Friday, October 23, 2009

"NANTUCKET SLEIGHRIDE"

YouTube - Mountain. Nantucket Sleighride Ever been on a sleighride? With the Fall season in New England in mid-form; winter's chill and snow are not far off especially with our "global cooling" now in effect as the warmest year in the last eleven for earth's temperature was 1998. Some scientists contend that the prevalence or lack of significant solar flares and sunspot activity on the Sun have a direct correlation on the temperatures here on Earth. We are currently in a quiet cycle for solar sunspot activity which has signaled cool temperatures in the past. Why, just last Sunday it was snowing in Foxboro, Massachusetts as the New England Patriots edged the Tennessee Titans by squeaking out a close game by the winning 59-0. One announcer on WRKO radio the next day reported that the Patriots lost this football game by the score of 59-0 so that announcer was only off by 118 points of reporting the true score.

On Nantucket island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts there used to be frequent "Nantucket sleighrides" especially during the years of 1800-1840 when Nantucket was the whaling capital of the world. These "Nantucket sleighrides" would occur during all parts of the year as this term received its name from the whaling industry where whalers would harpoon a whale while in a small boat and then hold on to the rope attached to the harpoon as the whale took off through the water at speeds up to 23 miles an hour dragging the whale boat until the whale was exhausted. The whalers would then finish off the whale with a harpoon through the heart. Click on the You Tube link to hear the Band "Mountain" in the song "Nantucket Sleighride' describe this whaling process of Man against the "sperm whale". Back before electricity was prevalent, whales were hunted to provide fuel for whale oil lamps among other uses.

So, enjoy the long cold winter to come. If you visit Nantucket this winter you probably won't be able to experience a "Nantucket Sleighride" but there is a "Nantucket Stroll" each December before Christmas when carolers roam the cobblestone streets of Nantucket dressed in Victorian costume singing Christmas songs and Santa Claus comes to town from a Coast Guard vessel and rides through the streets in a horse drawn carriage.