A Crazy Friday

Friday, June 2, 2017

I woke up this morning to the first blue sky we have seen since Sunday afternoon, not just any blue but the pristine blue that is almost blinding in perfection.  I knew we had a whole lot of grass cutting ahead of us today because the grass seems to have grown 6 inches while we were off island yesterday.  I decided my cup of coffee would be best appreciated on an early morning walk along the Cove Trail to check on the seagull nests.  I can’t wait until the eggs hatch, patience has never been a virtue I excel at, and this waiting game is driving me crazy.  I finished up my walk to realize no babies today!

The sun highlights our bell beautifully

Brian and I split up the grass cutting areas, he was going down to cut near the Cove and Tramway, while I got to ride the mower and get the yard cut.  As I was cutting the perimeter, the steering didn’t feel right and of course not, I had a flat tire!  A quick call to Brian and he came up to see if he could fix it with the tools on island.  We really do have to be self-sufficient out here, but it is not as easy as it should be.  In the meantime, I found our 2 guests were arriving within minutes, so down to the Cove to meet them while Brian is tinkering with the mower.

Jim and Janice from NJ were visiting Bath for the day and decided to take a chance and come out to the island for a visit.  They were wonderful and so much fun to show the island to.  I usually offer the option to our guests of having the lighthouse tour first to orient themselves with the locations of the trails and their surroundings, and then send them off to explore.  Jim & Janice opted for this and up the tower we went.  Again, it was a perfect day to climb the tower, the skies were perfect to see as far as Mt Washington in New Hampshire.  After we finished with the tour and museum, they asked if I could show them the seagull nests along the Cobblestone Beach Trail.  I love showing others the nests and my hopes to see my first seagull baby.  As we were slowly walking along the beach trail, I pointed out a nest of 2 eggs very much out in the open and as I did a quick second look, I realized one egg hatched, all within 3 hours of my sunrise check!  Janice was ecstatic getting to see it also!  You never know what you will get to see when you come out to the island.

A snow capped Mt Washington on the horizon

Jim, Janice and I working on our selfie with the cottage in the background

The first seagull baby seen on the island! This one was out of the shell for less than 3 hours

Back to the flat tire – Brian tried everything he could to fix it to no avail.  Conveniently, Ethan was picking up our 2 guests and we handed off the wheel to Ethan to try to get it fixed asap.  As Ethan was taking our guests back to Popham Beach, another boat was motoring into the Cove.  We would soon have a fun invasion of a college philosophy class from Manhattan College in the Bronx.  The professor grew up in Georgetown and his class is called ‘Living the Good Life’.  It is based on showing his students alternate ways of life and how you can live your life with purpose.  As I was sitting for a few minutes, 17 people arrived up the Lighthouse Trail, wow!  We ended up having an impromptu class on the front lawn of the cottage with Brian and I explaining our cruising life on our sailboat and how we came to this lifestyle.  I explained to the young people, Brian and I decided to live the Flanagan Dream and not the American Dream.  We want to be responsible earth citizens and live to make memories and not money.  Once the impromptu lecture was over, I broke the group up into 4 groups and started the tours of the Lighthouse.  I was completely wiped out when I finally waved goodbye to the group.

The Georgetown boat delivering a group of students from Manhattan College

Rainbows from the prisms during one of the tours today

Ok, the day started out blissfully slow and kept gaining momentum.  The only problem was we were down a riding mower, time to bring out the push mowers.  If we miss more than 2 days of grass cutting, it causes us hours of raking the grass.  When Brian finally finished the lower island, he came up to see we have one more visitor on island, a single-handed sailor on M/V Minstrel, the boat we watched sail around the island.  He wanted to know if he could stay on the mooring for the overnight but first he wanted to check out the nests along Cobblestone Beach after I mentioned one hatched egg.  He asked if I could show him where the nest was.  No problem, 3rd trip along this trail today.  He was thrilled to let his wife know he saw the hatchling!  He also had seen Puffins earlier in the day off Easter Egg Rock, another first for him.  We did warn him the Cove was going to be fairly rock and rolly tonight but he didn’t seem concerned.

