On Hermine’s Visit and a Change in Usage.

Here on the Vineyard we are subject to visits by ocean storms. Our most recent weather visitor has been the storm formerly known as Hermine. She got to a few hundred miles south of us, and then sat in place, sending us days of easterly winds, including a day-long period of thirty-to-fifty mile per hour air. The ground was littered with leaves, twigs, and rotten branches, and a few trees fell. Hermine’s best gift to us was almost an inch of rain, which we very much needed.

Here’s a selection of photos from the Hermine era.

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As Hermine came from the south, she threw northeast winds and high clouds our way. This photo looks SSE from Menemsha.

During the strongest winds, we went to Black Point and Quansoo.

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Black Point grasses tousled by the strong east wind. 

On the beach, the southern sky was charcoal-colored.

Over us the sky was broken.

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Black Point panorama. 

We’d seen bigger waves, but these were just fine, especially with their windblown tops.

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Looking west on Black Point Beach.

At high tide the waves reached up onto the beach, occasionally reaching the dunes’ toes.

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Black Point Beach, Hermine. 

We watched the breaking waves, each one unique, each one fascinating.

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The waves feel bottom, rise higher, and fall over themselves.

Again and again and again.

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Collapsing wave, Hermine.

In these next photos, the compression of telephoto emphasizes the power of the surf.

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South Beach surf, Hermine. 

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South Beach surf, Hermine.

We left Black Point and went to Quansoo.

The wind was strong and the tide was high.

Through the Opening the Atlantic was pouring into Tisbury Great Pond.

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Tisbury Great Pond Opening, Hermine. 

When I was young, we always called the breach between ocean and pond the “Opening”. Somehow, some people started calling it “The Cut”. A friend of mine recently remembered, and told me about hearing someone use “cut” for the first time, decades ago. Decades ago I had started using “cut”. Back then, “Cut” sounded cooler. So purposeful and direct.

My friend’s recollection got to me, and I have decided to change my ways.

I’m going to go back to the old way of saying things.

No more “cut”.

From now on, it’s “The Opening”.

To this little sandpiper a choice of words makes no difference.

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Sandpiper seeks food, Quansoo Opening. 

A few days later, the sky cleared.

The wind was still east.

But the surf was down.

We went back to check on the Opening.

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The Opening after Hermine. Summer, 2016

What a beautiful day.

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4 responses to “On Hermine’s Visit and a Change in Usage.

  1. Somebody has to stick to the old ways and it may as well be us old timers. Beautiful Old Church of Whaling Days – not Old Whaling Church; West Tisbury Road (when in Edgartown) – not the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road; Vineyard Haven Road (when in Edgartown) – not the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road; Edgartown Great Plains – not Katama; Pease’s Point Way – not Pease Point Way; Vineyard HAven – not VINeyard Haven. There are even some natives who still say Gay Head rather than Aquinnah. Nice writing and photos.

  2. I may be remembering correctly if I recall that the openings of the Great South Bay of Long Island NY were called cuts. But, as I am digging deeper in my recollections, I think the places that reached into the Barrier Beaches and provided anchorage, were cuts and those places where there was an opening which allowed passage of boats to the ocean were and continue to be called Inlets…. I haven’t lived there since 1972…

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