal perches. This is where fiddleheads unfurled from edible green swirls into waist-high prehistoric fans of low shade; where soggy sphagnum moss glows neon-green, dripping with moisture. This is where a true hidden forest’s leaves unraveled to envelop a swamp ecosystem that looks like a location straight out of a J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy. Here, winter-dormant fairy shrimp that have reconstituted in vernal pools scoot around after microscopic food; these temporary giant puddles of rainwater are suddenly replete with tadpoles steadily

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morphing into frogs, and with baby turtles recently hatched from their eggs on the pools’ edges. Squam Swamp seduces with a promise of summer respite from the hordes of migratory humans that overwhelm the island around this time of year. It’s far enough away from town that you feel like you’re on another island all together and, if you choose to walk it at the right time of day, you’ll have it all to yourself. Plus, you can learn about what you’re seeing along this loop trail, because the Foundation marked it with 54 numbered posts.

TONKIN OF NANTUCKET English & French Antiques Established on Nantucket 1971

Photos: Lisa Frey

Each post’s number corresponds to its respective digits on a map of the property found in a box at the trailhead. Under each number is a description of what you’re seeing at that post. Take note of #38, because it marks a connecting trail over to the Foundation’s Squam Farm property. Check out for links to maps of these trails. Get there by driving out Polpis Road from either Milestone Road Rotary, or from the ’Sconset end of Polpis Road, and then going approximately 1.5 miles down Wauwinet Road. On Wauwinet Road, about 100 yards after the left turn for Pocomo Road, slow down as you start to descend a gradual hill. Opposite a grove of white oaks is the parking area for Squam Swamp.

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Our next issue will have more walking trails on Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod. If you have a favorite that you would like to share, please let us know.


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7/11/13 10:48 AM

Sounds of the Wild

Written and Photographed by E. Vernon Laux

Baird’s Sandpiper


July-September Bird Life around “The Sounds” of Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket


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calls of the wild

} BASA Boom follow the coast rather than head for the open ocean where nothing but trouble awaits a migrant land bird. Shore birds


ere on the Cape and Islands, it seems summer just gets started when it is time to contemplate another fall season. The lazy days of summer are anything but for bird life.

While we humans tend to relax and enjoy the summer months, most local birds have already finished their nesting chores. In the summer, after nestlings fledge, birds begin to molt, replacing their ratty old feathers with sleek new ones. They also gorge themselves. Migration requires dramatic seasonal changes in behavior and physiology, and these changes must be timed appropriately for successful migration. The flurry of activity around this time of year reflects the birds’ frantic, single-minded pursuit of food. Their hyperphagia, or excessive eating, is accompanied by great changes in body weight and composition. The birds get very fat—and then they are gone, en route to their wintering grounds on a journey of several weeks. They are able to utilize the subcutaneous layer of acquired fat the way an internal combustion engine uses gasoline. Byproducts of all this fat-processing are excess heat and water as the birds power their way south to the Neotropics for the winter, where resources are sufficient for survival. By the end of July, many kinds of birds are on the “south-bound train.” If not on “the train,” they are preparing to 26

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hunker down and get ready for fall and winter. Of course the birds are not on a train, but in the air—both day and night—as they travel hundreds and even thousands of miles in a single leg of their flights south, evacuating the far reaches of the Northern Hemisphere to escape the upcoming severity of fall and winter. By September, virtually every bird of every species is engaged in full-bore migration, and the Cape and Islands experience the finest birding of the year. In the autumn, bird populations in the Sound region are at their highest level with all the young birds in the mix. Birds have evolved to migrate along the coastline in the fall, taking advantage of the predominant northwest winds to aid them on their south-bound journey. The benefits of migrating along the coast are many. The relatively warm waters surrounding the region act as a heat sink and moderate the temperatures. While it may be frosty and cold inland, the effects of the warm water keep it almost balmy along the immediate coast, with much more insect activity than could occur inland. Far more plants have fruits and berries along the coast, often growing in dense thickets and providing food and shelter for hungry migrants. The plants themselves are benefited by having the birds disperse their seeds far and wide. The coast also is a very real barrier— land’s end—and the birds turn and

Mid-July through mid-August, typically hot, humid weather, oft-called “the dog days of summer,” is a time of beachgoers and lots of traffic For birders, it is a chance to see the most mobile and attractive of birds—the shore birds. Arriving from points north, these athletic and superb flying machines appear on beaches, tidal flats, and along the shores of the ponds in large numbers. These shorebirds are south-bound plovers and sandpipers. They have finished their nesting chores for the year and, upon arrival on the shores of the Cape and Islands, are already as much as three thousand miles south and east of where they were as recently as a couple of days previously. They are fantastic long distance migrants; most of these birds are heading for southern South America. While bipedal human observers are sunbathing or clamming on the flats, these “wind masters” are just completing another leg of their lengthy journey as they partake of a truly endless summer. Spending June and early July breeding at extreme latitudes in the northern hemisphere, they experience 24 hours of daylight for a large part of this time. They then depart for specific temperate coastal regions, such as the Monomoy Islands off Chatham, Massachusetts to rest, feed, and fatten on abundant food. These birds’ navigational skills are unrivaled. Departing these areas after anywhere from ten days to three weeks, utilizing the above-mentioned fat reserves as fuel, they head to the tropics, where they encounter 12 hours of daylight and 12 of dark, the only time during the year when that happens for them.

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These are the real globetrotters: ethereal, magical creatures that are riding the world’s air currents and frontal systems unaided by machines. Continuing south into the Southern Hemisphere’s spring while the Northern Hemisphere experiences fall, the birds cross the equator—reversing the seasons. They arrive in southern South America in late spring. Enjoying the austral summer in Argentina or Chile, or in Patagonia, these most mobile of creatures take advantage of the abundant food resources of this region. Here, the hours of daylight far exceed the short period of darkness during December and January. Many shore birds manage to get south to the other end of the planet, where at the higher latitudes (way down south) the days are long. And they say that birds are stupid: they get to have summer twice in a calendar year, as these birds experience the two longest days of the year (June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, then December 21 in the Southern Hemisphere) every year. In taking advantage of the best the planet has to offer, in two hemispheres, annually, the birds accomplish a fantastic migratory route. The sheer geographical facts, the incredibly demanding feat of getting from two distinct areas, in cases over ten thousand miles apart, every year, cause one to pause. These are the real globetrotters: ethereal, magical creatures that are riding the world’s air currents and frontal systems unaided by machines. They are on a schedule that boggles the mind. Shore birds—sandpipers and plovers—have two peaks of migration: one for the adults, and the other for immature birds. Generally, the last week of July and first few days of August will see the peak numbers of south-bound birds. These are all adult birds that have finished their nesting for the year and instinctively know to head south as soon as possible. Then the numbers decrease as these birds leave until near the end of August, when all the birds of the year, immature birds of many species and a few lingering adults, crowd the Cape and Island shores. Not only do the beaches and flats “load-up” with shore birds, but these guests are accompanied by flocks of gulls and terns, and often by some surprise visitors. A trip to the beach, where the time of day is not as important as it is in the woods, and it is generally cooler, is a great way to go birding during the hot months.


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“Birding the flats” is all about the tide and the weather. For birding most beaches and tidal flats, bad weather is a good thing. Many shore birds will routinely over-fly many areas, but strong winds and rain—either a northeaster, thunderstorms, or a hurricane—will cause them to divert to the nearest landfall to ride out the storm. During and immediately after such weather is the time to get out there and see what has blown in The shore birds reach their peak of diversity in early September on the Cape and Islands. Many of the rarer migrants, such as buff-breasted and Baird’s sandpipers, if they are going to be seen at all, pass through our area in a very small window with Labor Day Weekend in the middle. Every time the wind blows from the northwest, more birds arrive on it. Black Skimmer A bird that reaches the extreme northern edge of its breeding range in Massachusetts is the black skimmer. They are scarce here, and only a few pairs nest annually, most on the Monomoy Island group, although this year a few pairs nested in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. Skimmers, having just three species in the world, are the only birds with elongated lower mandibles: their lower beak is longer than the upper beak. They are fantastic-looking black and white birds with a long, knife-like, orange-based black beak resembling a toucan’s. Skimmers are short and squat with large neck muscles, the better to carry that large beak through the water. They are nocturnal and feed very actively at dawn and dusk. This is called crepuscular activity. Skimmers are tropical and semi-tropical in occurrence. They are common in this part of the world only after strong tropical storms or big hurricanes blow them here. Land birds A.K.A. Passerines For this writer, there is nothing comparable to looking up at the stars and listening to nocturnal migrants as they stream by overhead, uttering subtle but distinct chip or contact notes. It produces a feeling akin to no other. It is completely and totally remarkable, the phenomenon of bird


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migration. Sadly, the nights in the fall when one can hear nocturnal migrants in large numbers have been declining for decades, making it all the more poignant when such a migration does occur.

just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. For every call that we are able to identify, there are twenty more we cannot. That is part of the challenge of birding, with no end.

