Dodging Bombers

Tuesday
June 28, 2016

First thing in the morning, looking up from the cove
First thing in the morning, looking up from the cove

Early morning came rainy and windy but by the time we really got up and moving, the rain had stopped.  We heard some showers overnight and a bit very early but I suspect it wasn’t enough to make up for the dry weather we’ve had the past two or three weeks.  The forecast calls for more rain today and tomorrow and I hope it actually happens to help things get more green back into the palate of the landscape here.  Once we were having our coffee, there were spots of sunshine over the island but it still looked rainy to the western mainland.  The wind was

Patty working the garden.
Patty working the garden.

definitely more calm than it was late yesterday.

We had fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola for breakfast – a favorite of ours.  Afterwards, Patty cleaned house – dusted, swept, etc. while I caught up the blog.  It’s funny that I’m the blogger dude but whenever I sit down to work on it and she does something else (like clean), I feel like I’m not doing my part but if I try to convince her to sit and relax while I blog, she feels like she’s not doing her part.  Partners!

Gull & Duck young'uns.
Gull & Duck young’uns.

Later on, Patty went over to the museum to get the inventory/paperwork in order for tomorrow when we report sales and re-supply while I did the switcheroo on compost in our guest quarters, trading the “old” compost (which was not quite right), for the “new” compost in advance of or first occupants of the guest quarters next week.  Exciting stuff!

Around mid-day, Cyndy emailed to let us know that the Wednesday Warriors would not be coming tomorrow.  The forecast is not good and it’s pretty much a certainty that they wouldn’t be able to get their punch list for the day done so they called off the workday.   Between what we’ve already stockpiled and the survivalist bunker’s worth of food our friends Terri & John brought out last week, much of which we still have, we’re ok whether we make it to the mainland or not.  Aside from food, we seem to be “stretching” our wardrobe in such a way that in seven days we go through only three or four changes of clothes.  Hmmm…..  Maybe we need to work on that?

Speaking of food left by Terri & John, Patty made a batch of tortilla soup with chicken, chili pepper, onion, celery,

Quick reacting to an incoming dive-bomber
Quick reacting to an incoming dive-bomber

etc. and put it on the stove to think about itself for several hours.  While she did that, I went down the Whistle House and made a new sign post for the Lighthouse so we could better guide visitors as to

Almost ready to bloom...wild rose?
Almost ready to bloom…wild rose?

when a tour was in progress (i.e. Please Wait) with an exit message to please remember to sign or guest book.  Patty joined me to work on the lettering and I painted the rough post and stand a bright white that’s used for much of the signage and other things here.  We have a wonderfully well-equipped and stocked

Poison Ivy?  Still trying to figure it out - mid_Atlantic variety  looks a little different.
Poison Ivy? Still trying to figure it out – mid_Atlantic variety looks a little different.

workshop here with tons of different paints, tool, and just about anything we need to complete a “Plan B” project (seriously though, we have everything we could hope for to have fun and be productive).

We paused for lunch at some point and had London broil sandwiches

(I think we finished it) with lettuce, tomato, roasted peppers, grilled vegetables, and a side of various olives from the antipasto bar at Shaw’s.

Tortilla soup for dinner
Tortilla soup for dinner

Following lunch, we gathered most of what we’ll be taking with us off-island tomorrow like dirty laundry, my backpack (Patty’s was already down there), empty water bottle, etc.  We’re expecting heavy rain, or at least the possibility

Sign post prototype from scrap wood in the Whistle House.
Sign post prototype from scrap wood in the Whistle House.

of it, in the morning and figured the less we have to carry in a potential

downpour the better.  The weather at this point was actually really nice so we stayed down by the cove for a while watching juvenile gulls on their first flights off western side

Crazy teenagers!
Crazy teenagers!

of the cove (where the North Trail is located) and baby ducks swimming in the cove.  It was all really serene and beautiful until Patty walked down to the cove and got dive-bombed (see picture in this post).

As evening fell, we texted Ethan to see if he’d made a decision – go or no go – for tomorrow morning.  He said we were on the edge forecast-wise for getting off-island and he’d let us know at 6:30am tomorrow.  As I wrote above, we’re good either way but I suspect Ethan will be here bright and early….and we’ll be ready.

Visitors – 0WP_20160628_18_49_11_Pro

Favorite Moment(s) – watching young gulls and ducks along the cove

Sunrise – 4:48am
Sunset – 8:19pm

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Catch Up Day

Monday
June 27, 2016

Pizza and eggs for breakfast!
Pizza and eggs for breakfast!

The morning started off breezy and warm with overcast skies.  After our morning coffee, Patty heated up some leftover pizza and fried eggs to go on top – don’t scoff at it if you’ve never tried it.  In my world, everything is better with an egg on it.

We’ve been busy with visitors all day long for the past several days plus our own guests and hadn’t done any mowing in a few days.  Nothing is too long or ragged looking owing mostly to a lack of rain

Wild Rose bush (we think) covered with buds
Wild Rose bush (we think) covered with buds

but we expected today to be a slow visitor day and therefore a good day to hit the mowers.  Patty started up top with the riding mower while I went down and got the Cove and Cobblestone Beach Trails with the weed whacker and mower.  The gull in the camping area is still ensconced there and not willing to let us near her nest still but I tried.  She came as close to hitting me in the head as any gull so far so I just moved on – eventually, her eggs will have to hatch and we can get in there again.  At least the grass hasn’t grown too tall.  I did manage to run through the camping area, pushing the mower ahead of me, to avoid her dive at my head.  I’d like to point out that she’s huge – like the size of a small turkey.

