Rockin’ and Rollin’ Storm

Friday
July 22, 2016

We had a steady 10-15mph wind with comfortable temperatures and bright sunlight when we rolled out of bed this morning.  We had fruit (pineapple, blueberries, mango and strawberries), yogurt, and granola for breakfast along with a pot of strong black, coffee.

Area of tall grass cut down by MITA volunteers on Wednesday.

Area of tall grass cut down by MITA volunteers on Wednesday.

After breakfast, we hiked out the North Trail where the Maine Island Trails Association (MITA) worked yesterday cutting back trailside brush.  One of our visitors yesterday mentioned some brush on the trail and we know we need to get out there to weed whack soon (like last week).  We each took a pair of clippers and cut a little here and there but MITA had done a good job and gotten just about anything that intruded on the trail.  I went ahead of Patty so we were working on different sections and when I reached the point where I could see the Cove, there was a sailboat there.

Patty had stumbled upon a couple of baby gulls on the trail and the baby mama was harassing her so when I radioed to say I saw a boat, she was happy to turn around and go to the house to meet any visitors that might come up.  When she got back, three people from the sailboat (their fourth stayed aboard) were in the museum and wanted to see the tower.  The weather was looking a little sketchy by this point with the wind picking up, swells growing, and some big clouds growing over the mainland.  The visitors were on their way from Small Point (to our southwest) to Boothbay (to our northeast) and said the ride so far had been really rough and they needed a short break.  Patty spent some time with them in the museum and gave them a tour of the tower before they returned to their boat.

Area of tall grass cut down by MITA volunteers on Wednesday.

Area of tall grass cut down by MITA volunteers on Wednesday.

I came back a few minutes after they left and Patty and I had a pre-ferry group snack – Swiss cheese, crackers, cucumbers, carrots, and hummus in the kitchen and then waited for our first visitors.  By noon, none had come up – no Ethan today.  We thought he might come despite the seas because dockside at Popham is probably calm and the cove is calm but the seas between must have been too rough.  With no group, we moved to Plan B for the afternoon.

I went out to the end of the North Trail, this time in my grungy clothes with the weed whacker, gas can, and a water bottle and weed whacking my way back to the trailhead over the next three hours.  Patty raked the area of the front yard where MITA cut down a large swath of tall grass to get it away from the edge of the lawn.  It was blowing onto the lawn like loose straw and also on to the Lighthouse Trail where it made footing slippery.

After she finished raking and while I was still out the North Trail, Patty went down the hill to get water and saw a dinghy coming ashore from a moored sailboat.  Patty met two women from the sailboat (their Captain, husband of one of the women) stayed onboard and gave them a strict one-hour time limit to explore Seguin.  The two visitors were concerned about the rest of their trip and wanted to stay overnight in the cove but their captain said he wanted to push on after this brief stop.  After visiting the museum and quick tour of the tower, they went straight back to

New whiteboard sign we put on the museum door with sunrise/sunset and high/low tide times.

New whiteboard sign we put on the museum door with sunrise/sunset and high/low tide times.

their boat.

A little later, I came back from the North Trail and Patty told me about the visitors and pointed out their boat, rocking and rolling on the swells, as it sailed away from Seguin.  We watched it recede from the front porch while I cooled off in the shade but before long, we noticed it wasn’t receding anymore.  They had turned around and were heading back towards the cove.  Guess the captain relented and decided to stay in the cove until the seas calm down?  Their sail away from Seguin didn’t look like it would have been too much fun.

Patty made us a late lite lunch of tomato and cheese sandwiches and had also made her own hummus from chickpeas, jalapenos, and cilantro and another with some roasted garlic and lemon.  I was skeptical and thought it was probably too much trouble to make when we can easily buy it with good ingredients in the store but I have to give Patty her due, it was really good.

After eating, we went down the hill again for more water and confirmed the sailboat in the cove was the one that was here earlier with the two women visitors.  They really did leave and come back.  It was nice and calm in the cove so we imagine they’re happy to be there and not out on the rough waters.

Coast Guard helicopter passing by Seguin.

Coast Guard helicopter passing by Seguin.

Later in the early evening, we were outside watching the beginning of sunset which was really nice for about fifteen minutes until we saw clouds building along the mainland coast and rain moving our way across the water from the area of Casco Bay.  Over the next half hour or more, we watched as heavy rain and lighting slowly creeped across the water until it passed directly above us in a swirl of strong winds.

Water proofing the kitchen pantry shelves.

Water proofing the kitchen pantry shelves.

About a half hour after the first wave of rain, wind, lightning, and thunder passed and it had cleared briefly, another stronger cell made its’ way from the mainland to Seguin.  This one had even stronger wind and a non-stop, more than once per second, display of lightning completely surrounding us.  East, west, north, south, it was everywhere and ceaseless.  An awesome display.  This cell was either larger or moving more slowly than the first

it rained in the kitchen!

it rained in the kitchen!

because it lasted a lot longer than the first.  We had been waiting since we arrived in May to experience a storm like this and the wait was worth it.  It did not disappoint.

Inside the house, we realized that when it rains hard outside, it also rains lightly inside.  Standing in the kitchen watching the wind, rain, and lightning outside, we started to feel raindrops falling on us from the ceiling along the wall between

Rainy weather pantry

Rainy weather pantry

the kitchen and dining room where our pantry shelving is located.  We took everything off the top shelves and tacked plastic trash bags to the top, hanging down over the other shelves and put some rags on the floor.  Problem solved.  In the gift-shop (the mirror image in the duplex house of our kitchen), it was also lightly raining but we were able to move a couple of merchandise displays and the problem was solved there too.  Well, maybe not solved but nothing important was getting wet on either side.

Since we ate lunch late, we didn’t eat until pretty late and ended up having breakfast for dinner – eggs, bacon, etc.  It’s nice to switch things up like that sometimes.

Stormy weather.

Stormy weather.

Visitors – 5

Favorite Moment(s) – watching storms pass directly over Seguin.

Sunrise – 5:07am
Sunset – 8:05pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock

 

Surprise Visit

Thursday
July 21, 2016

When we got up this morning we looked outside first thing to see if Yogi, the one and only gull we recognized (by behavior) enough to know, was still perched at the edge of the lawn.  We were hoping not, that he had recovered somehow and was able to fly away.

Mitchell's brother-in-law, nephews, and niece on the lighthouse catwalk.

Mitchell’s brother-in-law, nephews, and niece on the lighthouse catwalk.

Unfortunately, he was still there and when I went outside to check him, I could tell he hadn’t made it through the night.  We were both sad and wished there was something we could have done but what?  Out here, not much.  I took him to a quiet little spot where I hope no one will see or disturb his remains…  Bummer.

After that melancholy start to the day, we did take our coffee and sit on the front porch for a few minutes before having our regular breakfast of fruit, yogurt, and granola.  Not long after we finished, our first visitors came up the hill around 8:45ish and included three adults and three kids, collectively from New Jersey and Connecticut.  One of the adults owns a home on a private island near Five Islands and brought the group over in his boat.  They checked out the museum briefly but were particularly interested in getting up in the tower and seeing the view.  After their tower tour, the headed back down to their boat.

Newly discovered donation box next to the trail map in the vestibule.

Newly discovered donation box next to the trail map in the vestibule.

We also went down the hill a couple of minutes later to clean up the old mooring ropes and chains that were left yesterday afternoon when we had six new ones put in.  I knew there were chains attached to the mooring anchors but was surprised at how heavy duty, and just plain heavy, they were.  Yesterday we dragged the old chains and ropes above the high tide line and today we found one more by the water’s edge since we were now at a low tide.  Patty climbed up on the rocks between the beach and the boathouse and I tossed the ropes to her which she they tossed up onto the deck.  From there, I went up onto the deck and pulled the chains up and Patty coiled them and the ropes in the boathouse.  Not even 9:30 and we worked up a good sweat but, because of Patty’s foresight, we keep our swimsuits in the Engine House next to the boathouse (Patty says ‘Thank you Cyndy for the foresight!).  A quick change and a few minutes later, we were frolicking in the ocean.  Ok, maybe we didn’t frolic but we did both go in all the way, squeal like little children from the cold, stand in the sun for a minute, then repeat.  It felt so good!

Small Point Summer School visitors.

Small Point Summer School visitors.

Yesterday when the F.O.S.I.L.S. Wednesday Warriors and Maine Island Trails Associate (MITA) volunteers were here, a lot of work was accomplished but we didn’t have a list of everything so we poked around today to see the result of their efforts.  The most obvious thing, which we did see immediately, was cutting back the tall grass beneath the length of the tram and in front of the house.  Brush along the length of the North Trail was trimmed back too.  Two historical areas, the former blacksmith workshop down by the Engine House was cleared further with trees cut down on the site and another area by the

SPSS visitors

SPSS visitors

Whistle House that we need to ask about because we’re not sure what was previously there.  The repaired and improved gift shop screen door was re-hung with some slats to protect the screen (we hope it will survive the daily use of many visitors going in and out) and planed down so it would close more easily.  The vestibule and parts of the tower interior got some fresh paint, and repair of the soffit on the Whistle House was started.  Impressive and we may discover more over the next few days.

New photos for sale in the giftshop courtesy of Dave Cleveland who visited us last week.

