July 13, 2016
My watch alarm started beeping first, followed a few seconds later by the alarm tune playing on our phone. It must be Wednesday, the only day of the week we use an alarm, or two to be precise. 5:30am and it’s time to get up for our big day off-island! We had an easy and quick breakfast of Bracken Mountain Bakery English muffins with butter and jam sent to us direct from Brevard by our friend Jude.
We were down on the beach with our stuff, Hinckley loaded and ready by a little after 6:30 with plenty of time to sit on our driftwood log bus stop, drink coffee from our thermos, and enjoy the quiet of the early morning. The water in the cove was almost glassy, the sailboat of yesterday’s late afternoon visitors floating peacefully on a mooring. While we sat there, we saw the sailing instructor come up onto the deck of his sailboat and start the morning preparations but, as predicted, we didn’t see any of the young ladies that we knew were also aboard – surely still asleep.
We had a little more stuff than usual to take with us to the mainland so we left a bag of trash and an empty gas can on the beach when we rowed out with the remainder of our stuff – three empty water cans, our backpacks, and extra backpack for our laptop and iPad (we don’t usually bring them with us), and recycles. The trash bag was fairly large too – we found it this week in the Engine House, apparently trash left from last season. Normally, there are enough Wednesday
Warriors and material that they need two or more runs ashore in the dinghy but this week it was just Cyndy, Julie, and Rick and not much in the way of materials. After Patty and I were aboard Ethan’s boat, Rick rowed Cyndy and Julie to the beach and brought back the remainder of our stuff and then we headed off to Popham.
We had asked about staying off-island a little longer than usual today but because of forecasted wind changes in the afternoon, Ethan thought it best to schedule our return for 1 in the afternoon. He’s the Captain and we have total confidence in his judgement so 1 o’clock was the time. No biggie. For now, there’s always next week. We arrived at Popham around 7:20 (I think) and did most of the usual stuff – got the truck and loaded up, stopped at Cyndy’s to fill the water jugs up with bleach & water to sit in the sun until we return. We also picked up our mail and got two packages – one from my sister Mary Lewis in Virginia that included nine books (yeah!) and another from our friend Jude with a variety of things including more bakery goods and some potions for Patty’s earache.
Next, we started laundry, went to Roger’s hardware store for a few things, and then we added a one-time stop to our routine this week and drove out to the Lowes at Cooks Corner to pay our contractor account bill. Back to routine, I dropped Patty at Shaw’s grocery store to start shopping and then went to switch laundry before meeting back up with Patty at Shaw’s. Then Plant’s seafood, a stop at The Mustard Seed bookstore to use their WiFi (I helped them with a computer issue while I was there so I didn’t feel too bad about glomming off their free Wi-Fi), Patty went to Bath Natural Food Store while I was at The Mustard Seed, and then we drove part way back to Cyndy’s for lunch at Winnegance General Store. No Dot’s ice cream this week….
We both had fresh crabmeat tacos, I had a Peak’s Organic IPA, and Patty had an Allagash White while sitting on their front porch overlooking Winnegance Bay. It was really nice and convenient since we were rushing just a little and this was right along our way. We stopped next at Cyndy’s to rinse out the water jugs and refill them with fresh water and then stopped at the post office because we needed to ship a package. Oh, so, the post office in Phippsburg closes for lunch from 12 to 1. Next week.
We were good for time heading back to Popham until “we hit the Van Wyck”! From 2-3 miles out of Popham, traffic got heavy and slow as people tried to find a place to park for Popham Beach State Park or move beyond the park to Popham and find a place to park there. Stop and go continued all the way to the turn-around at the Fort where we stop to drop our stuff and carry it down the gangway to the dock where Ethan meets us. We weren’t late but we weren’t early either and Ethan was waiting, saw us coming, and by the time we stopped, he was up the gangway ready to help carry our stuff to the boat. We quickly dumped the truck of our bags, jugs, etc. and while I parked, Patty and Ethan put everything aboard. Just a few minutes after 1, we were on our underway.
