Thursday, June 22, 2017 – A day off, sort of!
The alarm went off bright and early, the weather is cooperating, we are getting off island this morning. I have made it a habit to bake for the Wednesday Warriors for their coffee break when they are on island. I knew ahead of time there were no volunteers coming out to the island but Ethan still should get something fresh baked. A quick batch of banana nut muffins went into the oven, and Ethan will have warm muffins once he drops us off at Fort Popham.
The sun was shining, the wind was down and we were in shorts walking to the cove for the 7am pick up time. We pulled the dinghy down the beach, thank goodness for aluminum bottom dinghies because we mostly drag the dinghy over the rocks to the sandy area near the water. All our possessions are loaded in the dinghy, I check and double check to make sure the van keys are in the back pack because I don’t think Ethan would take kindly to me asking for a quick trip back to the island to retrieve the keys. We were waiting at the water’s edge at 6:55am. As soon as we see Ethan’s boat come around Ellingwood Rock, we push off to meet him at the mooring.
Ethan mentions to us he is bringing about 20 guests out to the island today and he will be the tour guide for the group. I had wanted to be on island when we reached the 100th guest, but it won’t be the case. Also, we are dependent on Ethan for the transport to and from the island, and we had planned a later trip back today but was told to be ready at 2:30p at Fort Popham for our return trip. It was a hard piece of information to take. The weather has been miserable on the island since Friday and we were looking for a mental health bike ride today around Portland. Oh well, live on an island, right?
When we stopped at Winnegance General Store for breakfast, we put a game plan together for the day to make sure we get back to Fort Popham for 2:30pm. Grocery shopping is usually the last thing we do during the day to keep the cold items as cold as possible for the trip back. If no stops are needed in between, we need to make sure we leave Shaw’s at least 45 minutes before our departure time, it is a long drive back to Popham and we will still need to unload the van, park it and walk the ¼ mile back to the dock. Today, however, we needed to fill our 4 water containers on the way back as well, so groceries needed to be done by 1pm to make it all work.
It was a busy day, we did get haircuts, the laundry was done and other basic shopping was complete. We thought we might even have a little extra time to get lunch and eat it at the Bath waterfront. As we were leaving Brunswick, a call came in from one of the FOSILS Board members asking if we could stop by the Bath Fire & Rescue Department to pick up the new defibrillator for the island and get a lesson on how to use it. Another change of plans, off to Bath.
The Automated External Defibrillator(AED) is a great idea for the island. It can take almost an hour for the rescue squads to reach the island in an emergency. If it is a cardiac emergency, that may be too long for a successful outcome. The AED is computerized and walks the user through a step by step instruction process to determine if the patient needs cardiac intervention or not and then had the potential to provide lifesaving assistance while awaiting the rescue squads. We certainly hope to never need this amazing machine, but it is nice knowing we have it at our disposal.
We make it back to meet Ethan at the dock just in time and off to the island we go. He reports he had 17 visitors to the island and all is well out there. The nice part of landing the dinghy when the volunteers are not waiting to go back to the mainland, is the transfer of our stuff to the beach is a little more of a relaxed process. The dinghy is tied to a mooring awaiting our arrival, we load 2 water containers in the stern and the clean laundry, I row and Brian sits in the bow for the row ashore. Because of the surf in the cove, we need to land the dinghy stern to the beach. Brian jumps out and grabs the laundry and water containers and carries them to the rock line as I row out to get the rest of the stuff. Once the dinghy is full, Ethan is on his way and I row ashore. Brian is there to quickly start unloading the dinghy as I stabilize it in the surf. Once empty, we drag the dinghy back up the beach to above the high tide line. Today, that is a little more difficult because when we arrived into the cove there was a visiting boat tied to a mooring and their dinghy was pulled to where we usually store ours. Oh well.
After about 20 minutes of lugging our stuff up the stairs from the beach, we make a game plan on how to get all our stuff up knowing there were guests at the top. As I round the Lighthouse trail to the top, there are a fair number of guys enjoying an afternoon snack on the front lawn. I greet them asking if they would like a tour of the tower and would they mind terribly if I put my groceries away first. This is what I meant about a day off, sort of. This group of 9 guys went to high school together in Quincy, MA some 30+ years ago and meet every year since for some type of outing. It was fun having a chance to chat with them as we climbed the tower.
The rest of the day was getting everything put away and double checking the guest quarters for the 2 families expected tomorrow on island for the weekend. I realize now that not many pictures were taken today but I will share with you the latest batch of ice cream made on island tonight, Kahlua Fudge with Heathbar. Tomorrow nights dessert!
Guests today – 26
Guests total – 119
USCG – 6