This Blog is looooong! Grab a beverage, get comfy and enjoy!
Sunday, July 10th – Beautiful low wind day! Three boats stayed overnight. We are working on a pipe in the wall of dirt leading to the beach at the Cove. This water appears to be pretty clear and we wanted to make a dam of sorts so we can capture some of it in case it turns out that it is potable. Here was the attempt at putting the pipe in, but the water is not running out through the pipe. We need to think like a beaver and build some type of dam….
By 10:00 we had another boat join the group in the Cove. We had a group of four come up and they wanted a tour. They had two young children who were very well behaved during my tour. Here we are with their kids in their swag by the fog bell!
During the break, I took the liberty of trying to look up some more data on the 1st order Fresnel lens. That is pronounced “Fru-nel” (hold your nose so it sounds more nasal and French like). I’m trying to figure out how many pieces of glass there are in our 1st order lens. I have two numbers , 264 and 284. I counted them, but it didn’t match either one of those numbers. I can’t tell which pieces of the lower or dome prisms have seams. The other piece of data, is how much does it weigh. We found 12,000lbs in one place, so I’m saying now about 6 tons, but regardless, it’s VERY heavy!
A couple more pictures of the lens.
Steve headed off to spray some Poison Ivy (PI) on the North Trail. The North Trail has a loop and if you take the loop, this is where the irises grow and you walk along some pieces of board through a damp area. This is where the PI is growing and is right along the edge of where you walk. So, we decided it was best to tell folks to avoid this area. People are walking in sandals or Teva’s, Chaco’s, etc. and their feet are right near the PI. In a few days, hopefully we’ll see it start to die off and we can open up this portion of the trail, but until then – it’s a place to avoid.
I chose to make some more bread today as well as the crackers. I’m really digging the crackers. You make them using the sourdough starter that you would normally throw out when you “feed” your starter. That is part of the reason I stopped making bread with starter a couple of years ago as when you feed it with additional flour and water, the part you removed can be used to make bread or you throw it out…. or unless you’re making crackers!!! Next time I make them, I’ll be sure to take a picture. They are yummy and easy!
We didn’t have time to head to the Cove as a group of 3 came up for a tour, Paul who has been here before and Janice and Steve. Then as I was making the crackers and bread, another group of 2 came up. They are on a really nice trawler. That’s my favorite type of boat. I’ll see if I can find the picture, we took of a Grand Banks trawler we looked at a few years ago. I wished we had bought that boat!!!! Oh, I did find it, here is the picture.
Steve took over for dinner as I was giving tours. Tonight, was chicken marsala, with peas and wild rice – delicious – oops no picture though!
Monday, July 11th – Up about 7:30. I walk around just putting things away, washing the last couple of dishes, make my list for the day. It’s always more than I can do but anxious to get some stuff done. Another beautiful day, not sure I’ll ever tire of this view with the flag and the blue ocean. I head down to the Clivus to do the maintenance after a busy weekend; rake, fluff and water. Only one boat left in the Cove. I walk back up the trail, gather my cleaning materials and head to the Tower. I swept, cleaned the wall at the top (as people walk up, they put their hands on the wall and the section gets a dirty), sanitize the railing, etc. – it was a busy weekend.
When I finished cleaning, we went down to the Cove to see what’s going on. It was a little “swelly” or “rollers” as they call it in Maine, but we decided to row out to the closet 3 mooring balls to write on them. I brought my paint marker with me to write “Mooring Donation, Venmo Seguin_Island”, many folks come and spend the night in the Cove but never come ashore and this way they can make a donation for stayng. They came out great!
Then I found down at the Cove an olive-green Vans slip-on sneaker had washed up! I said I should send to Carney to post on Instagram “Looking for a mate?” This is where you laugh!!!! I decided to sit by the boat house for a bit when Gary (our oldest son) called and we chatted quite a bit. While I was talking to him, I yelled down to Steve who was on the beach to say, “hey the other sneaker is floating in the surf!!!” So, I guess the person lost both sneakers! After talking with Gary, we worked a little more on the pipe we stuck into the dirt in the Cove and now it is “running.” Now we can rinse our sandy feet off before we put our shoes back on to climb up! Time to walk back up the house. On the way up, we noticed again the beautiful view of Cobblestone Beach.
