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Dead Engine

In the first week of August there are around 100,000 people on Nantucket. By November there is less than 1/10th of that. Mostly nail bangers, line cooks, fisherman and junkies. Shops and restaurants close down, windows get boarded up and the blue hairs head down to Florida.

November through March on Nantucket is an angry dog. Nor'easters haunt the small island, leaving even the nicest days gray, wet and windy. November through March is also commercial scallop season.

People will tell you they are from Nantucket all the time. The ones who spent the month of July there every year at their parents summer house. They come back for a few weekends in September and make sure to get a good instragram. They’ve decided that telling people they are from an island 30 miles out to sea is more interesting than being from a Connecticut suburb 30 miles from New York City.

Alex Whelden and his two brothers, Drew and John won't tell you much. They are either too busy or too tired. Third generation islanders, the brothers spend their summers running the family restaurant and winters as commercial scallopers

I joined the Whelden brothers on their boat on a rare bluebird day in early November. We packed the boat at a quarter to six and left dock at sunrise. An hour into dredging and the engine cut. Here Alex takes a moment to wipe snot from his nose as he thinks about what to do next.

Another Shot a few moments later:

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