Monday
August 22, 2016

It rained steadily overnight, heavily at times – when it woke me up around 2am, I thought about the leaky mess that might be happening in the kitchen and gift shop for a while until I finally got up.  Fortunately, both were mostly dry but I moved things the pantry shelves in the kitchen and in the mirror-image wall in the other side of the duplex that is the gift shop, I moved post cards and other things off the wall.  In both, I put towels down to catch leaking water and then went back to bed, falling back asleep easily knowing I’d done what I could.

Cloudy, overcast day
Cloudy, overcast day

When we woke up in the morning, it was still raining lightly and the wind was blowing steadily around 10-15mph from the north with some higher gusts.  It looked like a quiet day ahead.   Patty made fruit with yogurt and granola for breakfast (Chris – I know you said I could skip mention of fruit breakfasts but Jude says she likes knowing) and then Patty stayed in the kitchen to bake more granola.  I went next door to pick up the towels I’d put down overnight, wiped up wet spots, and then vacuumed the Guest Quarters, Museum, and Gift Shop.

DSC00770We put together some things we won’t need with us on the island for the remainder of our time here and took them down to the Engine House to take to the mainland on Monday.  We also had a bin of linens from the Guest Quarters, empty merchandise bins, a water jug, and some other misc. stuff.  We’re going to have a lot to take Wednesday – definitely not going to fit into one dinghy run.

The Wednesday Warriors very considerately brought all our big water jugs up on the tram when they were here last Wednesday saving us from having to go down the hill to get water in gallon-sized bottles.  After having the water up here for almost a week, we oddly think we prefer having it down the hill.  For one reason, the big containers take up a lot of room in the hallway but the main reason is that having the water down there means we have to go down the hill two or three times a day on average to get more.  That means we’re down there frequently to see how many boats are in the cove, how the outhouse is looking, how the grass looks, picking up the odd piece or trash, etc.  We just feel like we’re in tune with what’s going on all over the island.  Without having to go down for water, we have had a day or two this week where one or both of us didn’t go down the hill all day long.  It probably seems crazy…

Trawler and sailboat passing
Trawler and sailboat passing

Back up the hill, Patty went up the tower to dust the lens and then we had a snack of bread and goat cheese that was given to us by the Mustache Mama’s (delicious!).  Shortly after, two guys and a woman arrived by sailboat from Five Islands to see the museum and tower.  The rain had stopped by this point but the wind was stronger and blowing straight into the cove, meaning it’s not protected from wind and waves like it usually is when we have prevailing South/Southwest winds.  Because of the wind and waves, we were surprised to see anyone today.  After they toured the tower and checked out the museum, they went back down the hill, planning to sail on southward towards Portland.

DSC_0237We ate hot dogs for lunch – not a healthy meal at all but sometimes junk food is so tasty.  We were pretty certain Ethan wouldn’t have a ferry today because of the wind and seas and by the time we had lunch, it was late enough that we knew for sure we wouldn’t have the ferry group.  After lunch, the wind picked up a little more and shifted to so that it was coming from the west, frequently gusting way above the steady 15mph average we were seeing.

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Cuckolds Lighthouse (?) from Seguin

Surprisingly, a foursome came up the hill, a young couple who live in Five Islands part of the year, and his parents who live in Northport.  We asked them how bad the ride over was and they said it was really rough in the open motor boat.  They visited the museum and went up in the tower where the wind was blowing even harder making our time on the catwalk brief.  After the tower tour, they headed back down the hill to head home.

Patty and I were inside about fifteen minutes later when the wife of the young couple came running up the hill.  Patty went out to ask her if she had forgotten something and the look on her face showed something was wrong.  She quickly told us they had gotten their stern line wrapped around the boat’s propeller and the boat was crashing on the rocks.  Could we give her a knife?  Patty grabbed a kitchen knife and I got our Leatherman which has a sharp blade and the three of us ran down the hill.   When we got down there, the husband (in long pants and long sleeve shirt) was in the water between his boat and the rocks in front of the boat house trying to keep the boat from slamming into the rocks.  His parents were on board using a gaff and dinghy oar pushing against the rocks.  The wife jumped into the water and I handed her the kitchen knife which she handed to her husband to try to cut the rope which was wrapped tightly several times around the propeller shaft.

Wet shoes...
Wet shoes…

As soon as the husband moved to cut the rope, the boat started moving quickly towards the rocks at the beach.  The tide was just starting to go out from a high tide meaning there are a lot of rocks towards the beach making it as bad there as where they were in front of the boathouse.  Patty and I ran down to the beach to help hold the boat from there and just as we got down to the water, the husband cut the rope away and was now standing on the rocks in front of the boathouse frantically trying to find the boat key.  For some reason he’d take it out of the ignition when the rope got tangled and now couldn’t find it…

The boat continued moving towards the beach with only the wife in the water trying to hold it against big waves pushing it straight to the

Wet all over
Wet all over

rocks on the beach.  It was nuts…  Patty and I went straight into the water, me in my Keen hiking boots, to help hold the boat.  We got it turned around so the bow was pointing out, riding the waves better, and Patty got their VHF radio to hail the Coast Guard for help when the husbands’ father found the key in a console on the boat.  The wife was now aboard and she lowered the propeller and initially they had enough draft to start it but they were trying to get their dinghy aboard instead of just trying to starting the motor and getting away from the rocks.  By the time they got the dinghy into the boat, the propeller was pushing down into the sand.  Finally, with the husband now with us, he, Patty, and I were able to push the boat out far enough and the wife pushed the throttle, narrowly missing me and the husband with the propeller as she swung hard to the right, skipping the propeller over some submerged rocks, and finally getting out to water that was a safe depth.

DSC00776The husband was patting his pockets looking for money – he said they should have made a larger donation…  We told him just get to the boat and get home safely, come back later when the seas are safer.  Then he swam out to the boat and made it aboard with little time to spare before they would have been pushed into the rocks again.  He took the helm and pointed them straight out of the cove at what looked like full throttle.  Patty and I were both soaked but glad we were able to help them and that things didn’t turn out way worse.  After we got up the hill and changed into dry clothes, we looked north towards the Sheepscot and could see them crossing towards Five Islands.  They are really lucky and I imagine they will be more cautious about taking their boat out on a day like today – I know I would be.DSC00781

Visitors – 7

Favorite Moment(s) – watching the ‘distressed’ boat heading out of the cove towards home.

Sunrise – 5:42am
Sunset – 7:23pm

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