To know and realize that on a lovely August or September night, thousands (probably hundreds of thousands, possibly millions) of small insectivorous birds of a staggering variety—thrushes, vireos, wood warblers, orioles, et cetera—are passing overhead while engaged in a migration, is humbling. Imagine weighing far less than an ounce and being able to summer in Canada and winter in the Neotropics! Bird brains are far more complex and evolved than any terrestrial being can fathom.

Pelagic Birding

The sheer physical feat of their flight, both in spring and fall, is beyond any physical accomplishment achieved by any of the creatures without wings. Compare what any warbler does in a year of its life, or look at the seemingly impossible long distance migration of a Hudsonian godwit traveling from the Canadian Arctic to Tierra del Fuego in southern South America—annually—and even the outstanding activities of a superb athlete pale in comparison. Birds are completely amazing. So, standing out on a lawn, ears skyward, listening to the steady and frequent, but distant, sounds coming out of the night sky, one cannot fail to be awed by this fantastic event going on right over one’s head. Some sounds we recognize, such as the spring peeper-like nocturnal flight call of Swainson’s thrushes, the distinctive peep-peeppeep of a solitary sandpiper, the various similar chips of many warbler species, including blackpoll, bay-breasted, magnolia, black-throated green, parula, American redstart, and yellow, to name a few. However, the distinctive calls that are fairly easy to recognize (once one is familiar with them) are not the majority of what is emanating from the night sky. There are all the still unknown calls that have to be deciphered. This is the bulk of the calls one hears. Birds that migrate at night, which is most of the small landbirds in this part of the world, give different calls while flying in the dark from the ones they use in the daytime. This is most inconvenient for birders attempting to figure out what is going on in the night sky. For all we think we know, it is


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For resident and visitor alike, getting out in a boat is another great way to see birds during the summer months. Sea birds, those that spend their lives on the open ocean, such as shearwaters, storm-petrels, jaegers, and phalaropes, are often abundant in Cape and Island waters. A trip off-shore is a trip to another world. In addition to sea birds, you might encounter all sorts of creatures that you would never see ashore. A selection of rather scarce sea turtles, Portuguese man-of-war, or perhaps an increasingly rare and beautiful blue shark, ocean sunfish (also known as mola mola), dolphins, whales, and a great variety of marine game fishes are all possible sightings. Any of the numerous whale-watching boats departing from Provincetown, Barnstable Harbor, Plymouth Harbor, or Nantucket offer a relatively inexpensive opportunity to get out in the marine environment and see not only the largest animals to have ever lived on the planet, but oceanic birds that can be seen only in the realm in which they live. Given good weather, it is always a worthwhile, exciting, and very different excursion to journey out of sight of land. If one is able to make it all the way to the edge of the continental shelf, some 100 miles south of the Islands, then one is truly fortunate to be in a place as different from inshore as can be. It’s like taking a trip through time and space to a marine world as different from land as can be imagined. Then remember that over twothirds of the planet looks like this!

Congratulations to our early summer edition photo contest winnerJane Grasso!


Calling all birders! Enter our photo contests to win great prizes. Marbled Godwits

Check us out on online at

Until next time, keep your eyes to the sky! mid summer 2013 |


Lighthouse {

Lighthouse keepers



ust 47 feet of clay and sand separate the 169-year-old Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard from the edge of

disaster. This frighteningly abbreviated expanse that threatens the brickand-sandstone lighthouse, originally commissioned by President John Quincy Adams, is nothing compared to the formidable task of rallying the Up Island citizenry into one cohesive unit committed to shifting their lighthouse out of harm’s way.

Photo: © Allan Wood Photography , 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock

32 mid summer 2013 |

Keepers {

Written by Peter Brace

Cape Cod National Seashore: Highland Light, Nauset Light Nantucket: Sankaty Head Light Martha’s Vineyard: Gay Head Light


Photo spread: Hurricane Sandy on Miacomet Beach, Nantucket by Arlene O’Reilly

Gay Head Light, Aquinnah, Martha’s Vineyard Photo: © Mike Liu, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock

Coastal erosion has historically been part of the earth’s natural evolution, changing coastlines around the globe. Damaging nor’easters are no stranger to the Cape and Islands. Over time, all coastlines have taken a beating from Mother Nature. It’s obvious that in recent years, the intensity has increased. The continuous dance between stormy seas and coastlines has taken down many man-made structures, often revealing that our coastlines remain in a constant state of change. This “dance” further requires coastal communities to move valued structures out of harm’s way. Lighthouses are one of them. Also known as lights, they were once warning beacons to those who made their living at sea. Today, they are traditional shoreline landmarks around the world. Anyone who dwells along the shore knows the sound of the fog horn and has seen the beam of light that cuts through the darkness. One could say that lights are “old friends,” and worth saving, as you will see. As coastal erosion continues, there are many willing to save the lights. Do you have any idea what it takes to move a lighthouse? Here is the story of four much-loved landmarks, all too close to the edge. Three have been saved. The fourth, Gay Head Light on Martha’s Vineyard, is in danger. 33 mid summer 2013 |


Lighthouse keepers


Sankaty Head Light


Photo by Arlene O’Reilly

Lighthouse people can be an eccentric, if not cantankerous bunch, yet they are motivated, tending to get the job done no matter how daunting the challenge, bureaucratic or physical. Of the ilk that populates local civic leagues and stalwartly agitates small town governments into grudgingly carrying out their appointed duties, they constitute the mortar that binds coastal communities together. These amateur lighthouse keepers emerge out of ordinary residents when their coveted marine sentries are in peril. Such is the charge of the Save the Gay Head Light Committee in Aquinnah (SGHLC): to keep their maritime history alive. Around Cape Cod and the Islands, and even on Block Island, Rhode Island, protecting these stately cylinders of brick and granite that light the inky darkness and foggy oblivion is, unfortunately, the sustenance of nostalgia, what with the prevalence of radar and global positioning systems. David Nathans, a member of GHLC and the Executive Director of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, sees a great deal more. “I think it’s such a unique New England, even national story, because of the fact of Adams commissioning it. It’s one of the earliest commissioned lighthouses. In the course of history of navigation and transportation in Vineyard Sound where the light was used in the 1850’s, [we find out that Vineyard Sound] was the second busiest waterway next [to] the English Channel,” he said. Despite its historic original wooden octagonal construction in 1799, relocation 75 feet inland in 1844, reconstruction into its present form in 1856, and electrification with the rest of Aquinnah in 1952, when its Fresnel lens was replaced with a large incandescent bulb, lighthouses such as Gay Head’s are little more than tourist attractions, merely reassuring satellite-guided sea captains of their location. Still, having stood their ground for centuries, warning of shoals, reefs and rocky shorelines, lighthouses have burned into the souls of landlubbers and seafaring folk alike, who, when the ocean threatens, coalesce with town and Coast Guard officials, and local museums, to keep their light on.

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Worshipers of North Truro’s Highland Light mobilized almost immediately when the Army Corps of Engineers announced in 1988 that their 216-year-old lighthouse needed saving. Built 520 feet from its cliff in 1797, the 404-ton white lighthouse stood just 112 feet from a bank eroding primarily by rainwater from the top. “A tremendous undertaking indeed, but nothing like the sticker shock,” recalled Dan Sanders, president of the Highland Museum and Lighthouse, Inc. “When the Coast Guard said it will go over the bank and we’re going to lose it, everybody jumped on it and raised the money, with the Coast Guard donating a substantial amount,” he said. “[But] you’re standing there right after the Coast Guard said that, and it dawns on you that you will lose that lighthouse, and that really is your biggest hurdle.” Volunteers from the Truro Historical Society and the Save the Light Committee raised more than $180,000 of the $1.5 million International Chimney of Buffalo, New York, and their moving subcontractor, Expert House Movers of Virginia Beach, Maryland, needed to carefully excavate, raise, roll, and replant the light 450 feet away from the ocean in 1996. For $300,000 that same year, with 43 feet between the Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham, Mass. (the living logo for Cape Cod Potato Chips) and the edge of a bluff, International Chimney moved this 90-ton, 48-foot tall lighthouse 336 feet away from the edge to safety for the National Park Service and Nauset Light Preservation Society, which had agreed to maintain it as an aid to navigation. After the ravenous no-name Halloween storm of 1991 helped gnaw 17.1 feet off of Nantucket’s Sankaty Bluff—subsequent heavy erosional losses of ’92, ’93 and ’94 would follow, some approaching 50 feet—Sankaty Head Lighthouse found its own de facto safety net in Save Our Sankaty (SOS). Originally formed of six members of the local conservation group, the ’Sconset Trust, SOS evolved into a more focused iteration under the wing of the ’Sconset Trust, around 11 years after its genesis shortly after International Chimney’s moving feasibility inspection.

