Only 3 weeks left on island

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunrise was at 5:42am, the days are significantly getting shorter

Waking up this morning, we already knew it was going to be a busy, crazy day.  We had the guests from last night leaving, and they promised they would be packed up and out of the quarters by 10:30am, and the new family to stay was arriving at 11:30 with Ethan’s group.  Make dash to get everything ready in an hour with other people visiting the island as well.

This is the view from the Cobblestone Beach Trail, I have taken over 100 pictures from this spot and each one is different, I love the clouds hovering over the plateau

I did get the cookies made first thing this morning for Brooke (Ethan’s helper) and the new guests arriving.  So while they were finishing up in the fridge, I walked the trails to pick some blackberries which are in abundance on the island but are taking forever to ripen. While I was berry picking, I decided to walk the entire North Trail for a little quiet time from the world.  I was glad I did, 2 people over the summer said they had spotted a muskrat off the North Trail, and we have never had a chance to see one, today was my day.  Off the very point of the North Trail, there was a muskrat running around on the rocks.  It moved to fast to get a picture worthy of posting but another first for me, I have never seen a muskrat!  I think I found cranberries growing as well on the marshy side of the loop interspersed in the Cat and Nine Tails, they certainly like the cranberry plants/berries I grew up with in Massachusetts.  I will need to do a little more investigation on this.

Cranberries (I think?)

Cat & Nine Tails along the North Trail

By the time I got back to the cottage at 9am, Brian was already weedwacking the Lighthouse Trail and guests from the boats on the overnight were arriving for tours. The day begins!  The theme for most of the private boat guests were summer repeaters, 3 boats have been here before and their faces are starting to look familiar.  The S/V Sea Yawl was one of the boats stuck here for days during the fog a few weeks back and never had a chance to see the world from the tower.  The couple was on their way to Boothbay tonight and had enough time to come for a visit.  Their boat is an Alberg 40 Yawl which is the same design as our Pearson Invicta so when we see their boat we miss Scout even more.

S/V Sea Yawl, in process of dropping sails on their way to the cove, this time they can actually see the island and where they are going

I met the ferry at 11:30 on the beach to give the cookies to Brooke and Ethan but to also make sure our overnight guests knew where to go and how to get everything they brought up the hill. While I was down there, the ladies from last night were being picked up by their husbands in their boat for the trip back to Kennebunk, a lot of activity for the beach, thank goodness it was near low tide and room for everyone.

Two families enjoying a picnic on the plateau in perfect conditions, 74 degrees and a light breeze

Mid-afternoon, the island was sunny but a storm cloud dropped a fair amount of rain over the Boothbay Harbor area

The island traffic report today had large yachts just everywhere, this is MV Contina, a 30 meter yacht from the British Virgin Islands

A busy day on the waterways, this is MV Silver Shalis heading towards Portland

As we got the afternoon going with visits, there were two quick whale sightings off the eastern shore of the island, most likely Minke whales. The overnight guests spent a fair amount of time with binoculars hoping for a few more without great success.  We had one boat of visitors who walked up the hill at 6pm hoping for a tour of the tower, no problem, I took them up while Brian finished up grilling the steak.

Brian took the overnighters up the tower for sunset while I got to unwind because I saw the sunrise.  It is a good thing we sleep different patterns because we can cover the day’s full spectrum.

The sunset at 7:46pm, some of Mt Washington was in view

Guests today – 42

Guests total – 1481

USCG – 6

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A stormy start to our Saturday

Our morning started out rainy which was a great chance to have a slow start to the day.  We needed to start today with a burial service for my dog, Phinneus.  We decided on a spot where we felt would be a perfect resting place for this adventuresome pup but no matter how much you understand the passing of a furry family member it is still incredibly hard to accept it.  This gave us another glimpse of what life must have been like 100 years ago when adversity hits, you deal with it and get ready for the next situation that appears.  This was the case for us, the rain cleared and we went ahead with the burial but as we were heading down the trail our first visitors were coming ashore to visit the light house.  Maybe it was a good thing after all to stay busy all day to keep our minds off missing Phin.

