August 17, 2016
As forecast, we had strong wind this morning along with big swells on the ocean, and mostly clear skies. A small craft advisory is in effect and early on, we didn’t see any boats at all out on the water although we would see some
later in the day. Lots of flies have made their way into the house through cracks in the windows and doors and small tears in the screen leading Patty and me to carry fly-swatters around with us. The flies are even worse outside but we’re hopeful that the strong winds today will drive them away – they were not a bother at all this summer until just a few days ago.
After breakfast (fruit), Patty went into the other side of the duplex to clean the Guest Quarters, Museum, and Gift Shop while I went down the hill to mow. Patty came down the hill while I was still down there to drop some things off in the Engine House that we’ll take ashore
tomorrow and also to get a few gallons of water to bring up to the house. Before heading back up the hill, she walked the Cove and Cobblestone Trails to pick berries and harvested a good sized paper bags’ worth. While cutting the grass near the Engine House, I kept having to dodge snakes, or they were dodging me, so I wouldn’t run them over with the mower.
Back up at the house, as Patty made lunch I vacuumed our side of the house. We had a big salad with garden greens and the rest of the mackerel fish we had on top of the salad. Around lunchtime, the sky filled with thick dark clouds and the winds increased but without a consistent direction. Our weather station showed the wind switching all around the compass and the flag showed the same by getting itself wrapped around the pole. In spite of that and big swells still rolling past the island, we were starting to see boats out on the water including one lobster boat pulling pots just off our eastern shore.
After lunch, I went back down the hill to fix the oarlock in our dinghy Hinckley and Patty worked in the Whistle House painting the rest of the milepost signs we plan to put up. We’re going to leave room for future caretakers to add their own places if the milepost makes it through the winter and is still standing next summer and beyond. When she finished painting, she went berry pickin’ again, all the way out the North Trail where the flies waited to attack until she got to the end and then harassed her all the way back to the trailhead.
When I was working on the oarlock, a sailboat surprisingly came into the cove and after circling three or four times, successfully gaffed a mooring rope and tied up. Down at sea level, the wind was blowing directly into the cove creating choppy conditions on top of the swells. To me, it doesn’t look like a very comfortable place to ride out the bad weather but I guess it’s better than the wide open ocean.
Later when we were back up the hill, a Mom with her three kids came up the Lighthouse Trail. We were surprised to see them and even more surprised when she told us they boated over with her Mom & Dad in a motor boat from Boothbay. “Wasn’t it rough?” I asked. “It was bad” she said. Apparently it rocked her youngest to sleep but the rest of
them didn’t sound like they enjoyed the ride. The Mom & Dad (the kids’ grandparents) stayed down at the cove in their boat while the others came up the hill to see the museum and lighthouse. Up on the catwalk, it was really windy but really not quite as bad as expected. They told me they saw a bunch of snakes on the Lighthouse Trail when they were walking up the hill and as soon as we got down from the tower we saw one, then two, three, four, five… They were all over the lawn outside the gift-shop and museum. They must love the wet grass that we have today but have had so rarely over the summer. It was a little freaky to see so many – more than I saw earlier by Paco’s.
When the Mom and her kids went back down the hill, we decided to go down too to see how things look down there now. The sky was still dark and cloudy, getting darker actually, but the wind was dying down. We were curious to see if the sailboat was stilled moored in the cove and also to see the boat the others came in from Boothbay to Seguin. When we got down to the boathouse deck, the sailboat was still there, still rocking and rolling, and the six who came in the motor boat were searching for sea glass on the beach. They were serious about it with a five-gallon bucket and sifter, looking like prospectors hunting for gold.
The two older children setup a Wile E. Coyote looking trap with driftwood, a rock, and length of rope, baited with a whole crab they were able to snatch from a seagull when he landed and got chased by other gulls. We didn’t stay around to see them catch whatever it was they were trying to get but I suspect they’ll be as successful as Wile E. is himself.
By dinner time, the clouds had moved off the east and the sun came out. The wind died down and the swells in the ocean had noticeably diminished. We happily noticed that the flies didn’t seem as bad either. I hope that latter condition holds for the next few weeks at least.
Patty made chips with Kale from the garden and then chili with jalapeno cornbread for dinner. Afterwards, we watched a beautiful sunset that was totally unexpected given how the weather looked for most of the day.
We texted with Ethan and confirmed that we’re on for tomorrow morning at 7am, like a regular Wednesday, and Cyndy confirmed that she and some others volunteers will come out as well, also like a regular Wednesday. Except that it will be a Thursday.
Visitors – 6
Favorite Moment(s) – Watching waves in the morning and berry picking in the afternoon.
Sunrise – 5:36am
Sunset – 7:31pm
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