Michael Blanchard Inspirational Photography

The great thing about social media is it can introduce you to a few of your favorite things! That’s what happened to me several years ago when I came upon a  Michael Blanchard  photograph on Facebook I’ve been a fan ever since!

Nov - 428 Michale Blanchard Photography

Michael lives and works in Maine and makes trips to Martha’s Vineyard almost every weekend. He wakes up before the crack of dawn and in the solitude and the solstice of early morning sunrise  and sunsets  makes photographs that have become to known as inspirational photographs. You see, many take a photograph, but Michael has a way of creating images that evoke something inside yourself. That’s why he  has over 43,000 people follow him on Facebook.

Michael Blanchard Inspirational PhotographyPolaroid Camera

Michael’s first camera was a Polaroid camera he received as a teenager. But it wasn’t until the age of 54 that he found his interest in photography.  He recalls the first successful long exposure shot of Lucy Vincent. He sat quietly for an hour after that and felt so connected. That’s when he knew photography would be an important part of his life. The camera became a means of being quiet and reflective. It got him out of the house and on the beaches and he found a lost spirituality.

Michael Blanchard Photography

Why Martha’s Vineyard

It was a sailboat trip to MV  that would change Michael’s life! Once there he had the immediate, explainable desire to stay.  A few years later, he married a woman who had a home on the island. That is what we like to call Serendipity!  Michael has openly discussed in an open forum his ongoing recovery from the disease of alcoholism and the pain of his subsequent divorce from his wife. The island of Martha’s Vineyard and the art of photography helped to heal him.

Michael Blanchard Photography

3 Favorite Places

Lucy Vincent Beach, Moshup Beach and Menemsha are his three favorite places on the island. Being a big Jaws fan, he can see Hooper, Quint and Chief Brody heading out to sea to get the shark every time he sees the little fishing shacks in Menemsha.

Michael Blanchard PhotographySunrise or Sunset

Sunset is the time he loves best to photograph. The colors are different than at sunrise. He finds more interesting shots as evening approaches. But, he does admit some of his best photographs have been taken at sunrise.

Miachel Blanchard Photography Fighting For My Life

Fighting For My Life

Fighting For My Life Finding Hope and Serenity on Martha’s Vineyard, is the book that has helped Michael with his demons. He found while displaying his photographs on Facebook for the world to see, people responded to his words from healing from addiction, as much as the photos themselves. The two went hand-in-hand.  With a talent to take photographs that people liked and a want and need to share the life changing events. The book served the purpose as a cathartic  ” spilling out” of what he went through as a further means of how helping to heal. The book was designed and constructed to help raise money for addiction treatment, and most importantly, to help reduce the  shame alcoholics and addicts feel about their disease.  He wanted people to see the real and torturous existence of an alcoholic so they could better understand the disease and then use this information to help others who are struggling. He wants those who are struggling to know ” there is no shame as long as you take responsibility for your recovery”.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyThe Calendar

In May 2016 Michael will release a brand new calendar to help raise money for the Martha’s Vineyard  New Path’s Addiction Treatment Program and to increase awareness that additional resources are needed to fight the disease of addiction. Some of his stories and poetry and words of wisdom will be included to help those who need a boost of “hope”.  Thousands of his Facebook fans helped vote to choose the photos that will be in the calendar. It will be available through his website, several other websites as well as stores all over Martha’s Vineyard. The proceeds after costs will go to the New Paths Program.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyInspiration

Ansel Adams inspires Michael more  for what he said “photographs are made not taken” .  Adams would work in the darkroom for hours working to get the contrast right on a print.I In Michael’s case, editing photos is his creative escape.  Adams is his hero for “allowing” him to edit and experience the joy of creating something that is “him” and beautiful from the raw material generated by the camera.

Michael Blanchard Photography3 Things You Should Know

  1. The Camera is his means of connecting to whatever spirituality or divine energy that exists in the world. It is important in keeping him grounded and in the moment.
  2. The editing of photos is a means of creative expression he never had and allows him to channel feelings and emotions that would otherwise stay bottled up inside.
  3.  Photography is the window to the soul. He plans on using imagery  and cameras to help teenagers heal from addictions to drugs and alcohol. People can literally express themselves in the photos they choose to take.

