Sunset Show

Monday
June 13, 2016

Early morning with sun to the North and East

Early morning with sun to the North and East

We woke up extra early for some reason this morning and enjoyed our coffee inside because the winds from yesterday were still blowing. It was overcast but we could see sun to the northeast and east and hoped that we might get some sunny, calm wind weather later today. We

Breakfast

Breakfast

enjoyed a breakfast casserole that Patty made with eggs, tater-tots (left by our friends D-Lo and Scott), mushrooms, asparagus (from dinner earlier), cheese, and, of course, hot sauce.

After breakfast, I went down the hill to cut the grass around Paco’s (Donkey Engine House), outhouse, tram, etc. Cutting the grass up where the Lighthouse Trail starts to head into the woods wasn’t bad at all but the closer I got to the cove, the stronger the wind was blowing. I ended up with lots of dry grass up my nose and in my eyes. While I was down the hill, Patty was in the guest quarters thoroughly cleaning and organizing everything – kitchenette, bathroom, and bedrooms.

Guest Quarters Kitchenette

Guest Quarters Kitchenette

We both finished in time for lunch and a hodge-podge of stuff from the

Guest Quarters Hallway

Guest Quarters Hallway

fridge – cheese, olives, Tabbouleh salad, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. We usually sit in the kitchen to eat because it’s bright

and cozy in there and also has a nice view. It also is the room where the wind howls the loudest so we had that to accompany our meal along with a view of seagulls being bounced around on the currents.

Guest Quarters Bedroom #1

Guest Quarters Bedroom #1

We made some new blocks to support the bell recently and painted them with a

Guest Quarters Bedroom #1

Guest Quarters Bedroom #1

gray porch paint last week. The paint took forever to dry but they were finally ready to install. I found a jack in the boathouse and carried it up to use to raise the bell just slightly to insert each 4×4 “leg”. The jack was pretty heavy, maybe 20 lbs., and awkward to carry but I figured it would be the perfect tool for the job so it would be worth it. Well, once I put it down by the bell I (a) realized it was too tall to fit under the bell and (b) the bell was attached the frame in such a

Guest Quarters Bedroom #2

Guest Quarters Bedroom #2

Guest Quarters Bedroom #2

Guest Quarters Bedroom #2

way that had I tried to use it, I would of ended up with a liberty bell replica….a bell with a big crack. As I noted in a prior blog post, I should have started with Plan B which is what I moved on to and it worked fine. The bell is now supported by four matching, painted, legs and looks a bit better than before.

Guest Quarters Bathroom

Guest Quarters Bathroom

While I was messing around with the bell, Patty fashioned a “do not enter” sign

Bell with new supports

Bell with new supports

out of salvaged rope and buoy that washed up. The lighthouse has two levels of catwalk – one that visitors are allowed to access and a second, higher level, that they (and we) are not supposed to access. The ladder up from the first to second level used to have a sign, rope, or something but it’s not there now. We had a group recently that started to climb the ladder up and we realized we better get a sign up lickety-split so it’s obvious that it’s a no go area.

Matthew (our son) called around 5 or so to tell us he was back at home in Asheville after a long weekend at the Bonnaroo

Fish salad dinner

Fish salad dinner

festival in Tennessee. If you’re not familiar with Bonnaroo, it’s a music festival

Patty annotated this bird book to mark all the birds we have seen or might see here.

Patty annotated this bird book to mark all the birds we have seen or might see here.

that attracts close to 100,000 people with multiple stages and tons of different artists. Think a modern Woodstock. He camped there and saw lots of different bands including The Steep Canyon Rangers that hail from our hometown of Brevard. Matthew did his Electron Music DJ thing and got to play a set from 2am-4am on Saturday night. He had a great time and loved everything, even being hot and dirty. It was fun hearing all about it and we look forward to seeing some pictures or video of him playing his set.

Dusk with rising moon above and to the left of the lighthouse

Dusk with rising moon above and to the left of the lighthouse

For dinner we had a fish salad that Patty made with the Mackerel that Ethan gave us the other day. I made a sandwich out of it and Patty had it on top of a green salad. As we

Dramatic sunset show

Dramatic sunset show above the Oil House

were cleaning up after dinner, we were surprised by the spectacular sunset show that the sun and clouds combined to put on for us. It was really dramatic with huge dark clouds along with orange and pink sun reflections. On top of that, we had about a 2/3 full moon rising above the lighthouse. It was still windy as could be outside but it was worth it to go outside to watch the sunset performance and try to capture a little bit of it in pictures.IMG_0508

IMG_0510Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – sunset of clouds, sun, and the moon

Sunrise – 4:44am
Sunset – 8:16pm

Forecast: Rain

Sunday
June 12, 2016

Bush hogging the North Trail

Bush hogging the North Trail

Sitting on the front porch this morning, drinking our coffee, we heard an owl hooting somewhere below us near the tram tracks. It’s the first we’ve heard an owl since we’ve been here and I wish we could have seen him but he (or she) was well hidden as they usually are. It was overcast and a little chilly on the porch so we moved inside after finishing our coffee to get more and have our breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola.