Overnight guests were arriving on the island for 10:30a so cookies were baked for their arrival and a quick vacuum to the guest quarters.  Ethan requested we row out to get the ladies when he arrives because today is not a normal ferry day, and we love changing up our routine a little, especially greeting guests who are so excited about staying on the island for the night. While we were on the beach waiting for Ethan’s arrival the 3 young seagulls from the cliff were lounging on the beach, typical teenagers!  They have no fear of us so they just fall asleep where they stop, usually right in our way.  This morning the dinghy was the play toy for the 3 of them, they kept pulling on the lines for whatever reasons.  The 3 are flying but we still see the parents come back and feed them, yep, typical teenagers!

The typical teens that call Seguin Island home!

When Ethan finally arrived, I rowed out to start the shuttling of people and bags to shore and Brian is on the beach to grab the bags and bring them up to the steps. The ladies arrived a little windblown but in good spirits and were ready for their Seguin adventure.  We helped carry their things up the hill and got them settled in to the guest quarters and off they went to hike the North Trail.

Rowing out to Ethan’s boat, a very calm cove. Everyone and everything should arrive on the beach mostly dry

Our overnight visitors arriving a little windswept but happy to start their adventure

Oh, the climb has just begun

The day was not as busy as we thought it would be but some of the visitors said the rain stayed longer over the mainland this morning.  We did have a three groups of repeat visitors including the family of one of the Moustache Mama’s from earlier in the week.  Also, the young man, Ethan, who educated me on what an Ocean Sunfish was returned with his family and he agreed to share his whale photo with me from Ft. Popham, can’t wait to get that email!

Today’s island traffic report includes the Mayan Queen as it heads towards Portland this afternoon

We are always happy to see a classic yawl sailing by the island, wish we could catch a ride

The afternoon was mostly cloudy but was still a beautiful day on the island

As dinner time arrived, we made sure the ladies had everything they needed to grill out and we went inside to relax a little bit.  As we were sitting down, we heard a lot of screaming/yelling outside, I went out to see what was causing all the commotion and found Sam the Seagull helping himself to a bag of crackers off the picnic table.  The ladies were not impressed with his lacking table manners but Sam has his own plans.  After the uproar, Sam tried to maintain a respectful distance but he was more than willing to pick up any crumbs after they went inside.

Guests today – 24

Guests total – 1439

USCG – 6

http://www.seguinisland.org/5115-2/

Goodbye Phinneus

Friday, August 11, 2017

S/V Oliver Hazzard Perry

Good Friday Morning

Early this morning I was sitting at the desk overlooking the east side of the island and saw a ghostly site, a square-masted schooner sailing by the island!  This was even before sunrise but there was enough light to have it stand out.  It was just a little spooky seeing it knowing all the ghost stories that surround the island.  We have an AIS app on the iPad and used it to identify the boat as the S/V Oliver Hazzard Perry making her way up to Rockland from Portland. As I was taking pictures of the boat, I was also treated to a gorgeous sunrise.

A juvenile seagull hanging out with me at low tide for sea glass hunting.

I love this view from the North Trail, this was my view as I picked Blackberries this morning

Today is the day Ken Young from FOSILS was hosting a group from the Maine Maritime Museum and we were expecting them around 11.  Brian and I tried to get some chores done but again we were interrupted by early visitors.  We really want to get a chance to complete another complete pass on the trails with the weed wacker but it will be put off another day.  I did have a chance to pick some perfectly ripe blackberries and bake a dozen cookies for Ken to take back with him because I felt terrible on Wednesday when he was disappointed I hadn’t baked anything special for the Wednesday Warriors.

Ken Young talking with a visitor from the Maine Maritime Museum

This picnic lunch was by far the best one seen all summer! Cheers

Another happy dog visiting the island

The visitors in the museum group were so much fun to talk to and it was the first time I heard Ken give the historical narrative of the island, another chance to learn more about Seguin. As the day progressed, Brian and I take turns taking Phin and Pickles out for a breath of sunshine.  Brian mentioned to me in passing that something wasn’t right with Phin but he was stilling willing to eat a part of Brian’s lunch.  We had 4 sailors arrive in the cove later in the afternoon and as Brian was taking them up to the tower, I went to walk the dogs again and at this point I saw Phin having a difficult time breathing.  When I got him back in side, he collapsed and minutes later had passed away.  He led an adventurous life as our dog and I am so grateful he could pass on to the Rainbow Bridge on his own terms.  Knowing Phin, he will be the newest ghost story on Seguin, maybe a dog barking in the fog?  He will be missed but I am happy he is at peace.