Michael Blanchard PhotographyMichael Blanchard Inspirational Photography

To view his collection or order a book or calendar visit Michael Blanchard’s website and  follow him on  Facebook

On Island, you can find his work at Kennedy Studios in Vineyard Haven and Kelly House Gallery in Edgartown. This Summer his art will be displayed at a number of Black Dog stores throughout New England.

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Cape Cod President’s Day Weekend

Weekend Getaway

Hyannis Yacht Club


Hyannis Yacht Club

So last  weekend was the long President’s Day Weekend.  Oh, yes, it was Valentine’s Day too! So we got in the car and took a drive and did what we love!  We went to New England. More specifically, Cape Cod!

Wrentham Premium Outlets Tory Burch

 On our way we stopped at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets  It has been our experience overall, that WVPR always has   the most enthusiastic and happy sales associates we have ever seen any where…well except maybe Nantucket. But that’s another story. Armani, Nautica, Ralph Lauren, Coach, Michael Kors and  one of favorite mustdo stops at Tory Burch.  Guess what? That pocketbook I have been dreaming about since last year in gold was now in silver and well YES, I had too!

Mashpee Commons 1

Now, Here’s where I start entering my Happy Place!  Cape Cod and the Islands! A short 40 minutes drive from WVPO, remember it’s winter and I made my next stop Mashpee Commons. I LOVE Mashpee Commons too! They have some wonderful shops that are authentic New England like Maiden Voyage,  The Black Dog, Puritan Cape Cod, Vineyard Vines, Purple Poppy and Cupcake Charlies.

Cupcake Charlies Mashpee Commons

Cupcake Charlies has the BEST cupcakes I have ever had! My favorite is the Ultimate Chocolate and this weekend it was decorated for Valentine’s. Apparently, New England agrees with my taste as Cupcake Charlies has been consistently voted BEST Cupcakes in New England.

Roadhouse Cafe Hyannis
So of course after  the drive to the cape and all that shopping it’s time for dinner. Roadhouse Cafe in Hyannis is a must. After more than 25 years of going out to the Cape and a year of living on the Cape I know all the best places to go!  Overall, many of the restaurants on Cape Cod and the Islands offer not only the best hospitality and service but the best food and presentation I have ever had. That Friday evening at the Roadhouse Cafe was no exception! By the way, the house salad dressing is so good, they bottle it and sell it locally on Cape Cod.

RoadHouse Cafe

Saturday, was Boot Camp day with Alison Caron Design  Alison has not only been a friend of mine for many years, but I along with the rest of Cape Cod and the Islands and beyond have admired her work in numerous Cape Cod magazines for over a decade. While not designing for the Cape’s top companies like Cape Cod Beer, Alison won the 2015 Hermes  Creative Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for an international business report. She’s involved in a whole lot more but that’s another story.Alison Caron Boot Camp

Boot camp included lunch at my forever favorite pizza place on the cape Pizza Barbone It was great to meet with new and old friends and talk about projects and the future. 

Pizza Barbone

Earlier in the morning before Boot Camp we took a drive to Seagull Beach. What a surprise to see the snow drifted almost a foot high so sad to say we did not have our ocean beach walk. But, all the same it was great to just take it all in.

Seagull Beach

 Saturday Night Dining

How cool was it that Valentine’s and President’s Day combined to make a wonderful four day weekend! We dined at another favorite  Yarmouth House Restaurant  You can’t visit, yet alone live on Cape Cod for a year with out dining at one of our friends Ted Zambeli’s restaurants.  So good to see our friends that work here that once again provide great hospitality, service and delicious food. Presentation is key here as it is at some of other favorite restaurants in the area.