The forecast called for rain all day today and it sure looked like that would be the case but since it wasn’t raining yet, we set off to get in a little work before it started. When I went out the North Trail with Chris & Bob from Maine Island Trails Association on Friday, the end of the bog side of the North Trail look was completely overgrown and needed attention. We had purposely not finished trimming that section for fear of disturbing the nesting gulls but the trail was at the point where if we waited any longer, we might not be able to tell where it was. Patty worked on clipping back the underbrush from the sides of

Angry Birds, Part II

Angry Birds, Part II

the trail while I weed whacked from the bog to the point where it meets the other side of the loop and then out to the rocky point at the northern tip of Seguin. I had on a baseball cap and a hoodie with hood up almost the entire time I was on the half of the trail closest to the point. I still had a couple of close calls when several of the gulls felt I was invading their space and took to the air against me. Patty had just a hat but no hoodie and they chased her off a couple of ridges with their bombing runs and squawking. It was a battle…man against nature! Between the gulls and the waist high vegetation, I thought I might be trailblazing a new route a time or two but luckily ended up at the sign indicating the two directions of trail. At the least, we ended up in the right place even if the route is new.

We're being watched.

We’re being watched.

Around the time I reached the point where the two sides of the loop meet, the sky cleared and we had calm winds. We could see the cove from there and there were no boats moored but, because we had a lot of visitors yesterday, we expected we might have some today too if the nice weather held. Patty headed back to the house in case we had visitors show up and I continued on to the very end of the trail. From there, I worked my way back the short side of the loop and then all the way back to the trailhead near the house. All total, I was out there about three and a half hours but felt great about the condition of the trail when I was finished. And the timing was good too because just as I reached the trailhead, the weather turned again and became overcast with strong hints of rain to come.

Ducks taking off from the Cove

Ducks taking off from the Cove

After she returned to the house, with the weather still sunny, Patty got more of the guest linens out on the line to air out, beat some of the rugs from the guest quarters to try to clean and freshen them up a bit, and even repaired one of the braided rugs that was fraying. We were in touch by radio and once I was close to finishing, Patty put some

A little afternoon coffee & tea

A little afternoon coffee & tea

leftover chili of the stove and heated some of the cornbread from the other night. By the time I came in, the wind had really picked up and it was chilly while we ate our chili. In fact, part way through lunch, we had to run outside to take everything off the clotheslines before they tore off and blew away.

We pretty much hunkered down after our late lunch and stayed inside. Patty’s been bothered by an earache the past couple of days and it’s throwing off her balance sporadically but it didn’t stop her from baking some ginger snap cookies. I was going to help

Winds blowing down some of the tall grasses

Winds blowing down some of the tall grasses

and do a little more baking but instead, I ended up heading down the hill to add a couple more bucket loads of stone around the exposed electrical main that comes up from the cove. I hadn’t really planned to do that but wanted to take a couple of empty water jugs down to

Constant 20 with higher gusts

Constant 20 with higher gusts

Paco’s and sidetracked myself for a while with the stones. By the time I got back to the house, the cookies were done and they were really good.

We also had leftovers for dinner also but not your everyday, boring leftovers. We had sautéed lobster and scallops with a side of broiled asparagus. We didn’t get a sunset tonight and the day ended with continuing strong winds from earlier today. We never did get more

Getting dinner ready

Getting dinner ready – and breakfast for tomorrow too!

than a few sprinkles and definitely nothing like the day long rain that was forecast. I’m glad we decided to get out and do some stuff outside and didn’t get diverted by the call for rain. There’s lots to do here on Seguin but we enjoy working outside and by doing a little each day, it never feels like too much.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – Checking ‘Finish clearing the North Trail’ off our list

Sunrise – 4:44am
Sunset – 8:15pm

Tours & Trails

Saturday
June 11, 2016

Family on the lighthouse catwalk

Family on the lighthouse catwalk

We started the day off with oatmeal, fresh fruit, and granola for breakfast. The weather this morning was nice, sunny, and calm winds and seas. After breakfast, we were planning to head down to trim the Cove and Cobblestone Beach trails when a family came up the hill onto the front lawn. It was a mom & dad, their two young sons, and her father who has a house in the area.

I took them up in the lighthouse while Patty opened up the museum and gift shop. They (the adults) had all been here before but wanted to hear the history of the island again and also complimented us on the condition of the Lighthouse Trail and lawns which was really nice to hear. After 15 or 20 minutes in the lighthouse, they headed down to visit the museum and gift shop. Afterwards, they went to walk the South Trail while Patty and I headed down the hill to work on the lower trails.

Just as we were getting setup by the Donkey Engine House, we saw a dinghy

Visitors on the Cove Beach

Visitors on the Cove Beach

rowing in from a really nice sailboat that was tied up to a mooring in the cove. Patty headed back up the hill to be there when they came up while I went ahead and started on the Cove Trail. There were five guys from the sailboat that Patty gave tours to and chatted with. One of the guys is from San Francisco and was here visiting a friend in Boston that has family in the area. They all really loved the island and the lighthouse. While I was mowing the camping area, the family we met earlier this morning came out on the Cove Trail and I talked with them some more and showed the boys a gull’s nest on the edge of the camping area. They were all really surprised at how big the eggs were.

Visitor kayaking to the Cove Beach

Visitor kayaking to the Cove Beach

When the family came in earlier this morning, the tide was low and they nosed up on the beach for everyone to get off except for grandfather who moored the boat and paddled in on a kayak. As they were leaving, the tide was up and they couldn’t nose in but the guys on the sailboat were leaving at the same time and offered to ferry them out in their dinghy. It was neat to see these two groups together enjoying Seguin and each other. Patty was down at the cove too and got some pictures of them for the blog.