Phinneus loving his boat life

Guests today – 41

Guests total – 1415

USCG – 6

OMG, Where did all these people come from?

Thursday, August 10, 2017 – OMG, where did all these people come from?

Today started out like a normal day, did a little sea glass hunting at low tide at 7:30a, sat down and did a little knitting with my coffee and tried to get a game plan together for the chores to be done.  Today we needed to get the plateau cut with the push mower, weed whack the rest of the Cove Trail, cut under the trestles, and harvest the garden.  Seemed like a doable list and we would be ready for around 10 when the first guests slowly start to arrive, oh, well, best laid plans.

The boats in the cove having spent the night on the courtesy moorings

We finished breakfast and the dishes and I heard a water sound coming from the basement.  Once I checked with Brian that he had not turned on the well, both of us went down stairs to a mess.  We first thought the basement was full of smoke, but it turned out to be steam because the hot water pipe to the kitchen sink let go.  This is our 4th water mess and we now have a good routine to stop the water, I run to the circuit panel and shut off the water pump, Brian goes in and shuts off the water feed to the pump and then we find the flashlights and go into the dark side to figure out what happened this time.  It appears where one of the year’s past fixes let go after using the hot water in the kitchen for dishes, it was hot enough to soften the hose and it slipped off the pipe.  Crisis diverted, pipes successfully repaired and off I went to start the well pump to fill the cistern up again.  Something we have learned living on the island, if you here an out of place noise, there is a problem and investigate.

Brian headed down to the cove and I started cutting the grass around the cottage with the push mower.  Brian radioed up to me we had guests already, we knew there were 4 boats in the cove for the overnight, we had met them yesterday afternoon when we returned from the mainland, but the early guests were on a new boat.  I greeted this group when they came up and they were frequent visitors and had only planned to have a late breakfast up here, back to grass cutting for me. Brian arrived back up top letting me know the weed whacker wouldn’t start (a new chore for Friday) and he would shower and get ready for the rest of the day.

A Bantry Bay Rig, a 38 ft rowing vessel from the Kennebec River near Marr Island

The first big group to arrive were on a unique boat, a Bantry Bay Gig.  This is a 38’ rowing boat with all hands rowing, the group rowed over from the Kennebec, about a 5 ½ mile row so they could have lunch on Seguin.  The group of rowers are training for the Atlantic Challenge, an international competition between the US and Canada. We easily got everyone to the top of the tower and directed some to the trails before they settled down for lunch.  As this group was mulling around on the grass, a family of 15 from Small Point arrived, now we were running out of space for people to eat and it wasn’t even 11am.

The Small Point Summer School Group having lunch and getting organized for games and a trip to the top of the lighthouse

yes it gets crowded when there are over 60 people on the plateau

The posed shot of the Small Point Summer School

A Small Point Summer School counselor and chaperone checking out the Fresnel Lense

We knew Ethan was bringing a large group out on the ferry for 11:30 but the last family to arrive let me know the Small Point Summer School was arriving shortly also!  Ok, so the 48-hour notice of large groups arriving really is a very loose rule for everyone but it put Brian and I in a little overwhelmed spot.  We needed to make sure over 60 guests made it to the top of the tower, 6 at a time and make sure we were available to answer questions and oversee the gift shop.  It was craziness for about 3 hours but we did it.  The weather was perfect for people to picnic and walk the trails, and I think everyone left happy.

Finnegan, one of the many dogs visiting the island today

Finnegan was a perfect gentleman hanging with me while his parents went up to the top of the tower

Miss Bella was the softest young lady, again a new canine friend for me while here people checked out the tower

Miss Bella hanging on the porch enjoying a little bit of shade

The day continued with many small boat’s visiting and we finally stopped at 5:30 to get dinner going.  Two more guests arrived up the hill during our dinner but they wanted to watch the sunset and would come back up in the morning for the lighthouse, turns out they heard about Seguin from Facebook and my posts in Women Who Sail and Destination Maine and they wanted to see the island’s beauty for themselves.

Brian relaxing while I figured out what to do with the veggies from the garden for dinner

Tonight’s bounty from the garden, a stir fry with zucchini, squash, pea pods and green beans.