Sort of chilaquiles type dish for lunch
Sort of chilaquiles type dish for lunch

By the time I was finished with the trails, Patty radioed down to check on how far I’d gotten and she said she had not only finished with the riding mower but had also finished all the push mowing, which I usually do at least part of because of a big hill, and was coming down to help me.  Either she was really cruising this morning or I was moving slow.  By the time she got down the hill, I had finished the hilly part of the mowing down below and she took over on the push mower while I did the weed whacking.  We did find a find a much appreciated $20 donation in the box by the info kiosk – always a nice discovery.  We also saw a wild rose bush (we think) along the Lighthouse Trail that is just starting to bloom.  We have a lot of these same bushes all over the island and expect them to be really beautiful when they’re in full bloom.

Salad with london broil and side of bread with cheese (and even two small pieces of leftover pizza) for dinner
Salad with london broil and side of bread with cheese (and even two small pieces of leftover pizza) for dinner

We headed up together and had a sort of chilaquiles type thing for lunch with totopos, and leftover from our last meal with Terri & John – beans, rice, chicken, etc. Yum!  Throughout the morning, the wind was building and by the time we took a break for lunch, it was blowing pretty hard.  Patty hung a museum and gift shop sign that had been DSC00127hanging in another spot but every time it was windy, the thing took a beating.  In the new spot she found, it is highly visible but should also be better protected from the wind.  I tried adding to our video collection and did one of the lighthouse tower but watching and listening to it afterwards, it was all wind noise in parts so I’ll have to do another later.

DSC00129We hadn’t had any visitors by this point and didn’t expect any with the deteriorating weather so we just kept doing little chores and tasks to keep busy.  Up and down the hill a couple of times for water or to consolidate gas cans, puttering in the kitchen, a little cleaning, etc.  ForDSC00127 sure, nothing too exciting but it was ok to have quiet day to catch up on things.

For dinner, Patty made a big salad with London broil from the other night along with some bread and cheese (she always includes that with a big salad meal, mostly for me).  We got just a hint of a sunset but it was so windy that we wouldn’t have lingered outside to watch it for a few minutes regardless.  I did get a get a few pictures which was a good thing because we didn’t take many other pictures today and what we did take were almost all of our food.  Speaking of which, we always feel kind of strange including pictures and descriptions of food in the blog but we’ve been told people are interested in that so we include it.  Feel free to tell us that’s true or otherwise.

Visitors – 0IMG_0747

Favorite Moment(s) – seeing wild rose bush just starting to bloom with buds all over it.

Sunrise – 4:47am
Sunset – 8:19pm

Hasta Luego Amigos

Sunday
June 26, 2016

Quiet early morning in the cove.
Quiet early morning in the cove.

I was up before everyone else and walked down the hill to get more water and check the donation boxes down there for contributions from yesterday’s visitors.  I also checked the outhouse to make sure it was clean and had plenty of paper for today’s visitors.  When I came back up the hill, everyone else was up – Patty was starting to get some food prepped while Terri & John were packing to leave this afternoon.

Pollo asado on the grill for brunch
Pollo asado on the grill for brunch

Patty and I had a big batch of pollo asado made and frozen in marinade, ready to be grilled, with plans to cook it during Terri & John’s visit.  We had so much other food that we hadn’t had it yet but figured it would be just as good for brunch as any other time.  So, as they were packing and Patty warmed tortillas, diced onions and tomatoes, made guacamole, heated black beans, etc. and I started grilling the chicken.

Visitors in the museum
Visitors in the museum

Just as the chicken finished cooking and Patty had the sides ready, our first visitors came up the hill.  They were two couples traveling together, one couple from Chicago and the other local along

Visitors in the museum
Visitors in the museum

with their dog Chloe (we set out the dog water bowl).  We chatted with them for a long time in the museum and outside on the lawn.  The woman of the Chicago couple signed the guestbook and saw John’s entry with Sea Girt, NJ as his hometown….turns out she’s from the same area of NJ as Patty, John, and Terri and worked in Seaside during the summer years ago, probably around the same time that Patty and Terri worked there.

Visitors on the rock vista overlooking the upper tram platform
Visitors on the rock vista overlooking the upper tram platform

While I was up in the tower with the first visitors, three more, including a F.O.S.I.L.S member and his son and daughter-in-law arrived.  The son and

Visitors relaxing around the picnic table.
Visitors relaxing around the picnic table.

his wife recently moved from Tallahassee to Maine and absolutely loved Seguin.  They had tons of questions up in the towner and also down in the museum.  They really enjoyed themselves and I expect we’ll see them again this summer.  On their heels was another group of eight from Utah, South and North Dakota visiting a Maine friend.  In another example of small worldishness, this friend was the wedding planner for a couple from our first group.

Terri and John with the finished composter painted like a lobster buoy, complete with Seguin's GPS position.
Terri and John with the finished composter painted like a lobster buoy, complete with Seguin’s GPS position.

The first three groups slowly left in small groups until it was just us and our friends left and we quickly set out our brunch at the dining room table.  The timing was perfect and we enjoyed a fairly leisurely last meal together before Ethan arrived on his regularly scheduled ferry service.  Just as we finished up and cleanup was done, the first of Ethan’s group arrived at the top of the Lighthouse Trail.

