Angry Birds

Friday
June 4, 2016

 

Chilaquiles.  Yum!

Chilaquiles. Yum!

We started the day with chilaquiles for breakfast…one of our all-time favorites. They are delicious and always lead us to reminisce about Susan Ramos, a friend who introduced us to them at a little street-side joint in a small fishing village on the pacific coast of Mexico where we were living at the time.

Since we arrived on Seguin Island, we have mowed all of the trails, the lawns, and every other inch of grass that needs to tending (most multiple times) with the exception of the North Trail. We hiked the North Trail with Cyndy and Michael the first week we were here, trimming back some of the vegetation along the way but we hadn’t mowed or weed whacked any of it. When we hiked it with Cyndy, it was easily passable and we didn’t expect to have to do too much except in one boggy area

Patty riding her witches rake down the North Trail.

Patty riding her witches rake down the North Trail.

towards the end. Boy were we wrong! I’m not sure if we were just enjoying the view and not paying attention on that first hike or if it really shot up so much in a short time but it definitely needed weed whacking the entire length. The North Trail is the longest trail on Seguin and it had knee high or higher growth the entire length except where the trail passed over a bald.

I led the way with the weed whacker and Patty followed behind raking the trimmings off the trail. We worked all morning and when we reached the point, about 2/3 of the way down the trail, where it splits into a loop, we headed right which leads down to the bog. 20 meters or so after the split, the weed whacker ran out of gas and we decided that was a sign from above that it was time for lunch. We left the weed whacker, gas, and a rake where we stopped and started our hike back to the house. Along the trail, we had encountered several seagulls that were none too happy to see us as they have started to

That's some tall grass!

That’s some tall grass!

nest. In fact, we saw one really large nest under a tree the trail passed and the adult gulls gave us a good squawking to. As long as the weed whacker was running, they seemed to give us a little space. Or maybe they didn’t and we just couldn’t hear them. Whatever the case, they definitely let us know on our hike out that they were not happy. Lots of dive bombing and screaming at us…

 

We made it back no worse for wear and had left over fish salad sandwiches. They were just as delicious as yesterday. When we finished lunch cleanup, we decided that I would go out and finish the trail and Patty would stay to get some chili started. Michael made a large pot roast the first week we were all here together and we had a lot of it leftover in the freezer. Patty thawed it out and re-purposed it as the meat base for homemade chili. So she got started on that and I headed back to the trail. This time with a hoodie

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Chili on the stove.

sweatshirt, hood up. I passed by all the angry birds we’d passed before and picked up near the bog where we had stopped earlier. I especially wanted to get the bog done because someone is coming out on Friday to look at the boardwalk in the bog with plans to replace the boards. I figured it would be helpful if he could actually see the boardwalk.

I got as far as I could on the bog side before the gulls put up such a fuss that I decided to go back. I wanted to get the trail trimmed before it’s too out of control to tackle but I really didn’t want to disturb the nesting so much that it would stress out the gulls too much. At the split, I started trimming the path that is a more direct line to the north point of the island and again turned back when I felt like I was stressing the gulls. Honestly, they were kind of

Chili's almost done

Chili’s almost done

freaking me out too with all the close calls as they perform fly-bys just above me hoodied head. The remainder of the trail that I didn’t get to is mostly rocky so I feel pretty good about the condition we have it in now plus we’ll likely discourage most visitors from hiking that trail until the gulls are finished nesting. I only wish I had gotten some pictures of the gulls but I didn’t think about it until I was back at the house.

 

When I got back, the house smelled great with the cooking chili. The weather was foggy and cool all day and it wasn’t getting any nicer so we were done with outside stuff for the day. We spent the rest of the day inside, paying bills and some other equally exciting stuff. We had leftover hamburgers from the other night and sat on the front porch enjoying a cold beer. Afterwards, we hung out in the living room reading and relaxing with the heater blasting.

No sunset tonight. We also never went down the hill the entire day. I think that’s only happened one other day since we arrived.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – seeing large seagull nest under a tree on the north trail.

Sunrise – 4:46
Sunset – 8:10

Planting Time

Thursday
2016-06-02

Fruit, yogurt, and homemade granola breakfast

Fruit, yogurt, and homemade granola breakfast

We slept in this morning ‘til 7:15 which is late for us with the sun rising so early.  By then, we’d already missed over two hours of daylight!

After breakfast, we headed outside to mow the upper part of the property – Patty was on the riding mower and I had the push mower to hit all the areas she can’t get to safely.  When we were finished mowing, we had some raking to do again.  The grass is really thick and we still haven’t gotten it trimmed smoothly everywhere so we’re still doing rake cleanup.  The grass is also pretty brown around the house because we cut so much off at first and haven’t had a lot of rain.

Patty finishes mowing

Patty finishes mowing

Patty on the Gravely.

Patty on the Gravely.

Several days in the upcoming forecast call for rain which should help if it actually happens.  The weather we see on Seguin and the weather that’s predicted don’t seem to have much in common most days although we faithfully check the weather daily as if it does.

We took a break for lunch and had fish salad sandwiches with the Mackerel Ethan gave us yesterday.  Patty mixed it up with carrots, celery, onion, and a little mayo & Dijon mustard.  On a fresh sour dough bread from the natural foods store along with lettuce, tomato, and lettuce, it made for a delicious lunch.  Best of all we have some fish salad left over for a snack on crackers or something later on.