New photos for sale in the giftshop courtesy of Dave Cleveland who visited us last week.

After coming up the hill from our swim, I wrote a blog post while Patty raked out front where the tall grass was cut adjacent to the lawn and then did a little cleaning in the museum.  Afterwards, we had a light snack of pita chips, apples, swiss cheese, olives, hummus, and almond butter with chia seeds.  We knew Ethan was bringing a group today for sure because my brother-in-law Jeff and niece Kiki, and nephews Joshua and Jacob were coming for a visit.  They live in Virginia but are in Maine right now and decided in the last day or two to make a detour to Seguin to see the island (and us).  Patty stayed up top to tidy up the kitchen after our snack and I went down the hill to meet the ferry, thinking I’d walk up the hill with my family.  However, when I got down to Paco’s, I was surprised to see five boats in the Cove and a large group of kids sitting cross-legged in a circle by the info kiosk.  It was a group of 21 from the Small Point Summer School (SPSS) coming for a visit.  They accounted for three of the boats but there were two other boats and I could see the Leeward slowly coming towards the cove.  With the SPSS starting to gather their things to start walking up the hill, I decided I should do the same and watch for Jeff and crew from the top.

Shortly after I got to the top, Jeff, Jacob, Joshua, and Kiki came up the hill near the front of

Pulling of chain and rope from the old moorings.

Pulling of chain and rope from the old moorings.

the ferry pack and I was able to greet them and immediately take them to the tower for a tour.  I knew we were going to be super busy and would, unfortunately, not have much time to visit with them since they would only be on Seguin for a couple of hours.  I did have a nice, too brief, time with them while we were in the tower together and got a nice picture.  Patty was able to visit with them a little too in the museum and showed them our quarters before they went to hike the South Trail.  As expected, between the ferry, SPSS, and others, we gave non-stop tours, worked the gift-shop and museum, and visited with guests continuously until

Pulling of chain and rope from the old moorings.

Pulling of chain and rope from the old moorings.

almost two in the afternoon when our count was 76 (our highest number yet).  I did take a quick break before the ferry left to say goodbye and exchange hugs all around before our family left and Patty was able to do the same.

After the ferry and SPSS visitors started leaving, it was quiet and we started making some

That's chilly!

That’s chilly!

lunch when a family of F.O.S.I.L.S. members from the Philadelphia area came up the hill for their annual visit to Seguin.  They brought a picnic with them and said they were planning to eat before doing anything else and urged us to have our lunch too.  We had fish sandwiches with haddock from Plant’s Seafood that was leftover from our fish taco dinner along with some Pringles chips. I know Pringles are not really potato chips and probably have nothing good or natural in them but sometimes you just need some chips with a sandwich and Pringles can travel to the island in a backpack better than a bag of chips.  That’s how we rationalize it anyway.

Wow, that's chilly.

Wow, that’s chilly.

After lunch, the family of F.O.S.I.L.S. members visited the museum and gift-shop and several of them toured the tower.  Patty noticed that one of the slats in the new screen door had come off.  That door really takes a beating!  Patty moved the new slats from the outside to the inside where we think they’ll protect the screen a little better and will be less likely to come off again because they will be pushed instead of pulled.  That’s our hope anyway.  It’s so nice having the screen door and don’t want to lose it again.

Early morning visitors.

Early morning visitors.

The remaining visitors went off to hike the North Trail but would come back by the museum and gift-shop before leaving so Patty stayed up top but I went down the hill to start mowing the grass down there.  When the visitors went down the hill later, Patty came down and took over the mower and I weed whacked.  With that finished, and us being hot and sweaty again (just like this morning), we changed into our suites again and went for our second swim of the day.  It was low tide so we

Mussels in white wine, lemon, and cayenne pepper sauce.

Mussels in white wine, lemon, and cayenne pepper sauce.

had a nice, big, sandy beach but the sun was just below the ridge on the west side of the cove so we were in the shade.  Even though we were really hot, the water was still felt frigid to us non-Mainers and without sun, it felt even chillier than this morning.  But it felt good too.  We might have squealed again.

Back up the hill Patty prepped dinner while I

Mussels with rice noodles for dinner.

Mussels with rice noodles for dinner.

started a blog post.  Dinner was something new that Patty experimented with and turned out delicious – a keeper.  It was mussels from Plant’s Seafood that she soaked in corn meal (removes the sand) and then steamed with a sauce of garlic that Patty roasted first, lemon, cayenne pepper and white wine.  The mussels and sauce was then poured over a bowl of rice noodles.  So good.

Visitors – 82IMG_0787

Favorite Moment(s) – visit of bro-in-law, niece, and nephews to the island.

Sunrise – 5:06am
Sunset – 8:06pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock

 

Lots of Work Got Done on the Rock Today

Wednesday
July 21, 2016

We were up typically early for a Wednesday morning, off-island day and had a typical Wednesday morning quick bagel and cream cheese breakfast.  We were down the hill by 6:30

Early morning in the cove. Ready to go off-island.

Early morning in the cove. Ready to go off-island.

like usual so that we could get our stuff together and then have time to sit on the bus stop log and enjoy the early morning peace.  We got a special treat when a small, young we guess, seal was startled by us coming down the cove steps and started making its’ way towards the water.  I had my backpack on my back, full of dirty laundry, and a smaller daypack on my front with our laptop and some other stuff.  I also had an empty water bottle in one hand and probably something in the other too.  So, that’s my excuse for totally spazzing and not being able to get our phone out to take a picture.  I did manage to get the video camera unclipped from one of my packs and took a video that I’ll try to get posted soon.

Near the dock in Popham, Ethan's going to get the small boat.

Near the dock in Popham, Ethan’s going to get the small boat.

It took the seal a couple of minutes to get back to the water because it was a pretty low tide and he/she had been all the way up past the high-tide mark and had to a break half way to the water.  Once he/she safely swam away, we went down onto the beach and positioned the dinghy with our stuff at the edge of the water.  We didn’t have a lot with us today – two backpacks, a daypack, heavy bag of trash (from the Whistle House workshop), two water cans, and the weeks recycles.

About ten after seven, we saw Ethan come around Ellingwood Rock, heading towards the Cove in the Leeward.  Usually he comes over in his smaller boat not the Leeward which can hold up to about 30.  A few minutes later than usual and the big boat?  Something was up.

Lunch at Beale Street in Bath.

Lunch at Beale Street in Bath.

We met up at one of the moorings and transferred to the Leeward and were greeted by regular and occasional Wednesday Warriors Julie, Rick, Cyndy, Ken, Kim, and Tom.  And another eleven volunteers from Maine Island Trails Association.  They were planning to come out last Wednesday and didn’t because of weather but we didn’t realize they were coming today.  They were all set with lots of gear and ready to get to work.  Using Seguin’s and Ethan’s dinghies, people and equipment transferred to shore in about a half hour and then we headed towards Popham.

Today was the first time we took the Leeward and it was a pretty smooth ride.  The ride was slower than the small boat but I was able to stand towards the back and take some video that I hope will be less choppy than some we’ve taken on crossings in the small boat.  When we arrived in Popham we first switch to Ethan’s small boat that was moored away from the dock before he dropped us off.  Because of the later than usual arrival at Popham, Ethan said that this afternoon he’d go pick up the MITA folks from Seguin in the big boat and bring them back, then take us over in the small boat and pick up any F.O.S.I.L.S. that were still there.  That gave us until 3 to get our errands finished.

On the dock in Popham, waiting to return to Seguin. Shout out to Mike & Melanie back in Brevard. Best day ever!

On the dock in Popham, waiting to return to Seguin. Shout out to Mike & Melanie back in Brevard. Best day ever!

Heading off about an hour later than usual, we could still complete everything we needed to do by three so we weren’t rushing.  We did our usual usual – Cyndy’s to rinse water jugs and leave them in the sun with bleach water, get mail (thanks Jude for our weekly care package from Brevard), laundry, Rogers, Shaw’s Grocery Store (drop off Patty), laundry (Mitchell, move wash to dryer), Shaw’s to meet back up and finish shopping, Plant’s Seafood, and the Bath Natural Foods Store.

After we finished shopping at our last stop, we walked just a block or so in downtown Bath to Beale Street Barbeque for lunch which was really good.  It was about 11:30 and the waiter greeted us with a “good morning” and I said I’m going to order a beer, can you come back and say “good afternoon” instead so I would feel better about myself.  He did.  Our food, and beer, was very good – I’d definitely eat there again.  I had a BarbeCuba (combination pulled port, Cuban sandwich) with black beans and Patty had a spicy jerk chicken sandwich with coleslaw.  The jerk chicken sandwich had a warning on the menu that said something like “it is really hot, you’ve been warned.”  I took a taste and it didn’t seem too hot to me and Patty ate the whole thing and thought the heat built up but wasn’t too hot.  Later she changed her mind, if you know what I mean.

Waiting at the dock while Jackson Percy (the lobsterman that provides our lobsters) unloads his catch

Waiting at the dock while Jackson Percy (the lobsterman that provides our lobsters) unloads his catch

After lunch, we walked up the hill and around the corner to the Mustard Seed bookstore in downtown Bath, right next to the Friends of Seguin Island office.  We’ve become friendly with Susan who works there, and owns it we think, so we chatted with her a bit and then sat down to use the Internet for a few things.  Patty did some research on India travel books for a future trip we hope to take while I downloaded a few pieces of software that I hope will help us manage and edit our pictures and videos more easily.

