Saturday, June 1, 2019 Day One We set the alarm for 5:30am in order to arrive at Popham Beach at 7am ahead of a 7:30 launch to Seguin Island. Thanks to a cadre of dedicated volunteers, Captain Ethan, John, and Cyndy, we loaded and rode out to the island under mostly clear skies and on smooth seas, accompanied by sleek seals fishing and diving nearby. Following unloading, the volunteers went to work unscreening windows, making caretaker quarters’ roof and other repairs, and cutting grass while Chris and I got the lay of the island and learned how to operate the well and cistern as well as the generators. We took some time to clean and organize the kitchen and our bedroom, already recognizing that good eating and sleeping will serve us well. Fog rolled in about 2pm, and as we bid the volunteers adieu – and I collected our first sea glass with Cyndy’s guidance – we welcomed our first unannounced visitors: two couples on a return visit accompanied by their dog; an unexpected opportunity for Chris and me to learn how hosting happens on Seguin Island. I saw an entirely yellow robin-sized bird flitting about in and around the low bayberry? bushes outside the keeper’s quarters but could not ID it from a bird book or Cornell’s Merlin ID – perhaps a female scarlet tanager, does any reader know? – ahead of a generator-provided hot shower for Cyndy followed by a propane-grilled salmon, altereively used-for-optimal-generator-use stovetop-steamed fresh fiddlehead ferns and microwaved rice dinner for three – thank you, Cyndy! Then, thanks to fully batteried lanterns, we all headed upstairs to bed, the warmest spot in the house!
Sunday, June 2, 2019 Day Two Chris added five gallons of fuel and started the generator at 7am. That allowed me to do last night’s dinner dishes with the well and hot water heater operating. After a morning snack of hot tea and oh my darling clementines, Chris left the caretaker quarters, shut down the generator, and headed to the Clivus, the solar-powered composing toilet by the donkey engine shed, to empty the contents of our camping toilet there where they can be composted. Cyndy and I raised the flag and then headed down the hill to meet up with Chris. From there, we walked the Cove Trail, and through the campground where we stopped to upright the picnic table. We continued down the Cove Trail with Cyndy pointing out what can be mowed and what can be weed-whacked until we reached the cove where we saw and heard the surf…in addition to a lot of fishing and plastic debris, much of which Cyndy said was from winter storms. She also discovered a washed-up gaff which I quickly appropriated as my personal walking stick! We flushed an Eider duck from her under brush nest where we saw a single brown egg with black spots, quickly moving on so mama could return to brood her egg. We walked by a seagull rookery unmolested – too early in the nesting season to be dive-bombed? – and returned via the Cobblestone Trail where I saw a skeleton of a seagull head and beak. We set up directional signage by the donkey engine shed, and primed the Clivus for future use before returning to quarters for a bite of lunch. After lunch, Chris returned outside to continue raking up yesterday’s mowing clippings in the fog-turned-to-rain while Cyndy and I hung curtains in doorways to help hold the heat…when the generator, hence space heaters are operating. We all joined in to finish up the raking and then walked the South Trail – such beautiful views! – after which I took a short break to enjoy the view from a sunset bench, even though the sky remained fog-shrouded and we were hours from sunset. Then on to the gift shop for a price and operating tutorial plus a preliminary review of all of the museum information there. We’ll have to set aside some time for a self-familiarization tour of the exhibits! Chris fired the generator back up at 5 pm which enabled me to do our lunch dishes, Cyndy to heat water for hot tea in a roasting pan on the grill before steaming asparagus and grilling haddock, and Chris to prepare smashed potatoes and onions for dinner while I prepared a veggie broth from our collected trimmings. It will be a delicious base for some future warming dinners! Chris and Cyndy hastened me from the dinner table for a quick hot shower while the generator was still running, and lowered the flag after which Chris followed shower suit before shutting off the generator which seems to be using a gallon of gas per hour of operation. The original two hours of use plus Saturday’s seven to eight hours’ of operation plus today’s five hour total means it’s nearing its 20 hour oil change! Afterwards, we gathered back around the dinner table with lanterns, and enjoyed some chocolate and dried fruit while reviewing the day’s events and intentions for the morrow. Correction: Albeit short-lived, the shower has usurped the bed’s standing as the warmest place in the house!
Monday, June 3, 2019 Day Three Despite rising early again today, Chris and I decided to hold off starting up the generator for maximum use until we were all up and about for the day. Besides, that accommodates my catch-up journaling from the second warmest spot in the house! After raising the flag, Chris found what he thought may be seal tracks in the sand at the cove. Cyndy and I watched the fog quickly disappear to the east, thanks to strong westerly winds, resulting in a bright, sunny day. A few heart palpitations when Chris returned to check the generator operating hours for the previously mentioned oil change and discovered a red hot exhaust pipe and nearby tire starting to melt. He of course shut it down immediately, let Cyndy and me know, and we convened at the Whistle House to read the instruction manual in an attempt to diagnose the problem. Never definitively identified, even after talking to the sales rep who talked to the factory, we started it up again and it ran fine for the next two hours, our morning allotment, whew! Then down the hill for mowing, weed whacking and donkey engine shed clean-up. A late lunch and then Cyndy resumed mowing in the campground and along trails while Chris and I ran the new-to-us Gravely zero-turn mower and hand mower to mow around the main house, museum and tower. Though a mere two days since last mowed, we still left thick windrows of clippings. Suburbanites covetous of thick green lawns might be jealous of the SI “lawn,” grown entirely naturally! A windy sojourn on the sunset bench followed, where we witnessed the increasing wave action and whitecaps; an effective invitation to head back inside to move out of the wind but not away from its sound! No problems with this evening’s generator start-up – hurrah! – and so we started dinner preps with no power interruptions. Another lesson in gratitude and not taking anything for granted!
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Day Four Another sunny day, this one clear and fog-free as of awakening. Cold brew coffee is not doing the job for Chris and so he unpacked his camp stove in order to have hot coffee more on demand than generator ops allow. Chris started raking post-coffee and his breakfast and then worked on getting the weather station operational with Cyndy while the generator was running. She and I had a late breakfast and then after shutting off the generator, the three of us headed out on the North Trail up to the Loop Trail where we turned back. The North Trail undulates up and down, in and out of thickets to panoramic vistas, beautiful! Chris saw a seagull’s nest with one egg from a vista on the return trip. After a light lunch, Chris headed out to weed-whack the North Trail, while Cyndy and I walked the tramway catwalk to ID areas in need of repair – spray-painted orange Xs mark the two spots – and spent some time sea glass hunting on the beach before taking a look-see into the boat house. We returned to the top of the hill and locating Chris past the farmer’s wall, encouraged him to call it a day. We planned the night’s dinner – a veggie frittata with a side of mung beans and carrots – and cooking location for optimal energy use. Cyndy and I sous-chefed all of the ingredients while Chris took the first shower. I followed Chris while he prepared the meal, which was so good, all of us had two helpings! I did dishes, then Cyndy showered, and then Chris shut-off the generator. I am typing this by lantern-light, delighted to discover that we have a wi-fi connection via my mi-fi, which will result in timely 2019 blog submissions! Based on the forecast for rain on Wednesday and Thursday, Cyndy, Chris and I decided to go off-island on Friday rather than the usual Wednesday, and appreciate the Wednesday Warriors (WW) accommodating the change.
Thursday, June 6, 2019 Day Six The wet rainy morning blossomed into a warm sunny day, belying the forecasted all day rain. With the generator running, Chris prepared a passel of sourdough blueberry pancakes we gobbled up with Greek yogurt and maple syrup…until there were none. Still mobile following that feast, we headed over to clean the tower and Fresnel lens, regal and magnificent even absent its intended illumination. From there, we went to the museum where we cleaned the displays and swept the floor ahead of anticipated visitors from Brunswick Jr. High on Friday. We had a bite of lunch and from there, Cyndy headed down the hill to weed-whack the Cobblestone Trail while Chris and I went to the whistle house to collect the Gravely, a push mower and weed-whacker to re-mow around the main house/museum, tower and the oil house, just in time for anticipated weekend volunteers who will be residing in the oil house while repairing the whistle house roof. Cowbirds and young (small) Monarch butterflies flitted around our mowing while ubiquitous but varied seagulls inspected our efforts as they soared by on the wind currents. Again, the entirely naturally nourished grass grows impressively fast here as this was the third mowing of this area in a week’s time, and there were still clippings galore…but no raking this time! With the cistern entirely refilled, we started up the generator to create water pressure in order to check the water flow from the cistern down to the spigot close to the base of the tramway. Success! Chris’ Wednesday recoupling held with no leaks and the water pressure was as expected! Thanks to wet springs (and no leaks) bringing full cisterns, we showered successively while making preparations for dinner, mostly leftovers and still delicious. For dessert, Chris and I introduced Cyndy to the joys of nice cream, but the piece du resistance was a gorgeous sunset – our first since arriving on the island. As the sun set, gold-hued pinks and mauves outlined Mt. Washington and the Presidential Mountains, 76 miles to the west as the new moon rose overhead. With plans to go off-island tomorrow, we headed to bed for an especially early rising in order to timely greet Friday Friends, aka Wednesday Warriors, who will arrive at the cove at 7:30am.