After they left, I finished up the Cove Trail while Patty trimmed it

Three boats in the Cove

Three boats in the Cove

back with clippers and moved on to the Cobblestone Beach Trail. After I finished mowing Cobblestone Beach Trail, we headed up the hill for a lunch of lobster salad that Patty made with leftover lobster from Wednesday night.

We went back down the hill after lunch and Patty finished clipping the trails while I brought up some stones from the beach to cover the main electrical line coming up from the beach. The main is 2” in diameter and in some places it’s just sitting on top of the ground where we cut the grass – I want to cut the grass right up to it but I don’t want to cut or nick the line. Also, it’s not too attractive. I thought covering it with rocks from the beach would protect it and also look a little nicer so I’ve been getting a few 5-gallon buckets at a time to do that. It’ll take a while but it’s looking nicer already I think.

Visitors getting together on Cove Beach for dinghy ride out to their boats.

Visitors getting together on Cove Beach for dinghy ride out to their boats.

After we were back up the hill, Ethan texted to ask if we’d like him to drop of some Mackerel that he caught while out with a group on his big boat. Sure. Free food! He said he’d let us know when he was close by and we could meet him down at the cove. Shortly after that, three guys came in from Popham (by canoe) and were interested in a tour. Just then, Ethan texted that he was 10 minutes out so I went down to meet him while Patty took care of our guests. They were looking for a place to sit and have a snack after touring the lighthouse and museum, so Patty suggested our picnic table or the ‘Sunset Bench’ – they opted for the bench with a view. I rowed out in the dinghy, on water smooth as glass, with a bucket for the fish and hung out there for a few

Fish from Ethan

Fish from Ethan

minutes talking to Ethan and his first mate Evan. It looked like he had a little booze cruise going on his big boat and thought it might rain so he was headed back in to Popham.

Small (dinner?) cruise boat going by.  We think it's out of Bath?

Small (dinner?) cruise boat going by. We think it’s out of Bath?

When I got back up top with the fish, it started to rain and a little fog was building to the east. The three canoe guys took off running down the hill to beat any bad weather back to the mainland. Later on, as some wind started to pick up, I went up in the lighthouse to see if I could see them but I couldn’t. We didn’t hear any

Patty with her hopeful friend

Patty with her hopeful friend

distress calls on the CG channel (for them anyway) so I am sure they made it ok. Patty cleaned the fish and made a new friend with one of the gulls that patiently stoop atop a rock watching her, waiting hopefully for any scraps.

Cleaning fish and making friends

Cleaning fish and making friends

The weather got windier and more overcast as evening approached and we didn’t get a sunset but we didn’t get any more rain other than some stray drops here and there.

For dinner, we just had turkey sandwiches with some sliced turkey our friends left with us. We relaxed and read with the heater on in the living room. My Dad recommended a book (Billion Dollar Spy) to me recently and I was able to download it from our hometown library on my Kindle app and it’s a pretty good read so far! Patty’s been reading a lot of lighthouse related books that are here in the house “library.”

Visitors – 13

Favorite Moment(s) – visitors from the sailboat using their dinghy to ferry the family of five out to their boat.

Sunrise – 4:44am
Sunset – 8:15pm

Godiva Tours the Lighthouse

Friday
June 10, 2016

Cove Trail looking back to the Beach

Cove Trail looking back to the Beach

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Cove Trail looking out to sea

We woke up to calm winds, seas, and a sunny sky. Our friend Deloris (D-Lo) made a breakfast casserole with eggs, mushrooms, cheese, and lots of other tasty things. Patty made a fruit salad to go with it and we had fresh tomatoes, diced onions and jalapenos to sprinkle on top. D-Lo prepared the casserole last night so it just needed to be cooked this morning but first, we relaxed in the kitchen and on the porch enjoying coffee and chatting.

Before we sat down to eat, Chris from MITA (Maine Island Trails Association) and his

Nice boat that stopped and moored for lunch

Nice boat that stopped and moored for lunch

colleague Bob arrived a little before 10am to look at some of the trails, the North Trail in particular, where MITA is planning to do some work later this summer. I expected Chris to call first and then row out in Hinckley to bring him in from his moored boat but instead, we met him as he crested the top of the Lighthouse Trail. He had tried to call but didn’t get through (I found out later that my new AT&T plan didn’t renew automatically for the new month as expected) but was able to nose up to the beach since the tide was low and borrow our dinghy with Bob rowing out while Chris moored.

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Gulls keeping watch on the South Trail

Anyway, they were here. I took off with Chris and Bob to show them the North Trail bog area where the boardwalk is that they hope to replace. We hiked the complete trail including the last section that we haven’t trimmed yet because of the nesting gulls. The grass is so high on parts now that it was a little difficult in places to see the direction of the trail so, apologizes to the gulls, trimming the rest of it is now on our high priority list. Chris measured off the distance of the boardwalk (about 50 meters) and noted a couple of other soggy areas that could use a short section of boarding.

Chris, Bob, and I then went down the hill to look at some pressure treated lumber in the boathouse that I suggested

On the South Trail

On the South Trail

asking F.O.S.I.L.S. about using for their project. They were pleasantly surprised about how much we have stored in there and thought it would be more than enough to complete their work. They most difficult part would be getting it to the top of the island and then down the North Trail. It will require a small army… Finally, I showed them the camping area adjacent to the cove where volunteers could potentially stay for a night or two while working on the trails. Again, they were pleasantly surprised with what they saw. Chris seemed excited to get started (scheduled for July 13).