M/V Minstrel owned by Charles Ferguson was our first overnight visitor in the mooring field

The first hatchling now all fluffy 6 hours after cracking out into this world

By the time we were alone again on the island, we had surpassed exhaustion.  I almost begged off from our sunset but the skies were still clear enough for a great view from the top of tower.  What would one more trip up the tower cost me, my legs were slightly wobbly by the time we reached the top.  3 trips around the Cobblestone Beach Trail and 6 trips up and down the tower along with pushing the mower for 2 hours, you can’t buy a work out like this. The night was done and my night is not completed without a sweet something, but it turns out while we were ashore I forgot chocolate, yikes!  First thing tomorrow I was going to need to get the cook book out and start baking because me without sugar is not a good thing for anyone, especially Brian!

No matter how tired we are, a sunset from the tower is always a happy occasion

Guests today – 20

Guest total – 47

USCG – 6

A foggy day off…

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Our day off routine is to wake up to make sure at least one cup of coffee is on board before we set off to meet Ethan at the Cove.  Nothing good happens without caffeine!  This morning was still set with a dense fog but the wind and seas have calmed down to make it an enjoyable departure from the island.  As we waited at the beach for the 7 am arrival of Ethan, we could hear the launch but did not see it until it was right at the mooring field.  New Englanders are used to sailing/navigating through fog but it is a great seaman that can do it with compass headings back and forth and nail the navigational aids without missing a beat, props to Captain Ethan.

An eagle just hanging out on Thursday morning in Popham Beach

As we unloaded our garbage, laundry and empty water jugs on dock, there was a lobsterman hanging around.  We asked him if he was out yesterday in the weather and he laughed a little and said he didn’t go out in that mess!  I guess our decision to cancel yesterday’s day off was a good one if even a hearty Maine fisherman did not want to be out with those conditions.  The forecast for today was partly cloudy and we had a bike ride in South Portland planned but it was looking iffy with the fog hanging overhead, but we still needed to stop at Southgate Restaurant for our morning off breakfast and hopefully the weather would improve.

 

The plan is to drive into South Portland and start our ride at Bug Light Park, this is the beginning point for the South Portland Greenbelt Pathway.  This is a multiuse trail keeping us off the busy roads in the area, we were blessed with great conditions as we started out and only had a brief shower when we returned from our 15-mile ride.  This trail had amazing views of Portland’s waterfront and a whole lot of green along the way.  What a luxury to find this little gem.  As we returned to Bug Light Park, we found a metal sculpture of a Liberty Ship and a walking museum beneath.  Another jewel we found.

South Portland Greenbelt Pathway

Bug Light

A view of Portland

Brian waiting as I take more pictures, this is a common pose for him

A portion of the South Portland Greenbelt Pathway

The Liberty Ships were built in South Portland for use during World War II, they were designed for function not beauty and were completed in record time.  The first Liberty Ship, John Davenport, was finished in less than a year and launched on May 15, 1942. The Liberty Ships played a large role in supplying troops at Omaha Beach and around the world.  The South Portland Shipyard employed many women as well and they were collectively called “Wendy’s” for women welders, in the same fashion as Rosie the Riveter!

Liberty Ship Museum at Bug Light Park

As we headed back towards Bath to finish our shopping, very dark storm clouds were moving in and the distant rumbles of thunder could be heard.  We called Ethan to make sure we still had a window to get back to the island, and his response was of course we would make it!  As we arrived at Fort Popham to unload our day’s stash, the skies opened in a torrential downpour, great wet clean laundry again!  I did my best in loading everything into protective plastic bags but it was raining hard and we still had to bounce our way back to the island, then the dinghy, and then carry everything up the hill.  The trip was wet, at least I remembered my foul weather gear, Brian didn’t and he regretted it big time!  Everything arrived safely on island with minimal wetness, bananas made it unbruised! And yes, the rain stopped after the last load was carried up the hill, only 2 trips this week.