This family stopped at Seguin just as we returned to the island and kindly helped us carry our provisions up the hill

This family stopped at Seguin just as we returned to the island and kindly helped us carry our provisions up the hill

From there, we hit the Post Office in Bath to mail something we tried to mail last week but were foiled but the lunch hour at the Phippsburg Post Office, rinsed and filled our water bottles at Cyndy’s, and returned to Popham.  Down on the dock waiting for Ethan, we talked to “our” lobster guy Jackson who was dropping of his catch about his day, lobstering, the island, etc.  He said he’s been lobstering around Seguin for 40 years and until last year never set foot on the island.  And last year he didn’t make it past the Cove beach.  We invited him to climb the hill this year and come for a visit.  I’m not holding my breath but I know we’ll see him in the cove when we order lobster and he’s dropping them into our keeper box.

Another care package from our friend Jude in Brevard. Note the "Gentle Floss" to help Patty keep from getting floss stuck in her teeth again :).

Another care package from our friend Jude in Brevard. Note the “Gentle Floss” to help Patty keep from getting floss stuck in her teeth again :).

Ethan pulled up to the high dock to drop off his big group from the Leeward, switched to the small boat, and then picked us up at the low dock which the Leeward can’t pull up to because of the water depth (or lack thereof).  We made a quick trip back to Seguin and saw the mooring guy was working on the last of our moorings – replacing the chains, ropes, and buoys.  I think he added back the sixth one too which we haven’t had since arriving in May.  The new buoys are larger too and look different than lobster buoys which boaters are going to be thrilled about.  Tomorrow we’ll have to come down at low tide to pull the old chains and ropes which were left on the beach and then covered by the rising tide but the chain’s so heavy they’ll still be there in the morning.

IMG_0762As we pulling the dinghy up to tie it up and gathering our stuff to head up the hill, a family of five arrived in their own boat and took the novel approach of coming ashore one at a time in an inner tube type float.  They had a long rope attached to it so as each person reached shore, someone on the boat could pull it back.  Good idea but it did require everyone to get in the water which some liked better than others.  We started talking with the arriving family and when they offered to help us carry stuff, just like the folks we met when we arrived last Wednesday, we said that would be great.  I ended up carrying my pack and another bag while Patty carried her pack half-way and they carried the rest, including Patty’s pack the second half of the way up.  Nice!  We could get used to this service.IMG_0764

Up top, we gave them a tour and showed them the museum after they graciously gave us a few minutes to put away the cold stuff.  Shortly after, another couple from Providence, Rhode Island arrived on their own sailboat on their way south.  Patty spent some time unpacking and putting away some new merchandise in the gift-shop that Cyndy brought over with her this morning.  I helped a little with some high up displays and then we relaxed for a while.  While the family was still sitting on the lawn by the tower, we noticed a gull, Yogi we’re pretty sure, was hurt and sheltering in a small space between the tower and our kitchen.  He appears to have a broken wing but didn’t let us get close so there didn’t seem to be much we could do.  We’re hoping he’s just stunned and will be ok tomorrow but we’re not so sure.  He has been missing from picnics the last two days, which we had noticed but thought he was busy elsewhere on the island.  Later he moved to the edge of the grass and Patty threw some bread near him.  He didn’t seem interested, and does not look very good L.

IMG_0767While ashore earlier in the day, we noticed flags at half-staff at the post offices in Phippsburg and Bath so we lowered ours also.  Patty found a website when we were in town that will notify us by email when we’re supposed to lower it so we hope we’ll be better informed if (when) we need to do it again.  It’s becoming too common unfortunately.

My sister messaged me on Facebook to let me know my brother-in-law Jeff from Virginia will be visiting us tomorrow with his three kids.  Nice surprise. We look forward to seeing them and hope to have time to visit with them in the couple of hours they’ll be here as part of Ethan’s group.

We ended up having a late, light dinner of sliced fresh bread and melted brie cheese.  As on most Wednesday’s, we ate a big meal for lunch and weren’t super hungry so the bread and cheese was just about perfect.

Moonrise

Moonrise

Visitors – 11 (plus 10 MITA volunteers and six F.O.S.I.L.S. Wednesday Warriors)

Favorite Moment(s) – meeting a family of visitors on the beach when we returned from our day off-island and having their help carrying our clean clothes and provisions up the hill.

Sunrise – 5:05am
Sunset – 8:07pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock

 

Beer Delivery

Tuesday
July 19, 2016

We had plans to mow this morning before visitors arrived (or at least to get a start on it) but by 8am, we had a woman knocking on the vestibule door.  Closer to banging really.  And talking very loudly on her cell phone.  I hope this doesn’t sound like complaining, it was more peculiar than anything.  She said she didn’t realize anyone was here – a little early morning WP_20160719_11_10_30_ProB&E action?  In any event, I showed her into the museum and told her we could go up in the tower in a few minutes.  Patty had just finished putting together the ingredients for a western omelet and potatoes when she arrived and we wanted to eat something however we quickly had English muffins instead.

After we had a quick bite, I met her back in the museum and took her up into the tower.  She turned out to be an interesting person, sailing alone, she had spent the night in the cove last night and genuinely seemed to be surprised to find anyone here in spite of the signs down at the cove for the museum, gift shop, and tours

Wednesday Warrior Floyd & his family.

Wednesday Warrior Floyd & his family.

and the signs in front of the house with the same.  After the tour, she went back into the museum where Patty was and looked around before going back down to her boat.

We were told today that this plant, which grows around poison ivy, is an antidote to poison ivy. Don't want to need it but it's good to know.

We were told today that this plant, which grows around poison ivy, is an antidote to poison ivy. Don’t want to need it but it’s good to know.

Later in the morning, we were sitting down for an early lunch (aforementioned Western Omelet with potatoes) prior to the arrival of Ethan’s ferry when Floyd, one of the F.O.S.I.L.S. volunteer Wednesday Warriors, and his extended family arrived in their own boat.  They brought a picnic with them and urged us to go ahead and eat our lunch (I think they could smell the ham cooking) while they had their picnic and then go up in the lighthouse.  That worked out perfectly for everyone – we all ate and they were able to spend a nice amount of time in the tower before any other visitors arrived.

Another picture of F.O.S.I.L.S. volunteer Floyd and his family.

Another picture of F.O.S.I.L.S. volunteer Floyd and his family.

Shortly after 11:30, the first of Ethan’s ferry group came up the hill.  The way the ferry works, people that are interested in visiting the island are dropped at the cove but others can stay aboard and go fishing while the Seguin Island visitors are ashore.  We could see the Leeward as it moved south along the coast of Seguin and it looked like a lot of folks chose to

Fishing trawler heading towards the Kennebec from the northeast of Seguin

Fishing trawler heading towards the Kennebec from the northeast of Seguin

stay aboard to fish.  I think he had a pretty full boat in total but we only had eleven come up the hill to visit – usually more chose to come ashore than that.

One of our visitors was a single woman that just purchased a summer place in West Bath and we chatted with her awhile about the area.  We also had a family that introduced themselves as “The Sullivans” but they aren’t any relation to Patty as far as we can tell.  Additionally, we had one other family of four and a couple.  Really, it was somewhat quiet for a ferry visit but we did also have one other couple come up mid-day that arrived in their own boat.

Sailboats heading into and out of the cove.

Sailboats heading into and out of the cove.

Just as Ethan’s group started to move towards the cove, we got a call on the VHF channel we use (78) – “Seguin Island, Seguin Island.  Come in Seguin Island.”  We have never received a call from off the island except the one recent occasion when the Coast Guard called us on 16 regarding an adrift sailboat just south of Seguin.  We do sometimes tell people moored in the cove that we monitor 78 if they want to try to reach us for any reason so we guessed it was someone down there.  It wasn’t.  Instead it was a guy that visited Seguin a couple of weeks ago with his family and had been really complimentary about the tour, thanked us for our hospitality, and praised the appearance of the trails, lawns, etc.  He was passing by Seguin today on the way back to his home marina and had some cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale’s iced down in his cooler.  The call was to ask if we wanted them.  Well, Yes!  Two minutes later, I met him down in the cove and waded out to the bow of his boat which he inched up towards the beach and we did the transfer.  Guests waiting for Ethan’s ferry were quite impressed with the transaction!

I went back up the hill with four super cold Sierra’s and three gallons of water from the

Sailboats in the cove with Ethan's Leeward in the distance heading towards Seguin.

Sailboats in the cove with Ethan’s Leeward in the distance heading towards Seguin.

Engine House.  Once that was all away (saved the beers for a treat later), we both went back down to clean the Clivus and do a few chores down there.

We took a break later for a snack – I had some omelet leftover from this morning and Patty had a turkey sandwich and we both had some of the oatmeal, raisin, chocolate chip cookies Patty made several days ago.  After our snack, we got ready to mow again…and it started to rain.  Rain was not part of today’s forecast of mostly sunny weather but rain it did.  Not a lot but enough to keep us from getting started.  Good thing too because not long after, maybe around 2:30 or a little later, a threesome came up the hill to see the museum and lighthouse.  They were followed a little later but a three generation family of five (our second three generation family of the day), and not much later, a single guy that is sailing up the coast from his home in Baltimore.