I rowed Chris out to his MITA boat and he came in to pick up Bob just as they had done on their way in. Just as they

On the South Trail

On the South Trail

were pulling back from the beach and I was tying up Hinckley, Patty was coming down the steps to the cove to see if I needed help. I hadn’t taken a radio with me and they (very kindly) had waited to eat until I was finished. After 90 minutes or more, they were starting to wonder if I was ever coming back! We’ve been eating pretty well the past few days (actually the past several weeks) and no one starved while they waited.

We sat down and enjoyed the casserole, fruit, and everything else prepared for a big and tasty meal. After breakfast, Scott was sitting near the top of the tram watching the water down between the Cove and Cobblestone Beach and thought he saw a couple of seals playing amongst some lobster buoys. We’ve seen seals close to Popham on our way back and forth with Ethan but never near Seguin. The four of us headed down to the Cove Trail and the rocks beyond to get closer to the area he was watching but never saw the seals. Maybe they just took off or maybe he mistook some ducks for seals? We’ll have to ask if they are ever seen out here. We spent a long time out on the rocks around the edge of the water along the cove watching boats and birds. Once nice boat came in while we were out there and tied up to one of our moorings to have their lunch. So cool!

Waiting for Ethan to arrive

Waiting for Ethan to arrive

Our friends carried their stuff down to the Donkey Engine House (Paco’s) when we went in search of the elusive seals so we were ready for Ethan to arrive to pick them up around 2:30-ish. We enjoyed our last bit of time together just sitting on some of the big rocks along the beach. The tide was low giving us plenty of places to sit and spread out. While Scott, D-Lo, and I were doing just sitting and chatting, Patty took a spray bottle she prepared with soapy water and within minutes,

Hasta Luego on the Beach

Hasta Luego on the Beach

found a leak in Hinckley (a large scratch) and possible another (around one of the pressure relief valves). With that info, we can look for a patch kit and try to repair the dinghy. Shortly afterwards, Ethan came around the corner and we loaded Hinckley up and pushed off. Patty stayed on shore while Scott (rowing), D-Lo (on the bow), and I (on the stern) went out to meet the boat. We said our good byes (for now) as they moved onto Ethan’s boat and I switched to the seat to row. Before pushing off, Ethan introduced me to his wife and (new) baby who had accompanied him over.

Scott & D-Lo transferring to Ethan's boat for ride back to Popham

Scott & D-Lo transferring to Ethan’s boat for ride back to Popham

Back on shore, Patty and I tied up and headed up the hill just before two visitors and their dog Godiva came up the hill to see the lighthouse, museum, and gift shop. I took them up to tour the lighthouse while Patty opened up the museum and gift shop. I was really surprised (and I think the guys were too) that Godiva followed us up in the lighthouse and even went out on the catwalk outside. I didn’t think a dog would be comfortable on the see-through metal WP_20160610_19_07_24_Prosteps but she wasn’t fazed at all. I wonder if any other dogs will do that this summer. After we came down from the lighthouse, they (the two guys and Godiva) went inside and checked out the exhibits and talked with Patty in the gift shop while I got some water for Godiva. One of the guys is a nurse locally and told us about some moths that can cause a rash or even serious illness. Apparently this IMG_0463is a recent development in Maine. We looked it up on the Internet after they left and found it actually comes from the caterpillars. We’ll have to keep a lookout for suspect caterpillars!

With our late breakfast and then Scott & D-Lo leaving mid-afternoon, Patty and I never ate lunch and were getting hungry so Patty whipped up an early dinner of scallops, broccoli, and a quinoa/brown rice side. Again, the scallops were unbelievably good. Along with Dot’s for ice cream, I think Plant’s Seafood for scallops will be on our list of stops every Wednesday for the rest of the summer.

We had a beautiful sunset and then read for a while before heading off to bed early. We (maybe) had a little too much fun with our friends and were just plain beat 🙂

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Visitors – 3 (including the brave dog who climbed the lighthouse stairs)

Favorite Moment(s) – Walking the South Trail and then hanging out on the Cove Beach with our friends D-Lo and Scott.

Sunrise – 4:44am
Sunset –8:14pm

Day with Friends

Thursday
June 9, 2016

Cove point.

Cove point.

Last night was windy and the day started (and ended) exactly the same. Most days, we have varying weather with any combination of wind, rain, fog, and/or sun – for sure, we’ve had few if any days where the weather was pretty much the same all day until today. The wind blew consistently around 20-25 mph with gusts into the mid-40’s. In spite of the constant wind, it was not too cool, it was a very clear day, and the sun was shining brightly throughout.

Cobblestone Beach

Cobblestone Beach

Our friend Deloris (D-Lo) made a breakfast of eggs and bacon and Patty added English muffins and a fruit salad. Because the weather was so windy, we lingered over breakfast and coffee inside for much of the morning. We had been keeping an eye on the wind and it seemed to be steadily coming from the northwest which we hoped would mean Cobblestone beach would be sheltered.

Patty and D-Lo on Cobblestone Beach

Patty and D-Lo on Cobblestone Beach

So, after breakfast, we all headed down there to find out.

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Patty, Scott, and D-Lo at Cobblestone Beach

Sure enough, once we started along Cobblestone trail, away from the cove, we could feel the wind diminish. Then, when we reached the edge of the beach and descended down the rocks, we were completed sheltered from it. Down there, in the sun and without any wind, it was really comfortable and relaxing. The four of us hung around Cobblestone beach for an hour or more watching the ducks and the waves crashing on the rocks as the tide rose towards an afternoon high. In some ways, I think Patty and I almost appreciated it more than Scott & D-Lo WP_20160609_11_45_16_Probecause we usually look at things in terms of what we should put on our to-do list. Today, we simply enjoyed the scenery without feeling like we should be trimming the trail or whatever.