The only negative we have regarding the entire stay at the island is the last hour of our day off every week, it is not fun to carry everything up the hill, after a fun filled day ashore it kind of puts a damper on the day knowing the work out ahead of us.

The evening skies cleared and we were treated to a very starry sky with a half-moon shining.  I played with my camera a little practicing for our first full moon on island next week.  I can only hope we have clear skies on June 9th to see the June Strawberry Moon.

Night shot of Seguin Lighthouse

Guests today – 0

Guests total – 27

USCG – 6

Change of plans

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The forecast was for very unsettled weather today and our day off the island was not looking promising.  Ethan called yesterday to say he would check the water state at 6:30am today and let me know if he could make the trip out to get us but we should be prepared for a short day ashore, the weather was only going to get worse.  As sailors, we check multiple weather forecasts including the NOAA marine forecast.  At 5am this morning, NOAA was predicting 4-6 foot swells coming from the NE.  The cove lies almost directly NE, meaning the waves would be crashing on the beach as we dry to row the dinghy out to Ethan’s boat, not an enjoyable experience.  The forecast for tomorrow was starting to look more promising for an enjoyable day off.  The Wednesday Warriors were already cancelled for today because of the forecast, so I sent an early text to Ethan asking if we could take tomorrow off instead with an immediate reply from him with see you tomorrow at 7 in the Cove.

Today was the epitome of pea soup fog on the island.  The water line couldn’t be seen from the cottage, and just looking out in the yard made it the background for a great murder mystery!

It was too wet to get much yard work done today, a nice break from grass cutting.  I did take a long hike around the east shore of the island checking on the different nests I have been watching with still nothing hatched.  We have been on the island for 12 days and the incubation time is around 22, when are they going to hatch?????  The foggy backdrop gave me a good chance to take some stunning pictures of the island.

A foggy view from Cobblestone Beach

A view of the boat house from the Cove’s Vista

Wash ashore treasures

Need a stick to get around the island on your visit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we get to know the island more we keep a running list of things we want to do on rainy days, the problem is we have more rainy days than things to do!  Brian has been cleaning and organizing the different work areas trying to put in order the island’s tools and supplies as well as maintaining some of the equipment.  His project today was to correctly repair the water pipe break that he improvised when we first got here.  The break was in the water pipe sending water down along the tram to the cove area.

I kept myself busy planning the vegetable garden but without plants or seeds yet, it was kind of boring.  The garden is now ready for planting but until we go ashore, nothing will be growing yet.  I also dug out the planters from under the porch and did a little face lift on some and the rest found some dirt out in the wild to have them ready for planting also.

 

Guests today – 0

Guests total – 27

USCG total – 6

The US Coast Guard and a coffee break

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Another foggy day on the island, at least as our morning started.  It was trying to brighten up on the eastern horizon but we were not going to hold our breath!  I am starting every morning by checking my phone for text messages to find out if we may have visitors arriving on the island and this morning a text was waiting for me from USCG.  They were bringing a crew by boat mid-morning to trouble shoot the main light and stage more equipment for the fog horn upgrade.

I was so excited, guests with appetites!  First thing I thought of was what could I bake them for a coffee break?  Final decision – Cinnamon Roll Muffins.  This recipe was a big success this winter in the mooring field in Vero Beach, FL where we spent the winter on our sailboat, Scout.  I would wake up in the morning, bake a batch of muffins and dinghy to the surrounding boats to go along with their morning coffee.  Brian complained he tried to fix the light and he didn’t get anything special, and I have the USCG coming out and they get homemade muffins.  I set the coffee pot up, mugs out, hot muffins on the plate, I was ready to meet these guys.

