To get here, I take a large, white ferry boat. It is a one hour ride across the open, windy ocean. The top deck allows me to look out onto the horizon. Seagulls circle around the boat, flying in all around us. I hand them a piece of bread and they never leave us alone, they always come back, wanting more, anticipating more. The feeling I get as the boat slowly approaches the towering cliffs and sandy shores of the island is almost indescribable. As the ferry docks, I take a deep breath and let my feet carry me onto the island. I come here every year; sometimes with my cousins, sometimes with my friends but always with my grandmother and we always have memorable times together.
One beach has always been my favorite. To get there, you have to walk down over 150 stairs and climb over rocks. The view from above is breathtaking, the water looks crystal clear when standing at the top of the cliff; however, filled with many enormous, sharp rocks I know it is as dangerous as it is breathtaking, creating huge waves that tower over me. Over on another section of the beach, there is a mud pit, tucked away high up in a cliff. A long hike up many steep rocks is mandatory to get up there, but it is all worth it for the pure joy of flinging mud at my brother. Once we are clean from all the mud, we pack our stuff up and make our way over to the wooden steps. The dreadful walk back up makes me wonder if it is possible that there are more stairs on the way up than there are going down to the beach.
A taxi comes to pick us up to bring us over to our favorite place to eat, a small restaurant on the other side of the island. Ever since I was little, we have sat in the same spot at the restaurant, the boat bar. It is a tradition for my family, mainly because when we come here, it is the only place that can sit all of us and be together. The table itself is made out of an old, wooden boat and filled with many fake gold coins and seashells. Across from the restaurant, there is a beach with charcoal colored sand and seaweed lined shores. The water is clear enough to see patches of seaweed floating around in it. Looking out on the horizon, we see many boats arriving and departing from the island. The sand feels cool beneath my toes as I walk barefoot down the beach, watching little kids splash around in the water and building sandcastles.
It starts getting late and as the wind starts to pick up, the salty beach air gets a bit of chill to it. I throw my brand new Block Island sweatshirt on to combat the chill. The last boat leaves around 7 P.M. and as we board, I look out into the open waters. The wind whips around us, picking up the smell of fish, as the captain announces our departure back home. The sunset paints the sky shades of red, orange and pink until it becomes dark. Looking back towards the island and watching it slowly start to disappear from my view; I am saddened by the thought that it will be another year before I return here.
*I gave her the idea for this title. I wish I could take credit for it but even Yankee Magazine has referred to Block Island as the Bermuda of the North.