Friday, June 7, 2019 Day Seven Shore leave today, our first! Captain Ethan and First Mate Brook arrived with Friday Friends at the cove at 7am. Chris rowed the two of us and our daytrip belongings out to meet them at the Grasshopper, and then we headed back to the mainland after FF and their day’s supplies had rowed back to the cove. I sat where I could watch the depth finder run up and down a scale of numbers ranging from 25’ to more than 60’; the highest number where the Kennebec River roiled into the sea. We were ashore – by ladder because the tide was out – and on the road in our vehicle by 7:30am with a list of errands to run, but without knowing the most efficient routing to accomplish our intentions, to enjoy the outing and to be ready to return to the island by 3:30pm. We headed to Brunswick for some specific destinations and ran across a laundromat there, so started our load and then walked into town from there. We ended up being away more than twice as long as necessary, but enjoyed running across a farmer’s market and exploring some local stores on our way out and back. We returned to Bath, ran our errands there, and stopped in Southland Park for a late lunch, happy that we had packed our lunch! Perhaps we’ll make time for a restaurant stop on another off-island day, as we do want to put some playtime into that day! We off-loaded our belongings at the Ft. Popham dock, parked our vehicle, and walked back to be picked up by Ethan and Brook – no ladder this time! We spied some seals on our swelled return, rowed ashore during high tide – a new learning experience for us, and bade Cyndy and the FF adieu until Wednesday weather-permitting. We hung our laundry, and transplanted the kale starts we’d purchased at the Brunswick farmer’s market, starting a garden after all, eh Cyndy? An easy dinner of leftovers, another gorgeous sunset, and bed.
Saturday, June 8, 2019 Day Eight: World Oceans Day! Our first solo day on the island, though we are expecting volunteers late this afternoon ahead of a special Whistle House roof workday tomorrow; also visitors because it’s a sunny, warm weekend day, a perfect day to be outside! An unknown-to-us bird has taken up residence in the wood duck house adjacent to the flagpole. We’ve watched its scouting efforts the past couple of days and are pleased that this previously vacant abode has passed muster and is now occupado. After raising the flag, we removed our clothes from the line, grateful that our no-fog-or-dampness overnight assumption had come to pass, making our clothes dry, air-fragrant, and ready to come inside. While putting the clothespins away, I discovered a small bag containing packages of unsown seeds, so Chris and I selected and planted yellow and green zucchini squash, filling up the rest of the garden space. Then we raked up the clippings from Thursday’s Gravely mowing and used them for mulch around the plants in hopes of minimizing weeding. We were about to head down the hill to mow and weed-whack when a couple from Bangor arrived with their Irish setter. We gave them a tour of the tower and they made a donation, thank you! As soon as they left, we headed down the trail with me feeling that I was about to have my first island snake encounter en route, even with Chris walking ahead of me. The fact is, I am mightily afeared of snakes, have been all my life, although I can now accidentally look at a picture of a snake and not embarrass myself in mixed company. Despite logic – I know they’re here for a reason and serve a purpose…besides frightening me, and my compensatory largesse – live and let live attitude…even when I’ve had a chance to run over them, they still scare me, as did the one Chris pointed out on our way down the trail. On the other hand, Seguin Island’s snakes are behind one of my goals for this summer: to be able to see a real snake and not embarrass myself in mixed company. Time will tell. After a hour of mowing, and watching what would be our next visitors moor in the cove, Chris and I returned to the main house for a bite of lunch before returning to finish in one afternoon, all of the down-the-hill mowing and weed-whacking including the balance of the South Trail which Cyndy had started before leaving the island late Friday afternoon. Chris stepped away to give the father and son moored in the cove a tour of the tower and we got to see them again when they walked the Cobblestone and Cove Trails. I revisited the large vein of granite I’d seen on our first Cove Trail walk with Cyndy before Chris and I watched a pair of osprey from the steps down to the cove; a nice “ahhh” moment after completing our work. Chris greeted volunteers Dave, Nat and John, “the volunteers,” – at the cove about an hour later, while I made yesterday and today’s journal entries. A typical-for-us veggie dinner, including store-bought kale until the garden comes in, after seeing a cruise ship Dave told us was out of Portland and headed to Bath. We enjoyed another beautiful sunset, photo-documented by Nat. This one seemed to linger, in time and appearance: a low-hanging swath of orange and pink straddling the entire western sky while outlining Mt. Washington and its cohorts. More bird research followed before bidding the volunteers good night.
Sunday, June 9, 2019 Day Nine We started the day with a smaller passel of baking soda pancakes with sunflower seeds, plus our usual Greek yogurt and maple syrup fixins’. Yum! Then it was time for my morning walk to the Clivus. Many years ago, I read that prey animals, like we humans, learn via punishment and reward. It seems the snakes here – my “punishment” – are accommodating my intentions to become less afraid as we crossed paths on the walk down. Not only was my reaction publically admissible – I kept my pancakes down! – but I found a handful of multi-hued pieces of sea glass at the cove afterwards – my “reward!” Now all I have to do is time my trips with the tides so I can search for sea glass every time I make the trip down the hill, and back, snakes or no snakes! As Chris and I seek our daily rhythm on the island, we are learning that our intentions for the day may or may not go as planned. Such was the case today. Chris wanted to complete the South Trail weed-whacking and I had some domestic chores in mind, then we were going to walk/enjoy a couple of the trails on the island on this gorgeous, warm-despite-the-wind sunny day. While we ultimately accomplished all but the trail walking, plus saw a bonus seaplane buzz by, there was no absence of walking. The hard-working volunteers, who’d come to strip the old shingles from the whistle house ahead of re-shingling another weekend, discovered that the roof is in need of decking repair before re-shingling, so this new information resulted in a flurry of unplanned activities. On the mainland. Cyndy collected tarps, strapping, and lathing which Captain Ethan and family brought out to the island. Chris made multiple trips in the dinghy to bring the materials, plus Ethan and family safely ashore. Then the volunteers and Chris portered those items from the cove to the whistle house. Chris and I briefly visited with Ethan and family and sat down to lunch just before it was time for them to go, giving Chris more dinghy experience. We’ve both rowed before, but only on inland waters and with a dock to greet us, so we’re in a bit learning curve here. With lunch necessarily interrupted, I started to cover it up for later, once Chris was back up the hill, when two visitors from Boston and NH knocked to see the museum and tower. After the tower tour, I identified the various trails and they walked off to explore. Chris finished up weed-whacking after lunch and then headed to the whistle house to help the volunteers. While waiting for their (supply) ship to come in, they’d packed up all the removed shingles and associated debris in seven helicopter bags which will be collected when the helicopter brings out the replacement shingles. So the volunteers and Chris spent the remainder of the afternoon, well past their intended 3pm departure time, tarping the whistle house roof against rain damage until the decking and shingles can be replaced. I delivered messages from Cyndy and photo-documented their progress. The volunteers left the island around 7pm, with adjusted mission accomplished! Tonight’s sunset was ribbons of blue-gray clouds against a pink background, somewhat obscuring the outline of Mt. Washington.
Monday, June 10, 2019 Day Ten Chris is my hero! Late yesterday when I sat down to journal after drafting a “cheat sheet” for friends and family who will be coming out to visit, I discovered this document had gone awol from its appointed place of honor on my laptop. I looked everywhere I knew to look, to no avail and to my great dismay. Too late to look further, I asked Chris for his professional IT assistance this morning and la voila, he found it! Our morning trip to the Clivus was snakeless, and with the tide rising, no sea glass searching, but we got a good look at the intermittently occupied osprey nest. We also decided that we need to bring the monocular or binoculars with us on all outings, just to be prepared for unexpected sightings! Upon our return, we started the generator and Chris made us oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins for breakfast. After IDing our new wood duck house resident as a tree swallow, he headed upstairs for a shave, and has specifically requested that I mention his appreciations for the old-fashioned sink with a working stopper attached to a dog-tag chain. We generally try to be aware of all the things for which we are grateful, but I think that living with limited electricity and running water, basic amenities in a developed country, our gratitude for these small conveniences has elevated. Then we headed out with the weed-whacker and pruning shears to complete our first South Trail clean-up which Cyndy started. A bite of lunch and then we were back out mowing around the main house, museum and tower, this time taking turns with the Gravely and the push mower. We were about to call it a day when I checked my email and saw Cyndy’s request that we cover the helicopter bags full of whistle house roof debris against tomorrow’s forecasted rain. After that, we did call it a day, started the generator in order to fix dinner and do dishes; maybe even a shower!
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 Day Eleven As expected, we awoke to rain and wind this morning, with plans to spend that part of the day inside R & Ring; running through our list of inside things-to-do, and non-instructional reading, a beloved activity we haven’t done since arriving on the island eleven days ago. What we didn’t expect was the wind sounds – how to we describe them without sounding overwrought? – and the views from inside. It’s hard to claim that the southeasterly winds – is there such things as a sou’easter? – even at 20 mph, sounded like sopranos, the furies, shrieking, or howling, but those were the words that came to mind as as they careened around the main house. Once again, we were grateful for small comforts, like being inside an abode that has weathered much much worse over the years. As for the views, we found ourselves surrounding by the encroaching fog, moving in from where the green of the island gives way the to the gray of the sea, which we can no longer clearly see, even when outside. Why outside, you ask? To use the Clivus; to check on the whistle house roof and helicopter bag tarps, all entirely secure; and to start the generator to briefly enjoy the amenities that come with electricity: refrigerator, stove, and recharged phones! Chris hung the Caretaker’s Wall of Fame plaque in the museum, and then I reviewed gift shop procedures with him before we broke for lunch. The rain has stopped, but the fog has breached the island’s edges, rolling up to limit visibility to just beyond the perimeter of the main house, museum, and tower. Our nascent garden seems to have enjoyed its first rainfall, sheltered from the winds by a predecessor who had the foresight to set the garden below the surface, and further protect it by surrounding it with rocks, like an over-sized fire ring. The green-when-we-bought-and-planted-it kale has turned purple since Friday’s planting. Squash sprouts are still pending. Chris headed back out to finished cleaning the nether regions of the hand mower in the whistle house and, after reading the manual, tried again to get the weather station fully operational, again to no avail. Skies cleared around 4pm, revealing sunny skies and wind-driven whitecaps. There were no signs of the storm on land save for the tall, intentionally uncut grasses laid low in deference to the wind and rain. About the same time, Captain Ethan text-confirmed that we would be going ashore tomorrow. Coincidence? I think not. The weather, and what does and doesn’t happen because of it, seems to set the stage for everything and everyone, even those who don’t make their living by the sea. We have much to learn from this truly immersive, weather-driven experience. On a lighter note, five minutes outside in 10mph winds is a much more efficient hair dryer than an 1800 watt handheld version, and no salon can achieve that truly windblown effect!