They arrived as we walked down to the beach and the next thing we knew there were 4 guys in orange on the beach carrying a lot of equipment and their boat was tied up to a mooring. The crew out of South Portland spent the morning working on the main light, double checked the emergency lights and batteries, gave Brian some secret handshake information on ways to resolve the light problem in the future and yes, they ate my muffins.  I even rowed the dinghy out to the 2 boat guys and gave them a thermos of coffee and some muffins.  I love this job! Hopefully they will be back soon to finish up the fog horn repairs, it may take a few days to complete.  I offered to feed the crew while they are here, already figuring out the volume of food you need to feed 4-6 young men. I may need to up the provisions over the next few Wednesdays to be ready for the invasion.

The Coast Guard has landed

Here is a piece of the foghorn upgrade, I am so glad I didn’t need to carry that up the hill

Two of them made a very wet landing, not much chance these were going to dry out today

First they need to disassemble the old metal pieces of the foghorn, each piece ways about 500 lbs

Someone had to climb up and inspect the emergency lights on the tower

As work went on up the hill, Tara rowed out to the boat to offer hot muffins and a thermos of coffee.

Making sure a picture is taken of the boat crew

Daryl and Ryan were appreciative of the coffee break

A hot departure, the boat zoomed in on a wave, equipment was put on first, then on next wave 4 guys jumped on and off the went

The rest of today has been completing a few blog posts, crossing off small tasks from the to-do list and drinking hot tea to keep the chill out.

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.  Don’t use muffin papers, the papers will not peel off the muffins (experience talking here).

2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup sugar

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

 

Topping and Filling

1 cup brown sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

1 ½ cups chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

3 tablespoons melted butter

Frosting

2 oz. cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

A dash of vanilla or maple syrup

 

Mix together the topping/filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the muffin dry ingredients together, combine the wet ingredients until well blended and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.

Fold in ½ of the topping/filling into the muffin batter.

Spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the pre-greased muffin tins.  Top with remaining topping/filling, gently press down on topping to adhere it into the batter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, and gently remove muffins to cooling rack.

Combine the frosting ingredients.  Spoon into a small baggie, twist closed and push frosting into a corner of the baggie, snip a small hole in the corner and pipe the frosting onto the muffins.  Best if served warm or they can be microwaved for 10-20 seconds to reheat.

 

Guests today – 0

Guests total – 27

US Coast Guard – 6

East winds, calm-8 mph, overcast, 48 degrees outside and a toasty 65 inside

The last civilian keepers’ family visit the island

Sunday, May 28, 2017

As a gorgeous day was dawning, we received word the family of a former Lighthouse Keeper, Clarence Skolfield (1936-1046) were arriving on island before 9am.  This took a lot of coordination getting 16 people from Popham to the cove and then onto the beach.  Many dinghy trips later, all 16 had safely arrived on island, and just a little damp around the edges.  This was a fun family, they had many reasons to celebrate: a new Harvard grad and a birthday as well.

Descendants of Clarence Skolfield pose for a picture at the tower doors

As the first group was safely ashore, I offered a quick nature walk along the Cove Trail to Cobblestone Beach to show off the gull and duck nests.  The group continued onto the Cobblestone Trail, while I went back up to the top of the hill to get ready to give tours of the tower and answer many questions.  One of the guests commented that the day was truly a Chamber of Commerce kind of day, blue skies, green grass, warm temperatures and an ideal setting to visit.

16 family members enjoy a gorgeous day on the island

I have come to realize when the island is visited by a few people, it is like a CrossFIt workout for the keepers.  Dragging the dinghy down to the water, rowing back and forth thru surf, a quick hike up the Lighthouse Trail to greet our guests, multiple trips up and down the lighthouse tower stairs, then trying to sneak some grass raking in, next a jaunt back down the Lighthouse Trail, pull the dinghy back down to the water, row everyone back out to the launch, wave a hearty goodbye, to drag the dinghy back up and one more walk up the trail to go clean and close up the tower for the next day.  Ahhh, that nightly cocktail is much appreciated after a great workout.

