Heavy surf caused by Hurricane Bill brought “closed to swimming” signs to south-facing Island beaches all weekend, sanctions surfers cheerfully ducked. What the storm left was additional erosion, though the bigger loss may be economic, as many visiting boaters took off when they heard the warnings broadcast last week.


As Hurricane Bill threatened offshore and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency issued a warning to swimmers and boaters about high seas and strong currents this weekend, the town of Chilmark is considering changes in beach safety protocol in light of two swimmer deaths and several dramatic rescues in the past month.

Hurricane Bill yesterday was traveling north-northwest from off the east coast of Central America, spreading high swells over the western Atlantic and is projected to pass some 200 miles off the coast of Massachusetts sometime on Sunday.


An uninvited guest named Bill was the talk of the waterfront on Wednesday afternoon.

No, this was not former President Bill Clinton, for he is welcome.

The concern was Hurricane Bill, spinning in the Atlantic as a category four hurricane, more than a thousand miles away. While forecasters appear confident the storm will stay safely at sea through the coming weekend, the storm’s significant size and power still are of concern to local mariners with big or little boats.