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Day Twelve All ashore who’s going ashore! That would be us on our second shore leave to date. We were at the cove and ready to go well before the appointed pickup hour of 7am. I successfully launched the dinghy and Chris rowed us out to Captain Ethan and the waiting Wednesday Warriors. Thanks to WW Kathleen for hemming heat-holding curtains for the keepers quarters, and Cyndy for the extra gallon water jugs! An exchange of goods and people, and we were headed to Ft. Popham on a gloriously beautiful day. Once ashore, we refilled our water container and then drove on to the Phippsburg Town Office to get a temporary transfer station – the town dump and recycling location for non-New England readers – permit, thanks to Cyndy, who no longer has to haul our trash from her house! From there we went directly to the transfer station where we deposited our recycling. Thanks to on-island composting and Phippsburg recycling, our local minimalist moniker will extend to our trash production! Our next stop was the Maine Maritime Museum. What an amazing place! In the time we allowed ourselves there, we only touched the surface of this impressive collection of local maritime history, but we will be back for more. Thanks, Paul! Hearing from the back of our vehicle, the muffled cries of dirty laundry unceremoniously stuffed into laundry bags, the laundromat in Bath was our next stop. After starting our load of wash and following the attendant’s advice, we headed to the Bath Patton Library park where we enjoyed our brought ashore picnic lunch before going inside and exploring the library, once again, taking more time than our laundry required. Thanks to Kathryn and Pam who assisted us there. After a trip to the hardware store for some new lawnmower wheels, followed by a quick grocery stop, we headed back to Ft. Popham for an early pick-up to accommodate everyone’s full schedule. This time, we rode back on Captain Ethan’s ferry, Leeward, a first for us. That allowed us to meet and greet the folks who had ridden out to explore the island earlier in the day. Once ashore, we toted our clean and now quiet laundry, and groceries, up the hill to the main house. I was pleased that after 12 days of regular hill climbing, I no longer had to stop midway for a break, despite carrying a small load. Physical progress! Chris remains the heavy lifter but I’m hoping to be able to do more as the summer progresses. We had a snack, hung out our laundry, and basked on a near by lichen covered, sun-warmed rock – like lizards, Chris proclaimed – before unpacking our day’s bags, my return to this journal, and Chris to his book. Then it was evening generator and dinner prep time, after bringing in our already dried laundry. Following a dinner of rice grits and yellow beans wrapped in warmed Napa cabbage leaves – it’s better than it sounds, really! – we went back outside to watch another beautiful sunset; once again, with Mt. Washington outlined in ribbons of pinks, mauve and soft oranges. What was especially noteworthy this evening, though, were the waves below us. Their size and movement was different than we had observed before. This time, they appeared individually distinct, petite, and collectively dense; as if they were engaged in a synchronized dance, momentarily pausing as they briefly reached their small merengue-like peaks, before collapsing and repeating the same movements. We were mesmerized by the sight; perhaps one of many ocean performances to be seen!
Thursday, June 13, 2019 Day Thirteen Fourteen five gallon cans of generator gas against the whistle house wall Fourteen five gallons cans of generator gas We bring the empties down to the donkey engine shed And the Wednesday Warriors bring them back full again! THANK YOU, WW! In our self-appointed efforts to find new ways to minimize generator use, hence the time and expense of FOSILs purchasing and transporting gas, Chris brought the CATGEN –a small, more portable generator than the one located by the whistle house – up to the main house this morning to run the refrigerator. That works well with camp-stove heated coffee and cold-by-choice breakfasts, even though we’ll continue to use the generator by the whistle house for cooking and running water. Speaking of which, we’ve decided to do dishes just once a day, in the evening, to reduce the need to use the well pump. That way, we’re just needing and using heated water once a day, as we take our water and power-conserving European showers – not daily – in the evenings as well. Chris shimmed the north stairs up to the museum – they wobble no more! – and then weed-whacked and raked the Lighthouse Trail this morning, ahead of rain that started at 11am and winds that shifted to NNE a few hours later. Then we cleaned the museum and guest quarters before stopping for lunch. After that, Chris, who is passionate about baking bread, commenced the baking experiment, Part II. Previously unreported Part I was his first on-island baking attempt with generator power last Tuesday. That resulted in a dozen delicious whole wheat muffins that almost passed his muster, hence remained unreported until now. Part II was his effort to make a yeasted bread, but the temperature didn’t accommodate one much less two risings, so we consulted a cookbook for a no yeast alternative and decided on cornbread in the cast iron cornbread, refrigerating the yeasted dough pending another first rising attempt when it warms up. While Chris did some work at the whistle house and in the donkey engine shed, I spent most of the afternoon arranging the new inventory Cyndy brought out yesterday to the museum gift shop while listening to the radio transmissions of fishermen out to sea. Chris started the well-sheltered-from-the-24mph-winds-by-the-whistle-house generator at 4:30pm, about thirty minutes earlier than usual, to bake the cornbread after which I baked about eight eggs – a great way to make easy-to-peel “hard boiled” eggs – in the already warm oven. With the oven off – we use one cooking feature at a time – Chris pressure-cooked a small pot of black beans which we enjoyed over the cornbread, topped by grated cheese, homemade salsa, and Greek yogurt, which we prefer to sour cream. At dinner and afterwards, we watched seagulls literally drop in – vertical landings – to walkabout and graze in the cut grass surrounding the main house, warranting a Google check of everything they eat. Not only are gulls omnivores, they can be cannibals too. No wonder they’re not well-regarded in some circles! Dishes washed and then a warming shower followed by some dark chocolate- purely medicinal, of course! – journaling, reading, and then, bed. The weather forecast is rainless for the next two days so we expect to be working outside Friday and Saturday.
Friday, June 14, 2019 Day Fourteen: Flag Day! Chris saw a male cardinal this morning. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s my home state bird, it is my very favorite non-raptor avian. I hope I get to see it sometime too. Once the generator was on this morning, Chris’ placed his whole wheat yeasted bread dough in a slow oven to rise. Then, following Captain Ethan’s suggestion, he baked it on the propane grill with great results: good crumb and delicious too! Thanks, Ethan! Then Chris planed the outside door to the kitchen so it opens and closes easily, no more hip shoving required. Chris headed out to weed-whack the North Trail for an hour before lunch, at which time we had CLT’s – cheese, lettuce (actually Napa cabbage), and tomato sandwiches – on the morning-baked bread. I joined him on the North Trail after lunch to prune those trail-walking “gotchas” on either side of the trail. I’m pretty short – just a bit over 5’ – and so I made an effort to trim those stickery and non-stickery protrusions from the ground up to accommodate those visitors who are taller than I am, as well as my size kids, and smaller. As I walked out, the light overcast shifted to muted sun and the island was surrounded in a short-lived Camelot-like fog. I also noted swaths of tall, uncut grass where it looked like an animal had bedded down, but since there are no mammals here, I knew this tall grass had merely prostrated itself before the wind. Chris had given me a heads-up about some marshy places along the trail – no wonder with yesterday’s rains – and found several more than welt deep along the way. I also saw a small oak tree along that trail, the only one I’ve seen here to date. When finished, we took a few minutes to enjoy the view from the North Trail vista, where we saw a seagull brooding her egg on a nearby nest; the same one we’d seen before when we first walked the trail with Cyndy. After returning our equipment to the whistle house, we headed down to the cove, just because. Once again on the way down, I saw the tail end of a snake slither away from in front of me. Ugh, but improving. We found a 40’ mostly branchless tree had washed up, breaching the beach. So while I went sea glass searching, Chris got a hand saw from the donkey engine shed and cut it back so we could step around, and not just over it. Then we sat on the steps and watched a flock of 21 Eider ducks cruise the cove – birds of a feather do stick together – as clouds moved in. Once we felt raindrops, we headed back up the hill where we found some more sun, for awhile anyway.