International Chimney’s quarterly check-ins with the Trust to monitor the disappearing bluff in front of the lighthouse began in 2003, leading to the Trust’s October 2005 acquisition of the 70-foot tall beacon from the U.S. Coast Guard. But therein lay the complexities and painstakingly slow protocols required before the process of hoisting the 165-year-old, 450-ton lighthouse off its foundation, pushing it 390 feet to the northwest, lowering it 12 feet in elevation, and securing it 250 feet from the bluff ’s edge could begin. Instead of the week the moving process took, it took 14 years for SOS to go through necessary channels to secure the lighthouse and raise the $4 million needed for its move and restoration. Coincidentally, in 1991, the Coast Guard initiated a program to unload all U.S. lighthouses and their nagging maintenance costs on lighthouse nonprofits. Nantucket’s chance for the red-striped Sankaty came in 1991 prior to the Perfect Storm, when the Coast Guard offered the lighthouse first to the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum, which passed on the proposal, as did the Nantucket Historical Association, which would eventually take the lead on restoration and preservation of the relocated light. Said former NHA executive director Maurice Gibbs in 2007 when Sankaty was moved, “the NHA just had too much on its plate. It simply wasn’t a case of not wanting to do it. Also, [the late] Walter Beinecke, Jr., vice president of the NHA at the time, and I, were also working on a parallel project to save the Methodist Church as a historical site.” Former Massachusetts Congressman Gerry Studds lobbied the Coast Guard for special legislation, Section 5220 of the Oceans Act of 1992, which won SOS authorization from the Secretary of Transportation for the NHA to briefly hold Sankaty. Then, two years later, when the lighthouse was 96 feet from the edge, the ’Sconset Trust agreed to own it. Satisfied that the ’Sconset Trust could facilitate the moving, restoration, and maintenance of the lighthouse, the Coast Guard arranged to hand the light to the NHA for the instant it took to sign the paperwork and then pass it on to the ’Sconset Trust.

Sankaty Light, built in 1850, Nantucket. The original location site in the brick mound shown in the foreground of the photo. Sankaty was moved approximately 400 feet (120 m) back from the eroding cliff. Photo © by Greg Hinson, under license of Nantucket Stock.

Highland Light, Truro

Photo: © nfsphoto, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock

Nauset Light Eastham

Photo: © Christian Delbert, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock

Sankaty Light on a the long awaited move day in October 2007. Photo by Lisa Frey

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Lighthouse keepers


On Oct. 1, 2007, after nearly two months of preparation, International Chimney and Expert House Movers meticulously slid the lighthouse down to a 10-acre site donated by the Sankaty Head Golf Club in sevenand-a-half days. With Nantucket’s SOS’s success firmly in their members’ minds, it is into the aforementioned morass of red tape and unsettled minds that the Save the Gay Head Light Committee plunged last December when Aquinnah’s Board of Selectmen appointed the 12-member Save Gay Head Lighthouse Committee (SGHLC). Aquinnah resident and owner of Gay Head Realty, Elise LeBovit, who was later elected chairman of the committee, had been working on moving efforts for two years with lighthouse keeper Richard Skidmore. She said she began her planning when she noticed how alarmingly close the edge of the bluff was to the red-bricked lighthouse. Erosion from the top by rainwater runoff at around two feet annually was the culprit. “We called International Chimney and they came and educated us,” said LeBovit, who is no longer on the committee for political reasons. “I had been following the Sankaty Lighthouse move, [so] they were kind of my idol and the role model for this.” But the nonprofit model didn’t work for the town of Aquinnah, so, shortly after SGHLC formed, a subcommittee was appointed for fundraising, exploring the purchase of new land, and moving and restoring the estimated 350-400 ton, 51-foot tall lighthouse. At a special Town Meeting on Feb. 5, 2013, voters unanimously supported two articles: the first, for the town to purchase land, relocate, restore, and preserve the lighthouse; and the second, to fund the organizational process. LeBovit estimates the entire process will cost $2.5 million and hopes to move the light in 2014. “We’re hoping to have this totally completed in 2015 because International Chimney told us that they felt that in three years it would be too close to the cliff for them to get their heavy machinery up there,” said LeBovit. Fundraising and moving formalities aside, the real heavy lifting is done by the group

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requesting the lighthouse. Before hydraulic jacks can heft these stone behemoths, lighthouse protectors have to go through an often-times bewildering and sluggish process of obtaining ownership of the lighthouse from the federal government, a process sometimes shortened by convincing their legislators to expedite the Coast Guard’s process of transferring ownership of the lighthouse in adherence to The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. Late this spring, the Coast Guard successfully decommissioned Gay Head Lighthouse and got it onto the National Register of Historic Places, a key step in the process before the General Services Administration could place the light on its excess properties list. Recently, the GSA announced that the lighthouse would appear on its excess properties list on August. 1, a move likely hastened by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s June 12 designation of this lighthouse as one of the 11 “Most Endangered Historic Places.” From August 1, 2013 on, Aquinnah can apply to the GSA for ownership of the light. If it determines that Aquinnah qualifies for ownership of the Gay Head Lighthouse, then the GSA instructs the National Park Service to send the town an application, which it has 90 days to complete and send back. The National Park Service then takes up to five months to grade Aquinnah’s application before ruling on it. If the town takes ownership of the lighthouse, hopefully sometime in May, 2014, Aquinnah can start planning for a fall move of its lighthouse, given the acquisition of the right inland lot where the lighthouse can still function as an aid to navigation. Right now, SGHLC continues to work with the town and International Chimney, and is several weeks into its Keep the Light Shining fundraising campaign, which began on the summer solstice, June 21. “My goal was to follow Sankaty’s lead and form a nonprofit and start raising money and start hiring people, but the town did not approve of that, the selectmen, that is. They want the money to go through the town and to have all decisions be theirs, so the committee reports back to the selectmen and it waits on them for their decisions,” said LeBovit.

Aquinnah town administrator Adam Wilson said that, driven by simplicity and efficiency, and the goal to maintain the lighthouse as a continuing aid to navigation, the town wants to own the lighthouse. Therefore, it went with municipal fundraising over the formation of a nonprofit. The fundraising subcommittee organized its campaign to channel its donations into a town gift fund, said Wilson. “The town feels that this is a project it is responsible for,” said Wilson. “It is going to be applying for ownership of the lighthouse, and, because there’s already a mechanism in place—the town establishing its own gift fund and having the necessary personnel to take in and keep an accounting of the money, and working in conjunction with myself in procuring the necessary people to purchase the land and accomplish this move—there was no justification for the establishment of a separate nonprofit group to do those things.” The fundraising and ownership efforts proceeding along, Wilson seemed to indicate that acquiring the right lot for the lighthouse was the missing foundation stone here. Agreeing with LeBovit and the committee, Wilson said one of four new lot options, the town-owned grass circle at Gay Head immediately north of the lighthouse, doesn’t make sense because of the significant drop in elevation (nearly as much as the height of the lighthouse) that would render the light unusable as a navigational aid. “One of the other abutting parcels, which has only about an eight-foot drop in elevation, is being considered because number one, it does abut the existing Coast Guard property, and number two, the drop is not so significant that we would have to put it on any type of a pedestal so that it can still be seen out in Vineyard Sound,” said Wilson. On July 1, Wilson said that the town learned this spring that this lot is available for purchase; the two cousins who own it are willing to sell it to the town. However, he is unsure whether there’s enough room on the lot for the lighthouse. On July 2, engineers from International Chimney, already on island for another move, were scheduled for a second site visit to determine if this first-choice lot is large enough to hold the Gay Head Lighthouse and to assess other nearby potential lots.