That's a cool twenty bucks found in the tower donation box that Patty recently repainted.

That’s a cool twenty bucks found in the tower donation box that Patty recently repainted.

Patty talked to the visitor from Baltimore for a long time and found out he was a traveling nurse, taking temporary or short term jobs in places that have seasonal population and then takes a few months off each year to sail and travel.  He was pretty interesting and after touring the lighthouse (Patty and I both went up the tower with him), he spent quite a while looking at everything in the museum and then he hiked the North Trail.

With our last visitor out on the trail, we finally got started

Fish tacos. Yum!

Fish tacos. Yum!

mowing and were able to complete everything on the top of the hill, Patty on the riding mower and me on the push mower, by around 6.  Patty did take a break from mowing when the Baltimore visitor came back from his hike and bought something in the gift shop.

After mowing, Patty started getting dinner ready while I worked on the blog and then we sat down for fish tacos made with haddock from Plant’s Seafood in Bath along with tomato salad, cheese, and all the other fixings.

Visitors – 33

Full moon rising

Full moon rising

Favorite Moment(s) – getting a delivery of cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale’s from a prior visitor to Seguin that was passing by in his boat.

Sunrise – 5:04am
Sunset – 8:08pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock

 

Dodged the Big Storm

Monday
July 18, 2016

We woke up to the sound of the foghorn sounding off and a very thick fog blanketing the island.  We had steel cut oats with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, and granola for breakfast along with coffee of course.

Working on the latch for the interior lighthouse doors.

Working on the latch for the interior lighthouse doors.

At a few minutes before nine, a couple that spent the night on their sailboat in the cove came up the hill to the see the museum and lighthouse.  We chatted with them and found out that they arrived after the campers and the other sailboat we saw pull in as the fog was rolling in.  They said they were relieved to find a mooring (our fifth of five) available and that it was a tricky maneuver in the fog with four other boats to get tied up.  Except for our guest quarters, we were

The old toothpick and glue trick

The old toothpick and glue trick

pretty full last night with five boats in the cove and six in the campsite.  I took the visitors up in the lighthouse and the view was actually a little better than I expected.  We couldn’t see too far but the fog had burned off enough that we could at least see the water.

After breakfast, I fixed the latch on the interior light house doorway using the old trick of filling the hole with glue covered toothpicks and driving the screw into the toothpicks (thanks for the suggestion Jason).  It worked perfectly and the latch won’t keep coming loose.  Patty was chatting with our early visitors in the museum while I was doing that and then she did a little dusting and cleaning – the brick dust never stops.

The fog continued to dissipate but it was getting pretty hot and sticky.  Around ten, the six that camped down the hill came up to see the museum and lighthouse.  They said they had a good night and the only thing they missed out on because of the fog and dampness was playing cards together.  In fact, they asked about availability in a couple of weeks because part of their group might come back.  After seeing the lighthouse, they went off on a hike but said they planned to leave by early afternoon before forecasted storms hit.

Backyard 'raslin!

Backyard ‘raslin!

We had some turkey and swiss cheese in the freezer thanks to our recent guests Whitney and Tom who gave it to us when they left.  With that and some lettuce, tomato, and onion, we made sandwiches for lunch before Ethan’s group arrived.  After we ate and cleaned up, it was just about 11:30 and a few minutes later, the first visitors from the ferry came up the hill.

One extended family of ten staying together at Small Point was from Massachusetts and New Jersey.  They brought a picnic lunch with them and ate at the table outside our kitchen after touring the lighthouse.  Most  of them had been to Seguin before but a few had not and they all enjoyed hearing the history of the island (a refresher for some).  One of them said that the flies in Small Point are vicious right now which I feel lucky

Getting windy out there

Getting windy out there

because we don’t have too many….yet.  We also had a family of seven from the Houston area in the group that are heading home on Wednesday to temperatures of 100 or higher.  We felt lucky again!  They also brought a picnic lunch and spread out on the lawn to eat.  Very unusually, we also had a couple that visited the museum and went to hike but decided not to go up in the lighthouse.

After Ethan’s group started to head down the hill or off on hikes, we overheard some lobstermen on the radio saying they were heading in because of front coming our way with severe weather.  The wind had definitely picked up since this morning and while it was pretty clear now, we could see thick clouds to the west.  We went down the hill to check the camp area and cove and saw that only one sailboat was moored and the campers were gone.  We headed back up the hill with water and thought we might do some mowing before the storms arrived.

Wind, sun, clouds, and storm

Wind, sun, clouds, and storm

By the time we got up the hill, it was even windier, too windy to work outside with our 10-minute average speed (according to the weather station) up to 20mph.  And the clouds were getting closer faster than we expected.  Not long afterwards, we started to hear thunder and it started raining lightly.  No mowing.  About an hour later, around 5:30 or so, the sun started to come out and we thought the storm had mostly passed without getting bad though we still heard distant thunder and the wind was now averaging 22mph.  The weather station actually read “Kite Flying Weather.”

DSC00422With an occasional rumble of thunder, two visitors from Quebec that were moored in the cove came up the hill.  We were really surprised to see them, in fact, Patty had just said “now is the time some crazy couple will visit” and they were surprised we were here.  When she told them she had just said that, they showed her the storm on radar – It was a big one and it just skirted to the south of us and was heading away.  They visited the museum and gift-shop but we said we didn’t feel comfortable taking them up in the tower because of the potential for lightning, particularly in light of the fact that our ground cable is broken.  They planned to spend the night in the cove and said they were fine with either coming up later tonight if it cleared up or tomorrow if not.  Before returning to their boat, they hiked the North Trail and then headed down around 6:30.DSC00424

Later, Patty made a dinner of ham (left by our friends Terri & John when they visited), baked potatoes, and garden greens sautéed with mushrooms.

Visitors – 31

Favorite Moment(s) – Having a full cove and campsite

Sunrise – 5:03am
Sunset – 8:09pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRockDSC00428

 

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Ham, taters, and greens

Ham, taters, and greens

 

 

 

No Vacancy: Cove & Camp Site

Sunday
July 17, 2016

We woke up around 5am to the sound of heavy rain – or I should write that I heard it while Patty felt it blowing in through our bedroom window.  We got up to remove the screens and close all the open windows where the rain was coming in before going back to bed.  It continued raining off and on until almost eight in the morning.  We felt bad

Rain clouds rolling in

Rain clouds rolling in

for the Chewonki campers who stayed on Seguin last night because their plan was to be up at 3 to eat and break camp and sail (or row) out by 4:30am.

We ate fruit, yogurt, and granola for breakfast like we do most days when Patty noticed a mama duck with ducklings in the yard.  It’s the first time we’ve seen ducks up here and we’re not sure why or how they got here.  The yard up top is around 140’ above the water and the ducklings probably can’t fly…  Strange.  After breakfast, we tried to figure out what to do with our early morning because it’s too wet to do any mowing or weed whacking and our solution was to do nothing for an hour.

Storm clouds

Storm clouds

After enough of the sitting around thing, we got moving and tackled a couple of small, unglamorous jobs.  I took care of the composting toilet “process” in the Keeper’s Quarters (I’ll leave the details to your imagination – but it was nowhere near as bad as the overflow of several weeks ago) while Patty worked in the garden gathering and cleaning greens that were ready.

After the early morning rain, the skies cleared steadily for an hour or more but then started to cloud up again just when we thought we were going to have a nice morning.  By 10, it started to rain heavily and we wondered about whether Ethan would have a group today.  Not that we could check it but we were hopeful radar would show this was a passing cell that would soon clear and leave us with good weather for the rest of the day.  By 11, it seemed like that might be the case because it stopped raining.

We walked down the Lighthouse Trail, clipping back some brush there and at the bottom on the Cove and Cobblestone Trails also.  We were down there still at 11:30 when Ethan would normally arrive with his group but there was no sign of the Leeward.  There were two sailboats moored in the cove and tied to one was a dinghy with a person in it either bailing water or getting ready to row ashore, we couldn’t tell.  Before heading back up the hill, we got some water from our jerry cans in the Engine House.

Once back at the house, Patty heated up leftovers for lunch; spaghetti for me and rice for her to which she added

Duck & ducklings on the top lawn

Duck & ducklings on the top lawn

some peppers, onions, and other vegetables.  By the time we finished lunch, the wind was blowing pretty steadily at 15mph from the ENE which is a different direction than we normally have.  It was still pretty overcast and humid and we resigned ourselves to a day with few if any visitors.  I went back down the hill the get the weed whacker which I’d left in the Engine House when I used it last and Patty went to the Whistle House to paint a new sign we’re going to put up.  Back up the hill with the weed whacker, I changed into my mowing uniform of ripped long pants, Bogs, and the stinkiest t-shirt I can find in the laundry bag and walked outside, intending to walk out to the end of the North Trail to get started.