All I know is by 8pm, I was exhausted.  We also know a group from the Maine Maritime Museum will be arriving tomorrow and who knows what other fun we have waiting for us!

The island’s traffic report shows the MS Independence in front of the Seguin Ledge heading for the Kennebec. People ask why they never hear the fog horn anymore, well it is now Mariner request but if either cruise ship goes by the island, you will hear the fog horn go off!

Guests today – 110

Guests total – 1374

USCG – 6

A slow day

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A different back drop for the tower today, rainy skies. We haven’t just had rain for weeks

The rain which was predicted has been falling all night and most of this morning.  The ladies from Southport Yacht Club hiked the North Trail in the light rain and decided to head out home because the fog was starting to roll in.  The island was quiet after that, mostly wet and foggy through the afternoon.

Brian and I forced ourselves to get out and walk some, we decided to go to the cove and bring some of our bags and empty water jugs down for tomorrow’s day off.  Now in the morning we will need to carry our cups of coffee and the bag of laundry. Once back up the hill, I cleaned the guest quarters and changed the bed linens for Friday’s group.

This was a slow day until we decided to start cooking dinner around 6, Brian was cooking and I was cleaning the cottage when 6 visitors, also FOSILS members walked up the trail.  Time to shut down the stove, turn off the vacuum and give a tour.  This group is from Georgetown near the Sagadahoc Bay mud flats and comes over every year. Nice group.

The island traffic report – today the MS American Constellation passed the island at a slow speed for this ship, I think they were enjoying the sunset also. The picture didn’t do the sun reflection on the ship justice!

Trying to write today’s post makes it seem we were slugs for most of the day and I guess we were compared to our normal routine but Brian spent some time writing an article and I made some progress in my knitting.  I guess even the caretakers can have one of those days!

Guests today – 6

Guests total – 1247

USCG – 6

Happy Anniversary

Monday, August 7, 2017 – Happy Anniversary

When I was thinking about writing todays blog around noon, I was wondering what I was going to write about and now as I write it, I am overwhelmed about everything I want to share about today.  I guess the adage, always expect the unexpected holds true for today.

August 7th is a great day for Brian and I because it is our wedding anniversary, we were married 5 years ago today on the bow of our boat, Scout, in Block Island’s Great Salt Pond.  I think Brian felt if we got married our adventuresome life would change but as we both know the adventures just keep getting better.  Ok, all for the mushy stuff on today’s post.

The low tide was at 6am this morning and the sun was starting to shine which meant only one thing, head down to the cove to sea glass hunt!  I also figured I would pick berries on the lower trails at the same time, I still needed about 1 cup of mixed berries to make a berry sauce for the ice cream I want to make for Wednesday’s Warriors. My hunting for sea glass has become a small obsession of mine but it is also very meditative at the same time.  It gives me a chance to unwind without feeling any level of stress, I might miss this part of my day more than anything else on the island.

I made it back to the cottage with a stash of glass and a cup of berries!  I still needed to bake cookies for tonight’s guests next door and in general, get our day organized.  The weather forecast isn’t great for tonight into tomorrow so I am not sure if the overnight guests will even arrive on the ferry with Ethan.  I sent Ethan a quick text to ask him to let me know if they cancel the trip because of the forecast, his reply is the ferry broke down and there won’t be a trip today.  Ok, I guess no guests and no 25 ferry visitors today, this is going to end up a boring day.  No biggie, I froze the cookie dough for the next overnight visitors and washed the berries to start the process of making the mixed berry sauce for the ice cream.

Today’s traffic report around the islandLe Grand Bleu, the largest privately owned yacht at a mere 371 feet in length. It boasts 2 individual cranes so it can also carry a 73 ft sailboat on the portside and a 68 ft power boat on the starboard side. It is registered in Bermuda and is sailing the Maine coastal waters this summer.

When you live on a boat for a few years, you learn to make do with the equipment you have available to you in the galley.  I miss my Kitchen Aide stand mixer more than any other piece of equipment, and now that we are in the cottage, I never remember exactly what is here and when I need something, it is an all-out hunt for it.  Today, I used a blender and tried to come up with some piece of equipment to strain the seeds from the sauce with little success.  But then I kind of remembered finding cheese cloth a while back but couldn’t remember where I saw it, the hunt began!  Complete success and the sauce came out amazing.  I can’t wait until tonight to make the ice cream which will feature the sauce, Seguin Island Mixed Berry ice cream.