Bar at Yarmouth House Restaurant

Yarmouth House Restaurant

Presentation and big portions are a strong point. First off, the dipping oil with the fresh Parmesan cheese was mouth watering! The French onion soup was so good and had excellent presentation, as did our Caesar salad and seafood entree. Desert! Yes, we overdid it tonite! Chocolate cake and a Irish coffee!  The Yarmouth House

Yarmouth House Restaurant

Sunday was a relaxing day. Catching up with more friends. Seeing the sights. Planning our next visit. But first, we had to stop at Bagels and Beyond for their tasty non doughy bagels. Look, I’am originally from New York so I know my bagels. These my friends are the best bagels I have ever had! Incidentally, Bagels & Beyond 1st store was in New Jersey! Lucky for the Cape, Bagels & Beyond has several locations to keep the Cape Cod going!

Bagels and Beyond

Well, that’s it for now. I will be back soon from numerous locations throughout Cape Cod and the Islands and all of New England and look for my new updated website to premiere soon this Spring 2016!

Photos By Melissa Tyler

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BEACH BLONDE Cape Cod Beer

Beach Blonde

Cape Cod Beer

Cape Cod BeerLight & Refreshing!

On Cape Cod we recommendsCape Cod Beer Beach Blonde for the beach the barbecue and all your summer bashes on ICE!!!

A very drinkable golden ale with a hint of toasted malt character and a clean finish. A   R-e-f-r-e-s-h-i-n-g  light bodied golden colored American Blonde Ale is S-m-o-o-t-h and easy drinking. Perfect for the beach, the backyard, or just relaxing after a long day.

There’s an old saying, that once you get Cape Cod sand in your shoes, you will always return. “Once you get a taste of Cape Cod Beach Blonde Ale, you’ll always come back for more.”

tasting cape cod beer

Visit Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis for Tours & Tastings 

      Click On Logo Link and Follow Cape Cod Beer Them on Social Media

 

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A Whole Lotta Crunch

We Found The BEST Ever Granola!

It’s soft, fresh, delicious and made right here on  Cape Cod

A Whole Lot Of Crunch

Recently, we visited the Bass River Farmers Market in South Yarmouth and tried A Whole Lotta Crunch  Don’t let the name fool you! This is not old box store granola AT ALL!  Just FRESH, MOIST, DELICIOUS Granola! It is the best we have ever had and worth a visit to the farm market or better yet just order online from wherever you are!

A Whole Lotta Crunch is an all natural, wholesome snack.  Have it mixed with berries and cereal, create your own  fruit and yogurt scrumptious parfait. We even sprinkled some on top of a sliced banana for breakfast, or just munch on some plain as a snack or late night  treat.

Oats, Dates, Raisins, Sliced Almonds, Wheat Germ, Cinnamon Dried Cranberries, Shredded Coconut  are just some of the Yummy ingredients that make this product absolutely Yummy!  Do we dare mention it’s good for you too!

Owner Valerie Stone has created a niche for her products and with some luck and perseverance Kids Muchin’ and Crunch Granola will be in Whole Foods in the near future! In the meantime you purchase the product on Cape Cod or by ordering directly through her website.

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Try the Gluten Free Just Crunch and Monkey Crunch. These products are available at several Cape Cod outlets as well as the Bass River Farmers Market on Thursday’s and Saturdays from 9am – 1pm through the fall. 

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MIDNIGHT FARM Vineyard Haven

We have visited Midnight Farm several times over the years and loved the atmosphere and mood of the store. This year we found out they moved to a space across the street from where they had previously been.

Midnight Farm

Midnight Farm  is a HOME store that represents Tamara Weiss’s passion for all things beautiful, textural, organic, reclaimed, hand made or unique. Tamara travels the world and gains inspiration from the artists, musicians and friends she meets along the way, including her friend and business partner, Carly Simon. Tamara and Carly have been lifelong friends. The store was named by Carly Simon who also penned a poem which led to a children’s book called “Midnight Farm”. 

Midnight Farm

The shop is big on comfort and style. Tamara Weiss carefully curates the unusual selection of goods:  furniture, bedding, art as well as clothing, jewelry and shoes for women, men, and children. 

Midnight Farm

The store pays homage to Vintage textiles from Morocco, India and Turkey sit side by side with luxurious silk bedding, candles, perfumes, books and treasures for the HOME, BODY and SPIRIT.

