Cuttyhunk Island, the farthest out of the Elizabeth Islands, has a year-round population of only forty, and West End Pond is on the quiet end of the island. Surrounded by nothing but bayberry and sumac, it is where researchers come to learn what water with zero human influences should be like. The pond is crystal clear in winter, but in summer it louches like absinthe, turning milky-green with marine algae. To my knowledge, Cuttyhunks are the only virginicas being raised in lantern nets. The flavor is mild sea, all light and sparkle, and the brine is intense. Cuttyhunk Harbor is a popular stopover for yachts on the way to Martha’s Vineyard, and each evening the Floating Raw Bar makes the rounds, delivering oysters harvested that morning right to the boats.