We were busy for the next couple of hours with his group of twenty-four and

Ethan's big boat with several other in the cove.
Ethan’s big boat with several other in the cove.

another group of 9, giving tours, manning the gift shop, and generally doing our keeper/caretaker duties. John and Terry spent the time carrying their stuff down the hill – they didn’t have nearly as much to go back since much of what they brought was food & drink and they generously left behind everything we had not finished.  We’re well stocked for the foreseeable future.  They did add to their load with lots of Seguin gift shop purchases, they wouldn’t want their bags to be too light!  The visitors were all so nice, some even going so far as to offer Terri & John help in getting their stuff down the hill (they politely declined).  The last thing they did before it was time to go was put the finished touches on our lobster-buoy composter by painting on the GPS coordinates of Seguin Island.

A family arrive from an nearby island on this skiff and tied right at the beach.
A family arrive from an nearby island on this skiff and tied right at the beach.

By the time Ethan’s group was ready to depart around 1:30, we had no other visitors so we were able to go down the hill with everyone.  I rowed one load of Terri & John’s stuff out to Ethan’s boat in our dinghy while Brook, Ethan’s first-mate, start taking small groups of people from the beach to the boat.  In the end, there was room for Terri & John to squeeze onto the last dinghy group and with hugs and promises to see each other either here in August or on our way south in September/October, they were off.

While Ethan’s group and our friends were doing the dinghy shuffle, we had a couple and their son arrive by their own skiff and a couple who sailed in rowed their dinghy ashore.  The family in the dinghy was from a local island where they are caretakers and were just visiting for a short time.  The husband of the sailboat couple surprised his wife with a stop at Seguin and wanted to take her to the top of the light.  As Terri & John headed out to Ethan’s boat, Patty walked up the hill with our guests and I got Hinckley tied up and waved goodbye just as Ethan turned his boat to head back to Popham.  I headed up to the top afterwards to help Patty with tours and the gift shop.

Visitors arriving from their sailboat by kayak after exploring Seguin from the water.
Visitors arriving from their sailboat by kayak after exploring Seguin from the water.

Besides the five visitors that arrived while we were on the beach, we had a number of others come during the remainder of the afternoon.  Two more guys arrived by sailboat and came up to see the tower after they moored up and first spent some time kayaking around Seguin.  They were joined by their dog Winnie which gave Patty a laugh because she had a dog named “Winnie the Poodle” as a child.  A single kayaker arrived from Popham and hiked up the hill barefoot, wearing just board shorts and life vest.  He toured the tower, museum, and even hiked the North Trail – all sans shoes.

Ethan's group and our friends preparing to leave Seguin
Ethan’s group and our friends preparing to leave Seguin

We took a quick break after the kayaking visitor left for a quick lunch of leftover spaghetti and meatballs from dinner a couple of nights ago.  It was good carb load and just in time….

Finally, a three generation family arrived by sailboat as part of their loop trip around the area.  They keep their boat near Boothbay and were heading to Pond Island next, then up the Kennebec, and back

Brook getting ready to take folks out to Ethan's boat
Brook getting ready to take folks out to Ethan’s boat

over towards Boothbay somehow via smaller rivers or creeks or something.  The older member of the group (I think the grandfather) is from Augusta and was telling us about a lot of hiking trails around Katahdin Mountain that we might enjoy.  We’ve hiked to the southern end of the Appalachian Trail from Amacalola

Sunset reflection on the old fog signal bell
Sunset reflection on the old fog signal bell

Falls to Springer Mountain in Georgia along with a few short sections of the AT and would love to get to Katahdin for the northern end of the trail.  Maybe even the whole AT one day?

 

After the last group left, it was getting late for any additional guests, maybe after six and we figured we were probably done for the day.  After a little cleanup in the museum, gift shop, and tower, Patty madea pizza with a pizza dough our friends left along with red sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni.  In fact, all of the ingredients were left by Terri & John!

WP_20160626_20_05_50_ProIt was another busy day, which is something we’re enjoying so far, and we missed our friends but we were also tired and it felt good to just sort of collapse and read after dinner.  One of the last things we did today was make a crank call to Terri – for some reason, John brought these toy air horn things with him and left one for us.  It sounds somewhere between a real air horn and a clown horn –it’s really loud and every time anyone honked it, John laughed, like a conditioned reaction.  Anyway, we called Terri (we found out they were out to dinner with friends in Portland which made it funnier to me) and just honked the horn a bunch of times.  I’m sure John could hear it and was laughing in the background.

Patty's homemade pizza for dinner
Patty’s homemade pizza for dinner

Visitors – 53 (same number as yesterday)

Favorite Moment(s) – walking down to the cove with Ethan’s group of 24 and our friends and then hanging out and talking with everyone as Brook ferried them out to the big boat.

Sunrise – 4:47am
Sunset –8:19pm

One Busy Day on the Rock

Saturday
June 25, 2016

DSC_0566
Seguin Sunrise
Seguin sunrise
Seguin sunrise

Saturday broke with sunny skies and calm winds – we’re getting spoiled by the weather since Wednesday’s brief rain.  Patty whipped up a heapin’ helpin’ of scrambled eggs and bacon for the two of us and our friends Terri and John who are visiting from New Jersey.  Terri is a childhood friend of Patty’s and John is her significant other and together, they are loving their time on Seguin and chipping in wherever they can.

