Monday, July 31, 2017 – Another living history lesson
Another picture postcard morning today on island. Bright blue skies and a light wind welcomed us on our morning walk around the island. Today we needed to check out the Cobblestone Trail and its condition, this is the forgotten trail lately because we are not walking the loop from Cove to Cobblestone since most of the baby seagulls have moved on to adulthood. All in all, it looks good and most likely won’t need a trimming until the end of this week. We also spotted a sailboat in the mooring field that was not there last night, we will be having early visitors and then most likely a constant stream because of the perfect conditions to visit the island.
I wanted to check the North Trail and the berry situation out there, the blackberries are abundant but are taking forever to ripen. I want to pick enough berries to make a Seguin Island Berry Ice Cream for the gathering of the volunteers next week, let’s hope nature cooperates. Today I picked a fair number of raspberries and wild blueberries and only ate half on my walk back. Looks like I will need to pick twice the amount needed because of my eating habits. The wild thistle is blooming around the helipad and the monarch butterflies are loving it. It is still the most beautiful walk on the island.
The morning started out with a few visitors from private boats, all in various stages of cruising. The first couple we met were local Mainers but had plans to start the trip south this fall and hope to make it to the Bahamas. Hopefully, we will see them there on our boat. I had a chance to spend some time with their dog, Sampson while they went up in the tower. I was even able to share my doggie nail trimmers with the owner for a quick pedicure while on island, a full-service island!
We saw Ethan’s ferry coming from Popham Beach while we were up in the tower and we knew the fun was about to start. Brian and I decided yesterday’s plan of him staying at the top and me giving the history talk, working traffic flow and the gift shop worked best and we were going with it again today. Slowly, the ferry group made it up the lighthouse path and it was game on! I made the suggestions to everyone regarding not hovering at the tower bottom waiting their turn to climb, they should go have lunch or walk a trail and I will make sure everyone gets to the top and to the beach by 1:30p.
The highlight of our day was when a couple came up to me and said he was stationed here while he was in the USCG, his time on Seguin was from 1984-85 during the time the island was getting ready to be decommissioned. He was retired MK3 Thomas Chapman and his wife, Sherri, accompanied him. He had not been back to the island since 1985 and he was so excited to be here. Once I had a chance to talk with him a little, I knew this was a guy Brian was going to be thrilled to talk to. He gave us a glimpse of what it was like being on the bachelor island with the USCG during his 18 months out here. He would travel from Boothbay Harbor for his days off and if the weather didn’t cooperate, oh well, he stayed on island. His quarters were the western bedroom in what is now the guest quarters. Tom also mentioned that in the side we are staying, they only used the bedrooms, the other rooms were what he called a mess.
We heard stories about their dog mascot, Scamp and the ghosts. Also, he explained to Brian how the cisterns worked while he was here, the boilers and the burn in an instant toilet (no composting heads). The best part was Brian started talking to him about the tram and the diesel engine. It turns out, Tom rebuild the diesel engine in the engine house for the tram in 1984 and explained to Brian more of the mechanics of it. Whenever we can learn more of the workings of Seguin from people and not necessarily books is a great day on island.
As the ferry group was leaving the beach, the waves were picking up in intensity from the west and was making for a wet and bumpy dinghy ride back to the big boat. The afternoon stayed this way most likely because of the storm that hit Massachusetts and their islands over the weekend, this was the tail end of the storm activity as it finally headed completely out to sea.
It was a quiet afternoon which gave me a chance to get the guest quarters ready for tomorrow’s visitors and a few other chores got done as well. The hardest part of having a veggie garden is there is no watering system (ie. Hose) near the garden so the watering can is the laborious part of the garden. Fill it in the kitchen sink and walk it out to water everything, it takes about 10 trips to get everything watered. Even with all the rain showers on the mainland, we are not getting any and the sun/wind combo is drying everything out. Brian helped tonight as we watched Phippsburg get rain showers during sunset, makes for great pictures!
Guests today – 51
Guests total – 1025 (we broke the 1000 count!)
USCG – 6