Guests today – 16

Guests total – 27

Memorial Day 2017

Monday – May 29, 2017  Memorial Day

The morning was a pea soup fog kind of morning, we could sort of see the water but the fog and light mist made the island feel cold and unhospitable.  We were fairly convinced there would be no visitors today, the fog was just too thick.

In honor of Memorial Day, our US flag was to be flown at half-mast in honor of the men and women who lost their lives protecting our freedom.  We spent some time reading up on the flag protocols to be sure we were honoring this tradition in the correct manner.  I never realized when a flag is flown at half mast, it is to be flown at full mast and then lowered, with the same sequence followed at sunset.  Making sure our flag is flown correctly every day is something we take seriously and will do our best to carry it out daily.

As we suspected, it was a quiet day on the island.  Yes, we spent more time weedwacking trails and raking more grass, but that is now the norm in our day.  My blisters have blisters from the amount of raking we have done in the past 10 days.

The dogs did their best to stay warm by ‘cocooning’ in the blanket on the couch in front of the heater, they do have the life!  They were only willing to make an appearance when a potential treat was offered or they could beg something from us during lunch.

Since our nor’easter on Friday, the main light in the lighthouse was out and the emergency lights were on.  After spending time on the phone with the US Coast Guard trying to trouble shoot the problem, Brian was unable to get the light to stay on for more than 2 minutes before the circuit popped.  The result was no main light, a foggy day, and the USCG would be out sometime this week with a crew to work on the light and start the updating process for the fog horn.

The afternoon was spent in comfy fleece (multiple layers) and sitting with the dogs in front of the heater.  It was a lazy afternoon of solitaire, knitting, and listening to a little country music on the satellite radio we finally have working.

Today’s recipe will be one you should keep around for the end of the summer when the garden is producing zucchini in record number and you are stumped as to any other ways you can eat zucchini, I present to you Zucchini Potato Pancakes.  I put this recipe together last week and froze half which I used last night as a side dish.

Zucchini/Potato Pancakes roasted in the same pan as our Parmesan baked chicken

Zucchini Potato Pancakes

1 medium zucchini, shredded

1 package of dehydrated hash browns that had been soaked in hot water per the package instructions

¼ onion, red or white, finely chopped

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

6-8 tablespoons of flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp salt

½ tsp of black pepper

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

Any other spices of your choice

Mix the zucchini, hash browns, onion, eggs and garlic.  Stir in 6 tablespoons flour, baking powder and seasonings. The batter should be fairly stiff, if it is too wet add the additional flour.  You want the mixture to stay in form when placing in skillet.

Heat a large skillet and use 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in pan, once melted together, turn the heat to medium heat.  You do not want the butter to smoke or burn.  Place a heaping spoon of the batter into the skillet, do not crowd the pancakes in the pan, make several batches, cook on each side 2-3 minutes until golden brown.  Remove to cookie sheet in keep warm in oven when finishing the next batch.  Drain the used butter/oil mixture and start with new butter and oil, cook next batch as described above.

I made enough for leftovers and I froze them when cooled in a Ziploc bag.  Last night, I pulled them from the freezer, placed in the pan with the rest of the dinner, cooked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  If the pancakes had a chance to thaw first, I would have only heated them for about 15 minutes to crisp them on the outside.  The end result was the zucchini potato pancakes were as good as leftovers as they were freshly made.

Guests today – 0

Guests total – 27

Temps hovered at a raw 48 degrees, gentle mist or dense fog for most of the day.

NW winds 15-20 mph

 

Recipe – Cheddar Cheese Biscuits with a twist

May 28, 2017 – Recipe
I love to bake, it is soothing and allows me to share a little love with others around me. My dad was a master baker in the Fall River/New Bedford, MA area for over 50 years, and even he had short cuts at home when short on time but wanted something fresh from the oven. My short cut for over 30 years has been Jiffy All Purpose Baking Mix, like Bisquik but with a better flavor and is made by a New England company out of Chelsea, MA. Last night, Brian and I were just worn out from our day but we love to sit down for a hot dinner and discuss our day, this has been a large part of our day while cruising on our sailboat over the past 3 years. I needed to come up with a quick meal without much effort, the result was baked macaroni & cheese, and cheddar cheese biscuits with a twist.


