As fast as the days always go near the end of summer, you most likely hardly noticed the missing blog last week. Truly cannot believe that it is now September. We’ve been busy enjoying our last days on Seguin and also prepping for departure. Each day has been a combination of “we don’t want to leave!” and building excitement for our approaching winter adventure.
We’ve given ourselves a month to travel around Maine and visit friends and family all along our way down to South Carolina. We figure it will take at least that long to get used to crowds, traffic, sounds, and overhead lights at campgrounds. Makes me think of the poem from Week 7 – “If once you have slept on an island…” We do look forward to this winter, tho. We will be part of a team of workampers opening & hosting at a brand new rv resort near Hilton Head, SC. Three days off each week to enjoy pickleball, swimming pools, dog park, beaches near by. Who knows, we may even try a little golf? This will definitely create a paradigm shift in our existing island outlook – ya think?
We’ve been taking even more photos! Capture those moments – remember that scene! Another great storm to watch. And did we mention the Monarch’s?? They’re everywhere and so pretty! As predicted, the grass has continued to rapidly grow and Rick has spent quite a bit of time mowing it and weed whacking the trails. We want the island to be ready for visitors even after we leave. From Labor Day weekend until early October, Seguin is still open to the public. Thus, FOSILS created a lovely opportunity for past Seguin caretakers to return for 1 or 2 weeks and serve as caretakers until all is boarded up for the winter. We will surely take advantage of this sometime in the next 2-3 years!!
Thanks to the efforts of our pal Cyndy, we have been reaping the benefits of her garden planted in June. Fresh lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, squash, basil, rosemary and dill! You need to understand Rick and I never quite got into gardening. (We tried cherry tomatoes once, but the squirrels took care of that.) This has been such a treat for us to discover – yum! Now we need to find a way to create a small mobile garden for our rv travels. It was back in Week Three I commented on blackberry bushes showing promise. As summer progressed it seemed they would never produce berries before we left. And then it happened! At first we felt like we needed to get out early morning to pick before visitors gobbled them up – ha! Evidently its well know by local mariners that Seguin has blackberries. But they were popping up everywhere – and still are! We’ve eaten blackberries as we’ve walked the trails, had them sprinkled in oatmeal, baked in muffins, folded into homemade ice cream. I even made blackberry jam!! Its not too late – come pick some berries : ))
We had three whale sightings over the summer – had hoped for more, but appreciated our chance to see the ones we did. Such awe inspiring marine mammals! However, one unique “sighting” happened just this week. Bath Iron Works (BIW) is a major shipyard located on the Kennebec River. Since 1884 they have built and delivered more than 425 ships to the world’s naval and commercial fleets. And Friday we watched the recently completed USS Zumwalt 1002 head out. A US Navy guided missile destroyer, it is so huge, yet designed as a stealth ship. It completed sea trials and returned to Bath 5 days later. What an amazing sight to see it slowly glide by Seguin.
We enjoyed our visit from long-time neighbors last week – our final “staycation” on Seguin. Of course we had our traditional lobster dinner, and evenings of card playing. They even got to share one of our bat adventure nights. (Never thought I could make a statement like that without a scowl on my face, lol). They happened to be here during our hottest days this summer, but we were still cooler than the mainland! Lots of catching up, laughs, and reminiscing. They sold their house last spring and are currently exploring the world of rv travel. Headed up to Nova Scotia and PEI next – fingers crossed borders stay open! When Cap’n Ethan arrived on Friday to ferry them back to Popham, he suggested we first take our “victory lap”.
A while back, he started (now a bit of a tradition) giving the caretakers an opportunity to view Seguin from a different perspective. You spend your whole summer leaving the cove in a dinghy, boarding Grasshopper straight to Popham, returning to the cove. Always fun, but limited. Last Friday he took us (& Lily of course) on our victory lap – a tour around the entire island! It turned out to be quite an emotional experience. Seeing it as so many of our visitors had, recognizing the beauty and size of Seguin. Seeing the lighthouse from the water. And also realizing we would soon be leaving this ”rock” we’ve called home for 3 1/2 months. Couldn’t have been a more perfect gift to us!
We do want to give a shout out to so many folks who made a difference in our summer’s adventure. Visitors who not only shared their stories with us, but the many who helped us get the dinghy up shore, helped us carry supplies up hill, brought their dogs up to play with Lily, climbed up the tower steps to hear Seguin’s history. Hhmmn. Lots of “ups” in that sentence. Yes we do sit “up” at the top of the island with quite the view. There are the “Wednesday Warriors” who not only spend their time working on Seguin projects, but always checking in to make sure all is well for us. We had such a fun celebration yesterday when we were all on the island at the same time (not just passing in dinghys), sharing a delicious lobster picnic they had planned! Thank you, On-Island Team! And of course, thumbs up go to Cap’n Ethan & his first mate Soren who took time out of their busy lobster days to ferry us, show us a bit about their hard day’s work, tell us a sea tale or two, and always pick out the freshest lobster for our guests‘ dinners. And thanks to all our valued blog readers who shared our summer and encouraged us along the way.
We have both recently finished reading the recommended book “A Short Bright Flash” by Theresa Levitt. I must admit it was a little more technical than I expected, but how else could you possibly describe the dream and development of something as iconic as all the Fresnel lens that illuminate the coasts of the world. Augustin Fresnel was an engineer and unlikely hero who kicked off a new era of modern worldwide trade by providing an unprecedented level of safety for sea travel. But still, there’s something more than technology about a lighthouse. So I quote from her final pages. “They seem to evoke a bygone world of danger and romance, when getting on a ship meant complete isolation and the light from a Fresnel lens was the first sign of land. Part of the romance of the great seacoast lights was their location at the very edge of the civilized world, rising out of a landscape otherwise untouched by human presence.”
Our summer with this extraordinary Seguin Island Lighthouse will remain untouched in our memories. Farewell.