Took that pic from part of the trail closer to the house. Well, it’s time to get some crabs (back down to the Cove to row out to get them) and then back up to the house to cook them up. Here’s our bucket of 9 crabs. A few hours later, I had picked, picked and picked enough. I picked clean 7 bodies I might add and did a most excellent job in making sure there were no pieces of shell or cartilage!
Once we were done, we took the shells down to the Cove to send them back to the sea. Here’s a pic of a vein of quartz I noticed in the rocks here, it’s very cool! What’s interesting is as soon as we got there with the bucket, the seagulls started arriving, obviously thinking there was food! Then a whole raft of ducks came over towards us and they all flapped in, landing in the water and then stood on a rock. Eventually the tide moved in and the group got tighter and tighter, then they started leaving one by one! It was pretty funny to watch!
Here’s Steve with the empty bucket and then a picture of how much of the sun was still left. I like sitting on this side of the Cove as we get that extra sunlight, and it provides a different perspective. Here are some more pictures of how the rocks are shaped on this side of the Cove, it’s a mixed bag for sure, wished I had studied geology.
Then there go the ducks. The tide came in so they left their perch. Well, I guess it’s time to walk back up for the final time today. Now, it’s time to make Crabmeat on English, a Thompson family favorite. A Thompson gathering isn’t official unless Judy makes a batch of crabmeat on English. I texted her and luckily, she was home and could send me the recipe. This is “high test” for sure, no diet here!
Well, it’s sunset. I decided to walk up to the lens and see what interesting shots I can get for the blog. First here is the sunset, then the sunset through the lens. Plus a few more random shots.
So peaceful and calming!
Tuesday, July 12th – Nice day but super windy, don’t really expect anyone to visit today or at least this morning. We walked down to the Cove just in case someone came in overnight – nope, Cove is empty. But while we were there, I noticed there were a lot of fish jumping. There was a large dark shadow in the water, so it must have been the fish. Steve went to get his rod in the Donkey Engine House and meet me on the rocks near the Cove Trail vista. We stood there a while and he would cast right into where they were jumping, but no one was biting. Guess that is how they roll. The Cormorants were swimming and every once in a while one would duck under the water and were gone for a long time! But then, one of them would come up with a fish. Turns out it was a school of Pogie and not really good for eating but are good bait fish and in the old days, they used to use them for making paint as they were very oily.
Took a picture of Ellingwood Rock which is beyond our Cove and you can see the waves crashing on its rocky shore. Because the waves are really crashing, thought it would be cool to head out to Cobblestone Beach to see what it looks like – it too was crashing and waves were pretty big and strong! It was high tide with a full moon which means the high is really high and the low is really low.
Walked back up to the house to grab my water bottle and my gloves and head back down to mow the Cove Trail and the campsite. Things are still growing but it’s definitely slowing down. I also picked up some more sand to top off a few sidewalk seams. As the wind blows here almost all the time, it blows some of the sand out of the cracks.
Steve headed to the South Trail to pick up the Poison Ivy sign and move it to an area on the North Trail (the area I mentioned last week where the PI is starting to grow along the boards you walk on). Many people walk the trails in sandals or flip flops, so we thought it best to close that part of the trail for a few days as we don’t always catch everyone that heads out to walk the trail. When I came back to the house, the cloud cover was really getting thick and fluffy looking and was moving quickly.
Then we decided to head up into the Tower as the radar was showing a pretty big area of rain moving in. Here I am holding the phone with the radar screen and here are a couple of pics of the storm
Tonight, was a Spot-the-Station (the International Space Station-ISS) night. I get texts alerting me to the times when I might be able to view it based on my location. Luckily the storms up here roll in and roll on out. Viewing time was around 10:45 pm. I was able to get a pic of it by itself, then a pic to the right of the tower from the gift shop side (there is a little blue arrow pointing to the dot that is the ISS). As it was approaching, from my angle, it went zooming by the last star in the big dipper handle, and as it departed and then faded, it went by the top right star of constellation call Cassiopeia (it looks like a ‘W’). I was VERY excited as the viewing time was 6 minutes tonight! It was crazy to be able to see it even though there was almost a full moon! Then I turned to see the moon – amazing!