And, as the cliffs continue crumbling, Rick Lohr, president of International Chimney, hinted that two-and-a-half years is barely enough time for Aquinnah to get its lighthouse move to the shovel-ready stage, considering that SGHLC is just cranking up its moneyraising machine and doesn’t own the lighthouse yet nor the land to relocate it onto. The situation at Gay Head is a little bit different [than Sankaty] where the erosion is from the top down and not from the ground up, and the soils are a bit different,” said Lohr. “They’re reaching a time when the costs will go up. It is going to get dicey pretty quickly if it erodes any more.” Unfazed and sanguine in her grand neighborhood errand to keep the Gay Head Light’s beam burning out to sea, LeBovit, who uses the lighthouse to walk home by at night, remains confident in her committee and in the commitment of the Aquinnah community to get the job done. “To me, this is a project not only to save the light, but also to keep the light inside of our town [so] that we can all work in harmony and stay in that light,” she said. “That is a symbol of the lighthouse to me.”

The Gay Head Light was the first lighthouse constructed on Martha’s Vineyard. This lighthouse was authorized in 1798 by the United States Congress during the Presidency of John Adams.

Digitial Illustration by Arlene O’Reilly

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Lighthouse keepers





Read our full story online, in the first issue of Sound Magazine at

Now downtown on Old South Wharf Farm fresh, prepared food and more!

Sandwiches e Salads e Cold Drinks e Sides e Desserts e Coffee e Pasteries 21 Old South Wharf

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38 mid summer 2013 | Sound2-BartlettsFarm-13.indd 1

Walking Trails {

Cotuit/Cape Cod - Cordwood Road and Eagle Pond Fifteen minutes from the Hy-Line Landing in Hyannis

A Walk Through History and Nature.

From a simple dirt parking lot nestled next to Putnam Avenue in Cotuit, the old Cordwood Road provides access to Eagle Pond and, at the other end of the gravel byway, a delightful salty surprise: Cotuit Bay and the ocean! Park your car and begin your walk. Here is a little history to go along with your walk; it may make your passage through here much more interesting! This forest was once owned by Prince Marston and could be described as a pine plantation. The Prince was here in the late 1700s. Huge pines, some described as over 100 feet tall, were harvested from the land and sold to the British Navy for the masts on their warships. Only the tallest and the straightest trees came down for that purpose. Some huge pines still exist on the land today, but not from that Revolutionary era. Walk along. Blink your eyes and fast forward to the early 1800s. The entire forest is being cut and the wood sent to Nantucket; that island is now barren of trees from over-cutting. Cotuit became a major source of timber

By Dan Hart


Photo: Dan Hart

for Nantucket’s firewood needs. It was shipped across in cords, a term meaning a stack of wood measuring four feet high, four feet deep, and eight feet long. The Cordwood Road took its name from this cord business. The cut wood came down the Cordwood Road by carts to a pier. Cotuit Schooners were waiting to load and transport the stacks to Nantucket. It was a moneymaker while it lasted. Also, the road was used seasonally to transport hard ice from Lovell Pond to the ocean, where the ships sailed the ice to Nantucket for personal use as well as use in the fishing industry. Stop and think about what might have happened next. Well, soon the land was cleared. The landscape had changed. Some small farms appeared, and pastures were created. Cows, sheep, and pigs foraged the landscape widely. We can guess that there was a barn or two that protected the animals from winter storms. For the most part, the land was worked by subsistence farmers who sold cranberries and who were also fishermen. The Cordwood Road was apparently used regularly

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well before the Civil War. Even though the little farming operations were slowly abandoned, as often happened, some farmers held on to their land and used the sturdy road to travel out to the surrounding villages, such as Mashpee to the northwest and Centerville and Osterville to the east. Picture now the year 1863. A Boston buyer, Augustus Perkins, has purchased over 100 acres comprising most of the land around the Cordwood Road and Eagle Pond. He was a conservationist and a businessman. Thus began the preservation of almost all of the land in this area. Augustus Perkins built a house and maintained the road and a carriage path around Eagle Pond, but nature took over the rest. Trees and shrubs grew up around Eagle Pond and throughout the area. Wildlife returned as the plant life became more diverse and the area became more private and impenetrable. It was well-protected by Perkins. The conservationist knew what he was doing. Back on your walk, be sure to leave the Cordwood Road, turning right at the sign for Eagle Pond. The pond is a glacial feature and is fed by cold groundwater. It is a jewel in the forest, larger than one might expect. Apparently it is quite deep, too. Local swimmers sometimes ply the waters, but not often; there are no handy beaches. It is really a spot for viewing and wondering and appreciating. Continuing around the pond, you will find the old road again. Bear right toward the ocean. Photos: ©Bruce MacQueen, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock

Photo: © Gerald A. DeBoer, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock

As for wildlife in the area, there are plenty of forest and woodland-edge birds and some mammals that you probably won’t see during the day of your walk: coyote, deer, fox, raccoon, and skunk. You might come across a band of wild turkeys, too. At the end of June their young have hatched, so you might see them crossing or running along the road with their parents at any time during the next few months. When you walk the path around the pond through white and pitch pines, other trees and shrubs appear, including beech, red maple, apple, sweet pepperbush, witch hazel, choke cherry, rhododendron and dogwood. Look down to find bearberry, heath, and lady slippers at the right time of year. The land is now owned and managed by the Barnstable Land Trust, acquired through purchase and generous gifting over the years. It was not an easy task to acquire the properties, as developers vied for them. But, the Trust won—and the victories are a blessing to all of us who hike, walk, and enjoy nature. Simple rules apply: no mechanized vehicles, camping, or fires are allowed. Dogs are welcomed on a leash. Other rules are posted at the beginning of the Cordwood Road. The Cordwood Road is flat and an easy walk. The path around Eagle Pond can go up and down, but is still very manageable. Some benches are there by the pond; bring a picnic and let the world pass by. Around in the winter? Bring your cross-country skis or snowshoes. You are welcome at this site.

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Photo: © pakul54, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock

Storing Herbs {


Photo: Š Africa Studio, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock


Alternative Methods for Preserving the Herb Garden by Siobhain Klawetter


ith beach days now upon us, the herb garden sproutlings we so carefully tended in May and June are suddenly springing out towards the sun with glorious bounty. If you can’t possibly use it all before the chill of autumn sets in, read on to explore some alternative methods for preserving your summer herb garden. mid summer 2013 |



growing from the earth


Photo: Lisa Frey

Herbs should be harvested when the plant has enough foliage to maintain growth. The perfect time to harvest is in the early morning when their essential oils are at their peak, before the sun and heat of the day is upon them. Most herbs will tolerate up to a 75% removal of foliage, and many, such as basil, oregano, and thyme, need pinch-pruning throughout the summer to keep the leaves from turning bitter when the plants eventually flower and go to seed. Pinch-pruning will develop fuller and more prolific plants in the garden, as their energy will continue to go toward leaf production instead of into creating flowers and seeds. Look at the top of the stem: if you see a flower bud starting to form, pinch off at the point on the stem where you see two sets of leaves forming. You could also pinch further down to harvest leaves you are going to use. The key is to pinch, or snip, at a two-leaf set. At least two weeks before cold weather is expected, stop pruning and harvesting to give plants a chance to harden up for winter. If you want seeds to save for next year, let a few plants bloom around mid-August. When air-drying herbs in this humid climate, mold can quickly develop if you don’t take precautions. Instead of relying on just one method, I find it useful to have multiple techniques up my sleeve to preserve my herb garden for year-round use. Here are a few favorites for you to try! The Ice Cube Method Place clean and chopped fresh herbs into an empty ice cube tray, then top with either olive oil or another liquid, such as broth or plain water. This method can also be used to preserve herb (or compound) butters. Once frozen solid, remove cubes from the tray and store them in labeled plastic freezer bags. These herbcubes are great for popping into soups, finishing sauces, or tossing in the sautÊ pan! Tips: if you are using herbs with a woody stem, such as rosemary or sage, be sure to use just the leaves. If you use garlic in an ice-cube tray, you should probably consign its use to the allium family forevermore. Photos: Siobhain Klawetter

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Island Recipes

Gluten Free Cheddar Scallion Scones by Sky Wallace, Nantucket Gluten Free Chef & Baker

Ingredients: 2-1/3 cups gluten free baking mix (I use Pamela’s Pancake and Baking mix) 1 tsp baking powder 4 tbsp butter 1 egg, beaten 2/3 cup buttermilk 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 1/3 cup chopped scallions

Directions: Mix the dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter using two knives or a pastry cutter. Add the buttermilk and beaten egg. Mix together with a fork. Gently fold in grated cheese and scallion. Dough will be thick. Drop large, tall dollops of dough (scones will spread when baking) onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 15-17 minutes. Serve hot. Yields 6 large scones.

