Pan Pan, Pan Pan, Pan Pan

Friday,
July 15, 2016

Thick fog blanketed Seguin and everything felt wet this morning but there was also a brightness from the sun shining brightly above the fog, trying to break through.  The strong winds from last night died down and things were calm

Foggy morning outside the lighthouse tower

Foggy morning outside the lighthouse tower

now.  We didn’t sit outside on the porch with coffee because of the dampness instead having coffee with our old standby of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola for breakfast.

After breakfast, we took put away some stuff in the house back in the Whistle House and then took a big (and heavy) bag of trash from the Whistle House down to Paco’s to take off-island next Wednesday.  Unfortunately, the bag broke part way down but I didn’t realize for a hundred yards or so and ended up leaving a trail on the trail.  Oops.  We were able to clean most of it up and then got some water to bring up the hill – we try to never miss a chance to get at least a gallon or two to take to the house.  Pretty sure that

View from the Whistle House this morning

View from the Whistle House this morning

Outward Bound never showed up last night as planned, we double checked the cove and camping area.  No sign of them so I guess the weather yesterday kept them from making the trip to Seguin.  Heading back up the hill, the heat and mugginess really hit us.  With the fog, the humidity was probably close to 100% and especially along the Lighthouse Trail, there was no breeze at all.

Sitting down for a few minutes to cool off, we heard on the VHF radio an alert for a

Lunch salad with scallops

Lunch salad with scallops

sailboat adrift in the vicinity of Seguin Island.  Patty and I went up to the lighthouse tower catwalk (almost 200 feet above the water) to see if we could spot the boat.  We could see boating activity close to shore but particularly to the north and west, the fog was too thick to see much beyond Seguin’s coastline.  When the boat reporting the sighting of the adrift sailboat was asked to switch to channel 22 by the Coast Guard, we did the same to listen in on their conversation.  The reporting boat lost sight of the adrift boat in the fog and continued on their own course so they weren’t sure now where the other boat was.  After their exchange ended, we broke in on the radio and identified ourselves and asked which direction, relative to Seguin, we should look.  One-mile south was the answer.  Visibility to the south was better than in other directions but we guessed a mile was about the outer limit of what we could see and all we saw in that direction was sailboats that appeared to be clearly in control and not adrift.

Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and raisin cookies

Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and raisin cookies

In the next couple of hours, with the fog lifting all around the island, we saw a small Coast Guard boat and a Maine Marine Patrol boat off the east of Seguin Island, working their way south and checking in with each boat they passed.  Asking the captain’s if they’d been sailing with only their jib up (making them appear adrift I guess?) or if they’d seen anything.  It was pretty interesting because we could watch what the boats were doing and also listen on the radio to their conversations.  No one had seen anything other than the first boat that made the report.

The weather was improving and we thought we’d probably get visitors sometime soon so Patty went up the tower to sweep, clean the lens and also to clean up some water that was on the floor from last night’s rain.  I worked on the blog a little.  Just when Patty came back into the house, the Coast Guard hailed us (“Coast Guard, Boothbay Station calling Seguin Island Light Station”) which came as a surprise.  I replied and they asked if we could make a physical search of the coastline of Seguin for the adrift sailboat.  “Sure.”  Patty and I walked out to the end of the South Trail and did our best to check the shoreline but we’re so high up that it’s impossible to see most of it and there’s not practical way to bushwhack to the edge of the rock ledges that drop down to the water.  We saw that there were several lobster boats around the southern end of the island pulling pots and they would have a good view, way better than ours.

Start of our "project"

Start of our “project”

Back at the house, we radioed the Coast Guard to tell them we checked what we could see at the south end of the island and that we thought the lobsterman on the water would be able to see any sailboat crashed against the island better than us.  I’m sure they would have called in if they saw something like a 15-meter sailboat on the rocks of Seguin like the one reported adrift.  Around 3:30 in the afternoon, the Pan Pan alert was canceled pending further development.  What does that mean?  We got no closure so readers of this blog don’t either.  Sorry.

We sat down for lunch after walking the South Trail and had a salad with greens from the garden along with scallops left over from yesterday along with bread and sliced cheddar cheese.  Man, those scallops are good eats.

Patty's foot surrounding by gull prints on the beach - they're almost as big as her (kid-sized) feet

Patty’s foot surrounding by gull prints on the beach – they’re almost as big as her (kid-sized) feet

After lunch, Patty baked peanut butter oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and raisins in them (trying to imitate cookies her mom used to make).  Yeah, I know, my baking career turned out to be pretty pathetic – my only defense is that I really just prefer being outdoors.  And Patty is a lot better at it.  So, while she made cookies, I started a project we want to leave complete this summer that will leave our mark on the island.  Each caretaker seems to have done something as a little legacy to their time here and I got rolling on ours.  I’ll include pictures in the blog each time we work on it until it’s revealed.

Bringing Dave & Rob ashore for their night of photography on Seguin

Bringing Dave & Rob ashore for their night of photography on Seguin

When we were both free, we walked down the hill to go for a swim and to meet Dave and Rob, two professional photographers that will be staying overnight on Seguin to take sunset, nighttime, and sunrise pictures.  When we got down the hill, the cove was totally in the shade and despite how hot it’s felt all day, it still felt too chilly down there to take a dip.  We’ll have to remember to do that when the sun is still shining on the beach.

Aptly named Sunset Bench

Aptly named Sunset Bench

At six o’clock, right on time, Dave and Rob cruised into the cove in Dave’s boat and I rowed out to get them and their gear ashore.  First, I rowed in all of their stuff in one full load which Patty helped me unload on the beach and then took the two of them in on the second run.  They wanted to head up the hill and get started right away taking pictures and video from their drone.  We all went up in the tower together and Rob got the lay of the land (he’s from Denver and has not been here before while Dave has) and then Patty and I went down to get dinner started.

Sunset glowing on the lighthouse tower

Sunset glowing on the lighthouse tower

While Patty was getting dinner ready, we heard a whining sound outside the kitchen.  The wind had picked up to 15mph+ and when we went outside, we saw the noise came from a drone they had and were fascinated watching the as Dave moved it around the tower, let it float away towards the flag pole, had it zoom forward past the tower, etc.  He later said the video was probably choppy because of the wind but I thought the thing seemed very agile.

Drone flying around the house and tower

Drone flying around the house and tower

Back in the house, Patty finished cooking our dinner of sockeye salmon (from Plant’s seafood) with sour cream and dill marinade with corn on the cob and tomato salad.  We cleaned up after dinner and then read in the living room for an hour or two before heading up to bed.  Outside, we knew Dave and Rob were still hard at work because we could see lots of

flashes – he explained earlier that they would take long exposure pictures and “paint” the tower with light to get the right effect.  I assume that’s what they were doing.  Or maybe they had a disco ball and were having a party?  They were quiet either way.WP_20160715_20_08_09_Pro

Overheard on Channel 78 (the one we and several local lobstermen use): Yeah, so my son Billy got tackled pretty hard by Jimmy at football practice.  Knocked him on his a$#%.  So Billy decided to drop kick Jimmy in the face.  Just wait ‘til their big enough to really hurt each other!

Visitors – 2

Salmon, corn, and tomato salad for dinner

Salmon, corn, and tomato salad for dinner

Favorite Moment(s) – trying to help the Coast Guard and watching Dave & Rob’s drone flying around the house and lighthouse tower.

Sunrise – 5:00am
Sunset – 8:11pm

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