Wednesday, July 13th – Tonight is the full moon! Overnight, the tide was up to 11 feet (a normal high tide is about 8.5 to 9 feet) and the low tide was 1.4 feet below mean low tide! Weather report – it is very foggy right to left but if you look straight up it’s sunny!!
Not a shore day. Weather was too iffy earlier this a.m. so it was moved to tomorrow. Walked around the house and noticed this spider web on the picnic table. Then down to the Cove to see if there is anyone there and there were several ground spider webs with dew reflecting the sunlight.
While down in the cove, I took a picture to show Steve how far up the tide came overnight as you can see the seaweed line! We had brought the boat up the highest we’ve ever done and the water still came up to the middle of the dinghy! As I walked a little on the beach, I saw these foot prints. Looks to me like a goose walked up and then walked back into the water
Came back up to the house and Steve was doing some of his yoga. I took a few pics, this one is the one he let me put in the blog!
I finished getting the guest quarters ready for some overnight guests this weekend. They are coming here to spend their 40th wedding anniversary! Brenda and Steve from Litchfield, Maine.
Since it is pretty calm, we decided to go down to the Cove and row out to the other moorings and paint them. They are a little further out and we wanted to wait until the Cove was pretty flat. We came back in and decided to just sit and hang at the beach a little bit. Our Canada geese family came by! The little ones aren’t so little anymore, but they are still not flying. Then I climbed on some rocks to the left in the Cove as I didn’t want to sit in the sun. No sunburn yet and want it to stay that way! Here are a couple of pics of the rocks that line the Cove as well as looking straight up at a tree that is growing out of the rocks! I haven’t figured out yet in WordPress how to deal with two pictures side by each when one is landscape and one is portrait without losing some of the landscape photo. So, I’m just going to show them separately!
Lastly, Steve just standing in the water enjoying the view and the serenity of an empty Cove. Here’s the pair of Vans, that no one has yet claimed. They are dry now and I have emptied out all the sand out from getting bounced around on the waves coming into shore!
With that we saw a boat headed our way. It was the Whites from Popham and their daughter and family. Great family pic in front of the tower. As we were chatting, they shared that they live across the cove from Ethan’s pick-up / drop-off spot. They said it was the blue house and I said, the one with the red chairs? Exactly Sam said! We spent a long time chatting with them after the tour. He shared that their house is built next to the Fort St George site in Popham which was the first settlement in America before Jamestown! They are the people that came over on a boat, cleared the land and built that first ship in the U.S. called “The Virginia”! Anyway, he shared a bunch of information about that story and before they could build their house on the property, they had historians come in to monitor their digging and searching for artifacts. They found the oldest coin on their property! Well, how’s that for a history lesson! Very friendly and shared a lot on local Popham.
I would like to just chat a moment about my new saying from out here…. “My existence is my exercise.” We are busy about 80% of most days, unless it’s raining. And most of that 80% is physical exercise, up or down the main trail, cleaning up the other trails, going down to the donkey house for something, etc. I really like that. It’s not perfect as sometimes we don’t feel there is enough cardio, but if you just add a gallon of water to your walk up from the cove every time – you’ll notice it. I feel like there is always something to do here. Of course, I look for things to do. Those that know me well know that’s no surprise! Well just wanted to share that as it was a little bit of an ah – ha moment for me.
Ok back to the pics….Besides the absolutely amazing supermoon (also referred to as a Buck Moon) rise we had tonight, I had another viewing of the International Space Station (ISS). This time it was for 7 minutes and it was very high in the sky! So, I’ll make a deal – how about two moon pics and two space station pics? Ok, maybe three moon pics and 1 ISS pic! The ISS is just to the right of the dome on top of the Tower.
Here they are in chronological order.
