With a squirt to the left, Nantucket Harbor native Quentin the Quahog predicted six more weeks of winter, the Nantucket harbormaster said.
“Unfortunately, he agreed with the groundhog, but you can’t possibly trust a groundhog,” Fronzuto said.
On Feb. 2 – known to Nantucketers not as Groundhog Day but as Quahog Day – the mollusk predicts how much longer the winter season will last with a squirt of water from its siphon. A spit to the left means six more weeks of winter are on the way, and a spit to the right means winter is over, Fronzuto said.
Fronzuto proclaimed Quentin much more reliable than Punxsutawney Phil, saying 2002's Quentin predicted the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl win that year.
“The groundhog is obviously not responsible, and his predictions are questionable,” Fronzuto said. “You certainly can’t doubt a quahog.”
The tradition began exactly 30 years ago, launched by former harbormaster Allen Holdgate Sr. and long-time Nantucket resident H. Flint Ranney, now a board member of the Steamship Authority representing Nantucket, Fronzuto said. About 10 people, including Ranney, came to see Quentin's prediction today.
Fronzuto said a Facebook page will be created and a viewing box installed on the pier under the hand-painted “Quentin the Quahog” sign to honor Quentin with a larger audience. But for now, the clam will meet his noble -- and delicious -- demise.
“After I open him, I eat him,” said Fronzuto. “He gives his life for his prediction.”
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