Seguin Island Mixed Berry Ice Cream

Brian went down and cut the grass along the Cove Trail and campsite while I stayed up for any visitors.  We did have a few private boats come for a visit, including frequent visitors that are FOSILS member from Portland, this was their 3rd visit this season.

I worked in the garden because everything is out of control, including the weeds.  The tomato plants needed to be staked up because they are getting heavy with fruit.  Also, the pea pods and green beans needed to be harvested again. As I was outside working, the wind picked up and the clouds were filling in which kind of gave us the thought it would be a quiet rest of the day, and Brian was already contemplating an afternoon nap.

Sam the Seagull overseeing the steak on the grill, Brian may need some help with that!

Thank goodness Sam doesn’t like summer squash or he would have easy pickings!

We rolled into the later afternoon and I was busy with the ice cream making around 6 when all of a sudden I hear Brian laughing with a bunch of people, yep, the overnight guests arrived by their own boat.  It is 5 women known as the Southport Yacht Club Moms.  One of the woman captained the boat over for their 3rd year in a row staying a night on the island, a little wine and cheese time away from the families.  At sunset, Brian decided to set off the sunset cannon, and the ladies came over to our side with fake mustaches and blinking glasses on thinking we had just popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate our anniversary.  Of course, both of us needed to put on the blinking glasses as well while we sat around and chatted for a while.  What a fun way to end a day on the island!

The Southport Yacht Club Moms here for the overnight

Just one more story!

Guests today – 20

Guests total – 1241

USCG – 6

A sunny Sunday

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A favorite view of the island

Wow, there is sun and a horizon, well this is new.  The forecast calls for perfect conditions for a Sunday in Maine during the summer.  Ok, that is the kiss of death for the weather here on the island, rarely do we match the weather on the mainland, but let’s hope.

The difference a day makes, sunny skies today

Foggy day yesterday

We try to explain to people that the island leaves a wake from all of the tide and currents from the various bodies of water surrounding us, well here it is off the south point of the island this morning

One of our first visitors spent the night in the cove on their sailboat, First Flight.  Turns out we are friends on Facebook and we will be working with Emily in Annapolis at the boat shows, nice little coincidence.  Again, it is important to engage with people or you may never find out all of the connections you have with them.  They had a chance to climb the tower and hike the North Trail before heading off to Freeport this morning.

Interesting traffic around the island today

Today’s group of people included a family celebrating their parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, another couple celebrating their 12th anniversary, a little girl had her 6th birthday here, and many return visitors from earlier in the season and FOSILS members.

The ferry also dropped off 2 Parisians who work for the French National Television and were working on a documentary regarding a French plane which was lost in 1927 trying to race across the Atlantic.  From my limited French and their limited English, I came to understand there were 9 planes leaving Europe on May 8, 1927 trying to be the first to successfully cross the Atlantic to New York.  The French plane, L’Oiseau Blanc, was flown by French war hero. On May 9, the French plane disappeared, reportedly over the coast of Ireland.  Supposedly, the keeper here on Seguin reported hearing an airplane engine overhead during this time frame and this couple believe it was the French plane.  They have spent years tracing the history of this plane.  As a side note, Charles Lindbergh successfully crossed the Atlantic a week later on May 20th and took the title of the first aviator to cross the Atlantic.

Another great day for rainbows

As we were giving tours and keeping everyone happy, I noticed a guest picking pea pods from my garden and having a snack.  I realize we have been eating pea pods for 2 weeks now and there are plenty to share but I was taken aback about this, I guess everyone has different thoughts of what is yours is mine!  Sam the Seagull showed up while there were still guests on the plateau and decided to help clean up the leftover food scraps from everyone’s picnics.  Brian gave me the heads up to his arrival from the top of the tower where Brian could get a bird’s eye view of Sam for a change.

Sam from the bird’s eye view of the tower

He is a mooch!

