We arrived at the dock in Popham beach at 7am sharp on Saturday morning and the truck & camper exploded their contents at the top of the gangway. With the help of some of the volunteers that were going to Seguin with us to get everything up and running, we loaded up Ethan’s boat and set off about forty-five minutes later.

The waters were super calm on the ride over and the weather was warm enough for just a light jacket. We arrived at mid-tide so the sandy beach of the cove was partially visible and provided an easy landing spot for the dinghy and wooden rowboat that Ethan’s had towed over behind his boat. I was volunteered to row the wooden boat on several runs to the beach with people and supplies while someone else did the same in the dinghy. The wooden boat will end up as a display piece in the boathouse (I think) and we’ll be using the dinghy for our needs this summer. We were really fortunate to have such good weather while we figured out the process of transitioning from Ethan’s boat to the smaller boat, and finally onto the shore. We’re told (and believe it) that it will rarely be as easy as it was today.

Getting closer!!!

Almost there!!!

Once on shore, we and the other volunteers took turns carrying everything from the cove up to the top of the island. I think it’s about a 300-yard trail with a 130-foot elevation rise. It doesn’t sound like much but with heavy gear and a trail overgrown from the offseason, it was tough. There is also a tram that runs along a trestle-like structure from just above the cove to the top of the island but it’s in precarious condition and needed lots of attention to safely run it up and down a few times. Luckily, it did work well enough to carry the majority of the heaviest items like our potable water containers, gas cans, etc. I’m not sure we get to use the tram much this summer but it sure was nice having it on our first day.

Bob, DD, Kim, Jim & Cyndy

Tram tracks look towards Donkey Engine House and the Cove

Tram tracks look towards Donkey Engine House and the Cove

By mid-afternoon, the volunteers, except for Cyndy & Michael, headed back to the mainland. In the time they were here however, not only did they help us get supplies to the top of the island, they also cut a good part of the grass that needed it, removed shutters, cleaned, got the mechanical systems running, and generally gave us a leg up on our preparedness for the season. I had hoped to get a picture of everyone that came to help but only caught the half of the group that left on the second boat. We wanted the pictures to include on the blog but also (secretly) to help us remember names. So, in a little notepad I’m carrying, I have a note that says: Kim (glasses/green jacket), Michelle (pink jacket), DD (London hoodie), etc. I suggest to a few folks that they should wear the same thing all summer to help us out!

Seriously though, we really appreciated all the help we received from Bob, Cyndy, Deb, DD, Ethan, Evan, Greg, Jim, Julie, Ken, Kim, Michael, Michelle, Rick and Big Grady. I sure hope I didn’t forget anyone…

Cyndy took us up to see the inside of lighthouse and the view from the catwalk on the outside. The 360-degree view on this clear, sunny, and warm day was really breathtaking. The lens of the light (9 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter) was amazing as well. Ken (from F.O.S.I.L.S.) also spent some time giving us an orientation of the history of the island that we could share with visitors. It wasn’t a super formal thing but I surprised him afterwards when I told him I secretly recorded everything he told us with the hopes that we can write it up and refer to it later.

The lighthouse Tower

Up close and personal with the lens

Patty and I spent most of the rest of the afternoon cleaning and putting away clothes, food, and everything else we brought with us to the island. We even needed to start a (short) list of things we either forgot or hadn’t thought of beforehand. Meanwhile, Cyndy & Michael mostly continued with mowing and other outside chores.

When we finally called the workday complete, Michael made a delicious appetizer of scallops and entree of haddock steaks with fiddleheads. Neither of us have had fiddleheads before and felt lucky to try them since their season is only something like two weeks. It had been a long day for all of us and we decided to call it an early night shortly after cleaning up from dinner.

Yummy fiddleheads

Patty and I did make sure to go outside one last time before we turned in to get our first look and some pictures of the light at night.

And to all, a Good Night!

Thank you for your support!

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