Visitors from our neighbors on Pond Island
Visitors from our neighbors on Pond Island

Just after breakfast, three young ladies arrived from Pond Island which is situated

Breakfast
Bacon & Eggs for Breakfast

between Seguin and Popham.  Pond is a much smaller, mostly rocky (maybe all rocky?) island with an automated lighthouse that is smaller than the one on Seguin.  There is an ongoing study of tern migration (artic terns and one another type that I can’t remember) that these three are involved with in their work for the Audubon Society.  One of the visitors (Robin) is on Pond for the whole summer while one of the others is there for a couple of weeks and the third oversees six additional locations besides Pond.  It was really interesting talking to them and their living conditions make ours seems positively luxurious.  Like us, they have to bring DSC_0610drinking water from the mainland but they also have to collect rainwater for bathing and washing dishes (it hasn’t rained much lately, hence….) and have limited electricity.  They also live and work in tents DSC_0619that are along the rocks shores, exposed to wind, rain, and sun.  They were really excited to visit Seguin and go up in the tower after seeing it just across the water from their home 24/7.

Just after they left, we had two more visitors from Montreal that keep a sailboat in Maine and sailed in for a visit.  We seemed to have a lot in common with them and spent a long time chatting must-see places in the area following our summer on Seguin.  Although their primary language was obviously French, unlike our visitors yesterday, we were able to have an in-

Mitchell with some of our visitors
Mitchell with some of our visitors

depth conversation on lots of different topics.  After their tour, they planned to hike the island a little while waiting for better winds to sail.

For most of the remainder of the day, we were busy with a steady stream of visitors.  Ethan brought 24 on his boat followed by an extended family of 9 from DE & CT that have been coming to Seguin

Family visiting for their 12th consecutive year.
Family visiting for their 12th consecutive year.

for twelve consecutive years.   We had a couple from a town in Virginia near where I grew up in Williamsburg and we even had a mutual acquaintance.  We met two families, totaling ten, traveling together and besides just wanting to visit Seguin, I think the two parent couple were doing friendly reconnaissance on the place – they have reservations to stay with us in

Mitchell & Patty with friends John & Terri
Mitchell & Patty with friends John & Terri

the Guest Quarters in early July.  They’ll be our first F.O.S.I.L.S. guests and we’re looking forward to having them here.  Things quieted down for a bit and then we had three guys come up that were sailing the area and thinking about mooring overnight in the cove although I think they ended up moving on.

Mitchell on the tower catwalk with visiting family
Mitchell on the tower catwalk with visiting family

Terri and John mingled and chatted with a lot of the other visitors and, small world, found several that were from the same area as them (and Patty), had similar experience growing up, or common remembrances of places and events.  They also took a hike to the end of the North Trail where I

Two families traveling together hanging out on the rocks next to the house
Two families traveling together hanging out on the rocks next to the house

think John spent a lot of time being the target for seagull dive bomb attacks while Terri tried to capture just the right screaming bird photo.  They made it out of there unscathed but we could tell when they were heading back our way by the flock of gulls circling over the trail.

Aggressive gull on the North Trail on the hint for a New Jersey John.
Aggressive gull on the North Trail on the hint for a New Jersey John.

Our friend Jude from back home in Brevard sent us a care package that we picked up Wednesday at Cyndy’s and finally made full use of.  She included two scones from our local bakery (ok, they were gone on Wednesday), a new ball cap for me from a locally owned Brevard outdoor goods store,

Seagull Nest
Seagull Nest

a vest Patty coveted, and two sections of Tibetan flags.  Patty coveted the vest from the outdoor store but didn’t buy it before we left to her regret – it will easily hold a camera, her VHF radio, notepad, and whatever else she needs to carry.  I really needed another cap (Jude must have ESP!)

Schooner sailing off the eastern side of the island
Schooner sailing off the eastern side of the island

because the one I brought is falling apart, and we both wanted the flags to spruce up the clothesline area and generally bring us good vibes.  Thank you Jude!  You are so thoughtful and kind.

Last Wednesday, the Wednesday Warriors brought out a composter that someone donated to F.O.S.I.L.S. for the island and we set it up next to the kitchen door.  It was black with a pressure treated frame

Gimme an "H"
Gimme an “H”

and, while we’re thrilled to have it and it will be great for the garden next year, it looked very utilitarian.  Patty came up with the brilliant idea to paint it to look like a giant lobster buoy so she and John set about finding a good paint combination and painting it.

Patty & Mitchell on the tower catwalk
Patty & Mitchell on the tower catwalk

Meanwhile, I was doing something, not quite sure what, and walked into the living room and smashed my pinky toe into a rocking chair.  It hurts, it’s purple, and maybe it’s broken.  It wasn’t beer o’clock or anything like that, just clumsiness I’m embarrassed to say.  No good story to go along with it but anyone that wants to suggest a colorful one to me, please do and I’ll use it.

While I was crying about my toe and John and Patty painted, Terri got some veggies

Lobster salad lunch
Lobster salad lunch

marinating and later, cooked them with John along with London broil, on the grill.  It was yet another delicious meal (I need more adjectives that don’t sound too silly).  We stuffed ourselves and still have a ton of food leftover for more meals which is perfectly fine with us.

Composter, pre-paint job
Composter, pre-paint job

We had a fantastic sunset show after dinner and then ended the night listening to Terri strum the guitar, enjoying a few cocktails, and good conversation and friendship.  They’ll be leaving tomorrow and we’re going to miss them.  We’re hoping they might come for another visit in late August but, if not, we’ll have the chance to stop to see them for a visit in NJ on our way back home to North Carolina.