I guess that feeling didn’t last too long though because after an hour or so, Patty and I headed over to the boathouse to look at the circuit panel and to trace some wiring related to a problem we’re having with a breaker feeding electricity to that part of the property. After that, the two of us headed up the hill to the house and puttered around the house while Scott & D-Lo napped in the sun down at the beach. They were thoroughly enjoying the peacefulness and connection with nature Seguin offers. It was a tranquil day for all of us and they were fun to host too because they got into the groove right away, took care of themselves, genuinely loved the island, explored everything, and pitched in throughout. Perfect guests.

Seagull nest with eggs along the Cobblestone Beach Trail.

Seagull nest with eggs along the Cobblestone Beach Trail.

Late in the afternoon, Patty and D-Lo cooked chili and cornbread for dinner. A fitting meal for the blustery feel of the day. Along with the chili, we had lots of fixings like shredded cheddar, diced onions and jalapenos, and more that I’m sure I’m forgetting. Like this morning and last night, we were still at the dinner table long after our meal and

Sunset

Sunset

cleanup enjoying fun conversation and friendship. We actually haven’t known them very long but are thrilled they decided to come visit us on Seguin.

D-Lo was especially looking forward to going to sleep with the high

winds that were making the house whistle, creak, and groan but just as we all started making a move towards bed, the winds died off almost instantly. Well, at least it was going to be a cool night which she was also looking forward too!

While we didn’t “do” much today, we had a memorable day with friends and Patty and I took a day off to simply appreciate some of what Seguin has to offer us. It was a good day.

Visitors – 2

Favorite Moment(s) – enjoying the warmth of the sun and sounds of the ocean while sitting on rocks at Cobblestone Beach with our friends.

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset –8:13pm

North Carolina Friends

Wednesday
June 8, 2016

Sunrise

Sunrise

Today was our normal Wednesday off-island day and it was also the day that our first personal guests were arriving for a visit. We started early, having a quick bagel and cream cheese breakfast before heading down to meet Ethan and the Wednesday Warriors at the cove at 7am. We had a little more stuff to take with us to town today, particularly a

Fort Popham

Fort Popham

large bag of trash and an old push mower bag attachment for a mower that is no longer here. There’s a full trash can in the Whistle House that needs to be taken off-island and we figured the easiest thing would be to bring a little each week and we started that today. Additionally, we had the normal empty water can, gas cans, dirty laundry, etc.
We had added some air to Hinckley (the dinghy) yesterday so we didn’t need to do that this morning although she is losing air fast enough that we need to make a close examination soon to see if we can locate the leak and patch it.

The Seguin Sandwich at Live Edge Deli

The Seguin Sandwich at Live Edge Deli

Right on time, Ethan rounded the northern point of the island and Patty pushed us off with everything except the stinkiest bag of trash. We didn’t plan it that way and felt bad for leaving that for the WW to row out to us. At least with an otherwise empty Hinckley, I hope

Cyndy was able to put it as far from her as possible when she rowed

Scott on the way to Seguin.

Scott on the way to Seguin.

back and not have the stink in her nose the whole way. After the normal Dinghy shuffle and brief exchange of info as we passed one another, Ethan turned towards Popham and we were off.

With the rising sun and a partly cloudy sky, the effect on the water was really stunning on the ride over. As we came into the mouth of Kennebec River and passed Fort Popham, there was a bright beam of light shining directly on the fort from between the clouds that was really neat looking. Although it is a bit lopsided, we did manage to snap a picture with the phone as we passed.

D-Lo sitting on the boathouse deck.

D-Lo sitting on the boathouse deck.

In Bath and Brunswick, we did the normal run-around. Dropped empty water and gas cans at Cyndy’s, did laundry, shopped at Hannaford’s (instead of Shaw’s), Rogers Hardware, Shaw’s anyway (because we forgot some things at Hannaford’s), the Bath Natural Market, and Plant’s Seafood. We actually ran into the friends that are coming to visit us when we stopped in at the Shaw’s in Bath. Hugs all around and a brief hello and then we parted to finish our errands until our set plan to meet at 1 to go to Seguin together.

Once we finished our hurried errands, we had a nice leisurely lunch at

Getting the Lobsters

Getting the Lobsters

Live Edge Deli. I think they’re a (relatively?) new restaurant and our food was very good. We both got sandwiches, Patty got one appropriately named the “Seguin” – a huge sandwich that she only ate half of with the rest coming home in a doggie bag. After lunch, we got ice cream at Dot’s again, a weekly stop for the remainder of the summer I am sure!

At about 1, we met our friends Delores (D-Lo) and Scott who came up from our hometown of Brevard, North Carolina, to visit us and spend some time in Maine. They flew into Portland last night and stayed there. This morning, they drove up to Bath to get some provisions and then we all met up at the Maine Maritime Museum parking lot. They followed us from there to Cyndy’s house were we filled our water jugs, tried to let Grady out (he wouldn’t venture past the deck), and get our mail. From there, we caravanned down to Popham to drop off all of our collective stuff and park our truck and their car. Ethan was hoping to launch his large boat after the Seguin run so we did everything double-time so while Patty and D-Lo loaded everything from the dock to Ethan’s boat, Scott and I parked the car and Ethan came to give us a ride back to the dock in his boat.

Straight from the Sea!