Thursday, July 14th – Happy Birthday Diane!!! Hope you have a fun day (or had a fun day since I’m writing this a week later)! Pretty overcast on Seguin this morning. Here’s a picture of our low tide this morning. It’s VERY low as I mentioned earlier in this blog due to the full moon. Had to carry the dinghy a long way to get to the water! However, during the boat ride to the mainland, it began to clear up. I took some pics on our way in. It seemed like we were at a slightly different angle leaving Seguin, you are looking at the north end of the island. Then check out the heron on the top of Fort Popham (not to be confused with the Fort St George I mentioned above) and then here is our favorite part, schlepping our stuff up to the pier! Roof Tom and Project Chris were there waiting to head back out to the island. Oh and more pictures….
There is Sam and Fran’s house with the red chairs, notice the heron is now in the foreground of the photo, but check out how LOW it is!
We had egg sandwiches at Winnegance (I had veggie, surprise, surprise and Steve had egg, sausage, cheese – no surprise there either). We did the usually round robin, but we planned to have enough time to eat lunch at Spinneys as they are now open!
We got gas for the car (only a few gallons but the prices were dropping), did laundry, water, library, Wilson’s Drug Store, Reny’s, Cyndy’s, Shaw’s, and Swango (the produce place). I think that was everything! And we were on our way to Spinney’s about 1:15 which gave us plenty of time to sit and enjoy a nice lunch.
Steve got a Fish (Haddock) Sandwich, I got Fish (Haddock) tacos. Both were really delicious! We splurged and each got a local beer. I had Tumbledown Red, an Irish Red Ale and Steve had a Peak IPA. Yummy! Our waitress was Natalie and she was very nice and helpful. So here’s a plug for Spinney’s. They are open 11-3 and 5-8, not open Tuesdays. They recommend making a reservation for dinner which you can do on-line. https://www.spinneysonpophambeach.com/
And now, here are the ‘after’ pictures (high tide) of what I took this morning, the boats and the view of Sam & Fran’s house!
Ethan pulled up with a group that had been on a lobster tour with him. We had time to chat as Ethan wanted to clean up a little before we got on with our stuff. They got off the boat and she noticed my VCU Physical Therapy shirt. She asked what that was, we explained and proceeded to chat about lots of random stuff. They were a family from Bakersfield, CA., first trip to New England and had a their young children with them. They had started at a lake in CT, stopped somewhere I can’t remember in Massachusetts then up to Maine where they rented a cottage in Popham. But – I forgot to take their picture! You’d think by now there would be an internal alarm that would go off!
On the ride back, we needed to get 4 lobsters as our friends Sharon and Brent are coming in tomorrow! Yay!!!! Here is Steve picking them out to put in our lobster car. Couple of nice boats in the Cove on our return. Here is Steve carrying up 10 gallons of water from the Cove to the donkey engine house and here is all our stuff on the beach (looks like it will be a long way to move the dinghy up as it will be another very high tide tonight)!
I still had some cleaning to do in the guest quarters before the 40th wedding anniversary couple come in tomorrow (a little welcome basket, with a few treats, napkins, etc.) and Sharon and Brent are arriving in the morning too!
Steve made some dinner, chicken meatballs with fake pasta, salad and my bread. The ISS is going by tonight again, but earlier, so the sky was still light. This time I saw the ISS on the NE side of the house (near the fog bell display as you come up the trail). It’s the bright star in the middle at the top of the picture!
Friday, June 15th – Happy Birthday Kari (my nephew’s wife) – Hope you “had” an awesome birthday! I was up early today. I get like that when I know I have a busy day coming up as well as a few things to address before the guests and our friends arrive! Since it was early, I start with some general pickup / cleanup around the house and straightening. I was looking at some of the old Lighthouse Digests that are hanging around and was making notes if they talked about Seguin on them or not. I came across the Jan-Feb 2016 issue and noticed it was a picture of Seguin on the cover!
The note inside the cover says “This edition’s beautiful cover photo was taken at Maine’s Seguin Island Lighthouse by Peter Lerro of Peter Lerro Photography, who offers photography workshops. It seems that while visiting Seguin Island Lighthouse he met James and his wife who were on their life long journey sailing around the world. He asked James if he would mind putting on a lighthouse keeper uniform for some photos and James was happy to oblige.”