The highlight of the day was the compliments we received for the upkeep of the island and our blog.  We are here on the island on our own most of the time with only about a 5-minute passing from FOSILS board members on Wednesday and we have no idea what the island should look like, but it was nice to have a long time FOSILS member come up to us and compliment us on the care we give the lawn and trails, it meant a lot to us.  Another fun compliment was from a ferry guest who has been following the blog for the past few years and said how much he enjoyed our take on the blog.  Even old volunteers like to hear good things about the work we do!

Tonight, was the full moon and of course, Brian and I had the cameras out and ready.  It was a spectacular sunset and moonrise.  The weather was warm enough to sit out and enjoy both with very few mosquitoes.  This may very well be our last full moon out here on the island because we leave just around September’s full moon, and boy, did we photo document the full moon!

Sun setting behind the cottage

Sunset near the sunset bench

Sunset with the Presidential Mountain range to the right

Walking my way to the full moon

 

 

Full Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is always a camera ready for the perfect shot

Good night from a happy couple of volunteers on Seguin Island!

Guests today – 52

Guests total – 1221

USCG – 6

Yep, it is foggy

Saturday, August 6, 2017 – Yep, it is Foggy

This spot on the Cobblestone Trail is my favorite spot for a picture of the lighthouse on blue sky days, but it is equally beautiful on foggy ones as well

The morning started out with patchy fog and soon became heavy, wet dense fog.  We knew there would not be a ferry today but we were completely unsure if anyone would find the island in this soup. On mornings like this there is no rush to get everything open and ready for people, in fact, if you keep any doors or windows open, the condensation from the fog collects on the screens and everything gets wet.

Brian made a great scramble for breakfast, a little of this and a little of that from the refrigerator.  His creations without a recipe are usually the best and it was another successful treat this morning. Today I am going to finish making up the guest quarters because we are expecting 5 people on Monday if the weather holds out.  As I was making up the beds, I looked out the window and saw Pond Island surrounded by fog.  I needed to grab the camera and run up to the tower platform to see if I can capture at least some of the eerie images.

Pond Island Lighthouse at the mouth of the Kennebec River

Pond Island Light and Ellingwood Rock in the foreground

We decided to walk to the engine house and bring up another 5-gallons of water, it is much easier to carry when it isn’t hot and sunny out.  When we got down there, the young family on the trimaran from yesterday were still here and building a sandcastle on the cove beach.  Their hope is for the fog to lift enough to get them to Boothbay today. While I was down on the beach, I saw a juvenile seagull on the beach being protected by 2 adults.  It was one of the three that were hatched up on a cliff overhanging the beach.  It appears this one was a little careless or bold and fell off the cliff and can’t fly back up, his 2 nestmates are still up on the cliff.  Hopefully he stays safe until he gets his flying feathers.

one of three gulls that hatched on the cliff above the beach, this one took a tumble but I guess bumbles do bounce

The parents are still feeding him on the beach and there is a lot of squawking going on when another seagull lands near the beach, the parents are still very protective

By noon, the fog was a mess, the visibility was less than 200 feet, we couldn’t see the whistle house roof from the cottage and the weather station at the top of the tram was just barely visible. As the fog continued, we kind of just lazed for the afternoon until suddenly out of the fog, 8 people walk up the hill!  They came from Georgetown for a visit, by boat!  Yikes, the transmissions on the VHF radio did not sound like anyone should be out for a fun trip across the Sheepscot, there were many near misses and heated words over the radio from other mariners.  Brian took them up the tower while I worked on the garden some more, a little weeding and a lot of harvesting.  Pea Pods are again the choice for dinner, but more green beans, zucchini and summer squash were ready also.  I wanted to show the hose system Brian rigged up to make it even easier for me to water the garden, hey, not carrying out 10-12 watering cans full of water, anything is easier.

Picking pea pods – it is the veggie again for the 11th night!

Sam hanging out with me while I am in the garden

Picture 1 of the new watering system, Brian found an old bent hose holder, repaired it and now the hose is hanging and easily accessible

One of this year’s summer Wednesday Warrior projects, new basement windows. This is the easy access point for the hose turn on contraption of Brian’s design

The on/off valve for the hose hanging just in reach of the new basement window

Now all I have to do is remove the screen, unhook the valve thingy and pull it out to connect it to the longer hose

The rest of the day, we kept taking turns making comments about not having seen the fog this bad. Hopefully with the thunder/rain storms predicted for tonight, the nice weather pattern will continue for a few days.