Straight from the Sea!

The ride over to Seguin was nice, sunny, and calm. A perfect day for our first visitors to arrive. Patty and I made the first trip into the cove with a load of stuff and while I finished the dinghy-shuffle, Patty started moving stuff up the steps from the cove to the Donkey Engine House (we are calling it Paco’s Place, Paco’s Cantina, or just plain old Paco’s in honor of our friends donkey Paco). By the time we were all ashore, we only had three water jugs to bring up from the cove to Paco’s. We left the water there and everything else made it to the top of the hill in a single trip with all of us heavily loaded down.

We all did a quick unpack and then Scott and D-Lo got a tour of the lighthouse and from there, we pointed outWP_20160608_20_18_53_Pro different parts for the island, trails, and other features. Afterwards, with weather that was nice and sunny, we sat on the front porch and then the picnic table (as the sun moved) to have a couple of cocktails and to catch up on what’s happening in Brevard and with each other.

Around 5, we headed back down to the cove to retrieve a half-dozen lobster that Jackson Percy dropped off for us earlier today. What a great perk! A quick call and they just appear in our keeper box, almost as if by magic! Scott and I rowed out and retrieved the lobster and then we all headed back up the hill with our catch in a 5-gallon bucket, surrounded in damp seaweed.

D-Lo enjoying the sunset on a windy evening.

D-Lo enjoying the sunset on a windy evening.

The wind had picked up so we set the table inside instead of eating at the picnic table which really would be the ideal location for this meal. Along with steamed lobster, we had fresh ears of corn. Each of us had one lobster and then Patty and I cleaned the remaining two for a future meal (omelet, salad, or something else). After dinner and cleanup, the four of us hung out together at the table enjoying each other’s company which was really nice.

We braved stronger and stronger winds to watch sunset which was (again) absolutely picturesque. D-Lo and Scott just couldn’t get over how beautiful the island is and how great all of the views are. We can’t wait for tomorrow to explore the trails together.

Visitors – 2

Favorite Moment(s) – getting lobsters from the keeper box with our friends.

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset – 8:13pm

Lots of Weather

Tuesday
June 7, 2016
WP_20160607_10_23_46_ProEarly this morning, we sat on the front porch of the Caretaker’s Quarters enjoying our coffee and watching the sun, low in the sky, reflect off the water. It was quite warm and we had our hats pulled down low to shield our eyes from the sun. We talked about what we wanted to accomplish today and how it felt like it was going to be a hot day.
By 7:30, all of that changed. The sky clouded up quickly and a fog rolled in over the island, briefly limiting visibility from the house to just the edges of the mowed lawns. Then it cleared again, then it rained, the sun came out and it was clear until it rained again and afterwards got foggy. Then it was sunny. Then rainy. We had about a week’s worth of weather today.

When the weather was good, we took care of some outside chores including push mowing the topside areas and weed WP_20160607_10_28_51_Prowhacking the Lighthouse Trail. Patty mowed with the riding mower a little too. We also hung some of the guest linens out on the line to let them air out and freshen up from winter storage. We fixed the bench that lost a seat slat when it blew over in Sunday night’s storm.

Lunch

Lunch

When it rained, we moved inside and did a few chores there. Painted (final side, second coat) the screen door insert and made new supports for the bell that sits next to the museum and gift shop. The current supports are shimmed up in some places and the new ones should blend in a little better. We painted those with a gray porch floor paint that we hope will further camouflage them.IMG_0450

For lunch, we had a lunch of crackers, cheese, carrots, brie, hummus, etc.

Dinner with leftover tuna steak and wasabi dressing

Dinner with leftover tuna steak and wasabi dressing

At the end of the day, we walked down to the cove and put some air into Hinckley so she’ll be ready tomorrow when Ethan comes to pick us up. We also wanted to do it a beforehand to get an idea of how fast or slow the leak is…we’ll see in the morning.

For dinner, we had a big salad with left over tuna steak from last night. Patty made a really good dressing with some of the wasabi we had from yesterday mixed with sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar. IMG_0451Delicious! After dinner, we even got a slight glimpse of a sunset between the clouds.

All in all, I guess it was a busy but uneventful day. As always though, the scenery was gorgeous.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – walking up the Lighthouse Trail together in the rain.

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset – 8:12pm

After the Storm

Monday
June 6, 2016

 

Hinckley is still there.

Hinckley is still there.

After last night’s storm, the surf was still up this morning and it was foggy and wet which let us sleep in a little since the sun wasn’t shining brightly by 5am as it is some mornings. We enjoyed bacon and eggs for breakfast along with coffee of course.

Rough Sturf

Rough Sturf

I took a walk down to the cove after breakfast to make sure everything looked ok, most importantly, checking that the dinghy was still there. The water must have come up pretty high because Hinckley (the dinghy) had moved a little but it was no worse for wear. There was some new driftwood on the beach and I moved the biggest stuff up the

Rainwater Patty collected to rinse her hair.

Rainwater Patty collected to rinse her hair.

hill at the back of the cove to try to keep it from washing out and potentially damaging Hinckley another day. I need to get down to the

Grass laying down

Grass laying down

cove with the chainsaw and cut some of the driftwood up into small pieces but that will wait for another day. First, I need to make sure I can get the chainsaw started! There was lots of evidence of last night’s winds too with much of the taller grasses laying down and branches and leaves on the lighthouse trail.