Cleaning the air filter after mowing

Cleaning the air filter after mowing

After lunch, we cleaned up our mowing gear and returned everything to the Whistle House and got out the gardening tools.  In the garden, I finished turning all the soil with a shovel after which, Patty and I used

a garden rake and our hands to break up the soil and get rid of as

Prisms in the lens are shining

Prisms in the lens are shining

many of the weeds as we could.  The weeds that took over the garden over the winter were hardy and it took us quite a while to get the soil ready for planting.  It probably took us an hour or two even though the garden is not very large, maybe 12’ in diameter.

Raked area that Ken weed whacked on Wednesday.  At one time there was a barn and school here.

Raked area that Ken weed whacked on Wednesday. At one time there was a barn and school here.

When we were ready, Patty divided the circular garden into eight separate planting areas, two squares in the middle where she planted carrots and beets.  As spokes around center, she planted six more areas with salad blend lettuce, butter crunch lettuce, mesclun, chard, spinach, and kale.  While she planted, I got some grass clippings (we have lots) and made some narrow paths between that will allow us to reach all the areas ofIMG_0409 the garden when we need to weed and pick our crops.  We’re hoping to get some rain for the grass but we’re REALLY hoping for rain for the garden even more.

Patty starting to plant in the garden.

Patty starting to plant in the garden.

We put everything away down at the Whistle House and headed inside for nice, hot showers.  Today was windy and probably the chilliest day we’ve had since arriving on Seguin.  It was the first day I needed to wear a jacket outside for the entire day.  We had the heater going on high too as soon as we came inside which we don’t usually need until the sun goes down or first thing in the

Planting finished.  Let it rain!

Planting finished. Let it rain!

morning.  Because of the overcast skies, we didn’t have a sunset to watch tonight but we can’t complain about that since we’ve had so many spectacular ones already.

Scallops for dinner.

Scallops for dinner.

For dinner, Patty prepared scallops from Plant’s Seafood in Bath, broccoli, and warm bread.  The scallops, seared in our cast iron pan with butter, olive oil, garlic, and pepper were perfect.  Delicious.  It’s probably sacrilege to say in Maine but we both might like them better than lobster.  We have four or five left over that will go well with our left over Mackerel salad from lunch.

Later in the evening, the sky cleared a bit for a while and I caught a really good view of the stars from our bathroom window.  On some clear night in the future, we want to find a good place on Seguin away from the light to watch the stars.

Total Guests Today – 0

King of the hill.

King of the hill.

Favorite Moment(s) – Planting seeds in the garden.

Sunrise 4:47am
Sunset 8:09m

 

Ginger Ice Cream

2016-06-01
Wednesday

Laundromat we tried out in Brunswick.  Exciting!

Laundromat we tried out in Brunswick. Exciting!

Today was our second “day off” since we arrive on Seguin Island on May 21st.  Like last Wednesday, we were scheduled for pickup at the cove at 7am and got down there five or ten minutes before seven.  The dinghy has a very slow leak on the starboard side and luckily, Ethan was running a few minutes late giving us just enough time to get the foot pump from the boathouse, add a little air, and return it before we saw him coming around the northern end of the island.  We had our two backpacks again, mine with laundry and Patty’s empty except for our cooler bag and a few other re-usable shopping bags – hers will be full of food on the return trip.  We also had our old school metal Coleman cooler which we used to bring food here the first day but no longer need, an empty water jug, and a couple of empty gas cans that we’ll leave at Cyndy’s for refill and return next Wednesday with the Wednesday Warriors crew.

Patty and I were able to row out to Ethan’s boat together with all of our stuff in one trip.  We boarded the boat and

Patty cleaning and kissing the fish.

Patty cleaning and kissing the fish.

transferred our stuff before Rick took over the dinghy and was loaded up with full water jugs, gas containers, building materials, and who knows what else.  Two or three trips in the dinghy got Julie, Rick, Ken, and Cyndy ashore with everything they brought to Seguin and we were off to Popham.  For our second Wednesday trip (and third trip counting the Saturday we arrived), we were lucky again with nice weather and calm seas.

Fish heads, fish heads Roly poly fish heads Fish heads fish heads Eat them up yum Fish heads.

Fish heads, fish heads
Roly poly fish heads
Fish heads, fish heads
Eat them up, yum

I didn’t keep a log of errands like the first week but it was similar except that we tried a different laundromat, and different Shaw’s grocery store, both in Brunswick.  We felt like the laundromat in Bath was kind of expensive and wanted to try a different place.  The one we went to in Brunswick was nicer (very clean, friendly staff, free wi-fi, etc.) and a little cheaper than the one in Bath but the Shaw’s seemed to be on the verge of closing or something – a generally gloomy vibe.  All in all, I think we’ll go back to the one in Bath…  Still though, it was fun to try something different.

Besides taking care of laundry and grocery shopping, we went to the WP_20160601_18_07_50_Pronatural food store in downtown Bath that we really like.  We had lots of time this week and visited a coffee shop that was recommended to us and browsed around a store called Reny’s downtown.  They’re a big general store that sells everything from Carhartt clothing to Keen (and other) footwear, camping & fishing gear, home goods, and downstairs they even have some food items.  For our friends in WNC reading this, it’s very similar to Mast General Store.

For lunch, I had a craving for pizza and we tried a dive looking joint named Mario’s downtown.  The people were really friendly, the pizza very so-so.  We’ve been told to try a place called the Cabin for pizza but this place just had that look of no ambiance =  good pizza.  Maybe that’s a NJ thing?