Right on cue, a couple was walking up the lawn towards the museum and lighthouse.  Nice.  Weed whacking delayed.  I greeted them and apologized for my appearance (and smell) just as Patty was coming towards us from the Whistle House.  They were sailing aboard one of the boats we saw in the cove and had spent the night last night.  I asked if they’d seen the sunset that we shared with the Chewonki campers and they had and agreed it was spectacular.  After seeing the museum and tower, they were going to walk a trail or two before returning to their sailboat.

Clouds and sun

Clouds and sun

As the first couple left, a foursome who came over from near Popham were arriving.  Two of the four had been here before but the other two had not and were interested in seeing the museum and touring the lighthouse.  Again, I explained my getup and that I was just about to do some trail maintenance when our first visitors arrived.  Like the first couple, they didn’t seem to care but I was feeling pretty grimy.

And, just as I finished the tour with the foursome, Patty was greeting another couple who had come up from the other sailboat we saw in the cove earlier.  While Patty was talking with them in the museum, I decided to change out of my mowing uniform and back into something that looks slightly better (and smells lots better).  When I got back down, they were ready to go up in the tower for the tour.  This couple (Amie & Tom) were from Mystic, CT and were spending the summer sailing up the coast and had stopped in the cove last night to wait out the weather they knew was coming.  After leaving here, they plan to continue north going as far as Campobello just across the border in Canada which is a place we’re hoping to visit too at the end of the summer before we start heading south.

Patty on the beach with three boats in the cove.  The two sailboats stayed last night and tonight.

Patty on the beach with three boats in the cove. The two sailboats stayed last night and tonight.

By now, the sky was clear and it was hot in the sun but comfortable in the shade with a light breeze.  I noticed that the fishing trawler “Sunlight” was sitting in the straight between Seguin and the mainland again just like it did about a week ago.  For a week or more, we’ve been seeing a long line of fishing boats off-shore at night and thought it was boats fishing for herring during some sort of special 3 or 4-day season but it’s been longer than that.  Now, just like last week, this trawler is just sitting there – we want to know what that’s about…

A party of six was scheduled to camp on the island tonight (the second campers we’ve had all season, two nights back-to-back) and thought they’d arrive around 3 in the afternoon.  We didn’t have to greet them on the beach but since we didn’t have any other guests after Tom & Amie went to hike the South Trail, we walked down to see if they had arrived.  It was around 4 in the afternoon and expected they had and we would just introduce ourselves and trade phone numbers.

Two brothers rowing in from their boat.

Two brothers rowing in from their boat.

When we got down the hill, the campers weren’t there but it was nice on the beach and the tide was really low so we hung out there.  Just about the time we decided to head up, a boat came in and tied up to a mooring and we could see at least four people on board.  This must be our campers we thought so we waited for them to row ashore.  Eventually, two guys did and we met them as their dinghy hit the sand.  Not our campers.  At the same time, Tom and Amie walked down the steps to the cove on their way to their sailboat.  I left to be up top when the two guys (brothers it turns out) got there while Patty stayed down at the beach talking to Tom & Amie.

The brothers had gone out the Cobblestone Trail first so I beat them to the top and when they arrived later, I asked if they wanted to see the museum and go up the lighthouse tower.  Brother 1 said yes but brother 2 said no, they needed to leave because his wife had called from the boat (both of their wives stayed on the boat) and said they thought they were off their mooring and were afraid to go out on the bow to check the line.  Brother 1 really wanted to go up top so I said we could make it quick and I took him up while brother 2 waited and kept yelling up to brother 1 to hurry up.  They never made it to the museum.

Gull with her babies

Gull with her babies

I followed them down just in case there really was a problem (I hadn’t been able to reach Patty on the radio – shame on her for leaving in on the stair railing) but I knew she, Tom, and Amie would help if needed.  When we got down, their boat was still securely tied to the mooring and Patty, Tom, and Amie were still chatting away.  Patty did learn from Amie that the Chewonki campers didn’t end up leaving until 6:30 this morning so maybe they missed the worst of the rain.  She took some pictures of them leaving and we have the email addresses of two of the Chewonkiers (or is it Chewonkers?) so she’s going to forward the pics to us and we’ll send them along with the pictures we took.

Finally, around 6 or maybe later, Tom & Amie got in their dinghy to return to their sailboat just as a thick fog started to roll in and we saw an open boat coming into the cove with six people aboard.  As they were mooring up, another sailboat drifted in and took another mooring so that four out of our five were now taken.  We waited for the first dinghy load from the open boat to come in and confirmed that it was our campers.  They had been hanging on a nearby beach when they saw the fog approaching and hurried to get over here before the cove was totally socked in.  There were three guys in the first dinghy and we went with two of them to show them where the camping area is while the third guy went out to get more people and gear.  With them situated, we went back up the hill in a thickening fog.

Sausage sandwiches for dinner.

Sausage sandwiches for dinner.

The fog settled down and limited visibility to only a few dozen yards from the house and I went out to take down the flag figuring there was no need to wait for sunset since it was getting dark already and wet too.  With the flag partially lowered, the couple from the last sailboat we saw arriving came up the hill to visit the museum and gift shop.  They knew there was nothing to see in the tower and said they’d come up tomorrow to see that but they did end up buying several things in the gift-shop.

After they left, we closed up shop and Patty put together a dinner of sandwiches with grill sausage, peppers, and onions with cheese on onion rolls.  For a day that started off slowly and looked like we might not see any people, we ended up with a busy afternoon and evening along with some nice weather.  We found out later that our fifth mooring was taken after the last sailboat arrive so the cove was all filled up.

Visitors – 26

Favorite Moment(s) – talking with Tom and Amie on the front porch and later down on the beach – hearing about their adventures on their sailboat and around the world off their boat.

Sunrise – 5:02am
Sunset – 8:10pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock

 

Everyone, Chewonki Tonight

Saturday
July 16, 2016

We woke up a little earlier than usual this morning because our overnight photographer guests were going to be ready to leave after finishing sunrise pictures and packing.  Dave joined us for a cup of coffee in the kitchen while Rob kept shooting a little longer (he also prefers Diet Coke in the morning).  Around 7am, the four of us walked down the hill to the

Ready to take a tour group up in the tower.

Ready to take a tour group up in the tower.

cove and in two trips, rowed them and their gear out to Dave’s boat.  They were off a few minutes later, first shooting some long distance pictures of the Seguin light from their boat, and maybe us on the front porch, before heading toward the Sheepscot River.  I think their plan was to try to get pictures of eagles there this morning.

Julie & Family

Julie & Family

We headed back up to the house, with water, and had a little more coffee on the front porch while watching Dave’s boat slowing make its’ way south along our coast.  The sun was bright and it was hot hot hot on the front porch – we didn’t last too long out there.  Once Dave’s boat turned back north towards the Sheepscot, we turned west and walked a few steps into the house.  Before sitting down for breakfast, we hunted around in closets and behind big pieces of furniture where we found several window screens that let us open more windows to help cool down the house.

Around 8:30, after breakfast (fruit, yogurt, granola), a couple who slept on their boat in the cove last night came up

Julie & Patty

Julie & Patty

to see the museum and tour the lighthouse.  He had been here many times but she had not and enjoyed hearing about the history of Seguin.  They also asked a lot about our experience here, how we got the job, and what we planned to do next.  Not long afterwards, the first visitors from a group Ethan brought came up the lawn from the top of the lighthouse trail.  He doesn’t usually bring a group on Saturday but he let us know he was going to because his trips were cancelled Thursday and Friday due to weather.  We also knew that Julie, a regular volunteer (Wednesday Warrior) on our day off-island, was coming out along with her husband and in-laws so she could show them around.

Baby gulls

Baby gulls

I took the first couple up by themselves and found out in chatting with them that they live in Smithfield, Virginia (near where I grew up) and she was originally from Norfolk, Virginia (also near where I grew up and where I went to college).  As soon as we came down from the tower, a large family of thirteen was ready for the tour in two groups.  This family from Vermont is staying just across the water at Small Point and had been waiting for a good weather day to come visit Seguin.  One of the young ladies in the family was from Albania (I think she was an exchange student but didn’t get the story) and seemed to be having the time of her life.

The last folks I took up for a tour were Julie and her family.  I offered to let her give the spiel since she certainly

Go fly a kite

Go fly a kite

knows it as well or better than me but she said I should.  And then she recorded me.  I hope it turned out well.  While I was spending time with visitors in the lighthouse, Patty was busy answering questions in the museum, working the gift-shop, recommending trails, and all the other things she does to insure people have a memorable visit.

By 11:30 Ethan’s group was on their way down the hill or back on the Leeward and we sat down for a quick lunch of salmon salad sandwiches Patty made from last night’s salmon filet dinner.  Patty mixed the salmon with diced onions and yellow bell pepper and then added cucumbers, garden lettuce, tomato and cheese to the sandwich bread.  On the side we had some mixed olives.  I had some of the brittle our friend Jude in Brevard sent us and a cup of tea even though it’s hot today.

More kites

More kites

It was quiet for an hour or more and then we had four visitors who arrived in their own boat.  Bryan and Alex (and their German shepherd Aster) moored in the cove overnight just a few weeks ago and we met Bryan then down by the Engine House but they didn’t come up to the tower that day.  This time they were visiting with two friends and the four of them came up so their friends could see the museum and tour the tower.  After that, we talked to them for a bit before we had another group arrive as they went off to hike the North Trail.