The ground was really wet from the rain keeping us from mowing, so we went to the Whistle House to get some paint on the infamous screen door project. Patty is the painter on our crew so she painted and I sanded the half-round molding for her to paint also. By

Door on the Donkey Engine House that we fixed on Sunday.

Door on the Donkey Engine House that we fixed on Sunday.

the time we finished with that, the sun had come out and things were drying enough for us to do some mowing.
Patty hit the top of the hill on the riding mower and while I trimmed the South IMG_0445Trail. Around noon, we took a break for a lunch – we each had a BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) sandwich.

Following lunch, Patty continued mowing while I started by weed whacking around the boat house on a steep hill that hadn’t been trimmed yet. It wouldn’t normally need it but Rick asked me to hit that area so they can inspect the structure’s sill plate. It was a little tricky getting into position to do the trimming, and the wet ground wasn’t my friend, but it should

Birds taking off over the cove.

Birds taking off over the cove.

be good enough to get in there for a good look. After that, I did some push around the tram tracks until Patty came down to join me. She took over the push mowing and I used the weed whacker to trim

Fog rolling in.

Fog rolling in.

around all the stuff the mower can’t reach. Once finished, we headed up the hill to take a rest and enjoy watching the big waves from the front porch for a bit.
WP_20160606_11_55_34_ProWe’ll be off-island on Wednesday as usual and we like to stage things that we’ll need to take with us to the mainland down in the Donkey Engine House beforehand. We made a trip down there later in the afternoon with Patty’s backpack for groceries, empty

Boots and Shorts.  It's a look!

Boots and Shorts. It’s a look!

gas/water cans, etc. When we got down to the Engine House, we could see the tide was low in the cove so we went down and enjoyed being on the beach for a while. Patty found a big mussel – one of these days, we’ll have to harvest enough for a meal or at least an appetizer.
By the time sunset rolled around, the sky had cleared nicely and we enjoyed another beautiful sunset.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – spending a few minutes together on the beach

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset – 8:12pm

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A Little Iron in the Water

Sunday
June 5, 2016

Surf is building

Surf is building

We started off the day with a breakfast of bagels with Philadelphia Cream Cheese and coffee. Forget the Wheaties, this the real breakfast of champions! The weather forecast for today was for fog, clouds, and eventually rain and wind. The forecasters nailed it perfectly today.

After breakfast, I made a video of the Whistle House while Patty cleaned upstairs. We took the shower curtains off and soaked them in the tub with a little bleach and vinegar to see if we could get them back to their original clear appearance. See, we have a little iron in the water. Now, we’ve told this to lots of friends and family when explaining that we have to bring potable water from the mainland and that we don’t have laundry facilities. Almost everyone responds with something along the lines of “oh yeah, I have hard water too…lots of iron.” Sometimes, they’ll add that it smells like sulfur or rotten eggs.

Well, we don’t have the smell, but when we say there’s a little iron in the water, what we really mean is the water is

Flock of seagulls

Flock of seagulls

brownish. We don’t drink it but we use it for showering, washing dishes, and washing our work clothes and rags. I was using it to rinse my toothbrush until it started turning it brown and I stopped. Showering in it is kind of like the shower scene from Pyscho except it’s brown instead of blood red water going down the drain. It’s fine with your eyes closed thought. Except for the fact that Patty says she can’t get a comb through her hair, we don’t really notice it but we have friends coming to visit on Wednesday. So, we thought it would be nice to try to clean the shower curtains and give the tub a scrub-a-dub-dub. It didn’t really make a difference in appearance but it is clean. I promise.

Lunch salad with sliced up pork.

Lunch salad with sliced up pork.

We must have done some other stuff but neither of us wrote down what…if we don’t write down what we did, did we really do anything? If a tree falls in the woods…. Whatever.

Ok, I do know we had nice salad with left over sliced up pork chops. I know because one of us took a picture of it. The chops had a marinade (described in an earlier post) with ginger and we happen to have a ginger salad dressing that went perfectly with the salad.

Mixing cookie dough

Mixing cookie dough

In our relationship, Patty does almost all of the cooking and I do most of the cleanup. Patty is a fantastic cook, often improvising, she uses a recipe as a suggested list of ingredients but doesn’t really follow the instructions. Her approach to cooking doesn’t work so well with baking so she doesn’t often bake. One of my goals while here is to learn (or try to learn) to bake. My professional background is computer programming so, as

Baking cookies.

Baking cookies.

you might imagine, I do follow rules so I figured there’s no reason I can’t follow a recipe. To that end, I found a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies that we had all the ingredients to make. The end result wasn’t too bad if I might brag a little. Patty gave me a few tips along the way but I think I’ll give baking bread a shot next. Or maybe I’ll wait to see what others think of the cookies before I get the big head. I think we’ll give some to Ethan and leave a plate for the Warriors on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Patty made a big pot of chili yesterday, or maybe the day before, and we had that for dinner. She used leftover pot roast that Michael had made and it turned out really good.

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Drinking water from the mainland on the left, tap water on the right. Just a touch of iron.

As always, she chopped up some fresh onion and grated some  cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top. We even accompanied the meal with a bottle of red wine that we had with us. For those of you that know us, I’m sure that comes as a shock. For those of you that don’t, we generally don’t drink anything but beer. And especially don’t usually drink wine. But, we had the bottle with us to give to a friend we were visiting on the way to Maine and forgot. So we lugged it out to the island in one of

The wind is blowing hard.

The wind is blowing hard.

our bags. Faced with the choice of lugging it back or drinking it, we drank it. It actually wasn’t bad. What’s happening to us out here?

