The Block Island Times


By Daniel West | Mar 28, 2011

1/22/11 — It’s no secret that Block Island winter weather can be less than pleasant. Year-round residents cope with this in a number of ways, some of which may not be fit to print, but one popular method to beat the winter weather is to escape to southern waters and soak in some equatorial rays for a few weeks, or even months.

There are spots in Florida or the Caribbean where you would be just as likely to see a Block Islander out and about in the winter as you would on Block Island. They fly south, sit in the sand, sip a margarita and dream of July.

Personally I think they have it backwards and I submit my counterintuitive theory of “reverse-snowbirding.” I contend that to really make it through the winter you should visit places even colder to make the island weather seem all the more temperate by comparison.

I tested my theory last weekend by traveling to central Maine for an ice-fishing trip. We arrived late Friday night and spent over and hour shoveling a path through four feet of snow to the cabin we’d be staying in. From then on I spent the entire weekend in one of two places: the cabin with only a wood-stove for heat or standing in the middle of a frozen lake in seven-degree weather.

Now don’t get me wrong — I am not complaining. On the contrary it was arguably the most successful fishing trip I’ve ever taken. We caught a dozen large mouth bass — including one of the largest I have ever seen — along with another half dozen or so perch and pickerel.

Upon my return to Block Island I’ve found the weather to be far more agreeable than I remember it being when I left. On Monday I took a ride around the island, stereo on, windows down, something I haven’t been able to do in months; the car thermometer read 26-degrees. And though it rained Tuesday it felt downright balmy out temperature wise.

So you can call me crazy or accuse me of trying to keep the flights to Puerto Rico from filling up this winter, but I am convinced that reverse-snowbirding works and I challenge you to try. Skip the trip to Tortola and check out Toronto instead.

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