De-boning the fish

De-boning the fish

Next time I crave pizza I guess we should try the Cabin.  After lunch, we walked a couple of blocks to get ice cream at Dot’s – I got a “small” sea salt caramel waffle cone that was huge and Patty got a “kiddie” ginger ice cream that was reasonably sized.  I really liked mine a lot and Patty liked hers so much that she’s still talking about it.  Dot’s might be a regular Wednesday stop for us.  Since we’re preparing all of our own meals, eating pretty healthy, and having normal portions all week, when we get to town, we want to eat everything.  I figure doing that once a week is still better than going out a few times a week like we do in our normal life?

We met Ethan back at the dock around 2:15 and he helped us bring our backpacks and cooler bag down to his boat.  We hung out for a while waiting for his friend Willa who was going over to Seguin with him to check it out.  While we were waiting, Ethan offered us four or five Mackerel’s he had just caught…we accepted.  We also saw a couple of sturgeon jump out of the water that were pretty big.  Ethan said they are protected and you’re not allowed to fish for them – I guess it’s catch and release if you accidentally get one.  Willa was a few minutes late arriving, having been delayed when she had to help her dad remove a big snake from his house.  She had the pictures to prove it and the snake looked pretty dangerous.  We really had a few good laughs as she told us about it and showed us more pictures.  The four of us and Willa’s dog Ollie (aka Nugget) headed over to Seguin on fairly calm waters.  Ollie had never been in a boat and was a little nervous at first, even trying to climb onto a bench seat behind me and Patty but he rallied and did really well.

We were met at the Cove by Cyndy who was drifting in the dinghy waiting for our arrival.  The four of us, Ollie, and our stuff all did the dinghy shuffle getting to the beach and since Ethan also went ashore with Willa and Ollie, the Wednesday Warriors didn’t come out to the boat right away.  Last week we just chatted with the WW as we passed getting to/from shore but this time we had 45 minutes or so to catch up on what they did while we were gone, what we’re working on, etc.  We found out then that the tram had a problem when they arrived this morning and the WW’s carried ALL of our water and gas up the trail.  Empty handed, the trail can leave you huffing & puffing, so we cannot express how thankful we are for that!  It was really nice to have extra time to catch up with them this week and while we were doing that, Ethan took Willa on a quick tour of Seguin and they carried some of our stuff up the trail too – it was help all around for us today!  Anyway, Willa wanted to visit Seguin because she’s a Yoga instructor (in Portland) and is thinking about offering some summer Saturday classes on Seguin.  I’m not sure of any details but we made sure to ask if we can participate…yes we can.

When they were ready to go, we did the dinghy shuffle again, ending with me rowing the last leg out and then returning to the cove for Patty and me to tie up the dinghy above the high-tide mark.  Ollie is a real water-loving dog and wanted to play fetch with a stick he found right up to the last minute so he and Willa were on that last trip out with me.  He even brought his stick onto the dinghy.  Oh, I should mention that we found out the dinghy’s name is “Hinckley” in honor of a dog of Cyndy’s who is no longer with us.  I’ll try to remember to refer to the dinghy as Hinckley from now on.  I need to find out the name of Ethan’s boat too so I can start calling it by name as well.

WP_20160601_20_05_02_ProAfter everyone left, we carried our remaining stuff up to the house and were getting it all put away when three visitors came up the trail.  They visited the museum and took a tour of the tower but didn’t stay too long because a fourth in their group was back at their boat minding their dogs.  One of the visitors said she and her husband come out at least once each year to bring friends to see Seguin.  This time, their friends were from Cabot, VT and I made sure to tell them that I love everything from Cabot, especially the cheese.

Once our visitors left, we finished putting everything away and then tackled cooking the fish from Ethan.  We had so much food off island, though, the fish will be lunch tomorrow.  Something to look forward to – trying something new!

Total Guests Today – 3

Favorite Moment(s) – Spending extra time with Wednesday Warriors when we got back to Seguin and Dots Ice Cream in Bath.

Sunrise – 4:59am
Sunset – 8:13pm

 

Manhattan College

2016-05-31
Tuesday

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Rehanging Gift Shop and Museum Signs

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Gift Shop & Museum Sign

We started the day with a breakfast of bacon and eggs and figured out how to attack our chores for today.  We needed to cut the grass down below but it was still a little foggy and wet outside so we did a few small chores before starting to mow.  Among them, I fixed the kitchen door which has been sticking badly since we got here.  We had already fixed the screen door but the main door was such a problem that Cyndy said she had a bruised hip from checking it every time she needed to come inside.  The problem was a partially rotted door frame allowing the hinges to sag a little.  Down in the Whistle House, I found some 4″ galvanized screws that did the trick.  It’s not perfect but the hinges are now securely attached to the framing behind the jamb and the door now opens and closes with (relative) ease.  While I was monkeying around with the kitchen door, Patty rehung the Gift Shop / Museum sign made by a prior caretaker.  The sign is actually three separate pieces connected by short chain and screw eyes that all needed replacing.  I did help her finish with the signs (I steal the credit in our pictures) because we needed a little extra height to hang them.

Manhattan College group arrived in this sweet boat.

Manhattan College group arrived in this sweet boat.