Saturday, June 15, 2019 Day Fifteen I awoke from a dream about coming across a clear, cereal-sized bowl full of sea glass located in the median of a divided highway. Just as I noticed four large pieces of cobalt blue glass at the top of the bowl, several gulls dive-bombed it, strewing the pieces into the highway. I also dreamt about going into an off-island public restroom and discovering pit toilets there instead of the porcelain flush commodes I was expecting. Hmmm, don’t need a professional to help decipher these dreams! In any event, Chris and I had a good laugh as I shared my dreams over a breakfast of sourdough, blueberry pancakes. After breakfast, Chris headed down the hill to mow around the cove: the Clivus, donkey engine shed, and at the trailheads for the Cove and Cobblestone Trails. He also cut up the beached log that had washed up in the cove. I weeded the chive bed, while watching multiple sailboats looking south towards Casco Bay; some more northerly. After a bite of lunch, Chris relocated the receiver on gate of the lattice work surrounding the front of the main house so it latches shut now, once the caulking hardens, either we or the WWs can repaint the small exposed square where the receiver used to be. And wouldn’t you know it, when I went out to see the results of his work there, I encountered the snake Chris had told me he’d seen around the house and I’d so far missed, quite happily I might add. By then, Chris had moved on to chiseling areas of the 2 x 4 that secures the magnificent wood doors to the tower – so it drops in a comes out more easily – so he didn’t hear my screams, notwithstanding the fact that he too was outside. In all fairness, I have to admit I was downwind, so there was no chance for him to have heard me despite the relatively short distance apart. For the record, this serpent encounter occurred at the base of the aforementioned shimmed north steps, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! From there, we went down to the whistle house to re-glue the soles of my old athletic shoes I’m using to get wet on dinghy/going ashore day. Then it was close to 3pm and having no visitors du jour, we decided to take some time away for ourselves. We headed down the hill to walk the Cobblestone Trail, which needs the same hand-pruning previously done on the North Trail. Ignoring that for the time being, we continued down to the water, seeing violet-colored flowers on sweet pea-like vines in the grassy areas, pieces of birch bark on the multi-sized cobblestones there – very different from the rocks in the cove – all while looking our on a sea riddled with whitecaps. From there we headed back and down to the cove where we saw an atypical cross-hatch pattern in the sand below the boat house, adjacent to the usual but previously unmentioned more organic looking, pressed branch with leaves-appearing image in the sand. We returned to the main house, and commenced dinner preps ahead of starting the generator. Chris prepared hummus from previously cooked garbanzo beans, and I chopped the chives I’d accidentally “harvested” while weeding the chive bed for inclusion in tonight’s version of smashed potatoes. Our weekly can of sardines – gotta have those Omega 3s – carrots with the hummus and another great dinner. According to my phone, reporting Georgetown weather, the winds were running at 22mph, but the whip-sawed jeans I’d hung out to air suggested more. We’re confident we’ll have more accurate readings once the weather station is fully operational, still to come. Tonight’s sunset was obscured by clouds, but thanks to a horizontal break in them well above the horizon, the sun’s rays shined through like a luminescent fan. Batten down the tarps! At 9pm, in conjunction with shutting down the generator, we checked and added additional tie-downs to the tarps covering the helicopter bags full of whistle house roofing debris. The whistle house roof tarping is still holding fast thanks to the great job by Dave, Nat and John!
Sunday, June 16, 2019 Day Sixteen: Happy Father’s Day! Chris told me that the beached breech log that he cut up yesterday was nowhere to be found this morning; most likely carried out to sea except for the 20’ top part which was perched at a jaunty angle on the rocks on the north side of the cove. I brought up two empty gas cans from the whistle house ahead of staging for the WW at the donkey engine shed ahead of their next island visit. In deference to the “house” snake I gratefully hadn’t seen before yesterday, I placed them – temporarily, on the south porch, having no stomach for a slithery encounter first thing in the morning! After breakfast, Chris headed outside to temporarily steady/shim-to-upright, more historical building markers using recycled materials; also to refasten the museum downspout while I spent some time writing here. Chris has an idea for a more summer-permanent marker steadying solution he’s going to run by FOSILs before implementing. Even with Chris walking in front of me – my anti-snake-encounter strategy hedge to my intentions – as we headed down the hill to hand-prune the Cobblestone Trail, I was the one who crossed paths with a green snake, a variety snake-fearless Chris has yet to see, poor guy. My intentions are obviously working, ugh. We had about an hour+ of hand-pruning, to a background chorus of birdsongs and squawks, before the rain started and so we returned to the house, just in time for a late lunch. After that, Chris removed and cleaned the lens of the overhead dining room light fixture (see before and after photos) and with the dining room table temporarily relocated so Chris could access the light fixture, I repaired most of the snags in the carpet below. Then Chris and I sat down together to read in the front room; for me, the first of several books I brought with me to read this summer, before I knew what a wonderful variety of tomes there are resident at the main house. So many choices! By 4:30pm, encroaching fog had entirely cloaked the nearby whistle house, making it impossible to see from the main house. We shifted to pre-generator dinner preps: homemade, including broth, vegetable soup with yellow-eye beans and quinoa which we ate with the last of our cornbread. With the generator already running, we also baked back-to-back, Chris’ tasty granola concoction and oatmeal raisin cookies, eating almost half of the latter with a glass of milk, of course! When we went outside to shut off the generator and lower the flag at 7:30pm, the fog had enveloped the island to the extent that we couldn’t see water from any landside vantage point even though we could hear it everywhere.
Monday, June 17, 2019 Day Seventeen We awoke to a bright, clear, sunny day, with no residual signs of yesterday’s cloak of fog. We are transitioning from an intellectual to more of a gut level understanding of how much this place is nature-driven, directed by sunrises and sunsets, high and low tides, and the almost ever-present winds and their changing directions. By 9am, Chris had unhung, then trimmed and planed the bottom and rehung the north door to the main house porch so now it swings freely without catching the floor mat. While the grass was drying out, we returned to finish hand-pruning the Cobblestone Trail under the watchful eyes of the resident redwing blackbird. Today, our efforts resulted in repeated bursts of pollen “explosions” into the air as we moved the prolifically flowering portions of the laurels aside to reach dead, trail-penetrating “gotchas.” Chris earned his “snake-sweeping” badge on our walk back up the hill, his presence causing an expedited serpent trail crossing ahead of me. Whew! Even that singular success warrants his continuing to walk ahead of me, notwithstanding the fact that he walks twice as fast as I do, regardless of terrain. We have bread, again! Early this morning, Chris made a whole wheat “sponge” – a dough consisting of warm water, yeast, sugar, and flour – which he baked on the propane grill while we ate lunch. We mowed at the top of the hill afterwards, taking turns on the Gravely and push mower. Once that was completed, we headed down the hill to the cove at low tide for further explorations and osprey watching. An orange, rainbow-shaped halo shone above the sun as it set behind the Presidentials. Less than an hour later, we watched a beautiful orange-hued full moon rise. It too had an orange aura that morphed into pale yellow, rimmed by burnt orange, as it continued its ascent
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Day Eighteen An earlier riser than I, Chris had had his coffee, breakfast, made several trips to the whistle house, and cleaned the propane grill – his “new” outdoor bread-baking “over” – by the time I was up at 7am. The Coast Guard arrived mid-morning to repair the foghorn, now back in service. They also checked the solar installation in the tower and visited the museum before heading down to be picked back up in the cove. Chris gave the weather station another go, and got it entirely operational, except for the barometer which, the manufacturer said when called, needs factory TLC. None of the squash seeds we planted almost two weeks ago have sprouted, so Chris planted the last of the seeds in containers we could keep inside in the event it’s still too cool outside. Maybe we should have waited later into the June-July planting-in-Maine schedule on the seed package. After lunch, we headed down the hill to mow, weed-whack, and hand-prune the Cove Trail and campground. As we arrived, we saw a sailboat mooring in the cove, so Chris worked close by so he could welcome them to the island while I mowed down the trail. He greeted the couple and their daughter, on a return visit from Gloucester, MA after 12 years’ absence, and offered a tour after they’d had a chance to hike the trails, their first priority. I did the tour and museum with them while Chris finished up down below. Atypically, there has been little wind today, so no smart-sounding cracking of the flag to accompany our comings and goings from the main house. Perhaps that’s what has allowed the pea soup fog to roll in, and for the just repaired foghorn to be heard.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Day Nineteen: Juneteenth! Hey there, keepers, have you any trash? Yes ma’am, yes sir, twelve days full! Hey there, keepers, why such a dash? Composting and recycling keeps it small! With lingering pea soup fog, Chris and I briefly wondered if Captain Ethan and the WW would still come out, but as the Guppy transporting all of them motored into the cove right on time, we knew our concerns were entirely unfounded. Besides, we knew they would have let us know if the omni-present weather conditions would have dictated a different plan. Once ashore, we encountered voracious mosquitoes so we hopped into our truck without first stopping to change into dry footwear. Our first stop was replenishing our water supply. As we left that location, we stopped to admire a garden, and visited briefly with the gardener who was hard at work despite the swarming mosquitoes there as well; an atypical event for these parts we were told throughout the day. She kindly offered and we gratefully accepted a we-saw-it-picked bunch of leaf lettuce and a separate handful of dill. Out thanks to both our water suppliers and the generous gardener! We continued on to the Phippsburg Transfer Station to deposit our trash and recycling, the PO, and with a stop to change into dry shoes – ahhhh! – a raft of other destinations, including two natural foods grocery stores we hadn’t previously explored. As we moved through our day, the weather conditions morphed from chilly fog, to warming haze, to sunny and downright warm enough for me to be comfortable in a T-shirt outside before reversing as we returned to Ft. Popham for our ride back out to the still foggy island. Despite weather conditions and predictions, we optimistically hung-out our laundry, which we anticipate will be dry … sometime over the weekend’s predicted sun.