Then I started to flip through the magazine to see what else might be in there and there were two more pieces on Seguin! Besides some of the interesting stories in the magazine, they often had some very old pictures of people, events, lighthouses, etc. even an ad or two. The funny one I saw in this issue was for a child’s book and record that was published in 1954 for “Blinky the Lighthouse Ship”, very nostalgic.
“He blinkity blinks with all his might, Blinkity blinks the day and night. He blinks for all the ships at sea, Blinky, Blinky, that’s me!”
The next story was in the section titled “From the Archives of Lighthouse Digest” – An old newspaper clipping from the Portland Sunday Telegram and Sunday Press Herald, dated September 29, 1949.
“Near Tragedy at Seguin Island Lighthouse. Quick action by Seguin Island Keeper Daniel Irvine, 23 and his wife 19 averted a family tragedy Friday when a tramway car broke loose at the top of the island cable railway, shown in the newspaper clipping and careened down the 750 foot runway to crash at the bottom. When the hoisting mechanism failed and the car started to roll down the slope, Daniel graved their two-month-old son, Daniel Jr., (sitting in his lap in the photo) and jumped off the tram. He shouted directions to Mrs. Irvine who tossed the 18-month-ol Millie (also sitting on her dad’s lap in the photo), to safety but the car had gained too much speed to allow her to leap. She suffered a broken thigh and cuts and bruises and another keeper’s pet dog died in the crash on the lonely island three miles off Popham Beach. Mrs. Irvine is in “good” condition recovering in the Bath Memorial Hospital. As a result of the incident, the Coast Guard strictly forbade any of its personnel to ride on the tramway.”
I continued to turn the pages and found another article “Memories of Life at Seguin Island Lighthouse!” It’s a story about Beverly (Stephens) Ramsey, who lived her first two years of life on Seguin Island with her parents Walter F. and Mary A. Stephens. Walter was an assistant Coast Guard keeper and they live in the same part of the house where we are living now! The officer in charge lived where the museum and gift shop are located next to us. Beverly’s mom, Mary, went home to Florida in October of 1958 to await the birth of their child as being on the island would be no place to give birth. After Beverly was born, the U.S. Coast Guard arranged transportation for Walter to go to Florida and pick up Mary and baby Beverly. They took a bus from Jacksonville to Portland and then arranged transportation to the island (yikes, that must have taken a few days!). The wintery boat ride was blustery and cold and the water was choppy. As they left the Kennebec River, the swells or “rollers” caused the vessel to go up and down. The captain of the vessel ordered everyone be tied to the boat to prevent them from being tossed about or injured! Then they had to climb the narrow steep and slippery pathway up the top and snow was falling at a pretty good clip. Things were going well for the young family until September 28, 1959 when Mary had to leave the island and travelled to the town of Bath months before her due date with a second baby. Unfortunately, baby Linda Jo died a few hours after her birth.
In 1999, Beverly and her mom Mary returned to Maine to place a granite marker at Linda Jo’s gravesite and they made a trip out to Seguin. Beverly fell in love with Seguin and its historic lighthouse. In 2011, Beverly convinced her husband David to apply for the job of summer caretakers of the island and lighthouse. Unfortunately, Beverly’s father Walter S. passed away in October of that year and she wondered if her upcoming quest for the 2012 caretaking duties at Seguin Lighthouse would be joyful or gloomy. Beverly said she felt her father’s presence everywhere on the island. As a caretaker, or modern-day keeper, Beverly said it was a special treat for her to be able to stay in the same rooms that her parents lived in when she was a small child on a remote island off the rugged coast of Maine. Beverly has returned to the island several times since. She says, “Seguin pulls at my heart each time that I have to leave. I have yet to find another place like Seguin Island.”
So, in our living room, we have a very old chair that has seen many years of use. I wondered why such a chair was here. Of course, living on an island, once something makes it way to the island, it never leaves! But interestingly enough, here is a picture from that article. It’s baby Beverly sitting in that chair when she was one and then sitting in the same chair in 2012. I now look at that chair with a whole new perspective.
