Lobster with Friends

 

Thursday
June 23, 2016

Watching two boats race each other while I drink my coffee on the front porch.

Watching two boats race each other while I drink my coffee on the front porch.

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One of our visitors with his dog

Our friend John got up very early this morning to get pictures of sunrise from Seguin Island.  He got a little more sleep afterwards and we all got up later and enjoyed a breakfast of steel cut oatmeal with fresh fruit, granola, pumpkins seeds, etc.  Later, they hiked down the Lighthouse Trail and out the Cobblestone Trail where they spent a couple of hours enjoying the sun and watching the ducks (23 babies and 10 adults by their count) play in and around the cove just south of the beach.  Along the way, they saw other visitors and chatted with them while avoiding some of the dive bombing gulls along the Beach trail.

Lunch at the picnic table with friends Terri & John

Lunch at the picnic table with friends Terri & John

Patty and I stayed around the lighthouse because we knew Ethan was coming out with a group in his big boat.  His group arrived late morning and made their way up the hill in small groups that we greeted, took on tours in the tower, and welcomed into the museum

This family visitedSeguin today and really enjoyed the museum, lighthouse tour, and trails.

This family visited Seguin today and really enjoyed the museum, lighthouse tour, and trails.

and gift shop.  Ethan’s group had 23 guests plus we had another four that traveled on their own to Seguin.

After our visitors departed, we joined Terri & John at the picnic table for a lunch of leftover Chicken Francaise sandwiches, chips with Terri’s mango salsa and Patty’s homemade tomatillo salsa.  The weather was perfect and, knock wood, we don’t have much in the way of bugs to deal with (yet).  All the while we sat and ate, a seagull friend sat on the adjacent rock giving us the eye – I think he’s the same fella that Patty gave a scrap of Mackerel to last week.

Ready for lobsters!

Ready for lobsters!

After lunch, we showed our friends the Whistle House area and then walked down to the Boathouse to sit on the deck in the sun.  After an hour or more down there, John and I rowed out to the lobster keeper box where Jackson left six lobsters for us yesterday.  Patty and Terri stayed on shore to document the whole thing and play in the surf a little too – the tide was low so there was lots of nice beach to play on.

We cooked the lobster for dinner and had it with corn on the cob and

Taking lobsters from the keeper box tied to one of the moorings.

Taking lobsters from the keeper box tied to one of the moorings.

some very good bread we bought at Bath Natural Foods on Wednesday.  It was really tasty and Patty and I are getting better and better at getting the meat out of the shell.  I really like the whole ceremony of rowing out to get the lobster, putting them into a bucket with seaweed, cooking and cleaning them.  I know our friends did too and that they are falling in love with this place and all it has to offer.

Lobsters safely aboard.  Approaching the beach stern first...

Lobsters safely aboard. Approaching the beach stern first…

John is an avid fisherman with his own boat at home in New Jersey.  Today, he and Terri made arrangements to go fishing for striped bass tomorrow with

Lobsta!

Lobsta!

Ethan.  He’s pretty excited to get out on the water first thing in the morning.

Visitors – 23

Favorite Moment(s) – hanging out on boathouse deck and then getting lobsters from keeper box with our friends Terri & John

Sunrise – 4:46am
Sunset – 8:19pm

Terri & John on sunset bench

Terri & John on sunset bench

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Overloaded Dinghy

 

Wednesday
June 22, 2016

Sky over Seguin's cove in the morning.

Sky over Seguin’s cove in the morning.

We woke up at our normal Wednesday time of 5:30am to be ready for Ethan and the Wednesday Warriors to arrive in the Cove at 7am and our day off-island.  As we’ve done the past few weeks, we headed down to the cove a few minutes early to have time to sit on the beach and have our coffee there before it’s time to leave.  The morning was sunny, the winds were calm, and the seas just had some gentle swells.

Sand Fiddler on the rocks at Cove Beach

Sand Fiddler on the rocks at Cove Beach

We didn’t have much to bring to the mainland (no gas containers and only two water jugs) so we only needed a single dinghy ride to get our stuff aboard Ethan’s boat.  There were six Wednesday Warriors including the regulars Cyndy, Rick, and Ken plus three we had not met before – Ben, Deb, and Tom.  Julie (who’s been out every week so far) didn’t come this week because we made plans to meet her for lunch.

Looking over the boathouse from the Cove Beach

Looking over the boathouse from the Cove Beach

As we headed towards Popham, it sure looked as if our Wednesday good weather record would hold up for another week – I didn’t even have a jacket on for the ride over.  Once on the mainland, we did our regular errands – water at Cyndy’s, laundry, grocery shopping, and a stop at the hardware store. Afterwards, we met Julie for lunch at Schutty’s which is a seafood food truck with some picnic tables that’s a few miles from downtown.  The food was good and the weather nice as we ate under a sun umbrella at one of the picnic tables but dark clouds were starting to move our way.  Uh oh…

Sailboat that moored in the cove last night.

Sailboat that moored in the cove last night.

After lunch, we made our weekly stop at Dot’s for ice cream and then met our friends Terri and John who will be staying with us on Seguin for the next several days.  We met them at the Maritime Museum just as it started to rain and they followed us down to Popham for the ride over.  We thought we had explained the deal with getting to Seguin, the hill, etc. but I

Patty out back just before sunset.