Thursday, June 20, 2019 Day Twenty A bowl of heated overnight oatmeal was just the thing on this still pea soup foggy morning. We were welcomed by an armada of ducks – too foggy to see the brand – in the cove after walking down the hill this morning. Rain is imminent so it’s looking like a good day for indoor keeper projects, reading, and baking! Twelve hours and 1.31 inches of still coming rain later, water is pooling even on the two inclining and declining trails between the main house and the whistle house. Whatever happened to gravity? We also discovered some leaks in the whistle house roof, so strategically located an empty wheelbarrow and a trash can to catch the drips after covering the electric equipment and materials that could be damaged by getting wet.
Friday, June 21, 2019 Day Twenty-One: Summer Solstice! Today’s rain didn’t materialize as forecasted, butit remained wet and isty as we saw some signs of clearing – low slung blue skies – to the east. Gain we did mostly indoor projects, at the museum – Chris rehung the interior FOSILs sign on the staircase; at the main house –I went through the drawer of flags to pull out bunting for the 4th of July; and close enough to shelter if it did rain – Chris repaired the picnic table leg and disassembled the old compost bin, made in Istanbul, Turkey! The whistle hose roof leaking has stopped, but we’re keeping everything covered as a hedge against any future drips. Midafternoon, we walked down to the cove and along the cove trail. We saw one of the two ospreys with a fish in her/his talons; the usual gull suspects but more active and vocal than usual; and the duck armada with 4our ducklings bobbing along with the adults. We wondered, are they this year’s only survivors? Thanks to 13mph winds, our totally rain-soaked-since-hung-out-late-Wednesday-afternoon laundry, was entirely dry by 6pm despite the mid-afternoon mists, encroaching fog, and downright dampness. At dusk, there was a distinctive dark blue “line” where the water met the horizon, more noticeable to the northeast, east, and southeast, than towards land. Calm-appearing seas, almost placid, and little wind…
Saturday, June 22, 2019 Day Twenty-Two We think the gulls must be guarding newly hatched chicks, as they were even more vocal while circling above the whistle house early this morning than they were down at the cove yesterday afternoon. There is a cacophony of sound here; a veritable soundscape distinct from the equally striking visuals. The wind, the sea – even when the surf isn’t crashing down below – the birds. The seas looked calm again this morning and still, the currents were forming foam-flecked parabola-like shapes out on the water. Appearances can be deceiving. With the forecasted sunny morning weather coming to fruition, Chris and I thought it best to stay close by the museum and tower in anticipation of visitors who quickly materialized. The first was a repeat visitor from Harpswell bringing two new guests, one from India and one from Russia. The second was whistle house roof volunteer, John, and a friend who stopped en route to relocating to a new mooring. The third was a Southport couple with three guests from Washington, DC by way of Venezuela. Despite picture perfect, chamber of commerce weather during their visits, John saw the winds pick up and decided to head on out to his destination about two hours before an impressive storm blew in from the north shortly after 1pm, bringing with it gusts up to 30mph! Lightning, thunder, and instant whitecaps, as if a sea-sized solution of vinegar and baking soda had been mixed and activated before our very eyes. The third group was just coming up from the North Trail and took shelter on the north porch and in the museum. The first group was out on a trail, so we brought their packs inside, and correctly anticipated their rain-soaked arrival shortly. Happily, they had brought a change of clothes, so we welcomed them into our quarters to dry off and change. Any port in a storm! The rain and lightning stopped, and the whitecaps subsided sooner than the thunder which continued to intermittently rumble past mid-afternoon. When the last of our visitors left between squalls, Chris and I made our way to the kitchen to start our first batches of sauerkraut ever. Will report on our success in future postings. The sun glowed a luminescent yellow with pink undertones as it set, subsequently accented with and a similarly colored aura that hung above the horizon after the sun could no longer be seen. The seas were lake-like calm, giving no indication of the alternating wind and rain and thunder and lightning and whitecaps that exploded over the island this afternoon. What a place?!
Sunday, June 23, 2019 Day Twenty-Three Chris discovered a sailboat moored in the cove on his early morning trip down the hill, and we anticipated a visit from them which ultimately didn’t happen. That’s not to say we didn’t have visitors. Glorious weather on a weekend day made that a sure bet! The first arrived late morning on Captain Ethan’s Leeward just as we finished our downhill mowing, weed-whacking, and cleaning of the Clivus. Chris conducted the tower tours while I assisted our guests in the museum and gift shop. The tower tours are limited to six people, so Chris got his stair-climbing in with four separate trips to accommodate the 23 people Captain Ethan had brought to the island. We had just sat down to a late lunch when we had the opportunity to welcome four more arriving couples who had sailed in on three separate boats. One of those couples gifted us with a bottle of Spanish red wine; an entirely unexpected but appreciated token of their appreciation for our efforts here, thank you! Once again, Chris conducted the tower tours while I docented the museum and gift shop. The beautiful weather was conducive to island explorations so most if not all of our 31 total visitors spent some time on one of the trails. After they departed, we discovered the first casualty of our intermittent refrigeration: milk. Happily, Chris is adept at using sour milk in his baking so no loss there. Going forward, we’ll need to purchase less or drink more! Speaking of food, we have propane-grilled pizza on tonight’s menu, another first. I’ll be photo-documenting the preparations and, if they pass QC muster, I may add photos of the finished product here later. Standby!
Monday, June 24, 2019 Day Twenty-Four The light. Virtually every visitor who resides within 20 miles of the island, or further afield and returns for a repeat visit, has commented on the loss of the light, and expressed their hope for the it to be re-illuminated soon. Chris and I have never seen the light operational, so our perspective is slightly different even though we too hope for its bright future. You see, whenever we are in the tower during daylight, the amazing, 162 year old First Order Fresnel Lens is still “working,” using the natural light to refract multiple bright rainbows onto the tower’s interior; their positions dictated by the time of day. Like the “real” light, these rainbows are silent but powerful reminders of what the Seguin Island Light once was…and still is. Go to https://uslhs.org/fresnel-lens-makers for the story behind the name on the brass plate at the base of the lens’ supporting structure: <>
We greeted a total of 14 visitors today from four separate moorings. The first was a pinky schooner, associated with Maritime Gloucester, en route from Portland to Boothbay. Of the five crew members who came ashore, some had participated in building her, and one was the grand-daughter of a lighthouse keeper! Then we had a family of four returning to Seguin Island after more than ten years, their then toddler sons now grown young men. Another couple from Cumberland came with their visiting-from-Maryland granddaughters who were keen to tour the tower and posed insightful questions based on what they saw in the museum. Last but not least was a visitor who sailed in on a sloop from Machias. He arrived late afternoon, while Chris and I were cleaning the mowers before putting them back in the whistle house, having mowed up top between visitors. (Chris’ idea to start mowing early – before 8am – on a beautiful, visitor-anticipated day, was prudent and one we’ll repeat in the future.) After a tower and museum tour, our Machias visitor, Chris and I sat and visited on the benches near the weather station before he returned to the cove for the night. Then Chris and I initiated some smallish repairs in and around the tower and museum before calling it a day and stopping for dinner. For “dessert,” we were treated to the dining room view of two yellow finches, perched nearby on tall stalks of uncut grass while eating the plentiful, surrounding seed heads.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Day Twenty-Five Chris and Debby Went down the hill To fetch two gallons Of water…stored in the donkey engine shed. It’s so much easier to Tote one gallon jugs uphill Than the five gallon versions We refill ashore and bring to the island weekly! Chris completed the repairs we had started late yesterday, including securing some outside signs and adjusting the strike plate on the north screen door to the museum before heading down to weed-whack the South Trail. Although mowing and weed-whacking have slowed from the beginning of the month, we still see the new growth almost daily, especially after winds and rains cause the uncut grass and foliage to bow into the trails; anticipatory homage to the next hiker perhaps? Rain arrived at 2pm, on forecasted schedule, so we retreated inside for the remainder of the day. Dinner tonight will be leftover propane grill-cooked pizza and stovetop soup. Here’s a photo of the pizza…before it was leftover. Does anyone recognize the purple toppings? Hint: They are the flowers of edible perennials growing on the island.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 Day Twenty-Six Despite the dicey weather – just ending rain and still-thick and misty fog – we went ashore as planned Wednesday morning, leaving the island on schedule at 7am. While we were off and running our errands, including finding a local source of chocolate until we can return to Trader Joe’s for our fav, the Wednesday Warriors were hard at work scraping and painting the tower railing, as well as scraping the front of the main house and pump house. They also scraped the lichen off the whistle house and spent some time working on the weather station to calibrate the wind direction; something Chris finished up once we returned to the island that afternoon. As we all know, all work and no play is no fun at all, so we’re getting more efficient at our errands so we can intersperse some nearby exploration and gallivanting about into our weekly day ashore. So while in Bath today, we stopped at the Virginia Visitor Center where a dedicated group of shipwrights and volunteers regular gather to greet and inform visitors and to reconstruct the Virginia, also known as Maine’s First Ship, originally build by members of the Popham Colony in the winter of 1607-08. We visited with two volunteers there, one of whom is also a FOSILs member, as well as a couple of older “salts” who regularly come by to watch the reconstruction progress. According to an article I read subsequently that night, she is set to launch on June 7, 2020. Perhaps we’ll return for that! We also drove the road we’d not yet traveled…down to Hermit Beach/Island before our return to the island afterward. On that short voyage back, we saw a seal and two researchers standing near the shore on Pond Island, their heads in a cloud of flying birds. Terns? Gulls? Once back, we bravely hung out our laundry despite forecast for more damp.
