Everyone, Chewonki Tonight

Saturday
July 16, 2016

We woke up a little earlier than usual this morning because our overnight photographer guests were going to be ready to leave after finishing sunrise pictures and packing.  Dave joined us for a cup of coffee in the kitchen while Rob kept shooting a little longer (he also prefers Diet Coke in the morning).  Around 7am, the four of us walked down the hill to the

Ready to take a tour group up in the tower.

Ready to take a tour group up in the tower.

cove and in two trips, rowed them and their gear out to Dave’s boat.  They were off a few minutes later, first shooting some long distance pictures of the Seguin light from their boat, and maybe us on the front porch, before heading toward the Sheepscot River.  I think their plan was to try to get pictures of eagles there this morning.

Julie & Family

Julie & Family

We headed back up to the house, with water, and had a little more coffee on the front porch while watching Dave’s boat slowing make its’ way south along our coast.  The sun was bright and it was hot hot hot on the front porch – we didn’t last too long out there.  Once Dave’s boat turned back north towards the Sheepscot, we turned west and walked a few steps into the house.  Before sitting down for breakfast, we hunted around in closets and behind big pieces of furniture where we found several window screens that let us open more windows to help cool down the house.

Around 8:30, after breakfast (fruit, yogurt, granola), a couple who slept on their boat in the cove last night came up

Julie & Patty

Julie & Patty

to see the museum and tour the lighthouse.  He had been here many times but she had not and enjoyed hearing about the history of Seguin.  They also asked a lot about our experience here, how we got the job, and what we planned to do next.  Not long afterwards, the first visitors from a group Ethan brought came up the lawn from the top of the lighthouse trail.  He doesn’t usually bring a group on Saturday but he let us know he was going to because his trips were cancelled Thursday and Friday due to weather.  We also knew that Julie, a regular volunteer (Wednesday Warrior) on our day off-island, was coming out along with her husband and in-laws so she could show them around.

Baby gulls

Baby gulls

I took the first couple up by themselves and found out in chatting with them that they live in Smithfield, Virginia (near where I grew up) and she was originally from Norfolk, Virginia (also near where I grew up and where I went to college).  As soon as we came down from the tower, a large family of thirteen was ready for the tour in two groups.  This family from Vermont is staying just across the water at Small Point and had been waiting for a good weather day to come visit Seguin.  One of the young ladies in the family was from Albania (I think she was an exchange student but didn’t get the story) and seemed to be having the time of her life.

The last folks I took up for a tour were Julie and her family.  I offered to let her give the spiel since she certainly

Go fly a kite

Go fly a kite

knows it as well or better than me but she said I should.  And then she recorded me.  I hope it turned out well.  While I was spending time with visitors in the lighthouse, Patty was busy answering questions in the museum, working the gift-shop, recommending trails, and all the other things she does to insure people have a memorable visit.

By 11:30 Ethan’s group was on their way down the hill or back on the Leeward and we sat down for a quick lunch of salmon salad sandwiches Patty made from last night’s salmon filet dinner.  Patty mixed the salmon with diced onions and yellow bell pepper and then added cucumbers, garden lettuce, tomato and cheese to the sandwich bread.  On the side we had some mixed olives.  I had some of the brittle our friend Jude in Brevard sent us and a cup of tea even though it’s hot today.

More kites

More kites

It was quiet for an hour or more and then we had four visitors who arrived in their own boat.  Bryan and Alex (and their German shepherd Aster) moored in the cove overnight just a few weeks ago and we met Bryan then down by the Engine House but they didn’t come up to the tower that day.  This time they were visiting with two friends and the four of them came up so their friends could see the museum and tour the tower.  After that, we talked to them for a bit before we had another group arrive as they went off to hike the North Trail.

Our next group was another large family, this time totaling thirteen across three generations, that came over on their own boat from Boothbay where the grandparents live.  The remainder of the family came from Chillicothe, Ohio and Twickenham, UK to visit the grandparents.  The all visited the museum, the tower in two groups, and then spent a long time on the lawn flying two kites they bought in the gift-shop and trying to fly a drone they brought with them.  I never saw the

Chewonkers on the boathouse deck

Chewonkers on the boathouse deck

drone take off but maybe it did and I just missed it.  They seemed to be having a fantastic time on Seguin, spending time together, and enjoying the really nice weather we were having.  While it was still hot, a little breeze had picked up, maybe 10-15mph that made it pleasant at the top of the hill where one could feel it.