By the time we finished those and a couple of smaller things, we headed down the hill to start mowing and trimming the Cove and Cobblestone Beach trails.  Together, we mowed, weed whacked, and trimmed with shears. It was super sunny and hot by this point and there’s not a lot of air movement in most of that area so I was huffing

and puffing when we saw a really nice boat pull into the cove around 10:30.  It looked like a lobster boat that had been converted into into a passenger boat with a large canvas sun screen stretched from the cabin to the stern.  On board was a large group of young folks who started ferrying to shore in a small dinghy.

Patty headed up the hill to open to change into cleaner clothes and then open the gift shop, museum and lighthouse.  I quickly finished mowing and trimming the area at the top of the cove steps, around the outhouse, and the lighthouse trail access.  When the first few people in the group started trickling up from the cove, I greeted them and then put away our gear and headed up to also cleanup a little and get

Manhattan College group.

Manhattan College group.

ready to meet the entire group.  Shortly after, they all came up from beneath the tram where Patty and I greeted them on the front lawn.  The group consisted of college students and a professor on day 8 of a 15 day adventure in Maine, spending the time outdoors and studying nature and ecology.  Justin, the professor, is from this area and the students are from Manhattan College (most of them are NY & NJ native and haven’t spent much time in the great outdoors).

The group split up in to two smaller groups and while I took one up the tower, Patty stayed with the other in the museum and gift shop.  I found out that Justin almost took a job with Warren Wilson college in Asheville before he accepted his current job and once again, thought what a small world it is.  Warren Wilson is located in the area of Western North Carolina where Patty and I are from.  I shouldn’t stereotype but I guess will…for a group that size and age, they were a real pleasure to host.  Well behaved, IMG_0383friendly, respectful of Seguin and us, and even brought a few things in the gift shop.  This was our first gift shop sale (well, to folks outside of F.O.S.I.L.S. – Michael, Cyndy, Patty and I all have nice new shirts)!  If all our groups are as fun as they were, our summer is sure to be fantastic!

The group hiked the South Trail and had lunch or a snack before they started to ferry out to their boat again.  One of the group came up to let Patty know they were on their way, so Patty ‘tested’ the fog horn – they were very curious about it, and were excited to hear it.  By then, Patty and I had changed back into our work clothes and were back at it.  I went back down hill to finished mowing and week whacking the area around the Donkey Engine House and tram and then did the same on the Cove Trail, Camping Area, and Cobblestone Trail.  Patty saddled up on the riding mower and took care of everything up top that can be reached on the Gravely.  Once I finished at the bottom of the hill, I worked my way up the Lighthouse Trail, trimming and racking the cuttings while Patty used clippers to trim back the South, Lighthouse, Cove, and Cobblestone Trails.  It was pretty late in the day when we cleaned up our gear and returned everything to the Whistle House.

Manhattan College was here!

Manhattan College was here!

We had burgers with tomato, onion, jalapeno, lettuce, and fresh guacamole that Patty made ready for dinner.  We even had some warmed totopos for with guacamole as an appetizer.  The idea was to cook the burgers on the Weber gas grill outside but the wind had picked up and was blowing at 15+ mph making that a no go.  Our cast iron pan in the oven worked just fine.  They were delicious!

WP_20160530_19_53_46_ProThe evening ended with another spectacular sunset.  I think we’ve taken pictures of every sunset we’ve had and each has been different and beautiful in its’ own way.  I suspect we’ll have pictures of just about everyone while we’re here.  It will be interesting to watch the sunset move slightly north each night until the summer solstice and then start to move south again for the rest of the time we’re here this summer.

Total guests today – 13

Favorite moment – The excitement that one of the young men in the group had about some sea glass.  A close second (for Patty anyway)….was being able to open the kitchen door without a workout of tugging and pulling.

Sunrise – 5:00 AM
Sunset – 8:14 PM

Cleaning Day

2016-05-30

Monday (Memorial Day)

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Newly painted donation box.

We woke up early to a very foggy and windy morning accompanied by intermittent rain. For the first time since we bought the new flag last Wednesday, we didn’t raise it first thing in the morning.

After a breakfast of breakfast of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola, we decided to tackle the job of cleaning the keeper’s quarters…top to bottom. We vacuumed all the exposed rafters in the kitchen and the exposed second floor joists on the first floor. Lots of cobwebs and other goodies that collected over the winter. We also hit the brick walls throughout the house. After that, everything (pictures, lamps, furniture) got a good dusting and wiping down. The tub got a scrub and the windows all got a wash on the inside. Several rugs and runners were put out on the porch to be hung and beaten when the weather’s nicer.

By early afternoon, we were finished and felt good about the look and feel of the place. We had a quick lunch of leftovers and figured out what to do with the rest of the day. The weather got steadily better (although cooler) after lunch and we even got some sunshine and put up the flag around 2. A few times a thick fog blew in and blanketed us for a while but then it moved out again and the sun would be out. It was a strange day of weather – like a few days wrapped up in one.

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Finally got the flag up around 2.

We worked on a few things in the workshop including sanding the screen door and insert that Rick is going to work on for the gift shop on Wednesday and fixing a large print of a Kennebec and Sheepscot Rivers chart that fell down in the living room last week. Patty also got the date/time fixed on the weather station so that we will now get correct sunrise and sunset times. Between her fix and me fixing the rain gauge on it a few days ago, I think it’s totally functional now.

There was a Weber Q gas grill in the workshop that we moved up next to the kitchen to use for grilling outside. I think we’ll use charcoal when we have friends and family visit but day to day, we’ll use the gas grill.