Cheddar cheese biscuits with a twist
Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1 cup Jiffy Baking Mix
Fresh oregano chopped
1-2 cloves of freshly chopped garlic
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1/3 cup milk (may need a little more depending on how dry the mixture is)

Mix all above ingredients. This recipe makes 4 drop biscuits perfect for a couple’s dinner. I like to use parchment paper when baking, helps with the cleanup. Drop the biscuits on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.

Here is your chance to create a simple biscuit, Brian loves spicy food, that is why the jalapeno is added, I would rather have a sweet biscuit so an alternative to all the other add ins, you could try some honey and maybe a small amount of cold butter added into the batter.

Hope you enjoy!

Opening day is here

May 27, 2017 – Opening Day

Our day started out as a gloomy overcast day, my thought was no visitors today.  But it was our official opening day and we were ready to great anyone who joined us.  The new US flag was raised along with the Sequin Island Flag, and the tower and museum were open and waiting.

Opening day with the US and Seguin Island flag

I took a hike down to the Cove to check on the dinghy after an astronomical high tide late last night.  When I got there, the dinghy had been pushed about 20 feet farther up the beach and the Cove was full of seaweed, logs and other floating debris.  If we had arrived into the Cove this morning on our sailboat, we probably would not have tried coming ashore it was such a mess. My habit when down at the Cove is to walk the Cove Trail around to Cobblestone Beach and check on all the life just waiting to hatch, it is becoming my favorite spot on the island.  It also gave me a few minutes to treasure hunt for sea glass.  I was lucky this morning and found 2 large pieces of blue glass, still waiting to find a piece of red.  All nests were still egg bound, no hatchlings yet.  I realized while walking the trails, we haven’t cut these trails since last Sunday, and they were in a definite need of sprucing up.

Brian ended up cutting Cobblestone Trail, look for the blue speck in the middle of the green

Pulled the old push mover from the Engine House and I have named her the Green Hornet.  The old mower sounds like a very tired soul but it pushes through anything.  After 2 hours of cutting, the Cove, half of the Lighthouse Trail and the campsite are beautiful once again.  Brian’s goal this morning was to weed whack around the perimeter of the yard and to try to clean up around all the boulders and if time permitted to move on to the Cobblestone and South Trail.  It started to warm up and dry out a little by noon which gave us a perfect work day to get things done.

I spent an hour raking the clumps of grass around the house, my hands were blistered and my back was exhausted.  At this point, I decided to get Old Bessie (the riding mower) out and make another go around with her.  My plan had been to be finished by 3p and give myself the afternoon to sit and relax.  After all of that raking beforehand, when I finished cutting there seemed to be twice as many clumps of grass as before, a little disheartening.

A yawl sailing around the island

At this point, the sun was shining, skies bright blue and the island was just waiting to have her picture taken.  I got the real camera out, instead of my phone and started documenting how beautiful this gem is.  There were sailboats sailing around the island, the lobster boats were out, and the MS Independence cruise ship went by the south point of the island.  I will not get tired of taking pictures of this rock out in the bay.

The Oil House

Fort Popham, a view from the lighthouse

The museum is ready for visitors

My Washington is a faint outline on the horizon

Fat Albert, the pine and tower viewed from sunset beach

A view from the helipad

The 3rd bell on the island, manufactured in 1858 and returned back to the island 2 years ago from the US Coast Guard Station in Boothbay Harbor

The sun was brilliant for the opening day of 2017

The historic tramway, only one functioning in the state of Maine

A view of the sled of the tramway

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Whistle House

The helipad, the arrow points to true north

Cobblestone Beach

 

Suddenly, one of the sailboats turned into the cove, I was so excited, we were going to have guests.  Ran up the Lighthouse Trail to make sure everything was open and ready for them, I panicked trying to remember all the facts for the tour, lights were on and doors open.  I was ready, but after 45 minutes still no one came up the hill.  Oh well, maybe next time.  As I started to think about dinner, my first official guests arrived.  They were Jon & Cricket Seidman from Milton, MA and they are weekenders near Georgetown.  They try to visit the island every opening day.  Also, along for the visit were their son and 2 family friends.  New pins were added to the maps in the museum, Lima, Peru and Tulsa, OK.