Thursday, July 27, 2019 Day Twenty-Seven The fog we awoke to early this morning continued to thicken, diminishing visibility and shrouding our view of our surroundings to about 300’ around the main house by mid-morning. Zero sea view, but the sound is ever-present. We’re still planning to head outside this morning to check the trails for good accessibility and clearance ahead of scheduled ferry visitors tomorrow. Then, pending wind direction, E-NE is best for keeping the grill at the intended temperature, Chris may take on another baking project or two. He’s discovered that propane grill baking doesn’t work well when the prevailing winds are from the N-NW because it cools the grill down below baking temperatures. Deciding that the sides of the South Trail required our trimming attention, we headed there mid-morning, admiring the frothy surf below, still visible through the fog. Buttercup, buttercup, my little buttercup… For readers of, ah, a certain age, I hope this lyric will evoke fond memories. For readers younger than that, please Google, knowing it’s not the Build Me Up, Buttercup song. Anyway, much of the more open areas along the trail were blanketed with buttercups, but not so thickly that we couldn’t see the poison ivy alongside them. A brief break for lunch and we walked down the hill towards the cove to clean the information board there, remove an offending screw from the handrail of the stairs to/from the cove, and fix the door to the Clivus so it no longer sticks and still closes securely for privacy while in use. While there, I played some hooky at the cove, observing gull tracks in the sand, the seemingly orchestrated movement of seaweed across the cove and, today’s pièce de résistance, a couple of gray-brown (rock-colored) gull chicks on the ledge overlooking the cove; which caused Chris to momentarily leave his task to join me in a good look. We have no idea what the gestation period is for gulls, but to have witnessed the transition from the eggs-in-nests we’d seen our first week here to temporarily unattended chicks was pleasing to us both. Almost equally pleasing was Chris earning two more snake-sweeping badges, today alone, one on our way down and another one on our way up the hill. This evening, we dined to the comparatively dulcet sound of the current foghorn which, as written in A History of Seguin Island Lighthouse, was “…likened to that of an enraged bull of Bashan” according to the 1926-1936 keeper. That keeper claimed that the concussion, not the air blast, would put out an oil lantern on the ground eight feet below the horn, and knock down gulls flying by at the time. Wow!
Friday, June 28, 2019 Day Twenty-Eight We were still surrounded by fog when we woke up this morning. However, having faith in the forecasted sun to come, along with today’s ferry visitors, we walked the North Trail to check both accessibility – it’s still boggy in spots – and to time a leisurely hike – 50 minutes round trip – in anticipation of questions regarding the duration of each of the four non-lighthouse trails on the island. At the vista, we saw a gull sitting on a nest we’ve watched since our arrival, still with unhatched eggs, and wondered about the hatching timing difference between these eggs and the gull chicks at the cove. Chris pointed out a single pale-pink Queen Anne’s Lace-type bloom amidst a sea of same-shaped white blooms, all under a mist gently rolling across the island. On our next walk out there, we’ll pull one of the white ones to see if it is QAL, aka wild carrot, or not. At about 11:15am, Captain Ethan arrived in the cove with 23 visitors aboard, along with packages and mail for us. Thanks to Cyndy and Captain Ethan making happen that special delivery of those items that arrived Wednesday afternoon, after we had already left the mainland. Once again, Chris took care of the tower tours while I assisted our visitors in the museum and gift shop. Meeting and hearing the stories of the people who come out here, either by ferry or on their own, is a real treat for us; a highlight of being here. Today’s group included a couple from Maryland who were married here on Seguin island in August 2011, the day before the keepers had to be evacuated due to Hurricane Irene!
Saturday, June 29, 2019 Day Twenty-Nine By noon, the sun had progressively burned its way through the haze, denying the forecasted midday rain in favor of the 9am raindrops which delayed our raising of the flag. I’d just finished my second book since coming on island, and decided to go out back to see what I could see now that the skies were clearing. The snake in the chive bed that I’d recently weeded by gloveless hand was not on my viewing agenda! Shortly thereafter, two visitors arriving by motorboat enjoyed touring the tower and the museum, and then returned to the cove where we saw them paddle-boarding when we walked down the hill to fetch a gallon of water. While there, we also noticed one of the two gull chicks down on the rocks in the cove, apparently fallen – unhurt – from the overhead ledge, and trying to make its way back up; a seemingly impossible task. We were still at the cove when we greeted eight more visitors from Montréal, four adults and four children, who had sailed over from Georgetown. After they toured both the tower and the museum, and visited with us about the different trails, they chose the Cobblestone Trail so the kids, of all ages, could clamber on and around the rocks there before overnighting in the cove.
Sunday, June 30, 2019 Day Thirty The weather forecast for morning rain was off by several hours, as the rain did not arrive until early afternoon. We spent the morning sorting and rearranging things in the donkey engine shed to make it more user-friendly for the Wednesday Warriors and us too. Our Canadian visitors were still moored in the cove when we went back up the hill to have some lunch. We returned to finish our project after lunch; also to look again for the fallen gull chick which, unfortunately, we no longer saw…or heard. There was a new sloop moored where the Canadians had been, but with it raining steadily as we left the cove, we expected no more visitors for the day. We were proven wrong when, an hour later, I heard voices outside and greeted three rain-coated visitors, who had sailed down from The Basin and stopped to visit in the rain. One of the three, a Portland resident, said he’s been sailing by here for 35 years and this was his first stop, precipitated (my very much intended pun) by the rain. After a tour of the tower and museum and another good multi-topic conversation, we encouraged their return…before another 35 years goes by! Intermittent, wind-driven rain for the remainder of the day, including a short-lived sunlit clearing followed by a brief deluge, and then this, a double rainbow, the more vibrant of the two which ultimately arced across the entire sky, from sea to sea:
July 1, 2019 Day Thirty-One A gorgeous, cloudless morning strongly suggests visitors so, once again, we started mowing before 8am. It’s no coincidence that dry weather is optimal for visitors and mowing! Our first visitors, two couples from Cape Elizabeth and their dog, arrived before 10am. A father and son from Southport, longtime visitors, to the island, arrived shortly thereafter; all for a combination of walking the trails, climbing the tower, and visiting the museum and gift shop. Clouds arrived by noon when we were able to resume mowing. About an hour later, six more visitors arrived, two from Phippsburg with four family members from Wisconsin. Two visitors from Bowdoinham and Lexington, VA, along with their two dogs who abandoned ship in the cove and swam to shore followed. Then eight visitors came in from Southport, five adults and three older children who hail from Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina, plus their dog arrived to enjoy the island. One young boy doggedly completed the Seguin Island K.I.T. (Keeper In Training) Activity Guide and was duly awarded an Official K.I.T. Certificate. If we obtain the requested photo and parental consent, we will post a photo of this determined young man with his certificate! By now, it was close to 6pm and our thoughts turned to dinner, like all meals, planned and timed around a running generator and the appliances we can use at one time. Before starting it up, we checked the hours on the beast and saw that it needed an oil change so we did that before generator launch, heading back inside for dinner, dishes, showers, generator shutdown, and bed.
July 2, 2019 Day Thirty-Two Another welcomed sunny day, and Chris had almost finished mowing below when our first visitors arrived shortly after 10am. This Vermont couple kayaked in from Seawall, the man having kayaked in the area for thirty years. They said they saw two “finned” fish en route – a first – and asked a lobsterman who said they might be dolphins or nurse sharks. He also told them he’d seen a 250# sea turtle! A father and young son arrived as they left, and Chris noted that the boy asked many good questions while touring the tower. Then we greeted seven FOSIL member-visitors from New Jersey and Maryland who are vacationing in Georgetown. A group of 28 visitors, courtesy of Captain Ethan, arrived right on their sterns, including two dogs. I lost track after that with so many comings and goings, except for the one “new” dog accompanying a group of five from the Philadelphia area who regularly vacation nearby twice a year. The man said that he’d calculated that this was their 38th visit to Seguin! Next and last, was a couple of full time sea cruisers, up from the Keys with a young North Carolina grandson serving as “crew.” They said they might moor overnight in the cove, but we didn’t see them when we went back down the hill to complete the mowing there. A full day of people, dogs, & conversations with special thanks to those who take their trash and dog waste with them off-island!
July 3, 2019 Day Thirty-Three Shore leave today, starting with the happy observation of two lightening-in-color gull chicks on the ledge with an adult. We don’t know if the fallen chick was somehow “rescued” or if there were three or more to begin with and we’d missed one. We spent the entire day in Bath where, in conjunction with our errands, we got to see the preparations for Bath Heritage Days and Music Festival, Bath’s five day long 4th of July celebration. It appears to run throughout downtown Bath and down to the riverfront, centered around Waterfront Park, where we saw a stage being set up for music and vendors setting up along Commercial Street. It certainly has the makings of a grand event! We returned to visit the reconstruction of the Virginia, Maine’s First Ship, and the Maine Maritime Museum, where we continue to see and learn something new. At Ft. Popham, we rendezvoused with our first family visitors who rode back out to the island with us on Captain Ethan’s Guppy for a two-day stay. A family of four and their dog arrived around 6pm, eager to tour the tower and make some “replacement” purchases from their last visit to Seguin several years back. That evening, we watched fireworks in Georgetown (?) from the north porch.
July 4, 2019 Day Thirty-Four: Happy 4th of July! We enjoyed a leisurely start to the day, visiting with family all morning, before our first 20 visitors arrived on Captain Ethan’s Leeward, shortly before noon. Another dog day of summer, with one to two dogs accompanying some of those aboard the ferry, as well as some but not all of the various groupings that came up afterward, including a family with the natal surname of Seguin! One wonders how many places they can travel to arrive at a place where their name is emblazoned everywhere? Once post-ferry visitors had left the island, we resumed our family visit while waiting for the sun to go down and the fireworks to go up. We took full advantage of our island location to watch from the tower catwalk, more than a half dozen displays in a coastal arc running from the northeast to the west and southwest.
