A perfect 2-hour ferry ride off America’s east coast lies the island paradise of Nantucket, well away from the commercial chasm that is Cape Cod. From the moment of departure, you sail serenely towards the Cape Cod Gap knowing your heading to the most mystical of places.
It was early September as the ferry wound its way past the fine array of vessels bobbing in the harbour – this is an excellent place for celebrity spotting as the rich & famous swoon over each others’ priceless sea vessels. The background was filled with an array of white sand, beach huts and an amazing blue cloudless sky.
A fine selection of beach shacks and remote islands glistened in the midday sun as we passed through the Nantucket peninsular. On arrival onto the island a five minute jaunt was all it took to get lost in the maze of winding streets. Stumbling into what I can only describe as a 'hippy heaven', filled with joss sticks and colourful batiks, as well as some of the finest and most genuine lemonade you’ll ever taste, it becomes immediately apparent why people rave about this place so much. The freshly squeezed drink was the perfect replacement for the caffeine loaded trash that had been the only option just a few hours beforehand.
Our hostel was a short taxi ride to the other side of the island and proved itself to be the ideal retreat. Situated on Surf-side Beach & housed in an old life-saving station, The Robert Weston hostel had pretty basic facilities, but it was clean and well priced. … a good forty-five minute trek from the hostel and Nantucket’s lively nightlife is before you. Not for one moment do you sense any murmur or threat, even with dusk set-in, for this is a place of free spirits, care-less thoughts and happy times. A casual wander along the cobbled streets and you’ll discover ample opportunity to sample local eateries and exciting seafood. The locals are experts in all things sea-related and they take great pride in their food. Those on a modest budget have the venerable option of trying out some of the local fish bars for a bite by the port.
Walking by the beach with the fresh September breeze and rising sun is an almighty privilege. I was about to have one of the most amazing experiences of my life. At 8am I stood alone on this spectacular beach; alone with the sea birds and the open ocean delicately playing around my legs. I stood there for about an hour, listening to the aeroplanes ferry out workers to the mainland and surveying the majesty of my surroundings. Jumping around in the waves – at peace with the world and happy as can be - must have been a spectacle for anyone who may have been watching. Certainly, for me it was an experience I won’t ever forget. Nantucket proved itself as one of the most special hide-aways you could ever hope for. It’s a world apart from the clichéd America and worlds away from the trivia and strife of any man's average day.