BTW – there are more pictures at the end of this post, more than usual, because it’s the last day of our monthly WiFi hot-spot contract and we have extra bandwidth to use before midnight!

Visitors – 53

Putting up the flags
Putting up the flags

Favorite Moment(s) – having lots & lots of visitors and painting the “lobster buoy” composter

Sunrise – 4:46am
Sunset – 8:19pm

Partially painted now....
Partially painted now….

 

 

Patty & John at work on the masterpiece
Patty & John at work on the masterpiece
Patty & John at work on the masterpiece
Patty & John at work on the masterpiece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost done (stay tuned for final product)
Almost done (stay tuned for final product)

 

 

 

 

DSC00089 DSC00095

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our buddy John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mt. Washington (NH) in the distance
Mt. Washington (NH) in the distance

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Dinner feast of london broil, grilled veges, and more...
Dinner feast of london broil, grilled veges, and more…
Sunrise on Seguin
Sunrise on Seguin

 

 

 

 

Marins Français

Friday
June 24, 2016

Waiting for our friends to return from fishing with Ethan
Waiting for our friends to return from fishing with Ethan

Our friends John & Terri went fishing this morning so we were all up early for their 7am pickup by Ethan in the cove.  I rowed them and their rods and gear out to Ethan’s boat and then Patty & I watched from the beach as Ethan took them back towards the Kennebec River

Visitors from France
Visitors from France

to fish for Striped Bass.

Patty and I returned to the house afterwards and found the liquids in our composting toilet (in the keeper’s quarters) overflowing.  Without any more details, it took us quite a while to clean up and it was kind of yucky!  I’ll also note that we both showered right afterwards…before breakfast.

Patty with our French visitors
Patty with our French visitors

We’ve been eating a lot since Terri & John arrived and weren’t too hungry so we each just had an English muffin.  We might have skipped breakfast altogether or waited until later but since we’re never quite sure when visitors might arrive, we try to take the chance to eat when we can and when we don’t have to rush.  As it turned out, we didn’t have any guests until later in the morning so we caught up on some cleaning and other little chores around the house.

Where are you from?
Where are you from?

Terri and John were set to return on Ethan’s boat around 10:30 and texted a little before to say they caught fifteen fish total but none were keepers because they were not big enough.  A little before 10:30, we went down to the cove to untie Hinckley and wait for their return.  When we got down there, a very nice sailboat was moored in the cove and three occupants were rowing ashore in their dinghy.  We helped them land and did our best to welcome them, introduce ourselves, and tell them about the island but since they didn’t speak much English and we don’t speak their native French, there was lots of pantomime involved.

Pizza for lunch at the picnic table
Pizza for lunch at the picnic table

Patty thought it would be best to accompany them up the hill just because we weren’t sure what they were getting from us regarding Seguin so she left with them while I waited for Ethan’s boat.  On their way up the hill, Patty learned that our guests are from France (we guessed Quebec initially) and are sailing the coast of Maine for three

Boy Scouts playing Frisbee outside the gift shop.
Boy Scouts playing Frisbee outside the gift shop.

weeks – a couple they are friends with owns the boat and that couple sailed it from France and was currently visiting family in Minnesota giving these folks the chance to borrow the boat.  Or at least Patty’s pretty sure that’s the story.

When I saw Ethan’s coming towards the cove from beyond Ellingwood Rock, I pushed off from the beach and met them near the Coast Guard mooring just as they came in.  John and Terri climbed into the dinghy and we headed back to the beach.  They told me all about where they went (about half-way to Bath up the Kennebec), their catch, and the biggest 25” striper that was just short of the 28” minimum.  They had a great time, had perfect weather and seas, and especially enjoyed spending the morning with Ethan exploring local fishing spots.  We knew they would.

Our friend Terri sketching the lighthouse
Our friend Terri sketching the lighthouse while John naps in the background.

When we reached the beach, I was rowing in stern first (so any waves will break over the bow and not swamp the dinghy) and Terri was sitting on the stern. Just as she stood up to get, a wave picked us up a few inches and then push us a bit higher up the beach.  Before I could say wait or hold on or anything, she did a half-somersault backwards out of the boat.  After a moment of stunned silence all around, she got up and was no worse for wear other than being soaked on one side.

Patty makin' cookies
Patty makin’ cookies

Whew, that was almost bad!  Luckily it was low tide and we were on the sandy beach and not on the rocks.  I’ve seen this or some variation of it happen a few times although I’ve never been in the dinghy myself at the time.  When I’m rowing, I think I need to be more aware of the swells and pre-warn any passengers to sit tight until we’re between waves.  Live and learn….it’s new to me too!

John and Terri making meatballs
John and Terri making meatballs

When Terri, John, and I reached the house, Patty was finishing her tour with the French guests but was going to walk back to the cove with them because they had purchased some things from the gift shop and wanted to make a donation but had forgotten to bring cash ashore with them.  Between the three of them, they found some Euros but no US cash.  Maybe we would have taken the Euros a few days ago but with the Brexit vote and all….  No, really, we didn’t have any other visitors and Patty didn’t want to turn away a sale or donation so she accompanied them back down the hill and waited ashore with one of the visitors while the others rowed out for some money.

Patty and I received a care package from our friend Jude in Brevard including my new hat, Patty's vest, and some Tibetan flags.
Patty and I received a care package from our friend Jude in Brevard including my new hat, Patty’s vest, and some Tibetan flags.