July 5, 2019 Day Thirty-Five Another leisurely morning with family before the day’s first visitors – longtime repeat visitors – arrived from Scarborough; the man having come out to Seguin Island since boyhood, when the Coast Guard was actively stationed here. Captain Ethan arrived shortly thereafter with 26 aboard the Leeward, and we reluctantly bade our family adieu as we commenced tower tours and museum and gift shop assistance. In short order, our ferry visitors were succeeded by a group of seven from a Boston suburb, with dog, currently living at their vacation home in Maine. Another small group of four, also with the family dog, followed. Then came a succession of overnighting-in-the-cove visitors: -Four Celtic musicians – a combination of avocational players and a professional songwriter – from Canada and Massachusetts on a Hans Christian Cutter. We suggested a concert in the cove that evening which we’d intended to attend, but sleep overcame us before we made it down; -A couple who live on their boat in Georgetown, taking a short break from work and their usual mooring; and -A very recently married long-term couple from New Hampshire, accompanied by a friend from Germany, all seeking some inspirational time on the coast as they prepare their exhibit for an art show in South Portland next month. The following photo was taken the next morning, what I thought was first thing, but still after one of the overnighters had already left the cove.
July 6, 2019 Day Thirty-Six Chris and I went down to the cove before 8am so he could weed-whack the Cobblestone Trail and I could clean and rake the Clivus, ahead of anticipated free-lance (i.e. non-Leeward-transported) visitors on this warm and sunny day. As usual, I took a bit of time down on the cove during low tide, enjoying the sand prints there. Two of the four aboard the overnighting cutter came up mid-morning to make a purchase and donation at the gift shop, thank you! Then the six aboard the sailboat we’d watched motor into the cove arrived from their berth at Robinhood Marina in Georgetown. It was a return visit for all but two who quickly took Chris up on his offer to tour the tower while their companions set up the picnic table for an early lunch. Another group of eight arrived shortly thereafter, sailing in from their Georgetown residence, and we enjoyed our extended conversations with them. All of this morning’s visitors were watching the increasing winds and swelling seas so they could leave ahead of rain forecasted for the afternoon. About noon, after everyone had left, Chris and I made a quick trip down to the cove to make sure everything was battened down from our morning chores. There, we unexpectedly greeted another couple sailing from Freeport to Boothbay. Also aware of the forecast, they decided they could remain on-island for about 30 minutes before continuing on to Boothbay. We helped to optimize their on-island time with a tour of the tower, a visit to the museum, and purchases at the gift shop, and invited them to stop on their way back early next week to hike the trails. By 3:30, winds were gusting up to 25mph from the SW, and whitecaps helped to trace the movement of the corresponding currents. Aside from spritzes of rain that penetrated the screens just enough to leave distinct droplets on the windowpanes, no other rain materialized and the whitecaps subsided as well. By 5pm, dark clouds descended, shrinking the remaining light down to a horizontal ribbon at the horizon, connecting the sky and the seas. The rain arrived 30 minutes later, falling from dull gray clouds and obliterating our view of the ocean. When the rain stopped at 8pm, we saw that fog had embraced the northern portion of the island, somewhat shrouding the nearby oil house from our view. Bona fide clouds – neither fog nor haze – appeared to be perched on top of the water to the northeast, and to the west, the sunset cast a long, luminescent pink-orange glow through the moving mist to the western shore of the island. As if in competition with the varied weather conditions and views from one spot, a rainbow appeared in a fractured arc from the northeast to the east, once again, beginning and ending in the ocean. Shortly after the daylight diminished to the point that we couldn’t see anything, we heard muffled rumblings that we initially mistook for thunder…before stepping outside and seeing another round of fireworks, visibly veiled by the fog still enveloping the island to the N/NW.
July 7, 2019 Day Thirty-Seven Last night’s rain dropped temperatures by a good ten degrees, warranting a warming top over shorts despite the sunny and not too breezy morning. Chris rough-trimmed the marshy area at the beginning of the easterly portion of the North Trail loop so it’s passable though shoe-drenching. Still, beautiful purple irises and tall cattails make the foray worthwhile…with the right footwear – rubber boots recommended! Today’s ferry visitors started arriving at the top of the hill around 11:40am. They included a family of four from Bath and upstate New York, another family of seven from Maine and Florida, and a family of five from the Brunswick area. Non-ferry visitors arrived in short order, including a family of six from Boston and, in the summer, Baypoint. Following a tower tour, review of the museum exhibits, and a game of checkers on the US Coast Guard-issue game table left on Seguin after automation in 1985, they went on an extended hike up the North Trail and back. We spoke briefly with a couple who spent their uphill time picnicking and then reading on the rocks between the main house and the whistle house. A group of three from western Massachusetts crested the hill as the couple was starting their walk down the cove. They enjoyed a tour, the museum, and purchasing some souvenirs of their visit before leaving. Next to arrive were two men from Nashville who swam ashore absent a dinghy they said would be purchased next year. Three more from the same vessel came up after the swimming “scouts” returned to the cove. It turns out that their family hails from Cape Elizabeth, having settled there in the 1700s after coming over from England. Seeking new efficiencies, we tried a new mowing tack after everyone left: cutting the grass at the end of the day, post-visitors, when it’s entirely wind-blown dry, instead of in the morning, when it’s still wet and we’re trying to get it done before visitors arrive. Chris is faster on the Gravely than I am, and so he completed the uphill mowing in about half my time, while I was here wrapping up this week’s blog in preparation for sending it off to Cyndy for posting. After a later than usual dinner, we went outside to catch the fireworks in Bath. I don’t know if we arrived late to that party, or if it was because we weren’t in the tower as we were on the fourth, but what we did see was a vivid, outlined-in-mauve and orange profile of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Mountains, and the glow of a relatively new moon shimmering across the water.
July 8, 2019 Day Thirty-Eight Post mowing, there is a noticeable increase in the number of birds in the cut areas, more songbirds than gulls unless it’s raining. We think it’s because the shorter grass makes all of the potential delicacies otherwise hidden in the longer grass more available. The catbird’s approach is particularly interesting: it flies down from a perch, stops and is momentarily immobile, then cocks its head to one side, perhaps listening for the movement of its next snack, and then bam, strikes and secures its targeted tidbit. With the intention of stemming the tide of escalating refrigerated food spoilage, today we invoked our plan, with Cyndy’s support, to start running the generator some midday in addition to mornings and evenings. It proved to be the perfect day to beta test our plan as we were able to accomplish this ahead of our first visitors of this sunny day, who started arriving early afternoon, after our midday run. You see, the sounds of nature are one of the joys of this place and we don’t want to mitigate that experience for our visitors by running the generator while they’re here. We know we’ll have to be a bit more creative on ferry tour days, when visitors are on-island between 11:30 and 1:30; also on those days that bring freelancers all daylight long, but we’re confident that we can work it out so visitors have a great visit and our food stays edible! A couple sailing their Morgan from Boothbay to the Shoals stopped by early afternoon, after the mid-day generator run, and will be overnighting in the cove. Another couple arrived in their wake, en sailing route home to Cape Elizabeth. Later in the afternoon, a New Hampshire family of four, sailing from Portland to Rockland, stopped for a return visit to the island. Then a family of three on a return daytrip from Georgetown, stopped in. The man said that he’d seen a weasel* or a mink eating gull eggs on prior visits, and coupled with guest log entries of raccoon sightings on the island, perhaps the no-mammal mantra needs to be updated? *When we shared this information with Captain Ethan, he said it was more likely a muskrat than a weasel.
July 9, 2019 Day Thirty-Nine Our first visitors of the day, three men from Connecticut, two of whom claimed to have been conscripted by the skipper, arrived shortly before 9am. They were passing through to explore potential long-term moorings in the area, and decided to stop to see Seguin. One man spoke of a First Order Fresnel Lens he’d visited in Hopetown, Bahamas. Its distinction, he explained, was that it floats on mercury and still uses a lamp and a wick, initially fueled by kerosene, now by a more modern fuel mixture. Midday, Ethan brought visitors from Vermont, Arizona, New York and New Mexico, including two friends of ours taking time from their vacation to pay us a quick visit, so wonderful to see you!! Separately, a family of seven from northern and southern California arrived from South Bristol; then three from New York City, all of whom enjoyed time in the tower, museum, and on the trails. Mid-afternoon, we welcomed three members of the Montréal contingent who’d previously visited (see June 29 entry) returning with his mother and sister who were visiting Seguin for the first time. Bienvenue encore! Once again, they will be mooring overnight in the cove, so we alerted them to our intended 6:30am shore leave departure from the cove in the morning, so we don’t startle or disturb them! Late this afternoon, two couples from Phippsburg, one repeat visitors and one newcomers, arrived to explore the museum & tour the tower. In closing , the foghorn has been set-off two days in a row now, yesterday morning and this afternoon, in clear, no fog weather and with winds gusting up to 12mph. Possibly the result of accidental albeit necessarily repeated radio clicks to activate the sound, or hijinks on the high seas?
July 10, 2019 Day Forty Such an amazing day, starting with the sight of a red-orange sun, first as a glowing orb located above the horizon in a matte gray sky, then casting its colors in a swath across the water as it continued to rise, all while we headed for the cove before 6am.