Brian was taking pictures into the night, he loves how the fog rolls by the light.

Guests today – 8

Guests total – 1169

USCG – 6

Foggy Day Guests

Friday, August 4, 2017

A foggy sunrise, the days are getting shorter

Another foggy day on the island, the sunrise was pretty as the fog just started to roll in from Southport Island.  We figured it would be a slow day on island today because of the fog, so after relaxing with a cup of coffee we headed to the cove for our morning walk.  The plan was to walk to the cove, check on Clivus (the composting head) and carry a 5-gallon jug of water back to the plateau.  On my list was to get the guest quarters ready for the next round and Brian was going to finish the upgrade to the outside hose system he worked on yesterday.

The boat house

A foggy cove first thing in the morning

Nothing but fog in the background of our 1858 bell

The flag is flying, we are open for business

As we were finishing up the work on Clivus, Brian thought he spotted Ethan’s boat coming into the cove, and I thought it must just be one of his fishing charters.  Nope, at 9:50 our first group of visitors were arriving from Fort Popham.  Brian and I hustled the container of water up to the top and opened the museum and tower and as we were drinking some water, the first of the ferry guests arrived.  You wouldn’t think living on the island much would catch us off guard but this early ferry ride in dense fog certainly did.

The group included an active USCG from Boothbay Harbor who has been on island with the USCG, 2 couples who traveled with their dog, Sadie, a perfect lady, as well as 3 women who were interested in the idea of staying in the guest quarters and asked for a tour.  I was slightly embarrassed because I hadn’t made the beds yet (remember my morning plans?) and when they wanted to take pictures, I asked if I could send them the pretty one I took a few weeks ago and another email friend is added to the list! The fog cleared some by the end of the groups stay for pictures of some of the scenery but down the hill they went for the noon time pick up with Ethan.

Sadie, today’s canine visitor

Sadie patiently waiting for her parents to finish their trip up the tower. She is model perfect on her poses

We figured our afternoon was going to be quiet because of the fog and we made our lunch on time and were sitting on the porch enjoying it when another large group of people started arriving.  Lunch again is put on hold and we start tours and answering questions. After Brian took the first few people up the tower I was talking to a large family reunion on the ground, I asked what kind of boat they arrived on and of course, they said by Ethan’s ferry.  We went from expecting no one today and Ethan surprised us with 2 ferry runs, yikes!  The family had their grand matriarch along with them, a lovely 84-year-old women who everyone assumed she was going to stay on the ferry but she had other plans.  She got ashore in the dinghy, walked the hill and even made it to the top of the tower!

A large family reunion joined us today, age ranges 4-84

This group headed down the hill for the 2pm pick up and at this point the island is completely fogged in, we can’t see the shoreline of the island.  Brian wanted to head off to get pictures off the North Trail in the fog and I stayed at the cottage in case we had any other visitors. The fog ended up bringing 2 boats onto the moorings in the cove to either wait out the fog or stay the night.  The young family on the trimaran came up to see the Fresnel Lens and hike the trails while the fog hung around.

The Oil House as the fog begins to fill in behind it

A trimaran and a ketch picked up moorings this afternoon when the fog was to dense to safely sail

Sometimes I am disappointed for visitors when it is foggy out here and the island doesn’t show her true colors but in honesty, this is life on one of the foggiest points on the coast, we are grey a lot, and this was life for the 3 lighthouse families as they went about their work lives out here during the 1800’s.  Not everything is blue sky and singing song birds!

An update on the veggie garden:  After 10 days of pea pods with every dinner, there is a harvest of green beans, a little variety in tonight’s dinner.  It looks like the squash and zucchini will be with in a few more days.  We have enjoyed a cucumber and hot pepper already as well!

Our first green bean harvest

Guests today – 47

Guests total – 1161

USCG – 6 (Happy 227th anniversary of the US Coast Guard today)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sam out with me during the morning dog walk, he is never far away when it is quiet on the island

This morning started out slow for whatever reason, there were no visitors until 11:30am when Ethan’s ferry arrived.  The quiet morning gave Brian and I a chance to do a few things around the cottage.  I had a chance to walk the North Trail to berry pick, the blackberries are just starting to ripen, finally but the raspberries are still going strong.  I also found one wild blueberry bush along the trail and I am keeping the location my little secret for the time being while I get my fill of blueberries.  It is the only blueberry bush I have found on the island.

