Cincinnati Enquirer, July 18, 1944: Take a Stay-cation instead of a Va-cation, this year! This slogan was found in a list of “Red-White-And-Blue Reminders” in an ad for Felsenbrau Supreme beer. Other wartime reminders were about planting victory gardens and writing letters to our soldiers on the frontline. And we thought we had a new word in the early 2000’s – ha! Our recent threat from Covid-19 has brought new energy to this blended term indicating a time to vacation at home, rather than travel afar. And that’s what’s happening on Seguin Island.
We have had so many fun and interesting boaters come ashore the last few weeks. It would take pages to tell their stories. A young family that sailed all the way up from Boston. The 10 guys who have been getting together every year since high school (lets just say approximately 30 years) with quite a cheese and wine spread. A charming young woman who motored over on her own from Five Islands in a dinghy, taking a day break from her sailing companions. (They’ve lived onboard for 4 years, wintering in the Bahamas.) And then she meets up with some aggressive seagulls on her hike here! A couple on a year long cruise spending one of their last days on Seguin, awww. The 4 moms on an annual overnight, making lobster rolls with the first official catch for one of them – out past sunset, laughing til midnight. They brought us leftovers – yum! Three families with little munchkins came out just for an evening with a huge blanket spread, watching the kiddos run around and the sun set, despite a strong wind blowing. I could go on – we feel privileged to share a piece of their adventures.
We had our own little adventure last Saturday evening. Rick headed upstairs to turn on the lights and I hear a scream, (manly, of course) and then “BAT!!!“ Trying to keep Lily away from the excitement I ran up and we laughed and yelped our way with brooms thru 45 minutes of a swooping bat until we got him out the bedroom window. Rick said “film this” but no way was I showing that to anyone – hahhaa !
We are taking our own mini “staycations” during our care-taking weeks this season. We have company come stay with us 🙂 . This past week we had family and friends visit on 2 separate trips. My nephew, wife and 2 boys (9 & 16) showed us new ways to explore Seguin Island, mostly by climbing on rocks that we have only admired from afar & will continue to admire, not climb 🙂 . It was a joy to see how they appreciated the history and beauty of the island including the lighthouse. They also had the dubious honor of sharing one of our wildest days this summer.
We might have guessed early on that the visit may be a bit hectic. We got a text that morning that their boat ride from Popham was in jeopardy because of the captain’s unexpected illness. Thankfully he was able to make other arrangements for them. With the trip rescheduled 2 hours earlier than planned, they hustled from Portland and arrived on Seguin in time for lunch. The smaller dinghy had sprung a leak and been replaced with a larger one, which was beyond our ability to bring above high tide mark, so their first activity was to be commandeered to help carry the raft. Then they were welcomed by our recently arrived seal carcass which the last high tide had managed to squeeze in between rocks right at the bottom of the steps. Not sure squeeze is the right word – one of them thought it might be a manatee – big. A seaworthy aroma indeed! We also had a group staying in the guest quarters that night – so lucky to share that pungent welcome. The campground area was soaking from all the recent rain, so the 3 teen girls from that group slept out in the oil house with their sleeping bags. Rumor has it that Seguin had its first “rave” that night when they danced & sang their way to midnight inside their quarters. Never heard a sound!
The morning following the first night for everyone started simple enough. Beautiful sunrise, breakfast outdoors and morning hikes. Lots of conversation and laughter all around. Much earlier than usual, the summer staycation day-visitors began to arrive. So our quiet little island now had a more resort-like feeling with groups of 6, 7, even 13 boaters showing at once. The majority of the visitors were neighbors to Seguin out to enjoy a truly magnificent day following several rainy/foggy days. Comment most frequently heard? “I’ve seen or sailed by so many times, this is the first time we stopped!” We hear that often. We are so glad they visit at last, and they are too!
And then, one of the overnight guests called Rick aside with the gruesome tale of an overflowing compost toilet. Followed by a quick check on ours – close, but something was definitely wrong! And more visitors arrive wanting lighthouse tours. Quick, hurry, what do we do? Will spare you those details, but before long we also notice the marine radio is not working – now what? Electricity to entire house and museum is out – best time to use OMG! No electricity means no water or fridge. Do more tours. Open the windows to freshen the museum. Greet more visitors. Try to get the generators going. And still trying to figure out what to do with this smelly seal in the cove. And thank goodness, more tours and visitors – couldn’t help but stay too busy to be overwhelmed by everything that seemed to be happening at once. We and our family visitors were laughing later, but boy oh boy – what a day!!
As the evening approached we knew we had help on way the next day (our day in town, yay!). We settled down for a delicious lobster feast with family followed by several hands of Uno, with lanterns and jugs of water, while keeping generators from running low on gas. They were such good sports. We left for Popham early the next day, family returning to their travels, with only one event of seasickness among them. Again, will spare the details… But all ended on a high as we watched a humpback whale spout and take a dive, fluke in the air – a thrill for all of us.
Our return voyage on Wednesday included longtime friends staying 2 nights. Oh, but first you must climb the dock ladder cuz the tides too low. Yes, we need your help with the dinghy. But too bad, the seal is gone – seaweed aroma only. Much to their chagrin, they discovered all their daily time in the gym and swimming had not prepared them for hauling their stuff (we had groceries, too) the 1/4 mile uphill hike to the house. And even though we still have to stop often to catch our breaths, we realized maybe Rick & I were getting better at this than we thought! We returned to fixed toilets and solar up and running. (Phew!) We chattered non-stop thru a late lunch and even later dinner, toured the lighthouse, and enjoyed the almost full moon night.
We had a great visit, both of them helping out with chores (you should see him with a weed whacker!) and meals and guests. What a surprise – 44 kids and adults from Small Point Summer Day Camp showed up! This has been an annual outing for the camp for over 20 years and with lunches, tours, and what they refer to as “Seguin Games” (lots of running), it was a fast few hours and they were on their way back. Overall we had over 75 visitors yesterday and the day flew. I am happy to report we were able to have yet another scrumptious lobster dinner, thanks to our favorite Cap’n Ethan. I mean, you don’t come spend a couple of nights at a Maine lighthouse without Lobster, right?? The evening ended with more laughs and a new card game for us, “Golf”. Rick and I will be playing tonight.
This morning Cap’n Ethan & Lindsay came up for a bit with their 2 adorable boys. We fed them ice cream at 10:30 (am), just to make it special – lol! And with hugs and sad smiles, we sent our close friends on their way back to New Hampshire this morning, ending another awesome memory of a staycation on Seguin.
Well, I’m a day late getting this out to you and I’ve been rambling on, but we just needed you to know about all the wonderful visitors from near and far that are making this a summer we won’t forget. And of course the seals, bats and compost toilets of island living : ))