Patty out back just before sunset.

don’t think we did a very good job because they had a lot of stuff.  A whole lot.  Especially lots of food especially which we weren’t going to turn away.  As we made our way towards Popham, the rain turned into a pretty steady downpour with the rain coming down hardest as we pulled up to the dock.  We were running a little late and Ethan was anxious to get going as the four of us shoved all our stuff into plastic garbage bags to try to keep things dry on the way over.  Before long, with the boat loaded down with us and our stuff, we pushed off for the ride to Seguin.

Our friend John and Patty working on dinner

Our friend John and Patty working on dinner

Approaching the cove, the rain let up and by the time Cyndy came out to meet us in the Hinckley (the dinghy), it had stopped completely and the fun began.  The dinghy shuffle this week was one to remember and I’m sure the Wednesday Warriors all got a good laugh at the amount of loot we were taking ashore.  Two big coolers, a case box of one-gallon

Our friend Terri helping prepare the Chicken Francaise

Our friend Terri helping prepare the Chicken Francaise

water bottles, two water jugs, backpacks, bags upon bags upon bags of food and drink.  I think it took us four or five trips total but we finally got everything to the rocky beach (oh yeah, it was high tide) and then up the hill to Donkey Engine House area.  On one of the dinghy runs, I thought we were just going to go in circles instead of towards the shore because the cooler between my legs (and hanging off the stern) was so big that I could only freely move one of the oars.  Surprisingly, we

John taking sunset pictures

John taking sunset pictures

were able to get everything we brought ashore to the top of the hill in just a couple of (very difficult) trips up the trail.  We have one well stocked house right now!

After we unpacked, things were put away, and Terri and John were settled into our guest room, we gave them a tour of the tower and shared a few drinks as we showed them around.  Like Patty, John is a wonderful cook and with Terri as his sous chef and Patty helping with showing them where to find what they needed, they made a delicious mean of Chicken Francaise with carrots and rice.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset and the rest of the evening together with lots of laughs and storytelling.  It was a very good day!

Visitors – 2IMG_0689

Favorite Moment(s) – laughing at all the stuff we brought to the island and spending time with our friends from New Jersey

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset – 8:18pm

Not much happening today…

Tuesday
June 21, 2016

French Toast for breakfast

French Toast for breakfast

The weather called for rain most of the day and it was overcast when we got up a little later than usual this morning.  The wind was calm and the grass was damp like it might have rained a bit overnight and we expected more to come.  Patty made French toast for breakfast and

Patty taking a rest after mowing.

Patty taking a rest after mowing.

we just kind of goofed around inside the house waiting for the rain to begin.  It didn’t.

Well, if it wasn’t going to rain, we figured we’d get outside and do some chores and started at the bottom of the hill where Patty mowed and I weed whacked all around the Engine House, outhouse, tram, etc.  Patty clipped brush back on the Cove Trail as far

Angry gull in the camping area

Angry gull in the camping area

as the camping area but the same gull that’s been so agitated there wasWP_20160621_15_38_27_Pro even more upset today and Patty turned back.  Patty said she heard it squawk “GET OUT!”.

We weed whacked up the Lighthouse Trail and then stopped for lunch.  Around the cove and along the Lighthouse Trail, the wind was calm and, despite what the forecast called for, the sun was shining brightly by this time and it was hot.  In the shade, especially with a breeze, it felt nice but working in the sun, we worked up a good sweat.  Patty headed up to make leftover buffalo chicken, broccoli, and mac & cheese for our lunch.

Gull along the South Trail

Gull along the South Trail

In the afternoon, with the sky still clear and sunny, we weed whacked

Jj/uvenile gulls circling above us on the south Trail

Juvenile gulls circling above us on the south Trail

and clipped the South Trail.  Afterwards, we stood at the South Trail vista overlooking the Cobblestone Beach and saw (for our first time), a cove between the vista and the beach where a large barrel was standing up and someone had created a little piece of art with driftwood and lobster buoys.  We’ll have to climb over to that cove from the beach one day soon.

Overlooking Cobblestone Beach from the South Trail vista.

Overlooking Cobblestone Beach from the South Trail vista.

For dinner, we had a light meal after our big lunch with bread, cheese, olives, carrots,

Waves crashing past the Cove.

Waves crashing past the Cove.

hummus, and a few other things.  The rain never did arrive and the day ended with a beautiful sunset against a mostly clear sky.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – discovering a new cove while standing at the vista above Cobblestone Beach.

Sunrise – 4:45amWP_20160621_20_16_38_Pro
Sunset – 8:18pm

 

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Strawberry Moon

Monday
June 20, 2016

Broken lightning rod cable

Broken lightning rod cable

The wind kept up through the night and this morning it was still blowing pretty hard.  I tried to convince myself that it had let up a little but the weather station told a different story.  It looked like there wasn’t much chance of visitors today although Ethan was planning to bring an engineer out to do an inspection and assessment of the building foundations for F.O.S.I.L.S.  We heard a small craft advisory for the entire coast of Maine on the VHF radio so we weren’t sure we’d see him either unless the weather improved.  But it was nice and warm inside as we had our morning coffee and a breakfast of eggs with sourdough toast.