Midnight Farm

Specialty foods like local honey, sea salt, spicy kale, organic small batch granola, bacon jam, chocolates, and the ever-present mango lime salsa are some of the delectable foods one might find. 

Midnight Farm

You’ll also find copies of Tamara Weiss’s book  “Potluck at Midnight Farm”. Released in 2002, the cookbook style guide gives over 100 recipes  from potluck dinners hosted or attended by the author. PotLuck at Midnight Farm

Midnight Farm
Midnight Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos By Melissa Tyler

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Cape Cod Lavender Farm

Turns out one of the biggest lavender farms on the east coast is in Harwich on Cape Cod!

Cape Cod Lavender Farm

Cape Cod Lavender Farm is surrounded with 60 acres of conservation land with woodland and walking trails that overlooks Island Pond. Owners Cynthia and Mathew Sutphin have owned the farm since 1995. That’s the year they opened their farm to local’s to attend a harvest. The lavender farm is typically in bloom late June through early July.

Cape Cod Lavender Farm

They started the business with two best selling products, plants and loose lavender buds and 19 years latter have over 20 lavender products; which include home decor, culinary and mind, body and spirit needs.

 

Cape Cod Lavender Farm

In 2013, they expanded their enchanted garden, complete with a miniature replica medieval castle. The garden allows children and adults to let their imagination run among a variety of plants and faerie portals.

Cape Cod Lavender Farm

June and July is harvest times and the best time to explore the fields bloom and scents. The farm receives 10,000 visitors annually. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop!

Cape Cod Lavender Farm

Cape Cod Lavender Farm

Photos By Melissa Tyler

 

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Company Profile: Cape Cod Ship Building


Vanderbilt’s, World Cup Yacht Racing, the Kennedy’s and more!

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In 1947,  E.L. Goodwin bought the rights to build the Herreshoff 12 1/2 known  for decades as the preferred small craft of Newport by many including the Vanderbilt’s. Designed by Nathaniel Herreshoff and  known for a long line of racing boats that helped keep the American Cup in America.

Cape Cod Ship Building Company (CCSBC) have been builders of fine sailboats for over 100 years. In 1885 Myron and Charles Gurney manufactured wagons, carriages and wagon wheels for Tremont Nail and other Wareham companies. With the invention of the rubber tire, the Gurney Brothers knew they needed to shift gears. While occasionally building small skiffs for personal use in 1899 a new venture was decided. The Gurney Brothers named their new business Cape Cod Power Dory Co. Charles did the drafting and designing. During this time CCSBC built wooden pleasure and commercial boats including Coast Guard Boats. The Gurney Brothers made a variety of boats in all sizes.

In 1919, plans to build the Narrows Bridge were underway which would close Cape Cod Poer Dory Co off to Buzzards Bay. They moved to their present location at 7 Narrows Road with 1500″ of water frontage and changed their name to Cape Cod Shipbuilding Corp. In 1925, The Cape Cod Knockabout was designed and quickly became the most famous of Gurney’s designs. The Knockabout evolved in a competitive first design fleet which is still active today.  Ownership of CCSBC was passed to G.S Williams in 1935 after the death of Charles Gurney.

In 1928, E.L. Goodwin; President of Undercliff Boatworks in New Jersey, a dealer for Cape Cod boats came to speak with Cape Cod Shipbuilding regarding a recent decline in quality and ended up purchasing the company. In 1940 the Sparkman & Stephens designed Mercury was purchased and over 200 were built of wood between 1940-1952.

During WWII CCSBC began production of war tugs and launches for the military. E.L. Goodwin traveled to Washington to secure building contracts and required that the boats being built drew under 15″ in order to navigate the Wareham River. This in turn ment relatively smaller boats were being built at CCBSC. In 1943, One and a half 40″ tugboats were built a week and the company went from 1 to over 100 employees.

After the war, CCSBC was able to easily switch gears from the tugboats and launches to small pleasure boats. Shipyards building larger boats were not able to make this transition and consequently many went out of business. In 1947, all boats designed by Nathanael Herreshoff were purchased by CCSBC. Wooden Herreshoff H12 1/2’s continue to be built at CCSBC. After learning that the military was interested in fiberglass boats during one of E.L.’s trips to the Pentagon, E.L. worked with Mr. Bell of American Cyanamid in New York to build fiberglass products. The first fiberglass boat built by CCSBC was a model made under the office.  E.L. created air tanks within boats to allow them to float even when filled with water.