While the family was playing on the lawn, a group of three early 20-something guys and a young lady arrived.  While the guys were all local and have visited Seguin in the past, the young lady was from Belo Horizonte, Brazil and had not been here.    Patty made sure to have her put a pin in the map we have for visitors to mark their hometown (she did the same with the young lady from Albania and the folks from the UK earlier today) when they were in the museum.  She may be obsessed with this map…The group were all barefoot and in bathing suits so when they finished the tour, they went straight back down the hill to their boat.  One of the young men is the nephew of Ken, one of our wonderful Wednesday warriors.

Chewonki's in the house

Chewonki’s in the house

With us still chatting with the family on the lawn, Eric, one of the counselors from Camp Chewonki hiked up the hill to tell us their group had arrived.  We had expected them last week but they didn’t make it due to the weather that day but the weather today was perfect.  They arrived on two boats that they can either sail or if there’s no wind, they can row and had moored them in the cove.  We told him we’d come down later to check out their campsite and let them know they could call if they needed anything.

After all of our visitors at the top of the hill left, including Bryan and his crew that had hiked the North Trail, we went down to see Chewonki’s boats and their tent setup.  They had three nice large tents for the eleven of them and were in the process of cooking spaghetti on two large camp stoves when we got there.  Besides Eric, we also met the other two counselors Angela and Jeff.  We offered to show them the tower and agreed to meet at 7:30 to show them the museum and then go up in the tower for sunset.  Walking back towards the cove, we saw that some of the campers were sitting on the boathouse deck enjoying the sun and view.  They somehow dodged dinner making duties – maybe they were the cleanup crew.

Coincidentally, we also had spaghetti for dinner with the sauce Patty made earlier this week on a wet and quiet day.

Spaghetti with homemade sauce and bread for dinner

Spaghetti with homemade sauce and bread for dinner

We normally don’t seem to get around to dinner quite as early as we did today but wanted to do so before the campers come up later.

Later, at 7:30, the campers and their counselors came up and visited the museum first.  On one of the charts, Jeff pointed out the route they’ve traveled on the 20 days of their adventure so far.  They’ve traveled a long way and tomorrow is their last day, heading from here to Boothbay.  We had them all sign the guestbook and then I corralled them for a tour of the tower just as the sun was close to setting.  After telling them the history and going up to the catwalk, about half the group went out to sunset bench while the other half stayed up on the catwalk.

Chewonki's starting the tower tour

Chewonki’s starting the tower tour

About an hour before sunset, the sky had gotten cloudy and I was concerned that we wouldn’t have good sunset, thinking I should have suggested an earlier time for the Chewonki gang to visit the tower but I shouldn’t have worried.  We had one of the best sunsets we’ve had since arriving on May 21.  Maybe the best.  It was spectacular and we got some really good pictures of the campers watching the glowing sky after the sun went down.

Following sunset, I enlisted Jeff (a former Eagle scout) to lead a flag lowering ceremony with some of the campers and we took a video of it (thanks to Michael, former caretaker, for the idea).  It was probably past 8:30 by the time they headed back to their campsite and we had a special time talking with them, getting to know them, sharing contact info (we promised to share our pictures because their camera is broken), and hearing about their trip.

Sunset with all of the campers from Chewonki

Sunset with all of the campers from Chewonki

They are planning to head to Boothbay tomorrow but not in a straight line but instead via the Kennebec and then inland routes to the Sheepscot.  A tough trip made tougher by the currents at the mouth of the Kennebec.  To make it safer and easier, they want to time their departure to ride a more helpful tide which means they hope to sail at 4:30am tomorrow.  That means getting up at 3am.  We don’t envy them that schedule.

Spending time with the campers was a terrific way to end a busy, long, and fun day.

Visitors – 55

Favorite Moment(s) – spending the sunset hour with campers and counselors from Camp Chewonki

Sunrise – 5:01am
Sunset – 8:11pm

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