Our first official visitors for the season

Our visitors arrived in the Cove for lunch and then joined us up the hill for a tour

They were the perfect group for my first tour, engaging and funny and encouraged me as I relayed what I have learned about Seguin over the past few weeks.  As we ended our visit, they promised to come and spend a few more days here over the summer.

As our day was winding down, we decided to watch the sunset from the tower.  It was warmer up their than on the sunset bench, temps were dropping into the 40’s.  The tower may be the go to place for sunsets from now on, WOW!  The privilege of being able to do this at our will is the best gift anyone could give the Flanagan’s.  Thank you to the Friends of Seguin Island Light for saving this beauty for us to enjoy.

Saturday sunset from the bench

Sunset thru the prisms

Sunset from the tower

Winds from the NW at 5-10mph

Overcast in the morning and spectacular sunshine in the afternoon

High Temp was 55 degrees

Guest today – 5

Season total – 11

Opening Day Preparations

May 26, 2017 – Final Preparations for opening day

Today has not been the most hospitable day on the island, we have been experiencing a spring nor’easter with winds gusting to 68 mph and about ¼ inch of rain since this morning.  This gave us a chance to make sure the museum, gift shop and lighthouse are all ready to receive guests in the morning. The marine weather forecasts for the island are not the greatest over the holiday weekend but we all know forecasts are a 50/50 gamble, so go ahead and plan a visit to us.

View of the lighthouse from the North Trail

Brian and I walked most of the island this morning to make sure all is safe and sound, the only area that is not ready completely is the North Trail.  The rain has left about 10 inches of standing water on the cove side of the North Trail Loop and the rest of the trail still needs to be cut down, but it is passable for an amazing vista of the northern point of the island.

When we did a walkthrough of the museum and gift shop, there were a few leaks that needed to be cleaned up, but the museum is all set and the gift shop’s shelves are stocked and looking great.  The lighthouse is looking its best, especially since Ken, one of the Wednesday Warriors, painted the steps to the tower.  The only issue at this point is with the power outages through the day, the main light is out but the 2 emergency lights are lit and a call has been placed to the US Coast Guard to help us reset the light.

The tower all cleaned up for the first tour of the season

 

 

 

The gift shop is ready for business

The front room of the museum

There will always be more work to be done, and I am keeping a running list as we go around and see a task that needs to be done, slowly through the summer we will make a dent on the list and of course add more to it.  As we close out our first week on the island, we hope we can figure out a routine of sorts but right now everything is so new and the weather is not helping us get the outside done.  We have also come to the realization that we may not have enough warm clothes when we have multiple days of rain in a row.  Everything is wet and it is too damp and cold for the wet clothes to dry, maybe something to consider on Wednesday when we go ashore again.

Phin and Pickles chose to hide most of the day from the wind and rain

This evening I will go over the historical data for my tours of the lighthouse, maybe get some knitting done and have a chance read the new Sail Magazine I downloaded on my Kindle.  Brian is spending some time getting our Sirius Satellite Radio working in hopes we can listen to our evening news cast. Dinner is still up in the air so no recipe tonight, but fear not, I will have one tomorrow!

Our first day off island

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 – Our first day off the island….