After breakfast, we went down the hill to fetch a pail (or two gallon jugs anyway)

Painting new shoe shelf supports

Painting new shoe shelf supports

of water from one of the big jugs in Paco’s.  The wind was blowing from the southwest so the cove, located in the north side of Seguin, wasn’t too windy.  While we were down there, Patty went to check the gull in the camping area to see if she was still as agitated as yesterday.  The answer is yes.  There’s an egg outside of her nest, maybe a few feet away, and we’re not sure what that means.  Is that egg hers?  Was it not viable?  Did some other creature try to snatch it (there any not critters on the island and it seems like a snake would just eat it)?  Mystery.  Whatever her deal is, I hope she gets over it soon because she’s being really aggressive.

Patty's new driftwood shoe shelf

Patty’s new driftwood shoe shelf

We walked the Cobblestone Trail too while we were down there and picked up a half-dozen pieces of driftwood for some projects we want to do.  When we got back up the hill, we used two of the pieces of driftwood to add a shelf to a table that’s in the vestibule.  Our shoes,

Ongoing collection of rocks to cover electric main that runs along the ground

Ongoing collection of rocks to cover electric main that runs along the ground

boots, and sandals are always in a pile under and around the table but the new shelf will give us a place to put them away a little more neatly.  It probably doesn’t sound like anything important but visitors come into the vestibule to go into the museum and it didn’t look great plus someone could trip over one of my big boats.

Fetch a pail of water

Fetch a pail of water

We did a few more small things – replaced a string of lights with mostly burned out bulbs in the gift shop, touched up the paint on markers outlining the assistant caretakers house near the Whistle House, re-secured some deck boards on the top tram platform, and, most importantly, Patty trained me on how to record a sale in the gift shop.  I haven’t done that yet and wanted to make sure I knew what I am supposed to do cause it’s gonna happen one day soon.

We stopped for lunch but weren’t that hungry after our big breakfast so we just had tomato, lettuce, and swiss cheese sandwiches with coleslaw leftover from last night.  We did a little house cleaning and blogging afterwards.

Cables secured and out of the way

Cables secured and out of the way

There is a braided steel cable (or there was one) from the lighthouse catwalk to a

Momma bird guarding her nest along the South Trail

Momma bird guarding her nest along the South Trail

ground stake next to the base of the tower but the cable broke recently one night when it was really windy.  The cable is supposed to ground the lighthouse in the event of a lightning strike.  The top 10’ or more of the cable has been just swinging free while the bottom piece is attached to the ground stake and lying next to it.  It’s something we’ve been looking at and thinking we should do something about – we’d like to fix it by replacing the cable but I think the Coast Guard is planning to do that.  In the meantime, we went up in the tower and coiled up the piece that was hanging and secured it to the catwalk railing.  Down on the ground, we did a similar thing to get it up off the ground and secured to the side of the tower.  It at least looks a little better for now…

Cormorants drying their wings next to gulls

Cormorants drying their wings next to gulls

Patty started marinating some chicken while I called my Dad to wish him a belated Happy Father’s Day.  I wasn’t able to get a signal yesterday – the wind sometimes seems to affect our ability to get a good signal.  I also missed a call from our son yesterday but we were atIMG_0645 least able to text each other….not an option with my Dad!  He and my Mom were happy, as always, to hear from me and wanted to know all about our recent days on Seguin.

Before dinner, we went down the hill for water again and the wind had really picked up.  It was still coming from the southwest but it was strong enough to even be really blowing down around the cove.  When we got back up the hill, we had dinner – buffalo chicken, broccoli, and homemade baked mac & cheese.

IMG_0652Today was the summer solstice and also a full moon known as the “Strawberry Moon”.  We had clear skies and watch it rise over the ocean with a pretty pinkish hue (even though the name apparently refers to strawberry season and not the color).   It was a beautiful moon-rise and sunset on the “longest” day of the year.  Our view of the sunset has now reached the farthest northerly point and from now until the end for the summer, we’ll see it set a little farther to the south each evening.  Sunrise will come a little later too!

Oh yeah, the engineer didn’t make it to Seguin today.  I’m guessing the

Strawberry Moon

Strawberry Moon

seas were too rough but we’ll likely see him another day.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – seeing the summer solstice full moon rising

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset – 8:18pm

Gimme an H!

Sunday
June 19, 2016

Getting ready to uncover the helipad

Getting ready to uncover the helipad

Patty was up and outside to take sunrise pictures by about 4:40 and stayed out there until probably 5:15 or so.  I’m guessing at the times because I only vaguely remember her getting up and coming back to bed later and didn’t actually look at the clock.  Together, we slept in for another hour or more before we got up for coffee and breakfast of fruit, yogurt, and granola.

It was a windy morning but sunny and comfortably warm, a good day

Bird deflector (model b-102) did not pass trials. Patty will have to develop new model.

Bird deflector (model b-102) did not pass trials. Patty will have to develop new model.

to work outside.  Patty headed out on the Gravely to mow the top the hill lawns and I got the weed whacker, shovel, hoe, and rake to take a crack at uncovering the helipad north pointing diamond and “H” symbols.  They are laid out in brick sections that are just visible beneath grass and accumulated soil.  From the lighthouse catwalk, the shapes can be deciphered but we felt like a little archaeological excavation was in order to entice the Coast Guard to visit us by helicopter soon (preferable, not on our day off-island!).