If you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share, please let us know. Visit

GUIDED TOURS & CHORE TOURS EAT LOCAL! Grass-Fed & Pastured Katama Raised Meat for sale SUMMER PROGRAMS begin June 25 Come for a visit!

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growing from the earth

} For consumption, I prefer to use other varieties—white vinegar will taste harsh to some. Pick a vinegar you like on its own, as the flavor will carry through no matter what you add. My favorite is a light, sunny-yellow champagne vinegar, with raw apple cider vinegar as a close second. The process is: you steep about 1 cup of loosely-packed leaves and/or flowers (try nasturtiums!) in 2 cups of vinegar until it has reached the desired strength, which generally takes 3 to 4 weeks. Keep the steeping container in a cool, dark place, but never on a windowsill. For an intensely-flavored batch, the process can be repeated a second time with fresh herbs. The mixture is then strained and poured into clean and sterile bottles, with one or two fresh sprigs of whichever herb you used for flavoring slid into the bottle before corking. Seal, label, and enjoy!

Photo: Š Larina Natalia , 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock

Infused Salts and Sugars Flavor-infused salts and sugars are delightful in the kitchen and make great gifts. In a mason jar, layer fresh, clean leaves between either salt or sugar, depending on the flavor desired, and place in a cool, dark cupboard for several weeks. When the flavor has infused to your liking, you may choose to strain the herbs out or keep them in, for character, depending on the use. Get creative here! My garden is filled with fragrant, organically grown roses that, infused in sugar, would be heavenly... what do you have in your garden? Herb Pastes This method is good for preserving larger batches of single herbs. Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, create a paste of clean and dry fresh herbs with olive oil (about 2 cups packed herbs to 1/3 cup oil, but adjust as needed). Transfer to small jars, topping with more olive oil to 44 mid summer 2013 |

seal out any air from the herb paste. Be sure to leave room for expansion as they freeze. Store in the freezer, then thaw as needed. Use this method for fresh pesto, which can be made with herbs other than the traditional basil. Cilantro makes a wonderful pesto! I find this method concentrates the flavor when used in recipes, as compared to using fresh herbs. Herbal Vinegars Oh, the ease and joy of herbinfused vinegars! Whether used as an ingredient in your meal or for cleaning up after, herbal vinegars will quickly become indispensable allies once you give them a try. This winter past, I used orange peels and white vinegar to create a pleasing household cleaning spray that I use in the kitchen and bathrooms. (Do avoid using vinegar on white marble as the acid can etch into the stone.)

Notes on vinegars: One must always be sure the herbs are completely submerged in the vinegar throughout this steeping process, so that mold won’t develop on the exposed part. For steeping and straining, always use nonreactive materials. If using glass jars with metal lids, lay a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the jar before screwing on the lid. These methods preserve the freshpicked quality of herbs we enjoy during the summer months, allowing us to use our senses of taste and smell to remember toes in the warm earth, sun on our shoulders, and the heady aroma of our beloved herb gardens while a wild winter storm rages outside.

Come grow with us! For a deeper look at gardening in the Sound Region, please join us online. We invite you to share your own tips and experience!

drink to your health

Summer Juices

LISALATES, Pilates Studio Nantucket

by Hilary Newell

August is the time for harvesting fresh fruits of all sorts. Peaches are at their most succulent, greengage plum trees are dripping fruit, and melons of all sorts are at their peak flavor. Here’s a refreshing recipe using an all-time favorite summer fruit, the watermelon.

Watermelon Juice with Fresh Mint and Lemon

Precision / Strength / Balance

98 Old South Rd


508 325 4300

Do you hear The Sound...

One sugar baby or other seedless watermelon Six sprigs of fresh mint, plus one sprig for each glass for garnish ½ a lemon, peeled Peel the green rind off the watermelon, leaving most of the white. Cut in chunks small enough to fit in your juicer. Process all of these together; adding the mint in the middle to be sure it gets pressed through. Garnish each glass with a sprig or leaf of mint. Because fruits have such high water content, the volume of juice extracted is very high. Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are naturally sweet, so mint, ginger and lemon make excellent additions to round out the flavor. Any extra juice you have can be frozen in ice cube trays to make watermelon daiquiris in the winter.


19 Old South Rd. Nantucket, MA 02554 508-228-9770

The art of creating outstanding experiences.

Wedding Planning | Private Catering Event & Fundraisers

Tel: (508) 367-2761

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Spyhoppers & Stargazers by Dr. Michael West


n Moby Dick, Herman Melville wondered how—or what—whales see with eyes on opposite sides of their heads.

“It is plain that he can never see an object which is exactly ahead... Is his brain so much more comprehensive, combining and subtle than man’s that he can at the same moment of time attentively examine two distinct prospects, one on one side of him, and the other in an exactly opposite direction?” he asked. It’s a good question. But, if Melville were alive today, he might have pondered something perhaps even more intriguing:

Can whales see the stars?

46 summer 20132013 | 46 midmid summer |


Seismic Studies Capture Whale Calls The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution



n Moby Dick, Herman Melville wondered how – or what – whales see with eyes on opposite sides of their heads.

“It is plain that he can never see an object which is exactly ahead... Is his brain so much more comprehensive, combining and subtle than man’s that he can at the same moment of time attentively examine two distinct prospects, one on one side of him, and the other in an exactly opposite direction?” he asked..

Digital Illustration: Arlene O’Reilly

mid summer | early summer 2013 2013 |

47 17




Two years ago, a team led by Professor Travis Horton of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand published the most detailed study ever of the migration patterns of whales. Using satellites, they tracked the movements of South Atlantic humpback whales over eight years. To their surprise, the researchers found that the whales followed almost perfectly straight paths across thousands of miles of open sea, often deviating by less than one degree. Ocean currents, storms, and varying seafloor depths—nothing seemed to knock the whales off course. But how can humpbacks follow such straight trajectories with no landmarks to guide their way across the vast and featureless seascape? Scientists have known for decades that migrating animals use a variety of sensory cues to orient themselves, including our planet’s magnetic field and the sun’s position in the sky. Yet the precision of the whales’ routes seems difficult to explain with those mechanisms alone. Horton and his research team concluded, “It seems unlikely that individual magnetic and solar orientation cues can, in isolation, explain the extreme navigational precision achieved by humpback whales,” speculating that “alternative mechanisms of migratory orientation” might be at work. An exciting—but still unproven—possibility is that whales use the stars to chart their oceanic voyages. It’s not as farfetched as you might think. Migrating birds are known to use the stars as compasses for navigation. In a pioneering study in the 1950s, German ornithologist Franz Sauer found that European warblers, who migrate alone for thousands of miles mainly at night, orient themselves by the positions of the stars. Sauer performed a series of experiments in which birds were placed inside a planetarium. When the stars were visible the warblers inevitably oriented themselves in preferred geographical directions. But when simulated clouds hid the stars, the birds became completely disoriented. A 1975 study by Cornell University scientist Stephen Emlen found that Indigo Buntings, birds that occasionally visit Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, learn to recognize the north-south direction from the apparent rotation of the night sky around the North Star. More recently, a 2013 study in the journal Current Biology found that South African dung beetles use the luminous haze of the Milky Way to orient themselves. These nocturnal scavengers feast on piles of dung left behind by animals, each grabbing a small piece and quickly rolling it away from other thieving beetles. The quickest route to safety is a straight line away from the dung pile, which the beetles follow using the starry skies to provide illumination and a compass. Humans, too, have long used the stars to navigate. The Polynesians’ legendary ability to sail across the ocean by observing the stars, winds, waves, and cloud patterns brought