Then, as we made preparations to leave the cove – this involves us mounting the oars, carrying the dinghy down from its high tie-up point above the cove, positioning it at the water’s edge for launching – easier in high tide than low – and loading the dinghy with our trash/recycling, empty water jugs, laundry, and grocery bags – we were initially speechless and then felt incredibly privileged as we watched a seal pup swim up and with great effort, make its way up on the rocks right by the dinghy, a mere two feet from where we were standing. The three of us looked at one another, not making any move except for me who quietly turned to remove my phone from my dry bag so I could take some pictures. To our uninformed eyes, the pup appeared to be healthy – plump and uninjured – but exhausted from the effort as it closed its eyes and rested on the rocks, still feet away from us. It just looked up without moving when we moved to the opposite side of the dinghy in an attempt to launch it without disturbing the seal once the Wednesday Warriors arrived in the cove. We shared our story once aboard the Guppy, and in addition to his warning that we stay clear of and not try to engage with them – we didn’t and still, good advice for all wild animals – Captain Ethan said this was weaning time which seemed to explain this young pup being on his/her own, and exhausted from the effort. That morning, we’d also seen pogies, a nickname for menhaden, a baitfish, circling within the cove as they do, so we are hopeful that this pup was able to catch and consume some before stopping for a nap on the cove rocks. It turns out that his/her nap was short-lived as the pup slipped back into the water after we off-loaded onto the Guppy & the Wednesday Warriors moved onto the dinghy and shore.
We ran our shore leave errands in Brunswick today, before returning to Bath and the Maine Maritime Museum where we focused on their outside exhibits. The Wednesday Warriors and a local electrician continued their efforts to upgrade the electrical wiring in the main house, and also repainted the porch and restocked the gift shop; all very much appreciated, thank you! When we returned from shore leave, we saw a sailboat from Hawaii moored in the cove, and learned that the Coast Guard had choppered in for a visit. After securing the dinghy, we met and visited with the couple as we brought our belongings up from the cove. They described the configuration of the ocean floor and related challenges of sailing the currents in and around the Hawaiian Islands, which are at least 85 nautical miles apart, and why they keep their boat and sail in Maine in the summer instead. They’d stopped for a return visit to Seguin and to replace a wornout FOSILs T-shirt. We invited them to overnight in the cove, and they declined as they were headed to Boothbay.
July 11, 2019 Day Forty-One This morning, Chris mowed just up above the cove, then the Cove Trail and campground ahead of rain forecasted to start this evening. Captain Ethan cancelled today’s ferry tour due to winds, but a group of six from Massachusetts and Edgecombe arrived midday, having motored up the Sheepscot River and out to visit the island, a first for all but one. They weren’t aware that the light was out, and still were eager to tour the tower after visiting the museum and a heated game of checkers. As they were touring the tower, I noticed a two-masted vessel sailing in which Chris confirmed was the Outward Bound group we were expecting this afternoon. They will moor in the cove overnight and then we’ll dinghy them onto the island in the morning where they’ll assist with a trail project that requires more than our four resident hands. In the meantime, a couple of updates: In my July 1 entry, I referenced a young man who diligently completed the Seguin Island K.I.T. (Keeper In Training) Activity Guide and was duly awarded an Official K.I.T. Certificate. His parents consented to our posting his photo with certificate!
For our visiting plant aficionados, it turns out that the Queen Anne’s Lace-like plant I mentioned in my June 28 entry is actually comfrey. Similarly, the tentatively IDd Giant Hogweed, a noxious plant that can cause painful blisters when its sap comes into contact with our skin, may actually be Angelica, one of more than a half dozen Giant Hogweed lookalikes, all of which have varying toxic properties upon contact. A warm and special thanks to our visiting botanist, Sara, for all of the preceding information! We had an initial landside visit with one of the three Outward Bound (OB) instructors followed by a boat leave visit by the OB students and the other two instructors. After three days at sea, they were commenting that it felt strange to be on land, walking, and inside a building which made them feel claustrophobic. They all visited the tower and the museum before returning to their ship. We’ll see them again in the morning. The daylight morphed into opaque, shades-of-June fog so thick, the flagpole, less than 45 feet from the main house, seemed to melt into the surrounding mists before nightfall consumed all of the remaining light.
July 12, 2019 Day Forty-Two Chris headed down to the cove well before our 8:30am scheduled dinghy rendezvous with the nine OB students and three instructors, including their captain, and found some of the boys taking an invigorating wake-up swim in the cove.
I returned with Chris more than an hour later, to prep the dinghy for launch to ferry the OB crew onto land. Their 12 extra pairs of hands handily moved lumber up the hill from the boathouse to the whistle house to stack construction materials that will be arriving by helicopter next week. They also moved to the loop portion of the North Trail, pieces of 6 x 6s Chris had previously cut and stacked. Chris intends to build wooden walkways so visitors can traverse the marshy portions of the loop trail without soaking their feet. Our sincere thanks to them for their great assistance, positive attitudes and good energy! They hiked the South Trail after completing the great lumber relocation, and then headed back down to the cove to have lunch aboard their vessel – what we believe to be a modified two-masted gundalow, a flat-bottomed cargo barge commonly used in and around Maine from the 1600s to the 1900s – before setting sail. Chris and I were delighted to receive and unhesitatingly accepted their invitation to join them for lunch onboard in the cove, a new al fresco experience for us! We had PB & honey sandwiches for lunch, exactly what we would have eaten had we remained ashore. However, the honey was a last minute substitute for the intended jelly because a prior cook – they rotate responsibilities daily – apparently hadn’t closed the jar properly and the jelly was inundated with sea water. More on that in a minute. And if that weren’t a sufficient coincidence, we discovered that they’d bean burritos for dinner last night, just as we did. After lunch, Chris and I relocated back into the dinghy and remained moored to their vessel, with Captain Julia’s permission, in order to hear and watch their preparations to sail, or row as needed, over to Damariscove, seven nautical miles to the east. This included listening to the current NOAA marine forecast, planning their navigation routing, lessons on dead reckoning and how to calculate distance traveled and speed, and the extra safety precautions they needed to take in foggy conditions. We were also privy to an instructor-led discussion of craft – the need to do one’s best with any task you are performing, no matter how apparently insignificant e.g. closing the jelly jar properly – the students’ individual trip goals, the progress they’d made toward meeting them, and how their fellow students might assist one another in meeting their goals. We cast off as they prepared to unfurl their two sails and mount four oars, and watched as they rowed out of the cove to where they were able to catch some wind and tack before disappearing into the fog. We were very impressed by and grateful for the experience made possible, in part, by another day of rain and fog which kept Captain Ethan’s Leeward in the Ft. Popham harbor; making us available to spend more time & learn from the students, Captain Julia, and instructors Julia – yes, two – and Jorge. We saw a goldfinch and a cedar waxwing, each perched at the top of two different cone laden pine trees as we walked back up the hill from the cove, already missing the “All Hands” Outward Bounders.
July 13, 2019 Day Forty-Three We awoke to a sunny, no-sign-of-fog morning, overlooking currents edged by froth in a sea that churned froth all day. As we sat down to a breakfast of freshly-made sourdough blueberry muffins, we saw an American Redstart flying up and down a west-facing window where the main house joins the tower, apparently a good, quasi-secluded location to pick-off the insects that the spiders have yet to snare. A couple from Maryland and Kennebec Point arrived mid-morning for a repeat visit from earlier this month, this time with their adult son. We successively welcomed a family of ten from Georgetown, one of whom was a college professor who had brought out a group of students on a day we were ashore; then another family of ten from Boothbay and California, who said they’d seen the OB vessel return to Boothbay that morning; followed by a father and daughter from Brunswick who brought along five of her college classmates. In the early afternoon between visitors, I noticed accumulating clouds suspended over the surrounding landmasses and then, a short-lived translucent sea mist to the NE. Late afternoon, a multigenerational family of nine from southern New Hampshire and the Boston area sailed in from Portland, en route to Georgetown, followed by two couples from Biddeford and Falmouth, along with their toy Aussie they said was glad to be back on land. After dinner, Chris greeted another couple returning from a walk on the North Trail before returning to the cove where they will be moored for the night.
July 14, 2019 Day Forty-Four: Bastille Day Chris headed out to finish weed-whacking the South Trail first thing this morning, after which we went down to the cove to clean the Clivus. One of the four sailboats moored overnight had already sailed off by then, and was quickly replaced by another. While there, we met and visited with a man from Massachusetts who had come ashore to give his dog some shore leave before returning to his mooring for a second cup of coffee with his wife, both FOSILs members. After a bite of breakfast, we greeted a group of three from New Jersey, one of whom is a professional mariner who had sailed here from Block Island and were en route to the Cape Cod Canal. Then we greeted a family of four from Boothbay, returning after a 20-year absence. Captain Ethan brought 15 venturesome souls from California, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Montréal. The woman from California is on an admirable mission to visit and photograph lighthouses across the country. She has already visited every lighthouse in California and Oregon, with the Lighthouse Passport stamps for every stop before adding Seguin Island’s stamps to her collection. These visitors were followed by freelancers: a couple from Boston; a man from Maine with a woman from Hawaii; Dave, a FOSILs volunteer and family from Bath (see June 9 entry); then seven from Boothbay; six from Ohio and Virginia; and last but not least, two men from Rhode Island en route to Harpswell for the night. With grass in need of being cut, we started mowing “up top” around 4pm, finishing a couple of hours later after which we headed inside for dinner and some quiet time.