While I was messing around with the grill and whatever else, Patty made granola which we were just about out of. She also did a little clothes wash in a Lowes bucket that we brought with us. It’s our manual camper wash method – a 5-gallon bucket with a hole cut in the lid and a plunger (never previously used for it’s intended purpose). Add some soap, hot water, and dirty clothes then put the plunger in and and snap the lid on. Now, make like you’re churning butter with the plunger and your clothes get washed. The rinse (same basic idea) and hang to dry. It works although everything we wash is going to end up some shade of orange because of the color of our water from the iron.

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Beautiful sunset after a funky weather day.

While we worked in the afternoon, in and out of the house, we caught bits of the Redsox vs. Orioles game that we had on the radio. We both enjoy having a game going on in the background even if we’ve never followed the Redsox before. I guess by the end of the summer, we’ll know everything about all the players.

By the time sunset rolled around a little after 8, we had a nice view of bright red clouds over the mainland with a bright white reflection on the shoreline across the water and a stream of red from the sun reaching towards us.

At the end of the day, we relaxed and felt good about what we accomplished.  Tomorrow’s weather looks like it’ll be good so we can get back outside in the sun and fresh air.

 

Relaxing Windy Day

Sunday
May 29, 2016

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Flying the American Flag and special holiday Lighthouse Flag on Memorial Day Weekend.

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Patty painted and freehand lettered the donation box.

It’s been a gray, windy, and wet day here on Seguin that started with us sleeping in a little and generally taking it easy all day long. We’ve been here just over a week and have been going pretty much non-stop since we arrived so we don’t feel too bad about getting just a few things done and otherwise taking the day to relax.

After breakfast, Patty whipped up some homemade pizza sauce for dinner later. We got the lettering on one of the donation boxes painted and ready to put back up – the rest of the box needs to be painted in place because we can’t back out the screws securing it to the kiosk. It was nice to have the door off though because it was easier to paint on a workbench than in place. Patty took everything out of the kitchen cabinets and drawers to thoroughly clean and organize them for our use.

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Hanging the wet flags in our hallway at the end of the day.

In the late afternoon, we heard a Coast Guard alert (the first one we’ve heard) about a cabin cruiser taking on water at the mouth of the Sheepscot River. I went up in the tower to take a look and see if I could see anything with binoculars but I couldn’t. I think the visibility was good enough to see into the Sheepscot Bay but maybe not all the way up to the river or maybe it’s not even visible on a good day?

I also took care of getting our data plan updated since we used up all of our data accidentally in the first week. I also figured out how to set our connected in Windows to “metered” which supposedly will limit some of the background bandwidth usage like Windows updates. We’ll see… I hope so. After I got that squared away, I updated the FOSILS website with several blog posts to get it caught up.

For the rest of the afternoon, we listened to the Red Sox game, read, and just took it easy.

For dinner, Patty made a homemade pizza (except for the store bought crust) with sauce, mozzarella, cheddar, and Parmesan cheeses, and mushrooms. The day ended just as it began with gusting winds and generally damp conditions. We sat in the living room with the heater on and read until we called it an early night.

Goodbye Cyndy and Michael

Saturday
May 28, 2016

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Cyndy and Michael at the Cove beach

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Cyndy & Patty searching for shells and sea glass

Michael made one final meal before they were set to depart at 11:30 this morning. Patty & I and Cyndy & Michael both brought a couple of pints of blueberries to the island last Saturday and there were still a lot left so he made blueberry pancakes with link sausage. After our big breakfast, Cyndy & Michael got to work packing up their things and cleaning the guest quarters to make it ready for future overnight guests. Patty and I headed down to the Whistle House to work on some jobs we started in the workshop.

I worked on a screen door that’s getting refurbished to be used in the gift shop while Patty finished the Lighthouse Trail sign. On Wednesday, Rick (a Wednesday Warrior) wants to modify the door to fit in the door frame but asked if we could do the preliminary work of removing the old screen (attached with half-round he wants to reuse) and sanding it. I got the first part of that finished and will sand later. We also fixed one of the “stay off” warning sign hanging by the top of the tram and just generally just puttered around.

Mid-morning, Cyndy and Michael were ready to head down to the Cove for their 11:30 rendezvous with Ethan. They loaded most of their things onto the tram car which was already parked at the top. Cyndy took Grady and kept him clear of the operation while Patty and Michael walked down to the Donkey Engine House to run the tram. I walked alongside the tram car as it moved down the track just watching it and ready to radio down if anything went awry. Luckily, all went well.

The four of us carried everything down to the cove to await Ethan’s arrival. We had an hour or so before he would arrive and Cyndy, Patty, and I spent the time just relaxing on the beach while Michael headed back up the hill to take some last photos. The tide was the lowest we’ve seen since we got here last Saturday revealing a pretty large sandy beach. Cyndy thought about taking a swim but the breeze kicked up and she opted for a jacket instead.

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View of the boathouse (foreground) and Donkey Engine House and Tram (background)

When Ethan arrived, Michael and Cyndy rowed out with a full load of stuff to transfer to the boat. Michael got off the dinghy and Cyndy rowed back for the final load of stuff and then returned one last time to get Grady. It took lots of (physical) coaxing but Grady finally got into the dinghy for the ride out to the boat. I rowed this time and Grady was happy to follow Cyndy out of the dinghy onto Ethan’s boat. With one last handshake with Michael and a hug from Cyndy, they headed towards Popham and I rowed back ashore. Patty and I pulled the dinghy up to the high tide mark and tied it up before we headed up the hill. Passing by the info kiosk just above the cove, Patty took the cover off the donation box and brought it with . It’s made of unpainted wood and doesn’t really stand out in a way that it catches your eye as you go past. She wants to paint red with white lettering to make it pop a little more.