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CCSBC went on to create the first fiberglass modeling room with concrete floor and fireproof walls. The ceiling was low and there were no windows in order to keep a steady temperature for consistent curing of the resin. In 1951, the first fiberglass Raven’s were built. Eight were delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Jack Daphney went to Aloca in 1952, which at the time was the only manufacturer of aluminum spars; to purchase spar dies for boats. He came home with the rights, extrusions and tools for all the aluminum spar building line. Zephyr Spars became a division of CCSBC.

Three of CCSB boats are in the prestigious flotilla at the Kennedy family compound; Ted Kennedy’s “MYA”, Eunice Shriver’s “Roses of all Roses” and Caroline Schlossberg’s “Snapdragon” are all Herreshoff 12 1/2’s.

E.L. worked with Cornelius Shields in 1962 to develop a boat for maritime cadets to understand how sailboats maneuver…the result is the Shields Class One Design designed by Sparkman & Shields. Cornelius Shields a dedicated believer in one design racing knew maritime cadets were learning to operate ships with no knowledge of the maneuverability of a sailboat. The class today remains a strict one design with fleets throughout the country. Gordon L. Goodwin became President of CCSBC in 1979. E.L. Goodwin passed away July 1994 at the age of 95.

capeshields

Today, Cape Cod Shipbuilding Co and the Goodwin family continue to offer traditional fiberglass sail boats from 9 to 49 feet built  in Wareham. It’s a family business going on   tree generation with Wendy J. Goodwin serving as Vice President….And the boats their family built are being handed down generation to generation!

 

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History of Nantucket

 “The Little Gray Lady of the Sea”

Nantucket

Nantucket is an island 30 miles south of Cape Cod.  Together with the small islands of Tuckenuck and Muskeget it constitutes the town of Nantucket. The name Nantucket is adapted similar Algonquin names for the island perhaps meaning “in the midst of waters” or “far away land or island”. In 1795, the town which was first established on the north shore was called Sherburne after the home-place of some of the settlers but was changed in 1795 to Nantucket.

The 2010 census population of the island was 10,172. It has become is a tourist destination  and summer colony that swells to a population of 50,000 in season. In 2008, Forbes Magazine cited Nantucket as having home values among the highest in the United States.

In 1966, The National Parks Service cited Nantucket as being the “Finest surviving architectural and environmental example of a late 18th century and early 10 century New England Seaport town”.

The earliest French settlement  in the region began on the neighboring island of Martha’s Vineyard. Nantucket’s island’s original Native American inhabitants the Wampanoag people lived undisturbed until 1641 when the island was deeded by the English The authorities in control of all land from the coast of Maine to New York) to Thomas Mayhew and his son, merchants from Watertown, MA and Martha’s Vineyard. Nantucket was part of Dukes County until 1691 when it was transferred to the newly formed province of Massachusetts Bay and split off to form Nantucket County.
Early Nantucket developed into a community of small farmers and sheep herders. The manufacturing of wool was a vital industry in colonial New England.

As Europeans began to settle on Cape Cod, the island became a place of refuge for Native Americans in the region, as Nantucket was not yet settled by Europeans. The growing population welcomed seasonal groups of other Native Americans who traveled to the island to fish and later harvest whales that washed up on shore.

Nantucket’s settlement by the English did not begin until 1659, when Thomas Mayhew sold his interest to a group of investors led by Tristram Coffin “for the sum of thirty pounds…and also two beaver hats, one for myself and one for my wife”.

The “nine original purchasers” were Tristram Coffin, Petter Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swain, Thomas Barnard, Stephen Greenleaf, John Swain and William Pike.

Seaman and tradesman began to populate Nantucket, such as Richard Gardner (arrived 1667) and Captain John Gardner (arrived 1672).

In his 1835 history of Nantucket island, Obed Macy wrote that in the early pre-1672 colony, a whale of the kind called “scragg” entered the harbor and was pursed and killed by settlers. This event started the Nantucket Whaling Industry!

