The Fresnel Lens are sparklie!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I will start todays blog with a little story of our trip over on Saturday morning and how an unfortunate loaf of bread gave us an amazing breakfast this morning.  As we were getting ready to load our provisions onto the launch bringing us out to the island, I handed Brian our loaf of bread and asked him to put it someplace where it won’t get squished on the trip over, no problem, right?  Fast forward to lunch on Saturday, I went to make sandwiches and asked Brian where he put the bread, a puzzled look from Brian was my answer, who knows where it ended up.  I improvised lunch with English muffins but it will now mean I need to start baking bread until next Wednesday.  When I finally had a chance to sort through the rest of our belongings on Sunday night and found a very squished loaf of bread on the bottom of the bag holding our foul weather gear!  This loaf was not in any shape to be used for sandwiches but I am a frugal sailor and had a hard time throwing it away.  The story fast forwards to today and a warm French Toast Casserole served for breakfast.  I will add the recipe at the end of today’s entry.

Today started out with Cyndy giving Brian and I lessons on how to use the riding lawn mower, it seems a little complicated until you get on and play with it a little while.  This amazing machine (my new best friend) has a zero turning radius and can be very sensitive.  It finally occurred to me it is a lot like driving a horse and buggy, which I did a fair amount when I was younger.  We both had a chance to practice driving around the pump house but the grass was still too wet from the overnight to give it another cut.  The lawn mower will just have to wait a little bit before I get full control of it.

Tara’s new best friend, the riding mower

Our task list today included cleaning the 1st Order Fresnel Lens in the tower.  This can seem a little overwhelming when you realize it is the only functioning 1st order lens in Maine and 1 of 3 on the east coast.  As we climbed the tower with bowls of warm water/vinegar and our rags, Cyndy gave us a sample tour so we can be sure we are ready to great our first guests.  Brian and I worked as a team on the outer prisms and Cyndy took the inside light.  It is amazing how much grime came off on the rags, but the prisms were beautiful when we were done giving us a rainbow lightshow with the sun shining through the light.

Cyndy cleaning the inside of the prisms of the 1st order Fresnel Lens

Brian’s distorted image through the prisms

It is very handy to have a tall person to clean the higher level of prisms

 

Tara gets the low prisms to clean or is she sitting down on the job?

A rainbow of colors as the sun started to shine through the lens

The sun came out finally to help dry up the grass and trails.  Brian started to work on the North Trail which over the winter had a fair amount of wind damage with branches and berry brambles laying over the path.  He started with the weed whacker, then the pruning shears, and finally just used the branch loppers for the rest of the afternoon.  This trail on a good day takes about a day of weedwacking the path but with the extra work, it will be a 2-day project.  Again, our goal is to have all trails ready for opening day on Saturday, hopefully the weather will cooperate for the rest of the week.

The Coast Guard Helicopter landing area, there is a brick outline of an arrow pointing north, difficult to see with so much grass covering it, by next week it should be easily seen from above

As Brian was out trail blazing, Cyndy and I started another pass over the lawn with the push and riding mower.  It is unbelievable the grass is so lush out here on the island, maybe a horticulturist needs to study it and market the grass seed as a disaster resistance strain of grass, most golf courses would admire this grass.  It is wind, sun, and salt damaged all year long but it is the softest grass I have felt under foot.  The two of us worked all afternoon to get the helipad cut, front lawn cut and raked and another inch off the rest of the grass with the riding mower.  It will need another cut and raking before this weekend to make it look presentable for guests.  The good news is that Phinneus (our dachshund) and Pickles (our 3-legged Chihuahua) are loving having grass to run on after living the past 3 years on our sailboat.

Phinneus is our 15 year old dachshund. He is truly a mama’s boy and is known on the sailboat as a butthead, always in trouble.

Pickles is our 3-legged Chihuahau. She knows she is a princess and is now considering Seguin Island as her kingdom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a long day of hard work but our opening day list got a little shorter.  Again, we shared a lovely dinner with our new friend, Cyndy, who is going back to the mainland tomorrow afternoon and we will be on our own for the first time.  Both exciting and scary but we can’t wait for the next step in our adventure on Seguin.  Brian and I are organizing ourselves for our first day off the island which starts at 7am tomorrow morning when Captain Ethan picks us up in the Cove.  But before all of us say goodnight, we need to sit out on the sunset bench and witness another breathtaking sunset and look up to the tower to admire how bright our light shines out to any passing ship after spring cleaning from this morning.

Another beautiful sunset as seen from the sunset bench

The clean prisms added a certain sparkle to the lighthouse at sunset

 

French Toast Casserole

1 lb of bread cubed (you can use a very squished loaf of bread)

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick of butter

2 cups milk

6 eggs

2 tsp of vanilla extract

Cinnamon to taste

Melt the butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan, stirring frequently for about 2-3 minutes.  Pour melted mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Place the cubed bread into the pan.  Beat the milk, eggs, and vanilla together and pour over the bread cubes.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  At this point, the baking dish can be covered and put in the fridge for the overnight or at least for 2 hours before baking.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees and remove cover from baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  I would also recommend adding a layer of bananas and pecans before adding the bread for a healthier option.

I served with warmed maple syrup……Oh so good.