It’s hard to believe we’ve been here a month already. Even when time has seemingly slowed down, it still zips by as fast as ever. Our days are very full on the island. Have not really gotten around to the things we brought to help us pass the time – a challenging wooden jigsaw puzzle, a “yoga over 50” dvd, a book of sudoku, a Mancala board. We even have high hopes for a “ballroom dancing for beginners” dvd – lol :))
Even without “streaming” to fill the time, by the time we cook and clean up dinner, we are ready for sleep once the sun goes down. Although thanks to Cyndy and Michael who spent the first week with us, we are a little obsessed with gin rummy first…
Today is Wednesday – our usual trip to shore has been postponed until tomorrow. With fog, rain and winds most of yesterday, our little cove here was not very inviting for an early morning visit today. We have been learning a bit about and feeling some of the isolation that comes with living on an island with no boat. Curious Lily got into a food composting pile this weekend and was not feeling too well. Fortunately a cellphone call to a vet helped us through that, but made us realize that any sort of health emergency is not a quick car ride away! (Thankful for the Coast Guard if we needed them!). Grocery shopping can wait. An appointment for today will be rescheduled for 2 weeks. It’s all okay. We had learned the name Seguin is believed to come from the Native American word sutquin, which means “where the sea vomits”. You’d think we would’ve guessed that they weren’t kidding at our interview when asked if we would mind occasionally being marooned on the island for 2 weeks – hahaha. Truthfully, what we really feel here more than anything is “peacefulness”. It is indescribable.
Unfortunately rougher seas also prevent visitors from coming to Seguin. Meeting and visiting with these folks is definitely a highlight of being here, so we miss that. We’ve already met some wonderful people with so many different stories (and gorgeous boats!)
Today was a fun visiting day. Four families with about 8 to 10 kids combined all came up to picnic and celebrate the end of the school year together. Lots of questions from the kids. Some of the parents grew up in the area and Seguin is a longtime favorite. They were headed home to cook up a huge batch of Paella to end their day – yum! They were quickly followed by a family of 4 plus dog, also celebrating the end of the school year. Only this was their maiden voyage in a sailboat just purchased mid May! Two weeks to randomly sail and decide the next day’s adventure each night – that’s how to kick off summer!
Last Friday brought 4 kayakers up for lunch and a tour of the Light. Their time at Seguin was one stop on a weekend journey along a portion of the Maine Island Trail. Obvious avid fans of the sport, they educated us about MITA. The “trail” is a 375 mile waterway extending from Kittery to Cobscook Bay (which means the entire coast of Maine!). It is considered a recreational water trail that connects over 240 islands and mainland sites open for day use or overnight camping. It is a combination of private and public landowners sharing a commitment to coastal access and stewardship of these special places along Maine’s coastline. Members also volunteer their time to help with projects that benefit this environment. Seguin Island became part of this adventurous trail in 2011.
One of Rick’s regular duties is checking the tower each morning. He unlocks the doors and sweeps up for visitors. Then comes the less than pleasant activity of clearing the catwalk up-top outside around the lantern room. Now you would think that would be a special moment in the morning, circling the tower, taking in the beautiful views of the Island and surrounding areas. Not so much… We have at least two, if not more, Peregrine falcons hanging out on Seguin. Now they are known as spectacular fliers with tremendous speed when pursuing other birds. And we have a lot of birds here. They catch them on the fly, then bring them up to the catwalk for a leisurely meal. Unfortunately they don’t seem very fond of the head, so leave those behind for Rick to find – ugh – right on the ledge at eye level. Kind of ruins the bigger view.
Now the gulls are a whole ‘nother story! They have been very busy nesting and hatching eggs on the cliffs at the end of two of our most popular trails. Just about the time you break out of the greenery excited to view the wondrous expanse of ocean surrounding the island, you are greeted with high pitched and frankly, kind of angry sounding calls. We suggest you travel no further. Of course you don’t want to disturb nature’s breeding area, but speaking from personal experience, you do not want to be at the receiving end of their highly effective aim with droppings. Now scientists are saying all that seabird guano is very valuable – worth millions as commercial fertilizer and vital for contributing nutrients to marine ecosystems. As I see it, I just want to get into the shower as soon as possible – high iron content or not!
I don’t think I’ve mentioned poison ivy yet – as long as we’re talking about hazards. It can be found in a number of locations on Seguin, but as long as you don’t leave the trail, you’ll be fine. The itchy reaction comes from its oil called urushiol. It’s taken us awhile to learn to identify the plant. In fact when I was choosing some flower pics last week, I didn’t realize one was actually poison ivy! We were looking for “leaves of three, leave it be”. Who knew it flowered? Ha!
I was going to show you the photo of the birdheads, but Rick nixed that. Probably a good thing… hopefully we wont have any ivy rash pics next week! Enjoy your week – thanks for taking the time to read about our summer so far.