Uncovering hidden symbols in the earth left by ancient civilations?

Uncovering hidden symbols in the earth left by ancient civilizations?

The “dig” was slow going and I’d only gotten part way around the diamond while Patty was close to finished with the riding mower work when a family came up the lighthouse trail around 9:30. It was a mom, dad, and four kids – all of whom had been here several times except for the dad who had not been here before.  Patty took them up to tour the lighthouse while the kids sang “99 bottles of beer on the wall” and checked out the colors from the lens reflecting on their hands, faces and hair.

The garden is coming along nicely.

The garden is coming along nicely.

Afterwards they visited the museum while I took a break and did a few quiet things like raking up the dirt and clippings I’d accumulated.  When they headed down towards the South Trail for a hike (with a snake skin the young boy discovered), Patty finished the Gravely work and I got back to the helipad.

Prisms in the lighthouse

Prisms in the lighthouse

We stopped for a break and a lunch of left over nachos and leftover potato salad from dinners the past couple of nights.  Afterwards, Patty got the push mower and push mowed the top of the hill areas by the time I finally wrapped things up at the helipad.  Actually, she came over and helped me with the final raking

Helipad from the tower.

Helipad from the tower.

and sweeping to clear off the bricks and then went up to the lighthouse to take some “after” pictures while I finished weed whacking around the house and sidewalks.  Patty also took a few minutes to paint some of the bell platform supports black which the

Gimme and "H"!

Gimme and “H”!

Wednesday Warriors asked us to do if we had the time.

As the afternoon went on, the wind was picking up to a constantly strong wind with higher gusts.  With a good amount completed outside, we moved inside and

The wind is blowing again.

The wind is blowing again.

took it easy for a while, listening to the wind, and reading.  Patty made another batch of granola and also some chocolate covered peanuts and almonds.  Man, they are good!

Fish tacos for dinner

Fish tacos for dinner

We had fish tacos for dinner with leftover swordfish, tomato, lettuce, onions, jalapenos, cheese, sour cream, corn tortillas, and a Mexican style coleslaw (vinegar-based with a little kick).  We ventured outside briefly to catch sunset and take theIMG_0630 flag down but the wind was really strong at that point and we didn’t linger long before coming back inside.

Visitors – 6

Favorite Moment(s) – watching baby seagulls flying together and glowing in the dusk sun

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset – 8:18pmIMG_0631

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Wine & Cheese for the Guys

Saturday
June 18, 2016

Working on grill handle

Working on grill handle

Breakfast this morning was a coffee and a couple of pieces of toast – we thought it was likely that we would have lots of visitors because it’s Father’s Day weekend and the weather is just about perfect.  Maybe we’d even have hordes of guests!  We had the tower open and the museum & gift shop open when a family of three arrived around 9:30 but then nothing until early afternoon when seven guys arrived.

These guys have been taking an annual trip together and this was their 31st year which we thought was an impressive testimony to their friendships.  They moved the picnic table to a shaded spot by the tower and setup a spread of expensive imported cheeses and wine, joking with Patty that they would never have imagined their trips would have evolved from cheap beer and pizza to their current menu over the years.

While they enjoyed themselves, another group arrived consisting of a dad and his two daughters (the mom was on

Done!

Done!

their sailboat with their dog).  After their tour and the guys separately taking tours in two groups, Patty walked down the hill with the family and happened to mention that that fog horn is now activated by VHF radio.  Shortly afterwards, when we’re pretty sure they had reached their boat, the foghorn mysteriously started sounding.   Hmmm….  It was a crystal clear day.  Maybe they thought it needed testing?  Actually, Patty ran into the guys later and they really got a kick out of hearing it too.

Nachos!

Nachos!

When Patty was down in the cove with the family, she saw three boats moored in the cove so we anticipated another group coming up but we didn’t see anyone else until much later.  While Patty was taking care of our visitors, I worked on fashioning a new handle for the gas grill – the original was only attached on one side and a part was missing.  Luckily I found just the right nuts and bolts to make a Plan B style replacement and we now have a new and functional handle.

We had a big platter of nachos for dinner that Patty made with leftover

Early dinner - nachos with homemade tomatillo salsa.

Early dinner – nachos with homemade tomatillo salsa.

chili (yup, we still had some in the freezer), tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and cheese over totopos.  Both of us just grabbed snacks for lunch and never sat down for a meal so we ended up eating dinner pretty early when we both were hungry.

After dinner, we had two guys come up for a visit to the lighthouse and museum.  We stood with them chatting on the catwalk for quite a while and found out that one of them attended a writer’s program at Warren Wilson college just outside of Asheville.  It’s funny that Warren Wilson is such a small school yet this was the second person we’ve met with a connection to it.  They also told us that we had only two moorings in the cove plus the Coast Guard mooring.  They’re the second ones to tell us that in the past couple of days – we should have six plus the CG one?  They also said another sailboat came in with plans to spend the night but left when they couldn’t find a mooring.

Sunset through the dining room window

Sunset through the dining room window

We took a walk down to the cove to have a look but between the sun shining on

Sunset over the Oil House

Sunset over the Oil House

the water and a light chop, it was hard to distinguish between our smaller sized mooring buoys and lobster buoys.  We think we counted the two in use (both bigger sized ball shaped buoys), the Coast Guard buoy (big and partially painted orange), and two smaller ones.  Our lobster keeper is tied to one of the smaller ones which makes it hard if not impossible to tie to depending on how he attached it.  We don’t want people to feel like they’re being turned away for lack of space so we’ll have to follow-up with our peeps on the mainland next week to see what we can do.