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Patty doing her favorite things on Seguin

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Three of our visitors today.

The weather today was perfect while the forecasts for tomorrow and especially Monday are not so good so we thought we should take care of some outside tasks this afternoon.

Once we were back up top, I took out the push mower to cut the front lawn hill (I think this is the third or fourth cut already) and Patty hopped on the riding mower to get everything else again. The grass was really long when we got here and it’s also really thick. Patty is good at maneuvering the riding mower in such a way that most of the clippings get blown to the edges of the lawn but the push mower bogs down if I try to do that which means a little raking cleanup after cutting. I feel like we’re getting close to the point where the grass is cut to the point that we won’t need to rake afterwards. I finished off by weed whacking around the flag pole, bell, front porch, sidewalks, and everywhere else it was needed.

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Future garden.

While I was just starting to weed whack, a couple came up the trail and I stopped to chat with them for ten or fifteen minutes. They were locals out for a boat ride and decided to stop for a hike. As they were starting to head to the North Trail (the only one we still haven’t weed whacked), two boys and their mom came up the trail. Patty had come up from the Whistle House and took them for a tour up to the lighthouse and walked down to the Whistle House with them to show the boys the fog horn. They were also locals out for a boat ride and while the three of them were checking out Seguin, we could see the dad fishing out in his boat off the east side side of the island.

WP 20160528 20 01 32 ProOnce they all left, Patty headed inside to give the fridge & freezer a good, thorough cleaning while I cleaned up outside. The last thing we did was to start the process of weeding and turning the garden. We got maybe a third of it finished and are hopeful that we’ll finish within the next few days so we can get some seeds in the ground.

When we finally came inside, Patty made a quiche/omelet sort of thing in our cast iron pan using eggs, leftover sausage from breakfast and some veggies for a late dinner. I acted goofy and “helped.”  We ended the night by going up into the lighthouse to take a night time look at the view.

Odds and Ends

Friday
May 27, 2016

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Cleaning the lense

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View from the lighthouse.

The four of us started off the day with a breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries and discussion of today’s plan. This is the last day that Cyndy and Michael will be here with us and they planned to just relax and enjoy the day. The weather wasn’t very good so Patty and I decided to focus on some indoor tasks.

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Cleaning the lens.

Through the week, working on mostly sunny days, Cyndy was only able to clean the lighthouse lens for an hour or so at a time before it got too hot to be bearable. She’d take a break to cool off and do something else and then return to the job for another stretch until it got too hot again. By today, she had finished cleaning each of the individual pieces (258 in total) that she could reach. I was volunteered to finish the cleaning because I can reach the highest as the tallest one here. Still, even with a step stool, I could not reach the very top three rows of individual lenses. The ones at the top are almost vertical and become progressively more horizontal top to bottom. The ones at the top were not very dirty so that skipping them wasn’t really noticeable.

It took me all morning and about half of the afternoon to to finish cleaning the top four feet or so of lens but when I was finished, I could really tell the difference. Occasionally, the sun would peek through the clouds and the cleaned lens shined brilliant prisms on the inside of the glass tower windows and walls.

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Cyndy & Michael playing Scrabble at the picnic table off the kitchen.

While I was up in the tower, Patty thoroughly cleaned the museum and at the suggestion of Bev, a former Seguin keeper, made a stanchion rope type thing out of rope and a salvaged buoy to keep folks from going behind the gift shop counter. Afterwards, she continued working on some of the trail signs that needed painting and repair. She re-stenciled the Lighthouse Trail sign and took care of some others with broken stakes. We also fixed the weather station (it was showing crazy rainfall rates) when we saw that the rain bucket attachment was not attached correctly. The kitchen screen door had a broken spring that we replaced and also added a couple of stop blocks to the door jamb to prevent it from closing too far and getting stuck which had been happening all week.

When our workday ended, I helped Patty make a dinner of fish tacos with a side of homemade coleslaw.

WP 20160527 19 46 17 ProIt was a foggy evening, just like it had been most of the day which meant no sunset but it also gave us the first view of the “umbrella” effect that the light creates when it reflects off the moisture of the fog.

WP 20160527 19 46 41 ProI wrote this blog post in real-time but it will be a few days late showing up on the website because we ran out of data on our plan. We’re using an AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot for our Internet access and it didn’t occur to either of us that we’d need to make some changes to our laptop settings to avoid exactly what happened. Lesson learned! Between automatic Windows updates, an active OneDrive account, and all the other background activity using bandwidth plus lost of posting of pictures and videos to the blog and FaceBook, our monthly allotment was used up in less than a week. We’re going to increase our monthly data allotment but will also change a little about how we post. The daily blog posts will be our priority but we’ll probably also use a couple of thumb drives to pass pictures and videos off to Julie (the FOSILS person in charge of social media) to post when we see her each Wednesday.

WP 20160527 19 51 07 ProTomorrow we’ll see Cyndy and Michael off and be left on our own to run things. We’ve learned lots about the quirks of living here and feel confident that we’ll be fine and know that Cyndy’s just a phone call away if we need anything.