mid summer 2013 |

Digital Illustration: Arlene O’Reilly

them to Hawaii and other Pacific islands thousands of years ago. Whaling ships leaving Nantucket or New Bedford used the stars to plot their courses. During the 19th century, slaves in southern states would escape to freedom using the Big Dipper to guide them north. Billions of nights have passed since the first whale-like creatures returned to the ocean some 50 million years ago. Far from artificial lights created by humans, the sky over the open sea sparkles with stars. On dark moonless nights the glow of the Milky Way itself casts faint shadows across the seascape. Perhaps over time whales, like birds and people, have learned to use the stars as beacons to guide their voyages. Of course, this presumes that whales can see the stars. Although the eyes of all mammals—whales and humans alike—share a common ancestor in the distant past, we still don’t really know what whales see. In some ways whales have it tougher than we do. As airbreathing animals, they spend time with their heads above and below the ocean’s surface, which creates special challenges. For one thing, their eyes need to adapt to drastic changes in ambient light as they plunge to dark ocean depths or emerge into the bright sunlight. And then there’s the question of whether whales might be nearsighted above the ocean’s surface. As anyone who has ever opened his or her eyes underwater knows, the human eye is well adapted for seeing in air, but our vision becomes blurry in water. It’s easy to understand why. Light rays bend whenever they pass between materials of different densities. The cornea of our eye is denser than air and acts like a lens to focus light rays on the retina, producing an image for our brains to interpret. However, the cornea and water have nearly identical densities, and consequently our eyes can’t bend light enough to produce a focused image underwater. What about whales? Having adapted to life in the ocean, is the world blurry and out of focus for them when their eyes emerge from their watery home into the air? Some evidence suggests that whales might be able to change the shape of their eyes—squinting—to see when looking through air. But the ability to see in both air and water might be a compromise that leaves whales with mediocre vision in both environments, and could explain their reliance on echolocation to perceive their surroundings. It’s sad to think that these majestic creatures who swim and sing beneath the stars might be unable to see them.

Image credit: Michael West / NASA /Space Telescope Science Institute

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Whale vision has other limitations too. Although we take for granted our ability to see color, not every creature on our planet can. For humans the world is a kaleidoscope of hues, from the vibrant yellow daffodils of spring on Nantucket to the reddish glow of sunset seen from Menemsha Beach or the vivid blue of the ocean off Provincetown. A person with normal eyesight can see stars of different colors, some noticeably redder or bluer than others. Whales, on the other hand, are colorblind because their eyes lack the three kinds of cones that allow human eyes to perceive color. To a whale, the world appears in different shades of gray, like an old black-and-white movie. Perhaps the best evidence that whales might be able to see the stars comes from a behavior known as spyhopping. Whales, dolphins and even some sharks are observed to poke their heads out of the water to look around, sometimes for several minutes. It’s the equivalent of treading water for humans. What’s not clear is why they do this. Some species of whales, such as orcas, probably spyhop to look for prey. Others, like humpback whales, are often observed to spyhop when tourist boats are nearby, as if trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. Some whales spyhop with their eyes just below the water’s surface, maybe for the same reason that humans wear scuba masks to see underwater; the little extra layer of air—or water in the case of whales—bends light rays enough to focus them. Some scientists, however, suggest that spyhopping is more about hearing than vision, with whales using their sensitive ears—their main sensory organ in the dark undersea world—to listen to what’s going on near the ocean’s surface. If whales can see the stars, are they curious or indifferent to them? There’s abundant evidence that whales and other cetaceans are intelligent creatures. A recent YouTube video, seen by millions, shows a distressed dolphin approaching divers in an obvious plea to help untangle it from fishing line. The brains of humpback whales are known to have certain types of cells also found in humans, apes, and elephants that are related to higher mental functions, such as intelligence and emotions. Last year scientists even reported that a captive beluga whale began to make unusual sounds that they recorded and interpreted as his attempt to mimic human speech. However, intelligence doesn’t necessarily mean that whales share our interest in astronomy or want to know more about the starry skies. We humans build telescopes because we’re curious about our celestial home. Whales may be intelligent but they don’t build telescopes, either because their lack of opposable thumbs makes it impossible, or because they simply have no interest in learning more about the stars. But I wonder if there might be more to it. One of astronomy’s most profound discoveries is that earth and all its creatures are made from the ashes of stars whose fires burned out billions of years ago. Perhaps that’s why we humans feel compelled to explore the starry skies, as if driven by an innate yearning to know our true ancestral home. And maybe that’s the real reason whales spyhop. Aquatic astronomers hoping to glimpse more than the shores of the land they left behind, answering an ancient call to raise their heads skyward, guided by only a faint, primal memory that they— like us—can’t articulate or even fully comprehend. Nostalgia for the stars. The Maria Mitchell Association’s Loines Observatory, located at 59 Milk Street in Nantucket, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings for public stargazing from 9:00-10:30 pm, weather permitting. Admission is free of charge.


mid summer 2013 |

Image: Michael West / NASA / Space Telescope Science Institute

Image: Michael West / Matthew Hull

NGC 4631 is a galaxy located about 30 million light years from Earth. Like our own Milky Way galaxy, it’s a collection of billions of stars moving in a graceful gravitational dance. NGC 4631’s uncanny resemblance to the gentle giants of the sea has earned it a nickname: the Whale Galaxy.

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A Picture Tells a

{ 52

remarkable story

What makes life worth living... when you live with consciousness every day...wake up with it, hold on to it during the thunder and after a nightmare... When love is your refuge, speaking truth is your weapon; utilizing your talents, it fills you up. There is no regret and you earn your wings. — In Memory of Mary Cantwell

mid summer 2013 |


Thousand Words by Natalie Ciminero with co-authors: Nancy Woodside & Arlene O’Reilly

Photography by Lisa Frey


picture can tell more than a thousand words depending on the interpreter. This remarkable story is about two people from the Sound region—Lisa Frey, who lives on Nantucket, and Dan Egan, who lives on Cape Cod. They met for the first time in JFK Airport this past spring at the beginning of a journey to Ecuador. Their common intention: to test the expansion of their talents, each in his or her own way. The medical team they were with assisted in the healing of over 58 people in five days. Here is a snapshot of their journey. mid summer 2013 |



remarkable story

} ISMS Team at JFK Airport, NY

Imagine a much anticipated and needed vacation: You leave JFK Airport in New York at six o’clock on a Thursday night, followed by multiple layovers, until you reach your final destination in Ecuador, arriving on Saturday, at three o’clock in the afternoon. Having packed all of your essentials, you have 47 pieces of luggage filled with various supplies and tools of the trade necessary for patient care and advocacy. Additionally, you bring along machinery needed to set up operating rooms and a recovery room/intensive care type unit. Despite your exhaustion, you choose to unload your “luggage” personally to ensure that all of these crucial items arrived safely and securely. Knowing that hard work still lies ahead, you have an early dinner, and go to bed— you will be up early on Sunday morning to start your “vacation.”

What, this doesn’t sound like the makings of the R&R of your dreams? What if there were selfless individuals whose acts of humanity inspire ordinary people to push themselves to pursue mission work and advocacy that can change the lives of people suffering from illness throughout the world? Thankfully, the world is filled with organizations dedicated to transforming lives, one mission at a time. Each extraordinary mission, like the one Dan and Lisa took to Ecuador, is possible because of the compassion and dedication of the volunteers who step forward and give freely of themselves, their resources, and specific areas of expertise. Dan and Lisa have consciously chosen vacation routes similar to that previously described through their volunteerism with the International Surgical Mission Support Organization—a secular, non-political organization created to provide free medical care and specialized services to the poor all over the world. They travel to international sites to attend to healthrelated crises that can not only be life-threatening, but, if left untreated, can also result in an emotional and social toll that can be equally as devastating. These altruistic individuals not only have specific talents and skills supportive to the mission, but also pay their own way. Daniel J. Egan is a board-certified, Registered Nurse-Anesthetist (CRNA) who worked many years at Falmouth Hospital and is now at Cape Cod Community Hospital. Dan is a member of ISMS Team ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat) out of New York. In brief, volunteers are grouped together in chapters based on their areas of expertise and/or geographic locations. Chapters, “once mature” are free to make decisions on types, places, and timing of their mission. Team ENT went to Ecuador in 2012, where they performed surgeries, including cleft palate reconstruction on children. Dan lights up sharing the look of joy on a child’s face when recovering from cleft palate reconstructive surgery. He continued to flip through pictures on his Smartphone that Lisa had sent to him from their trip. He focused on images of a patient with a large growth on


mid summer 2013 |

Dan. Egan, CRNA

the side of his neck. He was an older man, tall and very thin, who had suffered with this growth for many years, unable to speak or swallow solid food. (photo on page 56.) Left untreated, this man would have died. The team removed a goiter the size of a grapefruit from his neck, the largest goiter the team had ever seen. Quite gratifying is the photo of this man after surgery shown on page 58. Dan marveled as he described how the team set up their surgical area in the local hospital, including operating rooms and a recovery care unit, within hours of arriving in Ecuador. Two hundred people waited in line to be screened, hoping they would be scheduled for surgery. People came from villages and mountains all over in response to the communication efforts of an elderly nun that is affiliated with ISMS. Sara Risser, a missionary nurse at Global Outreach International, who lives and works with the local people and is affiliated with ISMS. She often serves as an interpreter, and connects people in need with specialty mission teams. The clinics there do not have surgeons who have the high skill level required to tackle the cases that this team took on.