Moon rising over eastern sky at sunset

Moon rising over eastern sky at sunset

Visitors – 15

Favorite Moment(s) – Finding a pile of washed up bottles by the Donkey Engine House.  Obviously someone had hiked down to Cobblestone beach and done a cleanup.  Thank you, whoever you are!

Sunrise – 4:44am
Sunset – 8:18pm

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Lost and Found

 

Friday
June 17, 2016

Bird Deflector B-102

Bird Deflector, model B-102

It was a bright and sunny morning with calm winds.  While I caught up the blog, Patty took her nice Nikon camera with her to get some shots outside.  I was still working at the computer when she came back so she went over to sweep the museum, gift shop, and front porch.  When we both finished, we had steel cut oats with fresh fruit for breakfast.

Afterward, Patty built an experimental bird deflector (code named the B-102) in

Flower along the South Trail

Flower along the South Trail

an effort to keep birds from fouling the historical signs.  She attached her prototype to the sign for the Assistant Caretakers Quarters down by the Whistle House – I’ll report back later.  I went out to the end of the South Trail and started working my way back, clipping brush from the trail along the way.  There have been lots of nests in the last third or so of the trail and today, for the first time, I saw several young gulls which must have just hatched in the last couple of days.  Patty worked her way towards me doing the same thing as me and together, we were done with the trail in short order.  We went down the hill and I clipped the Cobblestone Beach Trail while Patty hit the Cove Trail.  She made it as far as the camping area where an aggressive gull has been nesting and today it was especially feisty.  After it continued to dive bomb Patty on the trail past the camping area (away from the nest), Patty said no mas and left the rest for another day.  I wasn’t harassed on the Cobblestone Beach trail but I did see a just hatched egg shell and also bird that was either just hatched or injured.  I spooked it and it sort of waddled while flapping its’ wings to get away from me but it didn’t fly.  It was brown, like the color of a female mallard, but fairly large.  I’m not sure what it was…  Maybe one of the ducks we see here?  Except I’ve never seen one so far from the water.  I did get a (not very good) picture of it with our cell phone.

Flowers along the South Trail

Flowers along the South Trail

After we finished the trails, we came up the hill and Jim, who joined us in the tower to watch sunset last night, came up.  He spent the night in his sailboat in the cove last night and, good to his word, returned this morning to check out the museum and explore a little more of the island.  When he left, we stopped to grab a quick snack of olives, pita

Fomer location of a blacksmith shop that Ken and the Wednesday Warriors cleared on Wednesday

Former location of a blacksmith shop that Ken and the Wednesday Warriors cleared on Wednesday

chips, hummus, apples, and peanut/almond butter.   Yesterday Ethan brought a big group out and we figured it would be a good idea to eat something now in case he has another group today and we don’t have a chance to stop for a couple of hours.

Young or injured bird/duck I startled on the Cobblestone Beach trail.

Young or injured bird/duck I startled on the Cobblestone Beach trail.

Turns out Ethan didn’t come out but we did have some other visitors

including a solo sailor who might spend tonight in the cove.  Besides him, we had a family of four and two families traveling together that had three children between them.  The two families that were together took advantage of the picnic table off our kitchen to enjoy their packed lunch.

While the folks were eating at the picnic table, I went down to the

Recently hatched egg along the Cobblestone Beach Trail.

Recently hatched egg along the Cobblestone Beach Trail.

Sailboat moored in the cove.

Sailboat moored in the cove.

Whistle House re-cut the support legs for the bell that we made earlier this week.  We sized them so they were really secure and would not come out easily, not realizing that on special occasions, F.O.S.I.L.S. will ring the bell.  Oops.  They needed a paint touch-up anyway so I took them out and then beveled the top so that it can be tapped in for a tight fit but also easily removed.  After cutting, I added a fresh coat of gray paint and left in the sun to dry.  Meanwhile, Patty started cutting down a dead

Hiking stick stand that we re-secured. It was starting to tip over and the sign was coming off the post.

Hiking stick stand that we re-secured. It was starting to tip over and the sign was coming off the post.

shrub (some sort of conifer) that was almost dead last summer and totally dead now.  Cyndy told us we could go ahead and cut it down – the dead branches are all sharp and brittle and seem to jump up and attack me when I’m push mowing so I was all in favor of cutting it back or down all the way.

When I was done with bell supports, the two families were ready to tour the

Two families enjoying a picnic beneath our clothesline

Two families enjoying a picnic beneath our clothesline

tower so Patty took them up and I took over the shrub removal duties.  The kids favorite thing was seeing and being bathed in the prisms that reflect off the lens inside the tower.  We have decent clippers and loppers but the chainsaw is just about too dull to safely use and the tree saw didn’t fit between the tangled branches.  I

Taking out the dead killer shrub

Taking out the dead killer shrub

was still at it when Patty finished the tour and our visitors headed off to hike some trails.  Taking turns and with lots of persistence, we finished the job.  It

Swordfish on the grill

Swordfish on the grill

took a combination of the loppers, clippers, chainsaw, tree saw, and a hatchet – it wasn’t pretty but we got it done.  And, it doesn’t look too bad either – at least it doesn’t look like we attacked it with all those tools.  It also smelled really good where we cut it, almost like cedar.