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The “umbrella”

Fresh Maine Lobster

Thursday
May 26, 2016

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Patty raking on the South Trail

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Weed whacking the South Trail

The weather today was perfect – sunny, warm, and a light breeze the entire day. I am not sure if the weather we’ve had is unusual for this time of year in coastal Maine but we’ve been pleasantly surprised with how nice the weather has been. We have only had one rainy day so far although, to be fair, yesterday while we enjoyed nice weather off-island, the fog never really lifted off of Seguin.

We set out shortly after 8am to take advantage of the good weather to get as much done outside as we could. Patty started with the riding mower (she says that it is more fun than an adult should be allowed to have!) on the top lawn which already needed a second cutting and Michael helped out with a push mower getting the hills and around obstacles where the riding mower couldn’t reach. Meanwhile, I went down to the South Trail which hadn’t been touched yet except for the first ten feet or so. Cyndy was the only one working inside but still got plenty of heat and sun up in the lighthouse tower where she continued her work on the task of cleaning (inside and outside) the 1st Order Fresnel lens consisting of 282 separate pieces of glass totalling nine feet tall and 6 feet in diameter.

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View from the South Trial

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Moving above the Cove

The South Trail leads from the Lighthouse Trail (the main trail from the cove to the top of the island) to the southernmost point of the island on the eastern side. I think it’s the second longest trail (North Trail is longest) and was very overgrown with grass between knee and waist high most of the way. With my supplies of gas, water, extra string, and a rake, I spent the better part of the morning weed whacking the trail. During the hours I was working on it, I was mostly in the sun and with the trail situated about halfway between sea level and the top of the island, I didn’t get a lot of air movement. In other words, it was hot! I’d weed whack for a while and then stop to take a break while raking up the clippings. Cyndy came down to check on me at one point and I was grateful that she’d disposed of the piles of clippings I’d left along the way. She took my water bottle to refill it but along the way, handed it off to Patty, who had finished mowing, when she was coming down to help me finish the trail. So far, this is my favorite trail, especially the end of it that is a rocky point out into the water. Patty and I stood at the point for a long time enjoying the sun and breeze while we watched several lobster boats checking their pots.

Patty and I left the trail clearing supplies where the Lighthouse and South trails meet and headed up to the house for a snack of apples, carrots with hummus, a banana, and some cheese. We sat on the porch in the shade and looked out at the sea, taking it all in, and feeling fortunate to be here.

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Jackson dropping off a dozen lobster

After a half hour or so, we headed down to get our gear and went to work on the Lighthouse Trail. It had been quickly cleared over the weekend but it needed to be trimmed a little more thoroughly with the clippings raked away. We worked our way from top to bottom with me trimming and Patty raking until we reached the bottom. We were on a roll so we decided to keep going and give the area around the Donkey Engine House a second cutting. Patty got a a push mower out of the Donkey Engine House and I kept going with the weed whacker getting all the areas around the tram, information kiosk, outhouse, and Donkey Engine House where the push mower couldn’t reach.

While we were down there, I heard a boat coming into the cove and went up on the tram to take a peek and saw it was Jackson, “the” lobsterman, dropping off our lobster in a keeper box that is tied to a mooring bouy. The box floats and the lobster stay alive in it until we’re ready to get and cook them. We’re planning to take advantage of this perk of the job often.

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In front of the Whistle House

Both of us were sweaty and covered with grass clipping when we we finished cutting and trimming down around the Donkey Engine House so we headed up the hill to change and cool off. After changing and a short break, we went to the Whistle House (workshop) to make some new stakes for island signage. Around the island, there are signs for the different trails, directional arrows, warnings for poison ivy and the like. So far we’ve noticed two signs with rotted stakes that we want to replace and figured we’d make five in order to have some extras. We cut and painted them along with the main Lighthouse Trail sign which was looking a little the worse for wear. We’ll go back and re-stencil that one after it has a couple of new coats of the base green paint.

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 A Dozen lobster fresh from the keeper box.

Finally, before calling the work day completed, we went down to the Donkey Engine House and got two of the water jugs we had stored there and carried them up to the house. We’re not going to have use of the tram much this summer because of its’ condition and will have to carry the water up as needed. We’re still working out the best way to handle that since the jugs are big and heavy.

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Bringing the lobster cooler up the Lighthouse Trail

When we got back up to the house, Michael asked us if we would go get the lobster from the keeper box so we headed back down the hill with Cyndy’s cooler. I had a chance to row the dinghy on Wednesday (and the skiff on Saturday) but Patty hasn’t had a go yet so she took the oars for our lobster run. We dragged the dinghy down from where we tie it up well above the high tide line and headed out towards the box. Patty rowed us out and maneuved so that I could grab the box at the stern of the dinghy and then pull it up onto the boat. Jackson rubber bands the claws so getting the lobster into our cooler was not a tough job although a couple of the lobsters still tried to put up a good fight.

We resecured the dinghy and then headed back up once again, this time with Cyndy’s cooler full of the twelve lobsters we retrieved from the pot. The cooler was a pull behind with wheels making the job fairly easy. We had to carry it over some rocky places on the trail but mostly we could roll it. We turned the cooler over to Cyndy by the kitchen where she was getting the pot boiling. Meanwhile, Michael had showered, I went next, and then Patty showered.