Our next group was another large family, this time totaling thirteen across three generations, that came over on their own boat from Boothbay where the grandparents live.  The remainder of the family came from Chillicothe, Ohio and Twickenham, UK to visit the grandparents.  The all visited the museum, the tower in two groups, and then spent a long time on the lawn flying two kites they bought in the gift-shop and trying to fly a drone they brought with them.  I never saw the

Chewonkers on the boathouse deck

Chewonkers on the boathouse deck

drone take off but maybe it did and I just missed it.  They seemed to be having a fantastic time on Seguin, spending time together, and enjoying the really nice weather we were having.  While it was still hot, a little breeze had picked up, maybe 10-15mph that made it pleasant at the top of the hill where one could feel it.

While the family was playing on the lawn, a group of three early 20-something guys and a young lady arrived.  While the guys were all local and have visited Seguin in the past, the young lady was from Belo Horizonte, Brazil and had not been here.    Patty made sure to have her put a pin in the map we have for visitors to mark their hometown (she did the same with the young lady from Albania and the folks from the UK earlier today) when they were in the museum.  She may be obsessed with this map…The group were all barefoot and in bathing suits so when they finished the tour, they went straight back down the hill to their boat.  One of the young men is the nephew of Ken, one of our wonderful Wednesday warriors.

Chewonki's in the house

Chewonki’s in the house

With us still chatting with the family on the lawn, Eric, one of the counselors from Camp Chewonki hiked up the hill to tell us their group had arrived.  We had expected them last week but they didn’t make it due to the weather that day but the weather today was perfect.  They arrived on two boats that they can either sail or if there’s no wind, they can row and had moored them in the cove.  We told him we’d come down later to check out their campsite and let them know they could call if they needed anything.

After all of our visitors at the top of the hill left, including Bryan and his crew that had hiked the North Trail, we went down to see Chewonki’s boats and their tent setup.  They had three nice large tents for the eleven of them and were in the process of cooking spaghetti on two large camp stoves when we got there.  Besides Eric, we also met the other two counselors Angela and Jeff.  We offered to show them the tower and agreed to meet at 7:30 to show them the museum and then go up in the tower for sunset.  Walking back towards the cove, we saw that some of the campers were sitting on the boathouse deck enjoying the sun and view.  They somehow dodged dinner making duties – maybe they were the cleanup crew.

Coincidentally, we also had spaghetti for dinner with the sauce Patty made earlier this week on a wet and quiet day.

Spaghetti with homemade sauce and bread for dinner

Spaghetti with homemade sauce and bread for dinner

We normally don’t seem to get around to dinner quite as early as we did today but wanted to do so before the campers come up later.

Later, at 7:30, the campers and their counselors came up and visited the museum first.  On one of the charts, Jeff pointed out the route they’ve traveled on the 20 days of their adventure so far.  They’ve traveled a long way and tomorrow is their last day, heading from here to Boothbay.  We had them all sign the guestbook and then I corralled them for a tour of the tower just as the sun was close to setting.  After telling them the history and going up to the catwalk, about half the group went out to sunset bench while the other half stayed up on the catwalk.

Chewonki's starting the tower tour

Chewonki’s starting the tower tour

About an hour before sunset, the sky had gotten cloudy and I was concerned that we wouldn’t have good sunset, thinking I should have suggested an earlier time for the Chewonki gang to visit the tower but I shouldn’t have worried.  We had one of the best sunsets we’ve had since arriving on May 21.  Maybe the best.  It was spectacular and we got some really good pictures of the campers watching the glowing sky after the sun went down.

Following sunset, I enlisted Jeff (a former Eagle scout) to lead a flag lowering ceremony with some of the campers and we took a video of it (thanks to Michael, former caretaker, for the idea).  It was probably past 8:30 by the time they headed back to their campsite and we had a special time talking with them, getting to know them, sharing contact info (we promised to share our pictures because their camera is broken), and hearing about their trip.

Sunset with all of the campers from Chewonki

Sunset with all of the campers from Chewonki

They are planning to head to Boothbay tomorrow but not in a straight line but instead via the Kennebec and then inland routes to the Sheepscot.  A tough trip made tougher by the currents at the mouth of the Kennebec.  To make it safer and easier, they want to time their departure to ride a more helpful tide which means they hope to sail at 4:30am tomorrow.  That means getting up at 3am.  We don’t envy them that schedule.

Spending time with the campers was a terrific way to end a busy, long, and fun day.

Visitors – 55

Favorite Moment(s) – spending the sunset hour with campers and counselors from Camp Chewonki

Sunrise – 5:01am
Sunset – 8:11pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock

 

Pan Pan, Pan Pan, Pan Pan

Friday,
July 15, 2016

Thick fog blanketed Seguin and everything felt wet this morning but there was also a brightness from the sun shining brightly above the fog, trying to break through.  The strong winds from last night died down and things were calm

Foggy morning outside the lighthouse tower

Foggy morning outside the lighthouse tower

now.  We didn’t sit outside on the porch with coffee because of the dampness instead having coffee with our old standby of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola for breakfast.

After breakfast, we took put away some stuff in the house back in the Whistle House and then took a big (and heavy) bag of trash from the Whistle House down to Paco’s to take off-island next Wednesday.  Unfortunately, the bag broke part way down but I didn’t realize for a hundred yards or so and ended up leaving a trail on the trail.  Oops.  We were able to clean most of it up and then got some water to bring up the hill – we try to never miss a chance to get at least a gallon or two to take to the house.  Pretty sure that

View from the Whistle House this morning

View from the Whistle House this morning

Outward Bound never showed up last night as planned, we double checked the cove and camping area.  No sign of them so I guess the weather yesterday kept them from making the trip to Seguin.  Heading back up the hill, the heat and mugginess really hit us.  With the fog, the humidity was probably close to 100% and especially along the Lighthouse Trail, there was no breeze at all.

Sitting down for a few minutes to cool off, we heard on the VHF radio an alert for a

Lunch salad with scallops

Lunch salad with scallops

sailboat adrift in the vicinity of Seguin Island.  Patty and I went up to the lighthouse tower catwalk (almost 200 feet above the water) to see if we could spot the boat.  We could see boating activity close to shore but particularly to the north and west, the fog was too thick to see much beyond Seguin’s coastline.  When the boat reporting the sighting of the adrift sailboat was asked to switch to channel 22 by the Coast Guard, we did the same to listen in on their conversation.  The reporting boat lost sight of the adrift boat in the fog and continued on their own course so they weren’t sure now where the other boat was.  After their exchange ended, we broke in on the radio and identified ourselves and asked which direction, relative to Seguin, we should look.  One-mile south was the answer.  Visibility to the south was better than in other directions but we guessed a mile was about the outer limit of what we could see and all we saw in that direction was sailboats that appeared to be clearly in control and not adrift.

Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and raisin cookies

Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and raisin cookies

In the next couple of hours, with the fog lifting all around the island, we saw a small Coast Guard boat and a Maine Marine Patrol boat off the east of Seguin Island, working their way south and checking in with each boat they passed.  Asking the captain’s if they’d been sailing with only their jib up (making them appear adrift I guess?) or if they’d seen anything.  It was pretty interesting because we could watch what the boats were doing and also listen on the radio to their conversations.  No one had seen anything other than the first boat that made the report.

The weather was improving and we thought we’d probably get visitors sometime soon so Patty went up the tower to sweep, clean the lens and also to clean up some water that was on the floor from last night’s rain.  I worked on the blog a little.  Just when Patty came back into the house, the Coast Guard hailed us (“Coast Guard, Boothbay Station calling Seguin Island Light Station”) which came as a surprise.  I replied and they asked if we could make a physical search of the coastline of Seguin for the adrift sailboat.  “Sure.”  Patty and I walked out to the end of the South Trail and did our best to check the shoreline but we’re so high up that it’s impossible to see most of it and there’s not practical way to bushwhack to the edge of the rock ledges that drop down to the water.  We saw that there were several lobster boats around the southern end of the island pulling pots and they would have a good view, way better than ours.

Start of our "project"

Start of our “project”

Back at the house, we radioed the Coast Guard to tell them we checked what we could see at the south end of the island and that we thought the lobsterman on the water would be able to see any sailboat crashed against the island better than us.  I’m sure they would have called in if they saw something like a 15-meter sailboat on the rocks of Seguin like the one reported adrift.  Around 3:30 in the afternoon, the Pan Pan alert was canceled pending further development.  What does that mean?  We got no closure so readers of this blog don’t either.  Sorry.

We sat down for lunch after walking the South Trail and had a salad with greens from the garden along with scallops left over from yesterday along with bread and sliced cheddar cheese.  Man, those scallops are good eats.

Patty's foot surrounding by gull prints on the beach - they're almost as big as her (kid-sized) feet

Patty’s foot surrounding by gull prints on the beach – they’re almost as big as her (kid-sized) feet

After lunch, Patty baked peanut butter oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and raisins in them (trying to imitate cookies her mom used to make).  Yeah, I know, my baking career turned out to be pretty pathetic – my only defense is that I really just prefer being outdoors.  And Patty is a lot better at it.  So, while she made cookies, I started a project we want to leave complete this summer that will leave our mark on the island.  Each caretaker seems to have done something as a little legacy to their time here and I got rolling on ours.  I’ll include pictures in the blog each time we work on it until it’s revealed.