We headed down the hill late in the afternoon to check the patches Patty applied to Hinckley and were really happy to see that they still seem to be working.  The

Swordfish, zucchini, and potato salad.

Swordfish, zucchini, and potato salad.

side that was losing air was just as full as the other.  While we were

Sunset

Sunset

down there, we found a Booth Bay sweatshirt hanging on the rail of the ramp heading up to the tram.  I am sure that it belongs to Jim, our visitor from last night and this morning.  Unfortunately, he didn’t leave any contact info in the guestbook so we can’t contact him.  If you know him, let him know we have it!  We also found a mug yesterday that we think might belong to Godiva’s owner – we’re hoping his contact info is in the guestbook pages that we passed to Cyndy last week

Patty lowering the flag

Patty lowering the flag

so we can let him know.  Looks like we need to start a Lost & Found.

I grilled swordfish from Plant’s Seafood on the grill along with sliced zucchini that Patty brushed with olive oil and spices.  Patty also made potato salad to round out our meal.  It was good eating!

Visitors – 13

Favorite Moment(s) – overheard a lobsterman on VHF channel 78 (the one we use and also one used by some local lobsterman): “There’s a guy out here on a surfboard kind of thing with a kite attached…he’s flying all around if you can imagine that!”

Sunrise – 4:44am
Sunset – 8:17pm

 

New Bed (for Mitchell)

Thursday
June 16, 2016

Visitors on the lighthouse catwalk

Visitors on the lighthouse catwalk

We started off the day with coffee and then some fresh fruit, yogurt

Working on new footboard

Working on new foot board for our bed

and granola for breakfast. Shortly afterwards, we saw Godiva (the dog that visited recently) and her owner walking across the back lawn off the kitchen. They spent last night on their sailboat moored in the cove and were taking an early warning walkabout. We chatted for a while until they were ready head down the hill and get underway. There was no wind and, besides giving Godiva a chance to run a little, he was also killing some time hoping some wind would kick up so they could go for a sail.

Visitors walking towards the North Trail

Visitors walking towards the North Trail

After they left, we went down to the Whistle House to start working on a new foot-board for the bed we’re sleeping in. I’m about 6’2” or 6’3” and the bed has a foot-board that’s higher than the mattress which means I don’t quite fit unless I lay down without bending my legs. I guess I’ve been commenting (or complaining) about it enough toDSC_0018 Patty that she finally said, “come on, let’s make a new foot-board” that will be shorter. So, with measurements in hand, we rooted through the scrap wood bin and found some lumber to meet our needs. We got our initial cuts finished and carried the wood and tools we’ll need up the house when some visitors were coming up from the top of the Lighthouse trail.

DSC_0015Ethan had just arrived with a group of 21 visitors that were making their way up the hill in small groups. I opened up the lighthouse and Patty did the same in the museum and gift shop. I must have briefly disappeared somewhere because when I had my first group ready to go up the tower, Patty was already up there with another group. After they came down, I took over the tours and she headed into the gift shop to greet visitors there, answer any questions they might have about trails or anything else, and to make sure we had them signed into the guestbook. One woman and her friend were especially interested in knowing more about camping on Seguin and Patty and I both talked to her awhile about that. Also in the group was a young guy named Brook and his mother Sarah – we happened to meet Sarah on our first Wednesday off at the Starlight Café where we stopped for lunch. She overheard us mention Seguin to another couple we met and introduced herself and said Brook worked for Ethan the past two summers. It was nice to see Sarah again and to meet Brook.

New foot-board posts

New foot-board posts

When the group of 21 started making their way down the hill for Ethan’s scheduled departure, we stopped for a lunch break and had leftover burgers with lots of toppings. We headed down the hill afterwards to get some potable water (we’ve been carrying it up 2 gallons at a time) and saw that Ethan was just pulling away and a dinghy was heading to shore from one of the sailboats moored in the cove. We headed back up the hill and not long after the couple from the dinghy reached the top of the hill. They were caretakers of an island (not a lighthouse)

Visitors walking towards the North Trail

Visitors walking towards the North Trail

near Boothbay for fifteen years and were out for a sail with their two dogs. It was interesting talking to them about their caretaking experience and the island where they lived and worked for the five families that owned the island. They came ashore mainly to let their dogs run but decided to take a look around – even though they had sailed by here many times, they said they had never actually visited Seguin. We gave them the full tour and I think they thoroughly enjoyed it and will come back in the future.

Lens reflecting prisms in the sun

Lens reflecting prisms in the sun

When they left, we returned to the bed project and worked on that until four more guests arrived. We did the meet and greet routine, offered a tour, brought them into the museum and gift shop. One of the visitors was pretty winded from the hill and struggled a bit on the steps up the tower, neither of which is that unusual. But then her husband told Patty that she had both hips replaced four months ago! In light of that info, we were really impressed with how well she did physically. The hill is not an easy climb for most people. One of the four in their group decided not to climb to the top of the lighthouse, staying outside instead to take pictures of the other three on the catwalk.