Patty and I had visions of returning to Seguin and relaxing the rest of the day, maybe taking a swim, having a snack, eating dinner, whatever. Relaxation delayed – we arrived to three boats in the cove and a large group of ten on the beach having just arrived and getting ready to head up the hill. The Wednesday Warriors rowed out and got aboard Ethan’s boat, we got into the dinghy with all of our stuff and they were off and we were headed to the beach. As soon as we hit the sand, two of the guys in the party of ten came over to help stabilize Hinckley (nice but not necessary in the calm conditions) and then (foolishly) asked if they could help us. Help us? Why yes! Next thing, the three water jerry cans and our cold food bag was up the steps and sitting on the lawn by the Engine House. I told them they should meet us here every Wednesday afternoon…
Cyndy told us when we passed on our way in and her way out that there was a group already at the top of the hill and I thought they were waiting for us to get a tour so I immediately headed up the hill with my pack, computer backpack, and cold food bag while Patty stayed down the hill for a few minutes to talk with the group of ten that had helped us on the beach. About 2/3 of the way up the Lighthouse Trail, I passed the visitors that had been up top on their way down – I apologized for the wait and said I’d be happy to give them a tour now but they said they’d been coming for years and were coming back later this summer. No biggie again. I dumped my stuff and Patty came up shortly afterwards with the other visitors who setup a picnic on the table outside our kitchen and told us that they were fine eating and hanging out until we were ready to show them around. Not long after, we were ready and in two separate groups I took them up into the tower and Patty worked the museum, gift shop, and then hung outside talking with them.
One of the guys in the party lives in New Hampshire but is originally from Peru where we have family and recently spent three months. He lived outside of Trujillo which we visited towards the end of our last trip to Peru so it was pretty neat talking to him about different places in Peru, where we visited, and how much we like it there. The guy (Dwight) who brought the group out lives in Bowdoinham (I believe that’s right anyway) past Bath up the Kennebec and has a new boat that’s bigger than any boat he’s had before – big enough to come out to Seguin from the Kennebec which he’d never been able to do. In the
lighthouse, when I said the light was visible for 20 miles on a clear night, he asked me if that was the luminous range, geographic range, or nominal range. What? I had no idea. Then he said the calculation is the square root of the height times 1.something. I thought he was pulling my leg.
“How do you know that obscure fact?” He wasn’t pulling my leg and had just taken his captain’s license test and needed to learn this stuff. It was actually really interesting and he later left about a ten-page printout in our dinghy for us with all the different terms, calculations, etc. Another awesome visitor.
Not long after, another couple came up the hill too – they must have been on the third boat that was moored in the cove. Our group of ten went off the hike the North Trail and we ended up talking to these folks for a long time also, particularly me up in the tower. They saw our flags hanging between the clotheslines and asked if they were from Nepal which is where their son has been living for a couple of years. I was fascinated and, maybe (I hope) for the first time, I think I might have
actually kept visitors up on the tower catwalk longer than they wanted. They didn’t actually have to ask if they could go in but I suddenly realized we had just been standing in one spot talking for a long time without looking at the view, lens, or anything related to Seguin.
Patty and I talked to the couple for a few minutes down on the ground and they went off the explore more of the island when our bigger group came back from the North Trail on their way down to the
Cobblestone Trail. Not too long after, we walked down the hill to get water and the group of 10 was on the beach starting their own dinghy shuffle back to their
boat. That’s when Dwight said he was going to fetch the light range printouts and leave them in our dinghy. We said goodbye to them and headed back up the hill in time to also say goodbye to the other couple before they started down the hill.
We sat out front relaxing for a bit and saw Ethan’s big boat slowly cruising by the island. The winds hadn’t picked up as forecast earlier and we were glad for Ethan because we knew he was out there with a group to honor the wishes of someone recently deceased to have their ashes spread off Seguin.
With a chill in the shade, we moved out back to the picnic table and sat in the sun watching swallows swoop all around the house. They’ve just recently come out and are all over the place, flying in crazy acrobatic ways, sometimes almost hovering like a hummingbird. By dusk, the wind picked up and was gusting pretty good so we had dinner in the kitchen – leftover burgers with all the fixings. Cyndy left us a big brownie too, which we are saving for tomorrow!
Favorite Moment(s) – time with visitors after we returned to Seguin from the mainland
Sunrise – 4:58am
Sunset – 8:14pm
#Seguinisland #seguinislandlight #seguinislandlighthouse #maine #LifeOnTheRock