Little patient

Baby Patient: cleft palate

The mission of ISMS is “to provide free medical care for those in need in poor countries and to reach and train local medical professionals.” Their dream is “to bridge the gap of ethnic, political, and religious differences.” Born in the Bronx in New York, Dan received a BSN from Western Connecticut State University, working in critical care and emergency nursing, and his MSN from the University of New England at Saint Joseph Hospital in Rhode Island. He served his country as an Army Reserve Captain with the 399th Combat Support Hospital in Taunton. Raised to give back, he speaks with respect about his uncle, a Franciscan priest, who served a mission in India when Dan was young. For Dan, being invited to become a member of the ISMS Team is an honor. He describes his team, under the leadership of Dr. Shawn Ciecko and Marcia Levine R.N., with great respect. Dan believes one’s capacity for development is without limit and within each person’s grasp. He lives by the line written in the modern Hippocratic Oath, written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna: “I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

Lisa Frey: photographer & film maker

Now meet Lisa Frey, owner and operator of Nantucket Event Media, who has been taking pictures her entire life. Often seen around town toting cameras of all sizes, she has been a professional photographer for about ten years. Her work ethic and ability to capture the moment are as distinguishable as her smile and generous spirit. Living year-round on Nantucket since 2001, but originally from the United Kingdom, she has dedicated her life to documenting some of life’s most important, life-changing, and precious moments. “When I was in my teens, I always brought my camera along everywhere! Especially when with friends and family, I wanted to make prints to give to everyone so they had a symbol of that experience.” Lisa’s endeavor for “capturing the memory,” she says, is what “fuels her passion.” Additionally, she

mid summer 2013 |



remarkable story


Morning Line up at clinic

explains how she doesn’t focus on the perfect shot, but instead, “is looking just to get that shot…to capture the human experience and the moment of human connection. I never want to miss that connection.”

Elderly Patient with goiter

As her business has expanded, so has the scope of her work and her desire to expand personally, spiritually and charitably. With a palpable sense of humility, she admits that she rarely acknowledged how creative she was and “is just seeing it now.” Eight years ago, the seed was sewn for her to travel and use her skills to help others. “I started to feel like I wanted to use my skills in the realm of helping people.” she says. She credits her beloved and late friend, Mary Cantwell, as the source of inspiration that compelled her first trip abroad to photograph an “exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime experience” as she tags it. “Mary was dying of cancer and knew that she had only a short time to live and asked me for help. Too sick to travel herself, she asked me to travel abroad to Brazil to visit John of God, a healer, for her.” Lisa says, “It wasn’t even a question in my mind. Of course I would go for her.” Consequently, Lisa was invited to film and photograph the trip with a guide and documentarian. “It was the most positive experience,” she recalls. “Being down there and being present, and given the time and space to absorb everything around me was exactly what I needed to gain perspective. Nothing was rushed—like everyday life. It gave me clarity, and I was more prepared to help Mary.” When asked why the John of God project stands apart from other projects she had done in the past, she takes a moment, then softly expresses her deep gratitude for the opportunity she had been given to share that human experience with Mary, as well as with complete strangers. “It was authentic, honest, and clear,” she says. “I witnessed transformation in people that was life-changing and powerful. I saw people express a huge range of emotions. I was further drawn into wanting to help people. I couldn’t deny it, and it was life-changing for me as well.” Left with the urge to go back and relive all of that emotion, ethereal energy, and human connection, she consciously sought out other opportunities to travel abroad with the intention of helping. It wasn’t long before she was introduced to International Surgical Mission Support (ISMS). “I just knew I had to go!” she exclaims. Eventually, she was given the “opportunity of a lifetime,” she says. She was asked to accompany Team ENT, from New York, on the mission to The Hospital Vincente Corral Moscoso, in Cuenca, Ecuador to document the trip. Through photography and film, she would bring awareness of their work to the world and help raise the funds crucial to support the missions.


mid summer 2013 |

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remarkable story

} Many hands...

“Because you are giving your time and paying for the cost of the trip, I wasn’t exactly sure how I would manage it, but I knew in my heart that I had to go on this trip so that I could capture each and every moment of what these people were going through and assist in the advocacy efforts.” On a wing and a prayer, she received a grant from the William Froelich Foundation (established to assist individuals, groups, and organizations with programs or projects that generally improve the quality of life of those around them) that made it possible for her to join the mission. “I can’t explain why I had to go, I just felt so compelled to help, and this was the gift I needed to be free to do so,” she shares. Lisa admitted that she was worried that she would be overwhelmed by the circumstances she would encounter in the operating room. “I had no idea how I was going to handle that, but I was affected quite differently than expected,” she says with a pure joy that is infectious “My perspective was that there were lives being saved, and I am just a small part of helping the world see it. It was an amazing experience.” Throughout all 58 surgeries done in only five days, she stayed the course and remained completely focused on documenting the entire process. In a typical day, the team had eaten breakfast and was out of the hotel by seven o’clock in the morning. The surgeries went on until sometime between five and seven o’clock in the evening, with just a ten minute break for lunch. Lisa declares, “I love everything I do. I say yes to everything; I do things happily and willingly, and would love to be funded to use my skills to promote the betterment of humanity all of the time. To be in a position to help, that is my ultimate dream. I am totally open to helping on other projects…collaborating with incredible people…so who knows what could be around the corner.” Around the corner for her are two more mission trips with ISMS, to either Central or South America, and to Africa or Bhutan. And yes, she will be giving up her vacation time, paying for all expenses, and donating her time and skills for a great cause. Additionally, this Good Samaritan is raising funds that will go directly to ISMS. 100% of the profits will support future missions. You can purchase photos on her website (see samples on page 58). Lisa concludes, “photographing my way through life, capturing all these moments in time, helping and being part of a great cause, is just what it’s all about for me.” Dan and Lisa explained how the teamwork in the operating room was like a well-oiled machine. Everyone who had scrubs on was a pro at his or her job, backed by decades of experience. Lisa described the synergy between the surgeons while operating, “ was like witnessing a human octopus, multiple hands knowing what to do without words.” Through her lens, Lisa witnessed kindness and grace in this team. “Time and time again, I saw every team member caring for and holding patients as they came out of anesthesia—particularly children. They are remarkable group.” Dan, in turn, described what the medical team thought of Lisa. “She was relentless! She was constantly there with the camera shooting everything for hours upon hours—capturing the details of the surgeries, including the before and after shots. Lisa only put her camera down on occasion to assist where needed or to make a patient smile. Lisa was there at every request any of the doctors or nurses made. She was a great addition to the team! And, I soon learned that Lisa lives just a stone’s throw away from the Cape.”


mid summer 2013 |

little words...

Lisa Frey with a new connection



goiter fully removed

There is a growing need for those who give freely of themselves in the fearless embrace of the human spirit. The power of our humanity and compassion can conquer the most daunting of situations. If, for just a moment, we can put out differences aside, there’s no telling how even the smallest act of kindness can change someone’s life. Our perception transcends the lens, as did Lisa’s. A testament to the mission, a picture tells a thousand words. Both Lisa and Dan live the ISMS motto, “to the world I may be one person, but to one person I may be the world.”


Perfect end to a perfect day.

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(508) 325-5929 mid summer 2013 |




Honey 101

Good health

by Betsy Corsiglia, MS, RDN, CSN


Photo: Š Radu Bercan, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock


mid summer 2013 |

The Nutritional Benefits of Raw Honey


Photo: © apple2499, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock


s you meander through the local farmers market this summer, take note of the golden jars that line the beekeepers’ tables. The delicious, velvety content has qualities that go beyond merely sweetening our tea. The folk remedies your grandmother may have told you about, passed down since ancient times, are now taking hold with evidenced-based research validating the healing properties of natural, unprocessed honey. It has anti-oxidant, antibacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties, aids in cell regeneration, and may even serve to help manage diabetes—all from a little jar of honey.