John and Terri got cleaned up after their fishing trip and then made two pizzas for lunch with crust they brought with them.  One was goat cheese, red sauce, and pepperoni and the other was mozzarella with red sauce.  Both were delicious.  We sat out back at the picnic table eating pizza along with a green salad and fruit salad hearing more about their fishing excursion, where they went, and what they saw.

Up on the lighthouse catwalk
Up on the lighthouse catwalk

Later in the afternoon, Ethan returned with a group of eighteen Boy Scouts from Troop 51 in Boxwood, Massachusetts.  Ethan took them fishing around Seguin and then some of the Troop came up the hill to tour the museum and lighthouse.  For several years, they’ve been doing this same trip where they camp in Popham and then visit Seguin and go fishing.  The boys were all really polite and nice as were

Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner
Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner

the chaperones even if the boys were more interested in throwing around a Frisbee than hearing the history of Seguin.  I think the adults were just happy that the boys had a chance to run around and burn off some energy.

DSC_0466After the Troop left, Patty made some chocolate chip cookies (my baking career has stalled at one batch of oatmeal cookies) and later John prepared homemade meatballs with a red sauce and pasta.  We had that for dinner this evening along with Parmesan cheese, salad, bread, and then cookies for desert.  Following dinner, John spent some time outside taking sunset and later moon & star pictures while Terri played some guitar and we all sat around together in the living room.

Visitors – 21DSC_0500

Favorite Moment(s) – hearing Terri & John’s fishing stories and meeting our visitors from France

Sunrise – 4:46am
Sunset – 8:19pm

Lobster with Friends

 

Thursday
June 23, 2016

Watching two boats race each other while I drink my coffee on the front porch.
Watching two boats race each other while I drink my coffee on the front porch.
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One of our visitors with his dog

Our friend John got up very early this morning to get pictures of sunrise from Seguin Island.  He got a little more sleep afterwards and we all got up later and enjoyed a breakfast of steel cut oatmeal with fresh fruit, granola, pumpkins seeds, etc.  Later, they hiked down the Lighthouse Trail and out the Cobblestone Trail where they spent a couple of hours enjoying the sun and watching the ducks (23 babies and 10 adults by their count) play in and around the cove just south of the beach.  Along the way, they saw other visitors and chatted with them while avoiding some of the dive bombing gulls along the Beach trail.

Lunch at the picnic table with friends Terri & John
Lunch at the picnic table with friends Terri & John

Patty and I stayed around the lighthouse because we knew Ethan was coming out with a group in his big boat.  His group arrived late morning and made their way up the hill in small groups that we greeted, took on tours in the tower, and welcomed into the museum

This family visitedSeguin today and really enjoyed the museum, lighthouse tour, and trails.
This family visited Seguin today and really enjoyed the museum, lighthouse tour, and trails.

and gift shop.  Ethan’s group had 23 guests plus we had another four that traveled on their own to Seguin.

After our visitors departed, we joined Terri & John at the picnic table for a lunch of leftover Chicken Francaise sandwiches, chips with Terri’s mango salsa and Patty’s homemade tomatillo salsa.  The weather was perfect and, knock wood, we don’t have much in the way of bugs to deal with (yet).  All the while we sat and ate, a seagull friend sat on the adjacent rock giving us the eye – I think he’s the same fella that Patty gave a scrap of Mackerel to last week.

Ready for lobsters!
Ready for lobsters!

After lunch, we showed our friends the Whistle House area and then walked down to the Boathouse to sit on the deck in the sun.  After an hour or more down there, John and I rowed out to the lobster keeper box where Jackson left six lobsters for us yesterday.  Patty and Terri stayed on shore to document the whole thing and play in the surf a little too – the tide was low so there was lots of nice beach to play on.

We cooked the lobster for dinner and had it with corn on the cob and

Taking lobsters from the keeper box tied to one of the moorings.
Taking lobsters from the keeper box tied to one of the moorings.

some very good bread we bought at Bath Natural Foods on Wednesday.  It was really tasty and Patty and I are getting better and better at getting the meat out of the shell.  I really like the whole ceremony of rowing out to get the lobster, putting them into a bucket with seaweed, cooking and cleaning them.  I know our friends did too and that they are falling in love with this place and all it has to offer.

Lobsters safely aboard.  Approaching the beach stern first...
Lobsters safely aboard. Approaching the beach stern first…

John is an avid fisherman with his own boat at home in New Jersey.  Today, he and Terri made arrangements to go fishing for striped bass tomorrow with

Lobsta!
Lobsta!

Ethan.  He’s pretty excited to get out on the water first thing in the morning.

Visitors – 23

Favorite Moment(s) – hanging out on boathouse deck and then getting lobsters from keeper box with our friends Terri & John

Sunrise – 4:46am
Sunset – 8:19pm

Terri & John on sunset bench
Terri & John on sunset bench

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Overloaded Dinghy

 

Wednesday
June 22, 2016

Sky over Seguin's cove in the morning.
Sky over Seguin’s cove in the morning.

We woke up at our normal Wednesday time of 5:30am to be ready for Ethan and the Wednesday Warriors to arrive in the Cove at 7am and our day off-island.  As we’ve done the past few weeks, we headed down to the cove a few minutes early to have time to sit on the beach and have our coffee there before it’s time to leave.  The morning was sunny, the winds were calm, and the seas just had some gentle swells.