Bringing Dave & Rob ashore for their night of photography on Seguin

Bringing Dave & Rob ashore for their night of photography on Seguin

When we were both free, we walked down the hill to go for a swim and to meet Dave and Rob, two professional photographers that will be staying overnight on Seguin to take sunset, nighttime, and sunrise pictures.  When we got down the hill, the cove was totally in the shade and despite how hot it’s felt all day, it still felt too chilly down there to take a dip.  We’ll have to remember to do that when the sun is still shining on the beach.

Aptly named Sunset Bench

Aptly named Sunset Bench

At six o’clock, right on time, Dave and Rob cruised into the cove in Dave’s boat and I rowed out to get them and their gear ashore.  First, I rowed in all of their stuff in one full load which Patty helped me unload on the beach and then took the two of them in on the second run.  They wanted to head up the hill and get started right away taking pictures and video from their drone.  We all went up in the tower together and Rob got the lay of the land (he’s from Denver and has not been here before while Dave has) and then Patty and I went down to get dinner started.

Sunset glowing on the lighthouse tower

Sunset glowing on the lighthouse tower

While Patty was getting dinner ready, we heard a whining sound outside the kitchen.  The wind had picked up to 15mph+ and when we went outside, we saw the noise came from a drone they had and were fascinated watching the as Dave moved it around the tower, let it float away towards the flag pole, had it zoom forward past the tower, etc.  He later said the video was probably choppy because of the wind but I thought the thing seemed very agile.

Drone flying around the house and tower

Drone flying around the house and tower

Back in the house, Patty finished cooking our dinner of sockeye salmon (from Plant’s seafood) with sour cream and dill marinade with corn on the cob and tomato salad.  We cleaned up after dinner and then read in the living room for an hour or two before heading up to bed.  Outside, we knew Dave and Rob were still hard at work because we could see lots of

flashes – he explained earlier that they would take long exposure pictures and “paint” the tower with light to get the right effect.  I assume that’s what they were doing.  Or maybe they had a disco ball and were having a party?  They were quiet either way.WP_20160715_20_08_09_Pro

Overheard on Channel 78 (the one we and several local lobstermen use): Yeah, so my son Billy got tackled pretty hard by Jimmy at football practice.  Knocked him on his a$#%.  So Billy decided to drop kick Jimmy in the face.  Just wait ‘til their big enough to really hurt each other!

Visitors – 2

Salmon, corn, and tomato salad for dinner

Salmon, corn, and tomato salad for dinner

Favorite Moment(s) – trying to help the Coast Guard and watching Dave & Rob’s drone flying around the house and lighthouse tower.

Sunrise – 5:00am
Sunset – 8:11pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock

 

Wind and Fog and Rain

Thursday
July 14, 2016

We started off the morning with Bracken Mountain Bakery cranberry scones shipped to us by our friend Jude back in Brevard along with coffee.  Mmmmm…they were good.  Already by breakfast time, it was very warm and humid but also windy with choppy seas and what looked like pretty big swells.  After breakfast, Patty dusted and vacuumed the first floor of both sides of the house while I worked on the blog at the table in our living room.

Sunrise from the front porch

Sunrise from the front porch

Mid-morning, we were surprised to hear two visitors on the front porch but went out to say hello.  They were sailing from Portland to Boothbay and decided to stop at Seguin for a rest.  They said it had been a rough trip so far and they needed to get off the boat and take a break.  In the cove they saw our sign for the museum and gift shop and said they laughed thinking there was no way anyone would be here today because of the weather.  They walked up the hill to stretch their legs and look at the lighthouse and were as surprised to see us as we were to see them.  We explained that we were living here for the summer and were here regardless of the weather.  They spent some time in the museum talking with Patty and then Patty and I both took them up in the lighthouse and out onto the catwalk.  The visibility was hazy but not too bad but it was really windy up there.

Scones from Bracken Mountain Bakery in Brevard, NC.  Thanks Jude!

Scones from Bracken Mountain Bakery in Brevard, NC. Thanks Jude!

While I was waiting to take the guys up in the tower, I was inspecting our (Patty’s) garden and it looked like it needed to be watered so I mentioned that to her and when the visitors left, she took water from one of the 5-gallon buckets she’s using to collect rainwater and watered everything.  That action caused the skies to open up shortly afterwards and we had a little, much needed, rain shower.

Lunch Pizza

Lunch Pizza

Without a group coming and the weather seeming to worsen as the day wore on, Patty made a fancy pizza with red sauce, cheddar & mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, olives, and mushrooms.  We ate that at the kitchen table and then after lunch cleanup, Patty started a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce and then made more granola for me for our regular fruit and yogurt breakfasts.

Lunch Pizza

Lunch Pizza

We were expecting a group from Outward Bound to come in this afternoon to either camp or sleep on their boats.  I don’t really get what she was saying but Cyndy said they will come in long boats (I think that’s what she called them) that they row.  If the weather is good, they will camp in our camping area but if it’s not and they’re concerned about their boats (moored or pulled ashore, I’m not sure), they will lay their oars across the boat and sleep on top of the oars.  I want to see this because I can’t envision it.  Anyway, we figured they would come up the hill if they arrived to let us know but since Patty was busy with the sauce and granola, I walked down the hill to see if they were down there.  Nope.

Patty's homemade spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove

Patty’s homemade spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove

I brought up an extra big trash can up the hill went up the hill and over to the Whistle House with it where I spent some exciting time sorting through a bin of scrap wood trying to organize it by type of wood (pressure treated, trim, etc.).  I picked out stuff that seems usable versus stuff for the burn pile and filled the extra can with the burnable scraps.  I was really just killing time on a slow day where it was too windy and damp to do much else when Patty called to say two more visitors had arrived.  Yea.

Repainted tower donation box

Repainted tower donation box

I walked up the hill and met them in the museum where Patty was chatting with them.  They were brothers, one from Bath and the other from San Frisco who were out on their own boat specifically to visit Seguin.  We told them we were surprised to see anyone this afternoon and the brother from Bath said the trip over was a little rough but the one from San Francisco couldn’t understand it – to him, this was perfect boating weather.  I guess it’s

Fancified donation slot in the gift shop countertop

Fancified donation slot in the gift shop counter top

different out west.  The Bath brother had been to Seguin before but the San Fran one had not and was really interested in everything and asked lots of questions.  Up on the catwalk, the fog was coming in waves so that we would have good visibility for a few minutes and then almost no visibility for a few more.  And it was still really windy up there.  Maybe even more than this morning.

After they left, Patty and I went down the hill again to check to see if Outward Bound had come yet.  Still nope.  Cyndy expected they’d come regardless of the weather but looking at the waves from up top, I didn’t think so.  Down in the cove though, the water was calm and it was really warm because we were protected from the wind coming more from the south.  It was close to low tide so we had lots of sandy beach and stayed down there for 15-20 minutes I’d guess.

Some greens from the garden for dinner

Variety of greens from the garden for dinner

When we got back up the hill, Patty repainted the donation box that sits at the top of the lighthouse tower to make it stand out a little more and also fancied up the donation slot in the gift shop to do the same.

As afternoon turned to evening, the wind picked up even more and we were slowly blanketed with fog that started as wisps blowing around the house and ended up thick along with light rain.  We didn’t have even a glimpse of sunset – in fact, it was dark much earlier than usual because of the fog.

Patty making scallops, rice, and greens for dinner

Patty making scallops, rice, and greens for dinner

Patty sautéed scallops in oil and garlic for dinner along with rice that had green onion and carrot tops in it, and sautéed garden greens consisting of anything ready to be picked.

On another note, Julie from F.O.S.I.L.S. (our social media contact and guru) posted two more videos on Facebook that you can watch if you click on these links even if you don’t have a Facebook account –

Ethan bringing a group to Seguin on his big boat, the Leeward

Tour of the Guest Quarters

Visitors – 4

Scallops, rice, and greens for dinner

Scallops, rice, and greens for dinner

Favorite Moment(s) – spending time with brothers from Bath & SF

Sunrise – 4:59am
Sunset – 8:12pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock

 

Busy Day Off

Wednesday
July 13, 2016

English muffins for breakfast early this morning

English muffins for breakfast early this morning

My watch alarm started beeping first, followed a few seconds later by the alarm tune playing on our phone.  It must be Wednesday, the only day of the week we use an alarm, or two to be precise.  5:30am and it’s time to get up for our big day off-island!  We had an easy and quick breakfast of Bracken Mountain Bakery English muffins with butter and jam sent to us direct from Brevard by our friend Jude.

We were down on the beach with our stuff, Hinckley loaded and ready by a little after 6:30 with plenty of time to sit on our driftwood log bus stop, drink coffee from our thermos, and enjoy the quiet of the early morning.  The water in the cove was almost glassy, the sailboat of yesterday’s late afternoon visitors floating peacefully on a mooring.  While we sat there, we saw the sailing instructor come up onto the deck of his sailboat and start the morning preparations but, as predicted, we didn’t see any of the young ladies that we knew were also aboard – surely still asleep.

