Saturday, June 10, 2017
We woke up to a warm sunshine, a first for the season. I had to go back in and changed into shorts! Today on the island is going to be a busy one, we will be welcoming our first overnight visitors in the guest quarters and friends of ours from Nova Scotia are due to arrive on the 11am ferry. Brian and I went down to the Cove to meet the ferry and not only were our friends, Gerry & Debbie Connelly aboard but a family of 4 from Melbourne, FL came out to finish their last day of vacation touring the island.
Our friends from Nova Scotia were our sailing buddies three years ago in the Bahamas for 3 months and then Brian helped Gerry deliver the boat from Connecticut to Antigonish, Nova Scotia. We were so excited to see them after 2 years. It was our chance to catch up and to show them the beauty of Seguin. The Connelly’s were the first pinned visit on the museum map from the Maritime Provinces. Turns out our first warm day on the island brought a lot of visitors our way as well, I kept up with the tours of the lighthouse, while Brian spent time below greeting and socializing with everyone as they made it up the hill.
Finally, midafternoon our guest of honor arrived by way of her son’s boat. Mrs. Dorothy ‘Dot’ Hart was stationed here as a newlywed from 1955-1957. Her husband, Charles, was a US Coast Guard lighthouse keeper for the 2 years and when their tour of Seguin Island was done, off to Cornell University to finish their education. Dot was treated to a night on the island for a Christmas present by her sons, David and Steve. These two made sure to make her stay a memorable one. She was known to tell anyone on the mainland she was going to go back to the island for a visit, she even trained through the spring to make sure she could hike up the Lighthouse Trail without a problem.
Sitting on the bench near the lighthouse bell, she relayed to us how her life was on the island over 60 years ago. She told how they had to use alcohol to light the wick to get the light burning when they first arrived and on really cold days, there were times when the light could not be lit. Dot was also the reason the first helicopter landed on the island, she had an appendicitis and was transported from the island to Boston for surgery. Their refrigerator and stove were kerosene powered, occasionally she would come into the kitchen to find the refrigerator smoking! She and Charles lived on our side of the house when stationed here, she recounted stories about the children who lived on island as well as a short stay of a monkey dressed in children’s clothes who was a pet of the women in the other side of the house where the museum is now housed. When the couple first arrived on island, they had a St. Bernard puppy and his favorite past time in the late spring was playing with the seagull eggs and throwing them up in the air until they went splat! She also showed us where on the west wall of the cove would be a shear ice cliff in the winter because the water would drain off the top of the northern point and have a frozen waterfall along the cliff area and most snow that fell would be quickly blown off the island by the winter winds.
I have read and researched as much as I could about Seguin to be an informed tour guide for our guests, but she was a living history lesson for the island. She then walked me through the museum where a good portion of the museum pieces were from her personal collection. Her son’s remembered living with some of the pieces in their living room as they grew up. For me, the museum pieces have far more meaning now knowing the person who used them while on the island.
The Hart family went off exploring the island as more visitors appeared up the trail, the day kept us busy. The good news is there was no grass cutting today, bad news is the grass is going to very long and rake worthy come Monday’s chore list.
With a full moon, a scene set for a perfect sunset, new and old friends gathered, we decided to set off our sunset signal cannon. The cannon lives on our sailboat, S/V Scout, but we decided to bring it along this summer. We wanted to celebrate Saturday nights with our guests with a reason to gather and enjoy each other’s company. Sunset was at 8:20pm, ear plugs were passed out to everyone, count down was on, and boom Brian set off the cannon. The only thing I did not get was a picture of the blast! David and Steve Hart volunteered to take down the flags at sunset reliving their summer camp days. All in all, it was a great day. The group on island were well fed, well cocktailed and happy!
We knew the Harts would be leaving early on Sunday morning, plans were made to help the group down to the cove to make sure everyone made it to their boat safely. A quick side note on Sunday morning, as I was drinking my coffee in the living room, I could hear Dot laughing like a young woman with her sons, it was a blessing to hear how very happy she was with her stay here and I hope she goes back home with more stories of Seguin today to share with her friends.
Guests today – 16
Guests total – 66
USCG – 6