A.B. Van Deines points out that the “scraggwhale” described by P.Dudley in 1725 as one of the species hunted by early New England whalers, was almost certainly the gray whale, which flourished on the west coast of North America in modern times with protection from whaling.

Herman Melville commented on Nantucket’s whaling dominance in MOBY DICK (Chapter 14) “Two thirds of his terraqueous globe are the Nantucketers. For the sea is his, he owns it as emperors own empires”.  The Moby-Dick characters Ahab and Starbuck are both from Nantucket.

For Nearly 150 years from the 1700’s – 1840’s Nantucket was the Whaling Capital of the World! On the island the economy was centered on the whale fishery, blacksmiths, boat building shops, ship chandleries, sail lofts and warehouses. Whale Wax was made by candle-makers that also lit domestic streetlamps! Supporting businesses were seaman boarding houses, grogshops, grocery and dry good shops.

By 1850, whaling was in decline as Nantuckets whaling industry had been surpassed by that of New Bedford and Salem. The island suffered great economic hardships, worsened by the July 134, 1846 “Great Fire” that fueled by whale oil and lumber devastated the main town burning  and destroying over 300 buildings and some 40 acres. The fire left hundreds homeless and poverty stricken and many people left the island.  Another contributor to the decline was the silting up of the harbor, which prevented large whaling ships from entering the port. In addition, the development of railroad made mainland whaling ports of New Bedford more attractive because of the ease of trans shipment of whale oil onto trains, an advantage unavailable to the island.

At this point gold was discovered in California and hundreds of Nantucket men went to seek their fortune. The Cival War also took it’s toll on Nantucket more then 300 Nantucket men served in the Union Army and 73 lost their lives. Between 1840 – 1887 the population dropped from 10,000 to 4,000.

As a result of this depopulation the island was underdeveloped and isolated until the mid 20th century. The isolation  kept many of the pre-Cival War buildings intact and by the 1850’s enterprising developers began buying up large sections of the island and restoring them to create an upmarket destination for wealthy people in the North East.

The Summer visitor would be a catalyst for Nantucket’s recovery! As early as the 1840’s rooming houses and small inns were operating and the invigorating and delightful indulgence of Sea Bathing was being touted in off island newspapers be entrepreneurial types. In the 1870’s the first big summer hotel was erected and four more followed over the next ten years. With the war behind, Nantucket women opened their homes to summer boarders providing large airy rooms and nicely cooked bluefish. The town got behind the effort and “Two boats a day” was a lore the “SEASON” was created and NANTUCKET NEVER LOOKED BACK!

In the 1920’s the island became a popular artist colony. Noted who lived on or painted the island include Frank Swift Chase and Theodore Robinson.  Noted authors including Herman Nelville have lived there.

 

 

 

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Mermaids

Mermaids are Magical

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Or at least they appear to be!

Part tragic, part mythological, part real as in Tom Hanks’s movie Splash!

Have you ever really seen a mermaid? Has a mermaid ever answered your wish?  We are a big fan of mermaids and if you are read on for a bit of history about Mermaids. . . . . .

Mermaids appear in folklore of many cultures worldwide! The first known mermaid stories appeared in Assyria c. 1000 BC. The Goddess Atargatis, mother of Assyrian Queen Semiramis, loved a mortal (a shepherd) and unintentionally killed him. Ashamed, she jumped into a lake and took the form of a fish, but the waters would not conceal her divine beauty. Thereafter, she took the form of a mermaid —

A popular Greek legend turned Alexander the Great’s sister, Thessalonic, into a mermaid after her death, living in the Aegean. She would ask the sailors on any ship she would encounter only one question: “Is King Alexander alive?” to which the correct answer was: “He lives and reigns and conquers the world”.  This answer would please her, and she would accordingly calm the waters and bid the ship farewell. Any other answer would enrage her, and she would stir up a terrible storm, dooming the ship and every sailor on board.

If you are a fan of Mermaids a shop that you will be interested in is Maiden Voyage in Mashpee Commons on Cape Cod. 

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