WP 20160526 17 56 53 ProWe sat down for our first lobster meal here on Seguin. Cyndy cooked eight lobsters first so that we each had two along with a spinach salad. Patty and I needed a refresher course from Cyndy on how to get the meat out of the tail. One of my lobsters was really big – so big that I could barely get the shell cracker around the claw. I was close to getting a hammer to give it a whack when it finally gave in. After wrestling with and eating the lobster, we decided that next time we will shower AFTER dinner ;-).

After we finished eating, we went outside to watch another beautiful sunset after which Michael and Cyndy lowered and folded the flag. We went back inside as it started to get chilly and each took one of the remaining four lobsters and cleaned them for tomorrow’s lobster salad lunch. Besides those remaining four, Patty and I hadn’t finished our second lobster so we had that to throw into tomorrow’s container.

Tomorrow’s weather looks a little iffy so I’m glad we got a lot done outside today. We have plenty of things to do inside or out so whatever the weather brings, we’ll be busy.

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Cyndy taking the rubber bands off and throwing ’em in the pot.

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Lobster feast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Off the Rock

Wednesday

May 25, 2016

Rick getting ready to hit the beach in the dinghy. If you look closely, you can see he’s seated with a door around him. The top panel of the door is missing so we slipped it over his head and shoulders to get it (and him) ashore.

Pepper at the feet of Capt. Ethan.

Today was our first day off even though we’ve only been here a few days. Weather permitting, each Wednesday, we’ll get a ride with Ethan back to Popham Beach where our truck is parked. When he picks us up, he also drops off a group of volunteers from F.O.S.I.L.S. (nick named the Wednesday Warriors) to take our place and to work on projects that we are not able to do either because they require more man power than the two of us, special expertise, or some other reason. So, our first week before our day off was short but we had a list of things we needed for ourselves and also for Seguin.

At 7am sharp, we were at the cove with three empty water jugs (6-8 gallons each), our camping backpacks (one full of dirty clothes, one empty), some bins and some miscellaneous stuff we needed to carry over for F.O.S.I.L.S. The tide was rising towards a midafternoon high tide, so Ethan (and his dog Pepper) pulled in as far as the mooring buoys which are maybe a hundred feet from the cove beach. Michael and Cyndy had walked down with us and Michael helped us to load the dinghy and get me pushed off with a full load of stuff but no passengers. I rowed to Ethan’s boat and unloaded our gear and then climbed aboard. Rick, one of the volunteers, took my place in the dingy and rowed back and forth two or three times to ferry in their materials (including a door among other things) and the other volunteers and bringing Patty and the rest of our stuff out to the boat.

We went ashore without a plan but knew what we needed to get done and had a list of what we needed to buy. Once we got to the truck, we decided the first stop should be the laundromat where we could get our wash going. I think each Wednesday will be a variation on the schedule we kept today as follows:

7:00 Ethan Arrives

7:15 Leave for Popham

7:45 Arrive Popham

8:00 Arrive at Cyndy’s House (get water, mail, and drop off some supplies from Seguin, and change into dry clothes)

8:15 Leave Cyndy’s

8:30 Wash started at laundromat, leave to go to hardware store for island supplies

9:20 Back at laundromat, dryer started. Leave to go to bank and natural foods store downtown

9:55 Dropped Patty and Shaw’s grocery store

Riding over to Popham for our day off.

10:00 I am back at laundromat, moved clothes to dryer. Patty has started grocery shopping.

10:25 I am back at Shaw’s and meet Patty (who is past of the produce section!)

11:00 Arrive at Plant’s seafood for to get fresh fish.

11:30 At Starlight Café in downtown Bath for lunch.

12:15 Stop at Winnegance General Store on the way from Bath to Phippsburg. Just wanted to check it out for future Wednesday’s.

12:30 Stop at North Creek Farm Stand/Store to check it out. Patty got some Chipotle pepper sauce.

1:00 Back at Percy’s store/restaurant next door to where we park our truck and a couple of hundred yards from the dock. Bought three cold beers!

1:15 Grocery’s, clean clothes, and our other stuff is down at the dock where Ethan will meet us, beers are cold and good!

2:00 Back at Seguin

3:15 Everything (except the water jugs) are up at the house, unpacked, and put away.

Heading to the mainland for our day off.

While we were off-island, the Wednesday Warrior crew put up all of the outdoor markers and signs that had still been in storage and started work on a new (to us) screen door for the gift shop. They also finished getting the museum setup (we are really looking forward to taking some time to read and look at all of the displays), put up the gift shop sign and left several more bins of merchandise for the gift shop so Patty and I worked on getting the new stock organized and displayed. While we were doing that, Michael raised the new American Flag that we got at the hardware store. There’s a flag pole right in front of the house and one of our responsibilities is to raise and lower the flag each day. Michael was a caretaker here at one time and he would invite visitors to participate in lowering and folding the flag each day at sunset. Patty and I think that’s a really neat idea and we think we’re going to copycat him and do the same thing.

When we wrapped up the work day, we sat down for a dinner and then went outside to watch sunset. Following sunset, Patty and I lowered and folded the flag for the first time here. I probably hadn’t folded a flag since my (brief) boy scout days way back when however I think the two of us did a respectable job of it.

It was a really nice day J

Getting water from Cyndy’s house.

Outside Percy’s store & restaurant at Popham.

Unloading our truck dockside in Popham.

The new flag flying.

 

Museum setup by the Wednesday Warriors.

Lowering the flag for the first time this season.