Sailboat moored in the cove last night.

Sailboat moored in the cove last night.

We had a little more stuff than usual to take with us to the mainland so we left a bag of trash and an empty gas can on the beach when we rowed out with the remainder of our stuff – three empty water cans, our backpacks, and extra backpack for our laptop and iPad (we don’t usually bring them with us), and recycles.  The trash bag was fairly large too – we found it this week in the Engine House, apparently trash left from last season.  Normally, there are enough Wednesday

We hollered "good morning" to the young ladies that we met yesterday from this sailboat but we only saw their instructor :)

We hollered “good morning” to the young ladies that we met yesterday from this sailboat but we only saw their instructor 🙂

Warriors and material that they need two or more runs ashore in the dinghy but this week it was just Cyndy, Julie, and Rick and not much in the way of materials. After Patty and I were aboard Ethan’s boat, Rick rowed Cyndy and Julie to the beach and brought back the remainder of our stuff and then we headed off to Popham.

We had asked about staying off-island a little longer than usual today but because of forecasted wind changes in the afternoon, Ethan thought it best to schedule our return for 1 in the afternoon.  He’s the Captain and we have total confidence in his judgement so 1 o’clock was the time.  No biggie.  For now, there’s always next week.  We arrived at Popham around 7:20 (I think) and did most of the usual stuff – got the truck and loaded up, stopped at Cyndy’s to fill the water jugs up with bleach & water to sit in the sun until we return.  We also picked up our mail and got two packages – one from my sister Mary Lewis in Virginia that included nine books (yeah!) and another from our friend Jude with a variety of things including more bakery goods and some potions for Patty’s earache.

Went to Lowes - just like being home.

Went to Lowes – just like being home.

Next, we started laundry, went to Roger’s hardware store for a few things, and then we added a one-time stop to our routine this week and drove out to the Lowes at Cooks Corner to pay our contractor account bill.  Back to routine, I dropped Patty at Shaw’s grocery store to start shopping and then went to switch laundry before meeting back up with Patty at Shaw’s.   Then Plant’s seafood, a stop at The Mustard Seed bookstore to use their WiFi (I helped them with a computer issue while I was there so I didn’t feel too bad about glomming off their free Wi-Fi), Patty went to Bath Natural Food Store while I was at The Mustard Seed, and then we drove part way back to Cyndy’s for lunch at Winnegance General Store.  No Dot’s ice cream this week….

Rick and Julie hard at work while we were off-island today.

Rick and Julie hard at work while we were off-island today.

We both had fresh crabmeat tacos, I had a Peak’s Organic IPA, and Patty had an Allagash White while sitting on their front porch overlooking Winnegance Bay.  It was really nice and convenient since we were rushing just a little and this was right along our way.  We stopped next at Cyndy’s to rinse out the water jugs and refill them with fresh water and then stopped at the post office because we needed to ship a package.  Oh, so, the post office in Phippsburg closes for lunch from 12 to 1.  Next week.

Wednesday Warrior Julie working on the infamous and notorious gift shop screen door.

Wednesday Warrior Julie working on the infamous and notorious gift shop screen door.

We were good for time heading back to Popham until “we hit the Van Wyck”!  From 2-3 miles out of Popham, traffic got heavy and slow as people tried to find a place to park for Popham Beach State Park or move beyond the park to Popham and find a place to park there.  Stop and go continued all the way to the turn-around at the Fort where we stop to drop our stuff and carry it down the gangway to the dock where Ethan meets us.  We weren’t late but we weren’t early either and Ethan was waiting, saw us coming, and by the time we stopped, he was up the gangway ready to help carry our stuff to the boat.  We quickly dumped the truck of our bags, jugs, etc. and while I parked, Patty and Ethan put everything aboard.  Just a few minutes after 1, we were on our underway.

Patty and I had visions of returning to Seguin and relaxing the rest of the day, maybe taking a swim, having a snack, eating dinner, whatever.  Relaxation delayed – we arrived to three boats in the cove and a large group of ten on the beach having just arrived and getting ready to head up the hill.  The Wednesday Warriors rowed out and got aboard Ethan’s boat, we got into the dinghy with all of our stuff and they were off and we were headed to the beach.  As soon as we hit the sand, two of the guys in the party of ten came over to help stabilize Hinckley (nice but not necessary in the calm conditions) and then (foolishly) asked if they could help us.  Help us?  Why yes!  Next thing, the three water jerry cans and our cold food bag was up the steps and sitting on the lawn by the Engine House.  I told them they should meet us here every Wednesday afternoon…

The Hppy Camper on Front Street in downtown Bath this morning

The Hppy Camper on Front Street in downtown Bath this morning

Cyndy told us when we passed on our way in and her way out that there was a group already at the top of the hill and I thought they were waiting for us to get a tour so I immediately headed up the hill with my pack, computer backpack, and cold food bag while Patty stayed down the hill for a few minutes to talk with the group of ten that had helped us on the beach.  About 2/3 of the way up the Lighthouse Trail, I passed the visitors that had been up top on their way down – I apologized for the wait and said I’d be happy to give them a tour now but they said they’d been coming for years and were coming back later this summer.  No biggie again.  I dumped my stuff and Patty came up shortly afterwards with the other visitors who setup a picnic on the table outside our kitchen and told us that they were fine eating and hanging out until we were ready to show them around.  Not long after, we were ready and in two separate groups I took them up into the tower and Patty worked the museum, gift shop, and then hung outside talking with them.

View from the porch of the Winnegance General store where we had lunch today.

View from the porch of the Winnegance General store where we had lunch today.

One of the guys in the party lives in New Hampshire but is originally from Peru where we have family and recently spent three months.  He lived outside of Trujillo which we visited towards the end of our last trip to Peru so it was pretty neat talking to him about different places in Peru, where we visited, and how much we like it there.  The guy (Dwight) who brought the group out lives in Bowdoinham (I believe that’s right anyway) past Bath up the Kennebec and has a new boat that’s bigger than any boat he’s had before – big enough to come out to Seguin from the Kennebec which he’d never been able to do.  In the

Lunch refreshments

Lunch refreshments

lighthouse, when I said the light was visible for 20 miles on a clear night, he asked me if that was the luminous range, geographic range, or nominal range.  What?  I had no idea.  Then he said the calculation is the square root of the height times 1.something.  I thought he was pulling my leg.

Crab meat Tacos

Crab meat Tacos

“How do you know that obscure fact?”  He wasn’t pulling my leg and had just taken his captain’s license test and needed to learn this stuff.  It was actually really interesting and he later left about a ten-page printout in our dinghy for us with all the different terms, calculations, etc.  Another awesome visitor.

Not long after, another couple came up the hill too – they must have been on the third boat that was moored in the cove.   Our group of ten went off the hike the North Trail and we ended up talking to these folks for a long time also, particularly me up in the tower.  They saw our flags hanging between the clotheslines and asked if they were from Nepal which is where their son has been living for a couple of years.  I was fascinated and, maybe (I hope) for the first time, I think I might have

The Winnegance General Store

The Winnegance General Store

actually kept visitors up on the tower catwalk longer than they wanted.  They didn’t actually have to ask if they could go in but I suddenly realized we had just been standing in one spot talking for a long time without looking at the view, lens, or anything related to Seguin.

Patty and I talked to the couple for a few minutes down on the ground and they went off the explore more of the island when our bigger group came back from the North Trail on their way down to the

These books arrived in a care package from my sister Mary Lewis in Virginia

These books arrived in a care package from my sister Mary Lewis in Virginia

Cobblestone Trail.  Not too long after, we walked down the hill to get water and the group of 10 was on the beach starting their own dinghy shuffle back to their

Our group of ten visitors that arrived on Seguin just as we returned from Popham.  We took this shot as they were started to head back to their boat.

Our group of ten visitors that arrived on Seguin just as we returned from Popham. We took this shot as they were started to head back to their boat.

boat.  That’s when Dwight said he was going to fetch the light range printouts and leave them in our dinghy.  We said goodbye to them and headed back up the hill in time to also say goodbye to the other couple before they started down the hill.

Care package contents from our friend Jude in Brevard

Care package contents from our friend Jude in Brevard

We sat out front relaxing for a bit and saw Ethan’s big boat slowly cruising by the island.  The winds hadn’t picked up as forecast earlier and we were glad for Ethan because we knew he was out there with a group to honor the wishes of someone recently deceased to have their ashes spread off Seguin.

WP_20160713_20_28_59_ProWith a chill in the shade, we moved out back to the picnic table and sat in the sun watching swallows swoop all around the house.  They’ve just recently come out and are all over the place, flying in crazy acrobatic ways, sometimes almost hovering like a hummingbird.  By dusk, the wind picked up and was gusting pretty good so we had dinner in the kitchen – leftover burgers with all the fixings.  Cyndy left us a big brownie too, which we are saving for tomorrow!

Visitors – 20WP_20160713_20_40_35_Pro

Favorite Moment(s) – time with visitors after we returned to Seguin from the mainland

Sunrise – 4:58am
Sunset – 8:14pm

‪#‎Seguinisland ‪#‎seguinislandlight ‪#‎seguinislandlighthouse ‪#‎maine ‪#‎LifeOnTheRock