All of this before 7:00 am in the morning!!! It was an amazing article and shifted my whole view on many of the items I see here in the caretakers’ side of the house. Well now, I need to get crackin’!
I finished cleaning and sanitizing, putting little vases in both guest rooms, and a final vacuum. Phew, ready now!
We headed down to the Cove as we got a text from Sharon and Brent saying they were on their way.
The two other women (Kate & Sam) that came out with Sharon and Brent are both from Georgetown & Brunswick. Want to know how to get to Seguin? One way is to reach out to Cal & Katrina at http://www.fiveislandsboattours.com/ Sharon and Brent said they did a most excellent job!
The next few pictures are of the visitors where I remembered to take a photo. Today, we had visitors from Maine, Mass, NH and CT!
Just before 5ish, visitor traffic seemed to slow down so the four of us headed out the North Trail. We got a picture of us and I took one of Sharon and Brent.
We also found the blueberry bush! Sharon picked some. They are the little ones, but boy are they packed with taste! We all walked down to the vista on the Cove. That is the spot where you get the sunshine for a little longer. Sharon and I got so engrossed in our conversation and watching the wildlife, that we forgot to take a picture of the men rowing out to collect our lobsters for dinner! I could have sworn I took a pic of them at least carrying the dinghy back up….. but I guess I’m mistaken.
We had an awesome dinner and engaging conversation with our friends. A wonderful day all around! But the day wouldn’t be complete without a sunset picture of Mount Washington!! We did see the ISS again tonight, but there is nothing else in the picture so I don’t have a real reference or what will show up in the blog. Phew it was a busy but very fun day!!!
Saturday, July 16th – First and foremost, let’s look at our delicious breakfast Sharon and Brent made for us. She made homemade from scratch “oh-my-godder” maple biscuits with homemade strawberry jam with bacon and scrambled eggs. Holy Cow, what a feast for the pallet!
The guests staying in the Guest Quarters arrived today, Brenda and Steve from Litchfield, Maine. Very nice and they are super excited to be on Seguin. We had a steady stream of visitors today, but not crazy. Here are some pictures of our guests.
Kim by the bell – he is planning to stay overnight and is also in search of whales. We call him the Whale Whisperer – it seemed every time we saw him sitting on a bench with binoculars, he was watching whales!!!
Left Photo: The Larkins from Maine and Mass. They were super fun and really enjoyed the tour!
Right Photo: Vanessa and David, long time supporters of Seguin picking up some new swag!
Nick, Susan, Tricia and Mike (not sure my order of names matches the picture) but hey I remembered to take a photo! Nice group and they really enjoyed their visit and tour!
Our last group for the day was Tom and Meg from Freeport. The last time he was here was in 1955! Steve and I had so much fun talking with them, listening to their life, etc. What experiences they had in life. They are planning to stay over night. A picture moment didn’t really present itself, but I wish we had taken one. There was something about them that Steve and I just wanted to keep talking to them!
We kept talking to them so long, that we never got to hike Cobblestone with Sharon and Brent so we’ve delayed that till the morning. They leave tomorrow but not till later, so we’ll go first thing as it’s supposed to be beautiful which translates to a busy day!
Cove time was in the Tower today as Sharon and Brent still needed a tour. But before that I was sharing with Sharon how I make my sourdough crackers with the leftover starter. She wanted to see how that was done. We pulled the starter out earlier in the day to let it restart and then I fed it twice during the day so we could make two batches of crackers. She brought some ranch seasoning and I made the other batch with rosemary. Steve was a trouper as he watched the crackers while I took them on a tour. He did get to join us a little later.
We had another amazing meal prepared by Sharon and Brent, felt like we were at a restaurant! They prepared baked haddock, broccoli and zucchini from their garden, parmesan risotto plus she made homemade blueberry pie with local Maine blueberries for dessert! Everything was delicious! She is a Renaissance Woman for sure! And what a night of conversation, just a joy to have them here!
Well, I think that is the most pictures in one of my blogs! Did you have to get a second beverage? Hope you enjoyed!