The Wednesday Warriors were due to arrive at the Cove at 7am and we needed to be ready and waiting with our gear in the dinghy for their arrival.  This was our first time making sure we had the empty water jugs and gas cans, the weeks garbage, our dirty laundry and bags for shopping.  It all seemed easy when we started the day, but the hard part comes when we get back in the afternoon. As the launched entered the Cove, Brian and I hopped into the dinghy and rowed out to the mooring to transfer our things into the launch and then make sure the supplies the Warriors brought got loaded into the dinghy for the trip to shore.  It was a crazy kind of organized and will only improve with experience.  The joke at the launch was we must be coming back after our day off because our dogs were left on the island, Cyndy promised to watch them for us during our time off.

One of my favorite things to do is to bake and have a chance to share the goods with others.  The Wednesday Warriors will be my captive audience each week.  I set up a coffee break station for them with homemade Chocolate Chunk Cookies.  This will be a fun diversion for me over the summer making sure I have something waiting for them to snack on.  Look for the recipe at the end of today’s blog.

When we finally got back to Popham, we felt like kids in a candy store, so many choices of things to do and not sure where to start.  First order of business is coffee and if breakfast happens to be part of the deal even better.  We left our travel mugs in the van and didn’t have the caffeine start to our day like we are so used to.  The Southgate restaurant in Bath was our first stop and will most likely become our favorite breakfast stop, eggs were cooked perfectly for Brian and my blueberry waffle was yummy. As we talked over breakfast we put a plan together for the day. Chores, then fun (bike ride) and then provisions, to be back to boat by 4pm.

The Merry Meeting Trail was a great introduction to our neighboring towns

This part of the multi-use trail runs along Route 1. We lived in Connecticut before moving aboard our boat and longed for a similar trail along the Merritt Parkway to make our commute to work more enjoyable.

Brian ready for a ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead boring all of you with the chores part of the day, I thought I would show you a little bit of our bike ride through Bowdoin and Topsham.  We found a great multi-use path that runs parallel to Route 1 and then meanders through Bowdoin College and into Topsham.  We kept the ride short, 15 miles, because we didn’t think to bring our bike clothes ashore with us, next week we will remember.

Along the Merry Meeting Trail

Brian crossing over Route 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After getting the bikes back on the van, we realized we had more time to play.  Reid State Park was our next destination for a little beach time.  As we arrived at the park entrance, the rangers were very friendly to the point where I asked nicely if we could pay the Maine Resident fee because we are technically Maine Residents for the summer out on Seguin Island.  The agreed to give us the discount.  We walked the cliffs and the beach for a short time and will come back to hike more of the trails, unfortunately, we were running out of time and didn’t want to miss our 4pm ride.

On our way to Reid State Park

Tara on the cliffs with Seguin Island in the upper right corner

 

The beach at Reid State Park

Now the hard part of our day begins, unloading 3 full water containers and 3 gas cans along with all our provisions on to the dock, then into the launch and eventually onto the beach back at the island.  The tide was changing from low to high as we started heading back which presented our ride back as very bumpy but the Cove was protected from the wind which allowed the dinghy transfers with a minimum of wetness.  It has now occurred to us, all our stuff needs to be carried up the hill, the tramway only gets used on our move in day.  Yes, complete exhaustion hit us around 5pm but the eggs and bread arrived in the kitchen without damage. As we waved goodbye to the Warriors, the realization of being alone on the island hit us, it is now sink or swim until next Wednesday.

Low tide at the dock at Popham, very little water. Good thing Captain Ethan knows the local waters because it did not look like we were leaving the dock.

Brian and I enjoyed a quiet dinner and readied ourselves for our sunset routine, beautiful scenery and then lowering the flag for another day.

Our first solo meal on the island after a long day of play off island

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

1 large egg

1 cup flour

½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat butter in a large bowl for 1 minute, mix in sugars, salt, and vanilla, beat for another minute, then mix in egg until well blended.  Stir in flour, baking soda, chocolate and nuts.

Drop by tablespoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, cookie should be golden around edges but still soft in the center.  Cool on rack for 2-3 minutes then transfer to wax paper to finish cooling.

This basic cookie dough recipe can be used as a base for many other combinations, I like using it for White Chocolate/Macadamia Nut Cookies as well.