Wall prepped for paint job by Wednesday Warriors

Wall prepped for paint job by Wednesday Warriors

When they left, we finished attaching the new foot-board to the bed frame, put the box spring and mattress back on, and made

Screen door painted and ready to hang

Wednesday Warriors finished the screen door painted and it’s ready to hang

the bed. I have to admit I am looking forward to stretching out on it tonight. For dinner, we had sautéed scallops with broiled cauliflower steaks marinated in a Sriracha-based sauce.

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Moonrise

After dinner, I was heading towards the tower to take some sunset pictures from the lighthouse catwalk and saw a lone visitor walking towards sunset bench. I went out and greeted him and asked him to join me up in the lighthouse. I gave him an abbreviated spiel on the way up because we only had a IMG_0579few minutes until sunset. Patty joined us a few minutes later and we all enjoyed the show together. Jim (our visitor) lives in Portland but keeps his sailboat in this area. He was out for a few days and planned to stay the night in the cove before moving on. After sunset, he headed down to his boat but promised to return in the morning to see the museum and spend a little more time on the island.

Visitors – 28

Favorite Moment(s) – watching sunset from the lighthouse tower catwalk with a visitor

Sunrise – 4:44am

Sunset – 8:17pm

 

The Zumwalt

Wednesday
June 15, 2016

Loaded up to go to town!

Loaded up to go to town!

Another Wednesday is here and it’s our day off-island. We did the regular

Waiting for a lift to town.

Waiting for a lift to town.

Wednesday routine with a scheduled 7am rendezvous with the Wednesday Warriors and Ethan at the cove. We got down to the beach a few minutes early to check the patches on Hinckley’s leaks with optimism that they are working. It was chilly and the side with the leak felt a little soft but it might just be the temperature – we’ll check again in a couple of days. There’s no doubt that, at a minimum, it’s better than before. With a few minutes before Ethan’s arrival, we sat on some rocks and enjoyed our thermos of coffee.

Heading towards Popham

Heading towards Popham

When Ethan and then Wednesday Warriors arrived, we did the normal dinghy shuffle and were off to Popham, arriving there by 7:30 or a little after. We stopped at Cyndy’s to drop off our water jugs – this week we put a little bleach in each, filled them with water, and left them in the sun to think about themselves until we were headed back to Seguin in the afternoon. By 10:30ish, we were done with our chores (laundry, grocery shopping, hardware store, seafood store, gas for the truck, and natural food store).

During the past week, one of our visitors told us the USS Zumwalt was docked at the Bath Iron Works. The Zumalt is a new ship built at BIW and just recently (we think) completed sea trials and was delivered to the US Navy. It’s has an odd appearance, similar in a way to the stealth bombers. All flat surfaces and shallow angles. It also has a weird looking hull that appears to be wider towards the water line and then narrows as it rises above the water. Anyway, the visitor told us it was visible from the US-1 bridge over the Kennebec River so we parked at the

Former Coast Guard Station in Popham

Former Coast Guard Station in Popham

visitor center and walked up the bridge (because we don’t get enough hills on the island…HA!) where we had an unobstructed view of the Zumwalt and what appears to be another ship of the same design that is partially built. It was really cool to see, and growing up near the Newport News Shipyard, I was surprised how close we were and how clear a view we had from the bridge. Definitely an odd looking ship though. We’re hoping we’ll see it sail past Seguin while we’re here.

We headed to J.R. Maxwells, a downtown restaurant, for lunch and on our walk over, we passed a car with a “Dales Pale Ale” sticker on it. It’s brewed by Oskar Blues in Brevard, North Carolina – our hometown! Lunch was ok and, of course, we hit Dot’s for ice cream afterwards which is our weekly treat. Earlier in the morning, we met a couple from Florida that were at the laundromat on a shore day from a cruise tour of New England they were taking from Providence to Portland with a stop in Bath. They were admiring the sticker on our camper where we fill in each state we’ve visited and struck up a conversation which led to Patty telling them what we were doing in Maine. Later, walking down Front St. in Bath, we ran into them again and they told us they had bought a picture of Seguin and were telling everyone they met to visit the island. They were sad not have enough time to visit, but were hoping to see us from their ship.

USS Zumwalt at Bath Iron Works

USS Zumwalt at Bath Iron Works

We stopped at Cyndy’s on our way to Popham and gave our water jugs a good rinsing and then filled with fresh water. They looked pristine and new – no floaties to be found. We met Ethan back at Popham around 2:30 and were joined by a woman named Lindsay who works for Maine Inland Fisheries. She is working on a study of Sand Piper birds and wanted to scout Seguin for a location to place a radio tower for tracking banded birds. If we understood correctly, this species migrates from the arctic to South America with very few stops. The birds can fly 5-8 days without stopping for food or water, and fly at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet. She’s in the third year of a three-year study and from the experience of the past two years, she felt Seguin had the perfect location for tracking the birds.

Lunch desert

Lunch desert

We talked with Lindsay on the way over to Seguin and then Patty rowed ashore first with Lindsay so she could get started scouting along the North Trail while we completed the shuffle. As they reached shore (it was high tide with no beach), Cyndy’s daughter Carney

Popham Dock

Popham Dock

was switching places with Patty when a wave caught the dinghy and Patty’s foot started going under the boat. There was nothing she could do but go down….she looked at Carney and said “I’m going!” and into the water she went. She said it was a little chilly but no damage done so she headed up the hill with Lindsay to get her pointed in the right direction. Meanwhile, I finished getting our stuff ashore with Carney’s help and then just hung out until Lindsay came back. Rick and Julie were also still up the hill working ‘til the last possible minute to get as much done as they could. And the Wednesday Warriors did get a lot done – the gift shop screen door is ready to hang, they scraped paint on the front porch and picnic table, and cleared an area where the blacksmith shop was at one time.

