Airport at the End of the World

Dark gray clouds scudded low overhead, pewter waves slapped Windbird’s hull as it heeled in a gust, and a fine, cold mist obscured the low black line on the horizon that defined our island destination, now 7 miles away. Given the sullen weather, you wouldn’t know it was July 5 if not for the steady stream of post-holiday vessel traffic headed in the opposite direction.

“Intensely variable conditions are just part of the bargain for any New England cruise,” I mused, “no matter the season.” As we rounded the Tuckernuck Shoal Buoy, its haunting discordant gongs echoing across the chop, I tightened ’s sheets and hardened our course toward the harbor entrance. Our sturdy sailboat dug in its heels and surged windward with renewed vigor, spray flying over the bow and smacking our dodger. I smiled. The salty weather reminded me a lot of our last visit

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