Block Island Times

Falling in love with an island – the legacy of Peter Wood

On Memorial Day 1962, a young writer and his wife took the wood-hulled ferry the Sprigg Carroll from Point Judith to Block Island. The couple were looking for a getaway from their lower east side Manhattan tenement where they were raising two young girls. The wife’s family had a place on Nantucket, but it was too hard to get to. Somebody had told them about a little island, not widely known about. So they “stashed the kids,” as the man put it, and headed out. He brought his mask, snorkel, fins, a long pole spear and a mail-order wetsuit glued together on the kitchen table. They rented a room at the Surf Hotel and took bikes to Dorry’s Cove. There he swam out “among the submerged boulders, caressed by wrack weed, amazed at the clarity of the water,” as he wrote later, and speared a fat blackfish that they grilled on the beach, then lounged naked in the sand. This was a love that would last a lifetime. Not, unfortunately, between the man, Peter Wood, and the woman, Lucy Wood (later Eilert). They would divorce three years later. The burgeoning romance was between

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