Cat & nine tails growing along the eastern loop portion of the North Trail

Seagulls flying around the North Trail with the lighthouse tower in the background

Ellingwood Rock, off the north tip of the island. Can cause the magnetic compass settings to vary 16-20 degrees due to the high iron content in the rock

Juvenile seagulls along the North Trail

The view of the beach and boat house from the vista on the eastern side of the loop on the North Trail

Black Back and Herring gulls all just getting along

I posted in the blog earlier this week about how we were watering the garden by the watering can, well, Cyndy from Fosils called to say there was a water spigot and hose in the basement, ok, that is great news and still not sure how we didn’t know about it!  But Brian the engineer, needed to upgrade the system for me to make it easier to get to and use.  He spent most of his morning in the workshop making the perfect system.  He has a few more tweeks to make to it and I will reveal the system tomorrow but it certainly makes watering the veggies much easier.  We need to remember to run the well pump daily now to keep up with the extra water usage.

I made sure I was at the beach with the keys to the van at 11:30 to meet Brooke and Ethan in hopes we will get the missing groceries before I run out of coffee on Saturday.  The Leeward arrived right on time and started to bring guests to shore and the key handoff was successful.  I had a chance to welcome the first few guests on the beach and gave them a few suggestions on how to make their visit to Seguin a successful one and off to the plateau I went to get ready for the lighthouse tours.

The morning progressed with a mix of sun and fog, not the most spectacular of views when you at the top of the tower but more realistic to everyday life on Seguin.  We also had a visit from a private boat arriving from the Atkins Bay area and the young man on the boat showed me pictures he took of a whale off Fort Popham this morning, it looked like a Pilot Whale.  He also taught me what an Ocean Sunfish is because we had 2 of them swimming off the west side of the island.  My pictures don’t do this ugly, prehistoric looking fish justice but another piece of information I have gathered from the waters of Maine.  If you first look at the sunfish, it sort of looks like a plastic bag floating in the water until it flips its fin out of the water.  I am going to post an image from on line to show how truly ugly this fish is.  It was also explained to me it is a non-eating fish because it is so bony.

Picture of the Ocean Sunfish swimming off Sequin, there were 2 of them present

Wikipedia image of an Ocean Sunfish

One of the best images is when a family is enjoying a picnic at the base of the tower. The island is so much more than the lighthouse, it is a chance for families to make memories

One of our memorable guests for the day is the daughter of the late Barbara Paiement, an original board member of FOSILS from 1986 and was given the honor of being a First Order Volunteer of the organization.  She served the organization from 1986-2013 and is honored with a plaque in the gift shop.  Barbara was also present at the signing of the original lease of the island to FOSILS in April of 1989 in her capacity as treasurer.  Her daughter was excited to see her mom’s recognition.

Barbara Paiement, one of the original FOSILS board members from 1986-2013

The day continued to become a busy one with numerous tours and visitors arriving up the hill.  As the afternoon was winding down, I received a text from Ethan letting me know he would be in the cove in 15 minutes with our groceries.  Stop everything, our provisions are coming and the coffee shortage will be under control again!  I went down the hill and dragged the dinghy down to the water while Brian finished up the last tour.  I pushed out into the cove once Brian was in sight and I rowed out past the USCG buoy awaiting Ethan’s arrival.  He had an afternoon fishing charter and wanted to make sure I got my groceries because tomorrow’s weather may not allow him to bring a group out to us.  The hand off was successful and I can keep my caffeine addiction for another week.  No one wants to experience me without a morning jolt of coffee.

Finally, the island was free of guests and we had a chance to sit and relax on the front porch and check our on-line accounts.  Today we only had internet on the museum side of the front porch, another game of find the internet!  Sam the Seagull decided to join us as well.  He likes the quiet time too on the island but I also think he likes cleaning up left over crumbs after the guests finish the picnics, he has competition with Pickles who also has figured out where the best snacks can be found after everyone leaves.

Sam the Seagull enjoying the evening’s quiet with us

Guests today – 37

Guests total – 1114

USCG – 6

http://www.seguinisland.org/5013-2/