Sand Fiddler on the rocks at Cove Beach
Sand Fiddler on the rocks at Cove Beach

We didn’t have much to bring to the mainland (no gas containers and only two water jugs) so we only needed a single dinghy ride to get our stuff aboard Ethan’s boat.  There were six Wednesday Warriors including the regulars Cyndy, Rick, and Ken plus three we had not met before – Ben, Deb, and Tom.  Julie (who’s been out every week so far) didn’t come this week because we made plans to meet her for lunch.

Looking over the boathouse from the Cove Beach
Looking over the boathouse from the Cove Beach

As we headed towards Popham, it sure looked as if our Wednesday good weather record would hold up for another week – I didn’t even have a jacket on for the ride over.  Once on the mainland, we did our regular errands – water at Cyndy’s, laundry, grocery shopping, and a stop at the hardware store. Afterwards, we met Julie for lunch at Schutty’s which is a seafood food truck with some picnic tables that’s a few miles from downtown.  The food was good and the weather nice as we ate under a sun umbrella at one of the picnic tables but dark clouds were starting to move our way.  Uh oh…

Sailboat that moored in the cove last night.
Sailboat that moored in the cove last night.

After lunch, we made our weekly stop at Dot’s for ice cream and then met our friends Terri and John who will be staying with us on Seguin for the next several days.  We met them at the Maritime Museum just as it started to rain and they followed us down to Popham for the ride over.  We thought we had explained the deal with getting to Seguin, the hill, etc. but I

Patty out back just before sunset.
Patty out back just before sunset.

don’t think we did a very good job because they had a lot of stuff.  A whole lot.  Especially lots of food especially which we weren’t going to turn away.  As we made our way towards Popham, the rain turned into a pretty steady downpour with the rain coming down hardest as we pulled up to the dock.  We were running a little late and Ethan was anxious to get going as the four of us shoved all our stuff into plastic garbage bags to try to keep things dry on the way over.  Before long, with the boat loaded down with us and our stuff, we pushed off for the ride to Seguin.

Our friend John and Patty working on dinner
Our friend John and Patty working on dinner

Approaching the cove, the rain let up and by the time Cyndy came out to meet us in the Hinckley (the dinghy), it had stopped completely and the fun began.  The dinghy shuffle this week was one to remember and I’m sure the Wednesday Warriors all got a good laugh at the amount of loot we were taking ashore.  Two big coolers, a case box of one-gallon

Our friend Terri helping prepare the Chicken Francaise
Our friend Terri helping prepare the Chicken Francaise

water bottles, two water jugs, backpacks, bags upon bags upon bags of food and drink.  I think it took us four or five trips total but we finally got everything to the rocky beach (oh yeah, it was high tide) and then up the hill to Donkey Engine House area.  On one of the dinghy runs, I thought we were just going to go in circles instead of towards the shore because the cooler between my legs (and hanging off the stern) was so big that I could only freely move one of the oars.  Surprisingly, we

John taking sunset pictures
John taking sunset pictures

were able to get everything we brought ashore to the top of the hill in just a couple of (very difficult) trips up the trail.  We have one well stocked house right now!

After we unpacked, things were put away, and Terri and John were settled into our guest room, we gave them a tour of the tower and shared a few drinks as we showed them around.  Like Patty, John is a wonderful cook and with Terri as his sous chef and Patty helping with showing them where to find what they needed, they made a delicious mean of Chicken Francaise with carrots and rice.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset and the rest of the evening together with lots of laughs and storytelling.  It was a very good day!

Visitors – 2IMG_0689

Favorite Moment(s) – laughing at all the stuff we brought to the island and spending time with our friends from New Jersey

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset – 8:18pm

Not much happening today…

Tuesday
June 21, 2016

French Toast for breakfast
French Toast for breakfast

The weather called for rain most of the day and it was overcast when we got up a little later than usual this morning.  The wind was calm and the grass was damp like it might have rained a bit overnight and we expected more to come.  Patty made French toast for breakfast and

Patty taking a rest after mowing.
Patty taking a rest after mowing.

we just kind of goofed around inside the house waiting for the rain to begin.  It didn’t.

Well, if it wasn’t going to rain, we figured we’d get outside and do some chores and started at the bottom of the hill where Patty mowed and I weed whacked all around the Engine House, outhouse, tram, etc.  Patty clipped brush back on the Cove Trail as far

Angry gull in the camping area
Angry gull in the camping area

as the camping area but the same gull that’s been so agitated there wasWP_20160621_15_38_27_Pro even more upset today and Patty turned back.  Patty said she heard it squawk “GET OUT!”.

We weed whacked up the Lighthouse Trail and then stopped for lunch.  Around the cove and along the Lighthouse Trail, the wind was calm and, despite what the forecast called for, the sun was shining brightly by this time and it was hot.  In the shade, especially with a breeze, it felt nice but working in the sun, we worked up a good sweat.  Patty headed up to make leftover buffalo chicken, broccoli, and mac & cheese for our lunch.

Gull along the South Trail
Gull along the South Trail

In the afternoon, with the sky still clear and sunny, we weed whacked

Jj/uvenile gulls circling above us on the south Trail
Juvenile gulls circling above us on the south Trail

and clipped the South Trail.  Afterwards, we stood at the South Trail vista overlooking the Cobblestone Beach and saw (for our first time), a cove between the vista and the beach where a large barrel was standing up and someone had created a little piece of art with driftwood and lobster buoys.  We’ll have to climb over to that cove from the beach one day soon.

Overlooking Cobblestone Beach from the South Trail vista.
Overlooking Cobblestone Beach from the South Trail vista.