IMG_0542After we rowed the last person out to Ethan’s boat and the crew took

Sailboat in the cove when we returned to Seguin

Sailboat in the cove when we returned to Seguin

off, Patty and I secured Hinckley and headed up the hill with our provisions and clean laundry from town. We took a couple of pictures to offer a visual idea of what we’re carrying as far as the bags we have and then another picture that shows the contents of the bags. The dining room table was overflowing for our “after” picture and only when about half the stuff was put away did we realize we had forgotten to unpack one of our backpacks which contained a 5-lb bag of flower, large dish washing detergent bottle, a bottle of rice vinegar, a large sweatshirt, and all of our shore-time essentials (computer, wallet, camera, etc).

Bags we carry back from the mainland

Bags we carry back from the mainland

Contents of our bags from the mainland (minus one backpack we forgot to unpack for this picture)

Contents of our bags from the mainland (minus one backpack we forgot to unpack for this picture)

IMG_0555Once everything was put away, we relaxed on the front porch with a IMG_0558cold drink and just watched the ocean. The winds were calm, it was sunny and warm, and really peaceful. We eventually had some bread and cheese as a light snack but neither of us was hungry after our big lunch and ice cream in town today. And at about 8:15, we watched another perfect sunset.

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Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – Seeing the Zumwalt, meeting Cyndy’s daughter Carney, and talking with Lindsay from Inland Fisheries on the ride to Seguin.

Sunrise– 4:44am
Sunset – 8:17pm

Calm Winds

Tuesday
June 14, 2016

IMG_0556It started off windy and overcast again today. With just a few breaks, the wind has been blowing steadily since Thursday or so. The temperature is not too cool and we’re getting some sun here and there, but the wind keeps on. It is starting to wear on us a little because it’s not very comfortable to be out in it and being outside is our favorite

Sun reflecting off the lens.

Sun reflecting off the lens.

thing about being here.

After breakfast, we mowed the top of the hill with Patty using the Gravely riding mower and me with a push mower on the hills. The grass has been a little brown since we got here and we thought it was mostly due to the shock of having so much cut at once but we also thought we might be cutting it too short subsequently. We were planning to raise the decks on all the mowers to let it grow a little longer and Patty checked with Rick. He concurred and said the levels we were told to use were shorter than he would recommend. With the mowers set higher to cut a higher length, we didn’t cut off as much as usual and it will take a little while for the new height to even out but the grass should fill in thicker and become greener over the next week or two. That’s the hope anyway…

Cooking burgers.

Cooking burgers.

After finishing with mowing, we were just about to sit down for a late lunch of soup when two guests came up the hill. We were surprised to see anyone today because of the weather but went out to greet them. They were visiting the area for a wedding in New Hampshire and are

Burgers and sweet potato fries.

Burgers and sweet potato fries.

big Lighthouse fans and made a point to visit to the coast to see Seguin and others. It turned out also that they live in South Carolina but not that far from where we live. Patty took care of giving them a tour of the lighthouse, showing them the museum, and selling them a T-shirt in the gift shop while I puttered around in the yard taking care of some small things on our list. After they left, we sat down for some soup and crackers. They also left a donation with us that is MUCH appreciated!

IMG_0512We headed down the hill in the afternoon with some stuff for our day off-island tomorrow (Patty’s backpack, empty gas cans, etc.) and to do a few small things like adding more stones on top of the main electric cable and cleaning the historical marker in the campsite area. Around the island, we have five or six of the historical marker signs done in bronze that are really nice looking and apparently comfortable for small birds to perch on in such a way that their rear end is right over the sign’s writing…they need cleaning frequently! While we were down there, we also put some air into Hinckley and Patty patched two leaks that we found the other day. One was a scratch that should hold a patch pretty IMG_0525well but the other is around a seam where one of the pressure relief valves is and Patty’s not sure how that will hold. We’ll know tomorrow if it’s at least a little better or if it’s leaking about the same.

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Mitchell sitting on sunset bench

Late in the afternoon, the wind finally died down and when it did, it IMG_0518stopped completely. The water became glassy smooth all the way around the island. The sky cleared with just a few big clouds moving IMG_0526past offering a few sun showers as they went by. All of a sudden, it was a perfect evening to use the grill, the first we’d had in a while. We had some nice grass-fed burger meat ready for a quick meal one night and used it tonight. While I grilled the burgers on the gas grill, Patty cut up and baked/broiled sweet potato fries and a Sriracha-sour cream dip to go along with them. We had all

kinds of fixings like cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, and grilled jalapeno to go along with the burgers. It was a simple and delicious meal.

After dinner, we watched a beautiful sunset from the west facing bench and took pictures of the setting light against the landscape and buildings of Seguin.

Visitors – 2

Favorite Moment(s) – cooking on the grill after the winds calmed and the sun came out.

Sunrise
Sunset