May 26, 2016

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Patty raking on the South Trail
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Weed whacking the South Trail

The weather today was perfect – sunny, warm, and a light breeze the entire day. I am not sure if the weather we’ve had is unusual for this time of year in coastal Maine but we’ve been pleasantly surprised with how nice the weather has been. We have only had one rainy day so far although, to be fair, yesterday while we enjoyed nice weather off-island, the fog never really lifted off of Seguin.

We set out shortly after 8am to take advantage of the good weather to get as much done outside as we could. Patty started with the riding mower (she says that it is more fun than an adult should be allowed to have!) on the top lawn which already needed a second cutting and Michael helped out with a push mower getting the hills and around obstacles where the riding mower couldn’t reach. Meanwhile, I went down to the South Trail which hadn’t been touched yet except for the first ten feet or so. Cyndy was the only one working inside but still got plenty of heat and sun up in the lighthouse tower where she continued her work on the task of cleaning (inside and outside) the 1st Order Fresnel lens consisting of 282 separate pieces of glass totalling nine feet tall and 6 feet in diameter.

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View from the South Trial
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Moving above the Cove

The South Trail leads from the Lighthouse Trail (the main trail from the cove to the top of the island) to the southernmost point of the island on the eastern side. I think it’s the second longest trail (North Trail is longest) and was very overgrown with grass between knee and waist high most of the way. With my supplies of gas, water, extra string, and a rake, I spent the better part of the morning weed whacking the trail. During the hours I was working on it, I was mostly in the sun and with the trail situated about halfway between sea level and the top of the island, I didn’t get a lot of air movement. In other words, it was hot! I’d weed whack for a while and then stop to take a break while raking up the clippings. Cyndy came down to check on me at one point and I was grateful that she’d disposed of the piles of clippings I’d left along the way. She took my water bottle to refill it but along the way, handed it off to Patty, who had finished mowing, when she was coming down to help me finish the trail. So far, this is my favorite trail, especially the end of it that is a rocky point out into the water. Patty and I stood at the point for a long time enjoying the sun and breeze while we watched several lobster boats checking their pots.

Patty and I left the trail clearing supplies where the Lighthouse and South trails meet and headed up to the house for a snack of apples, carrots with hummus, a banana, and some cheese. We sat on the porch in the shade and looked out at the sea, taking it all in, and feeling fortunate to be here.

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Jackson dropping off a dozen lobster

After a half hour or so, we headed down to get our gear and went to work on the Lighthouse Trail. It had been quickly cleared over the weekend but it needed to be trimmed a little more thoroughly with the clippings raked away. We worked our way from top to bottom with me trimming and Patty raking until we reached the bottom. We were on a roll so we decided to keep going and give the area around the Donkey Engine House a second cutting. Patty got a a push mower out of the Donkey Engine House and I kept going with the weed whacker getting all the areas around the tram, information kiosk, outhouse, and Donkey Engine House where the push mower couldn’t reach.

While we were down there, I heard a boat coming into the cove and went up on the tram to take a peek and saw it was Jackson, “the” lobsterman, dropping off our lobster in a keeper box that is tied to a mooring bouy. The box floats and the lobster stay alive in it until we’re ready to get and cook them. We’re planning to take advantage of this perk of the job often.

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In front of the Whistle House

Both of us were sweaty and covered with grass clipping when we we finished cutting and trimming down around the Donkey Engine House so we headed up the hill to change and cool off. After changing and a short break, we went to the Whistle House (workshop) to make some new stakes for island signage. Around the island, there are signs for the different trails, directional arrows, warnings for poison ivy and the like. So far we’ve noticed two signs with rotted stakes that we want to replace and figured we’d make five in order to have some extras. We cut and painted them along with the main Lighthouse Trail sign which was looking a little the worse for wear. We’ll go back and re-stencil that one after it has a couple of new coats of the base green paint.

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 A Dozen lobster fresh from the keeper box.

Finally, before calling the work day completed, we went down to the Donkey Engine House and got two of the water jugs we had stored there and carried them up to the house. We’re not going to have use of the tram much this summer because of its’ condition and will have to carry the water up as needed. We’re still working out the best way to handle that since the jugs are big and heavy.

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Bringing the lobster cooler up the Lighthouse Trail

When we got back up to the house, Michael asked us if we would go get the lobster from the keeper box so we headed back down the hill with Cyndy’s cooler. I had a chance to row the dinghy on Wednesday (and the skiff on Saturday) but Patty hasn’t had a go yet so she took the oars for our lobster run. We dragged the dinghy down from where we tie it up well above the high tide line and headed out towards the box. Patty rowed us out and maneuved so that I could grab the box at the stern of the dinghy and then pull it up onto the boat. Jackson rubber bands the claws so getting the lobster into our cooler was not a tough job although a couple of the lobsters still tried to put up a good fight.

We resecured the dinghy and then headed back up once again, this time with Cyndy’s cooler full of the twelve lobsters we retrieved from the pot. The cooler was a pull behind with wheels making the job fairly easy. We had to carry it over some rocky places on the trail but mostly we could roll it. We turned the cooler over to Cyndy by the kitchen where she was getting the pot boiling. Meanwhile, Michael had showered, I went next, and then Patty showered.

WP 20160526 17 56 53 ProWe sat down for our first lobster meal here on Seguin. Cyndy cooked eight lobsters first so that we each had two along with a spinach salad. Patty and I needed a refresher course from Cyndy on how to get the meat out of the tail. One of my lobsters was really big – so big that I could barely get the shell cracker around the claw. I was close to getting a hammer to give it a whack when it finally gave in. After wrestling with and eating the lobster, we decided that next time we will shower AFTER dinner ;-).

After we finished eating, we went outside to watch another beautiful sunset after which Michael and Cyndy lowered and folded the flag. We went back inside as it started to get chilly and each took one of the remaining four lobsters and cleaned them for tomorrow’s lobster salad lunch. Besides those remaining four, Patty and I hadn’t finished our second lobster so we had that to throw into tomorrow’s container.

Tomorrow’s weather looks a little iffy so I’m glad we got a lot done outside today. We have plenty of things to do inside or out so whatever the weather brings, we’ll be busy.

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Cyndy taking the rubber bands off and throwing ’em in the pot.
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Lobster feast.












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