For dinner, we had a light meal after our big lunch with bread, cheese, olives, carrots,

Waves crashing past the Cove.
Waves crashing past the Cove.

hummus, and a few other things.  The rain never did arrive and the day ended with a beautiful sunset against a mostly clear sky.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – discovering a new cove while standing at the vista above Cobblestone Beach.

Sunrise – 4:45amWP_20160621_20_16_38_Pro
Sunset – 8:18pm

 

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Strawberry Moon

Monday
June 20, 2016

Broken lightning rod cable
Broken lightning rod cable

The wind kept up through the night and this morning it was still blowing pretty hard.  I tried to convince myself that it had let up a little but the weather station told a different story.  It looked like there wasn’t much chance of visitors today although Ethan was planning to bring an engineer out to do an inspection and assessment of the building foundations for F.O.S.I.L.S.  We heard a small craft advisory for the entire coast of Maine on the VHF radio so we weren’t sure we’d see him either unless the weather improved.  But it was nice and warm inside as we had our morning coffee and a breakfast of eggs with sourdough toast.

After breakfast, we went down the hill to fetch a pail (or two gallon jugs anyway)

Painting new shoe shelf supports
Painting new shoe shelf supports

of water from one of the big jugs in Paco’s.  The wind was blowing from the southwest so the cove, located in the north side of Seguin, wasn’t too windy.  While we were down there, Patty went to check the gull in the camping area to see if she was still as agitated as yesterday.  The answer is yes.  There’s an egg outside of her nest, maybe a few feet away, and we’re not sure what that means.  Is that egg hers?  Was it not viable?  Did some other creature try to snatch it (there any not critters on the island and it seems like a snake would just eat it)?  Mystery.  Whatever her deal is, I hope she gets over it soon because she’s being really aggressive.

Patty's new driftwood shoe shelf
Patty’s new driftwood shoe shelf

We walked the Cobblestone Trail too while we were down there and picked up a half-dozen pieces of driftwood for some projects we want to do.  When we got back up the hill, we used two of the pieces of driftwood to add a shelf to a table that’s in the vestibule.  Our shoes,

Ongoing collection of rocks to cover electric main that runs along the ground
Ongoing collection of rocks to cover electric main that runs along the ground

boots, and sandals are always in a pile under and around the table but the new shelf will give us a place to put them away a little more neatly.  It probably doesn’t sound like anything important but visitors come into the vestibule to go into the museum and it didn’t look great plus someone could trip over one of my big boats.

Fetch a pail of water
Fetch a pail of water

We did a few more small things – replaced a string of lights with mostly burned out bulbs in the gift shop, touched up the paint on markers outlining the assistant caretakers house near the Whistle House, re-secured some deck boards on the top tram platform, and, most importantly, Patty trained me on how to record a sale in the gift shop.  I haven’t done that yet and wanted to make sure I knew what I am supposed to do cause it’s gonna happen one day soon.

We stopped for lunch but weren’t that hungry after our big breakfast so we just had tomato, lettuce, and swiss cheese sandwiches with coleslaw leftover from last night.  We did a little house cleaning and blogging afterwards.

Cables secured and out of the way
Cables secured and out of the way

There is a braided steel cable (or there was one) from the lighthouse catwalk to a

Momma bird guarding her nest along the South Trail
Momma bird guarding her nest along the South Trail

ground stake next to the base of the tower but the cable broke recently one night when it was really windy.  The cable is supposed to ground the lighthouse in the event of a lightning strike.  The top 10’ or more of the cable has been just swinging free while the bottom piece is attached to the ground stake and lying next to it.  It’s something we’ve been looking at and thinking we should do something about – we’d like to fix it by replacing the cable but I think the Coast Guard is planning to do that.  In the meantime, we went up in the tower and coiled up the piece that was hanging and secured it to the catwalk railing.  Down on the ground, we did a similar thing to get it up off the ground and secured to the side of the tower.  It at least looks a little better for now…

Cormorants drying their wings next to gulls
Cormorants drying their wings next to gulls

Patty started marinating some chicken while I called my Dad to wish him a belated Happy Father’s Day.  I wasn’t able to get a signal yesterday – the wind sometimes seems to affect our ability to get a good signal.  I also missed a call from our son yesterday but we were atIMG_0645 least able to text each other….not an option with my Dad!  He and my Mom were happy, as always, to hear from me and wanted to know all about our recent days on Seguin.

Before dinner, we went down the hill for water again and the wind had really picked up.  It was still coming from the southwest but it was strong enough to even be really blowing down around the cove.  When we got back up the hill, we had dinner – buffalo chicken, broccoli, and homemade baked mac & cheese.

IMG_0652Today was the summer solstice and also a full moon known as the “Strawberry Moon”.  We had clear skies and watch it rise over the ocean with a pretty pinkish hue (even though the name apparently refers to strawberry season and not the color).   It was a beautiful moon-rise and sunset on the “longest” day of the year.  Our view of the sunset has now reached the farthest northerly point and from now until the end for the summer, we’ll see it set a little farther to the south each evening.  Sunrise will come a little later too!

Oh yeah, the engineer didn’t make it to Seguin today.  I’m guessing the

Strawberry Moon
Strawberry Moon

seas were too rough but we’ll likely see him another day.

Visitors – 0

Favorite Moment(s) – seeing the summer solstice full moon rising

Sunrise – 4:45am
Sunset – 8:18pm

Thank you for your support!

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