Ninety-five percent of honey is made up of carbohydrates: simple sugars (mainly fructose and, to a lesser degree, glucose) along with twenty-five different, larger sugars, called oligosaccharides. Honey supplies only about 0.5% of protein (comprised mostly of enzymes); trace minerals (particularly manganese, vital for the central nervous system); chromium, (aids insulin action and glucose metabolism); and selenium (an antioxidant). Unprocessed honey contains a host of B vitamins that is important for energy metabolism, as well as vitamin C, an antioxidant that also assists in wound healing. Honey contains other potent antioxidants known as polyphenols. Darker honey, derived from the nectar of buckwheat or goldenrod, generally has a higher concentration of these phenolic compounds. Honey produced on the Cape and Islands is generally the varietal type, coming from area wildflowers growing within two or three miles from the hive. With limited open space, beekeepers seek out locations where they can count on strong nectar flows.  In the spring, Photo: Betsy Corsiglia

mid summer 2013 |



Good health


Vineyard beekeeper Tim Colon says a major source of nectar comes from trees: tulip poplar, basswood, beetlebung, locust, maple and apple; they’ll see summer flows come from cranberry bogs, privet and clethra (the sweet pepper bush); in late summer and fall, goldenrod blossoms dominate, providing a deeper, darker hue to the autumn honey pulls. Current research has shown honey to impart its therapeutic effect with use both topically and nutritionally. There has been wide clinical use in the treatment of burns, chronic wounds and infections. Due to its viscosity, the honey forms a protective barrier over the wound while its low pH (3.2—4.5) inhibits the growth of bacteria. Another anti-microbial component is an enzyme called glucose-oxidase which, upon contact with skin or tissue, promotes the release of hydrogen peroxide—that familiar sterilizing solution we find in a brown bottle. Veteran beekeeper Jim Gross of Nantucket can attest to the healing benefits of honey for burns. From time to time, he gets singed doing a furnace installation. He has found that by applying a honey salve, his wound will disappear within a few days without scarring. Honey has been shown to reduce the severity of radiation-induced side effects in patients with cancer of the head and neck. For tonsillectomy patients, honey has also been shown to accelerate the healing process and reduce pain and inflammation. And for those persistent coughs accompanying colds and upper respiratory infections, the World Health Organization supports the use of honey as an alternative treatment for its demulcent effect. Some folk remedies claim the use of honey to relieve common gastrointestinal disorders, and studies are now revealing the science of how honey aids the digestive process. This is where oligosaccharides come in: they serve as “prebiotics,” supporting the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria (also known as probiotics) such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. In addition to feeding the beneficial bacteria, some honeys have demonstrated in vitro to possess antibacterial activity against h. pylori, a bacteria attributed to peptic ulcers. Honey is also an effective energy source for exercise and athletic performance. Since fructose is released slowly into the blood stream, it provides sustained energy. Researchers have found the delayed absorption results in a slower rise in blood glucose in diabetic patients. This and improved intestinal flora appear to be particularly important factors that may augment diabetes management. Abnormal cholesterol levels, also associated with diabetes, have shown improvement with honey consumption by decreasing LDL and triglycerides and slightly increasing HDL, offering potential benefits for cardiovascular health. The scientific jury is still out on the theory that local honey may reduce sensitivities to allergy producing plants from which the bees gather nectar and pollen. Although a recent pilot study on birch pollen honey found a positive association between honey consumption and reduced allergy symptoms, other studies have not been conclusive. But if you ask beekeeper Jim Gross, he believes a spoonful a day keeps the sniffles away. Despite a soggy start to this year’s honey season, Martha’s Vineyard beekeeper Tim Colon, proprietor of Island Bee Company, says his bees have had a lot of good flying time so far, resulting in a bountiful production. A cautionary note: infants under 12 months of age should not be given honey due to their undeveloped immune system.

Photos: Betsy Corsiglia


mid summer 2013 |


Good energy


Community Networking {


Spotlight on Nantucket Network of Wellbeing

by Siobhain Klawetter

Photo: A gathering in 1999 of the newly-formed Nantucket Network of Wellbeing


ommunity is such a healthy and valuable part of the human experience. With a bit of elbow grease and almost a decade and a half of collaboration, the Nantucket Network of Wellbeing (NNOW) has developed from a handful of health and wellness practitioners who, in 1999, longed to bring together a like-minded community, to what is now a thriving collective—dedicated to sharing knowledge and skills with Nantucket and beyond.

Glen Weimer is one of NNOW’s founding members and the nonprofit’s board president. He shared, “The core of our mission is really to help network the wellness community as well as help the public get the information they need to serve their well-being.” Glen is someone who knows and appreciates the benefits of being connected to a like-minded community. He was an artist long before becoming trained as a polarity therapist. “When I was here back in the ’80s, teaching and painting at NISDA, we had a built-in community,” he remembers. Out in Arizona, where he first studied and then founded his own polarity therapy school, Glen enjoyed a full life surrounded by the established wellness community in Tucson. Upon returning to the island, he found the camaraderie he was used to painfully absent, although, after reaching out, he quickly found others yearning for the same sense of place. The first few meetings were really “introductions” between the various wellness professionals who came together. “I had no idea there was a midwife, or someone doing lomilomi {a type of massage practiced among the Hawaiians}... It was shocking that on our tiny island, there was so much being offered—we had no idea.” From there, the meetings became popular potluck brunches, where the expanding group began to talk about needs, both individual and collective. The common question was: How does the general public know what’s available? So, a quarterly newspaper with directory was developed, followed by the inception of an annual wellness fair—still running strong today.

Throughout the year, especially during the off-season when the group’s members aren’t flat-out with summer business, NNOW continues to gather and network, sponsor film and lecture series in collaboration with the Nantucket Atheneum, and provide educational programs for adults and teens. It wasn’t until about a year ago that NNOW finally was able to launch their user-generated website. As Glen put it, “We wanted to provide a forum where people could go on and share their information—more like a wiki... it’s not [the voice of] one person.” The website has helped move the group from the physical “brunching” world, with its limitations due to time and space, to the virtual world of practically limitless networking and information-sharing opportunities. The website was not intended only for use amongst group members, as Glen reminded me. “The website is a great resource. Visitors always ask, ‘Where do I find a massage therapist or a yoga class?’ It’s a great way to find healthy things to do when you are on-island, whether it’s a class, performance, nature walk, massage... you name it!” Next up for NNOW is a project one of Nantucket’s local television station, I Am 18 (channel 18). Keep an eye out for “Shine” and “Reflect”— television and web shorts featuring tools for healthy living. If you are interested in starting a simular network in your community, Glen would be very happy to share his and the collective knowledge of NNOW with you.

If you would like to use NNOW’s directory, get connected, or otherwise learn more about Nantucket Network for Wellbeing, visit and click on Community Networking.

mid summer 2013 |



Dates to keep in mind


Festivals & Events to keep in mind -




August 9-10 18th Annual 12 Meter Races

August 3 Onset Blues Festival

August 10 Boston Pops on Nantucket

August 14 Grand Illumination Night

August 11 Falmouth Road Race

August 10 - 18 Nantucket Race Week

August 16 Fireworks at Ocean Park

Pops by the Sea

August 17, 24, 31 Nantucket Clean Team

August 30 - September 1 Labor Day Festival September 5 -8 Martha’s Vineyard International Film September 8 68th Annual Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby September 14 Tivoli Day Festival 16th Annual Summer Vineyard Artisans Festival All August Sundays: 4, 11, 18, 25 September Sundays: 8, 15, 22, 29, & October 6 October 4-5 Living Local Harvest Festival Ocotber 17-20 6th Annual MV Food & Wine Festival


mid summer 2013 |

August 24 Plymouth Waterfront Festival 24th Annual Cape Cod 5 Pops in the Park September 14-15 Harwich Cranberry Arts & Music Festival

August 18 Opera House Cup Regatta August 24 Swim Across America Open Water September 21 Nantucket Maritime Festival

September 20-22 Bourne Scallop Festival

October 4-13 Nantucket Arts Festival

September 28-29 Barnstable County Harvest Festival

October 12 Cranberry Festival

September 29-Ocotber 28 6th Annual Fall for the Arts Festival

October 17-19 Nantucket Birding Festival

October 10-14 35th Annual Yarmouth Seaside Festival

November 27, 29-30, December 1 NHA Festival of Wreaths

October 19-20 Wellfleet Oyster Festival

December 6-31 NHA Festival of Trees

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Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket: this is our Sound - Enjoy! Fall / Winter 2013