Sand scraped against the blades of our ice skates as we headed out into the middle of Squibnocket Pond. My husband Jon and I had started our adventure with a very tame idea: we would go down to the dock that was now frozen solidly in the ice, put our skates on there and fool around in the shallows for a bit.

But as we did that, here came Nat and Pam down to the dock with a similar idea. Theirs was a little broader in scope, however. They were aiming to skate across the pond to the Aquinnah side. Did we want to come?

A quick consultation later and we were off. As we left the dock, I imagined what a water fowl must feel like, leaving the safety of the marsh grass and tall cattails to go into the wide center of the pond.

Coming from behind, we heard a kind of clattering, swooshing sound that was actually an ice boat. This one looked like it had been carefully stored in some Chilmark barn since the 1940s. Beauti fully varnished spars gleamed in the sun, the light construction only able to hold a single sailor. Sails catching the wind, off it went to join several others that I now could make out on the far side.

Skating and skating, sometimes against the wind, we raced time as the sun sank lower in the western sky. We had not quite made it all the way to the sand dunes but we risked having to skate back in the dark. So we turned, now with the wind at our backs and our shadows racing long in front of us.

Back at the dock with the orange sky muted as the night came on, we were exhilarated. What next, we said? Dinner by a fire of course. But where could that be? We settled on the brew pub in Oak Bluffs. A crackling fire welcomed us as we arrived that frigid night, and with great good fortune we got the table right next to the fire.

We melted into our chairs, hot soup warming our insides and the bright fire roasting the rest. We sat there as long as we could, telling stories of the swans that flew low in the sky, that near fall from a piece of wood stuck in the ice and tales of shimmering Norwegian ice boats.

That night we were dreaming the dreams of our ancestors, gathered close to the fire, eyes bright, at one with the long winter.

Kanta Lipsky lives in West Tisbury.