In the afternoon, a thick fog rolled in and blanketed the island which is why I decided to give baking a shot. Around 5, things started clearing but the wind picked up substantially and by around 7 it started to rain. Rain hard. Until we went to bed, the wind was whipping and the rain was pelting the windows and roof. It was an awesome sound and feeling. Just about the time we went up to bed (maybe 11-ish), the winds dropped and the rain stopped almost instantaneously.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – standing on the front porch during the storm with gusting winds and sheets of rain pouring down (and sideways).

Sunrise – 4:46
Sunset – 8:11

Plan “B”

 

Saturday
June 4, 2016

Foggy morning.

Foggy morning.

It was another foggy day today and since we felt mostly caught up on the mowing, we decided to do some inside stuff and a couple of longer videos too (which we hope to start posting soon).

After a breakfast of mixed fruit, yogurt, and granola, we did a few chores in the house.  Nothing too exciting, just some organization stuff that we’ve wanted to do but have been putting off for a rainy day.  I guess the main thing we did was rearrange the bedroom we’re sleeping in.  It has a gabled ceiling on the side Patty’s been sleeping on and she has to duck to get around and into bed and I would just about have to get on my knees if I was on that side.  Everything fit when we moved things and we had outlets where we needed them so I think our new layout will work well for us.  Besides that, Patty spent some time getting seeds in the ground in the spice garden area just outside the kitchen (separate from the main garden).  I went down the hill and did a

Rearranged bedroom

Rearranged bedroom

longer video in and around the Cove and another walking up from the Cove to the Lighthouse.  My goal is to make a separate video for each area of the island to post on Facebook or YouTube.  Whatever else we did, it took the remainder of the morning and before we knew it, it was afternoon already and we were both getting hungry.

For lunch, we had a big plate with apple slices, cheese, carrots, crackers, hummus, mixed olives and five left over scallops from dinner the other night.  Patty re-heated the scallops in the cast iron pan for just a few seconds on each side and they were just as delicious as before.  When we were eating breakfast this morning, I noticed the container of Stoneybrook yogurt had a suggestion for yogurt-based marinades….neither of us had really ever thought of doing that.  So, right after lunch, we found a

Finished rearranging bedroom.

Finished rearranging bedroom.

simple recipe for the pork chops we were already thawing for dinner.  It was a simple recipe – just yogurt, minced garlic (Patty did this), fresh grated ginger (I did this), and chili pepper.  We mixed up the ingredients, slathered the marinade on the pork chops in a baking dish, and put them in the fridge to think about themselves ‘til later.

In the afternoon, we did a few more little things around the house and then headed down to the Donkey Engine House together to take a look at the door.  It had a pretty bad sag to it so that it had to be lifted to close properly.  I noticed when it was lifted, the hinges weren’t tight and would move.  The wood around the door frame and hinges is kind of soft (maybe slightly rotted) so we were

Cutting weed whacker string to 8" pieces.

Cutting weed whacker string to 8″ pieces.

hoping that longer screws on the building side and nuts and bolts on the door side would do the trick.  When she was here with us the first week, Cyndy told us that every job here takes some exponential amount longer than in it does in the real world.  Reluctantly, I’m learning that to be true although never being in a rush makes it ok.  Why is that you might wonder?  Well, first off, most things need to be MacGyvered a little because the one thing that is absolutely required is not available.  And we’re not running up to Harris Hardware (or Rogers in this case) or down to Lowes like at home.  So, Plan “B” is pretty much where things start after confirming you don’t have what you need for Plan “A”.  Today’s example involved countersinking bolts ½” because the bolts we had are ½” shorter than the ones you need.  Next, just when we think we have every tool that is needed with us, something changes and we really need the tool we thought we wouldn’t need and is therefore up the hill in the Whistle House.  With all that said, we did get the door fixed so that it closes now without being lifted and we only had to go up the hill one extra time to get the needed tools.   Actually, I’m writing this kind of tongue in cheek because it’s fun to see if we can come up with a fix for something when the obvious or common fix is not an option.  So far, so good on that front I think.

Lunch

Lunch

We have an idea for something that we want to build and leave here as our legacy.  To that end, we’ve been keeping an eye out for driftwood to help us build it.  We’re expecting astronomical high tides so I was down in the cove clearing some drift wood to keep it from hitting the dinghy if the water gets really high and uncovered what I think is a perfect piece to get started with.  It’s the base, with a few big roots, and trunk of a tree – maybe 10’ or so long.  It’s on the big side but it washed a while ago so it wasn’t water logged and didn’t weigh too much.  I pulled it up the steps from the cove beach and carried it up top to the Whistle House where it’s now drying out some more before we get started with it soon.

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Pork chops in marinade.

For dinner, I grilled the pork chops (in our yogurt based marinade) on the gas grill and Patty made sides of asparagus and potatoes baked in the same marinade.  Everything turned out really good and we realized as soon as we started eating the chops that it had a very Indian flavor.  Duh.  Well, I guess we had had yogurt based marinades before and just didn’t think of it while we were preparing this.

The weather turned pretty nasty as evening approached and we heard a call on the VHF coast guard station for missing kayakers as well as calls out to a boat in distress that hadn’t reported their position.  We set off the fog horn when we heard that call just in case it might help someone.  It was pretty interesting to listen to radio chatter – we sure were glad to be safe and warm inside and not out on the water.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – Cooking pork chops outside on the grill with a new recipe

Sunrise – 4:46
Sunset – 8:10