Sunday, May 22nd – Well the plan still looks like we’re going tomorrow. We understand that Cyndy will be joining us till Friday but we won’t be coming back in until the following Wednesday – June 1. Holy Cow June already? Since we had only planned to be in the hotel a couple of days, we now need to do some laundry and get some clothes out of the “island” bags. While doing the laundry I thought I should reach out to our friends Sharon and Brent, who live in Norway Maine (NW of Bath) and see what they were doing for dinner. They were available so we made plans to meet them in Freeport for an early dinner as we really, really are expecting to head out to the island tomorrow!
It was a beautiful day so after laundry we decided to walk to town and become more familiar with what is actually in Bath. It’s a very quaint little town with a lot to offer. I had suggested yesterday that maybe we should go to the Maritime Museum, but then totally forgot! We walked down by Bath Iron Works and saw this framed entryway, like you’d see in the front door or a local home, just propped up along the side of the road. Kind of odd, but kind of cool at the same time.
As we walked into town there was an organic grocery “Bath Natural Market” we noticed they had lots of potted herbs for sale – figured we’ll pick one up on our way back. We walked down to the park along the waterfront, lots of people out and about. The park is full of pairs of Adirondack chairs so you can just sit and read. Walked by a blooming cherry tree and Steve shook the tree. Looked like it was snowing! Kind of hard to see in the pic, but very funny in person. Well time to turn around and meander our way “home.” We headed back up Front St and walked by the “Friends of Seguin Island” office. We stopped in to see if they had any maps outside the office, but no luck. Took a pick of their sign as I thought it might help me with my tattoo design.
Here is the Crazy Story part! We have walked around a couple of times and have noticed that many of the homes with a small front porch are supported solely by metal rods. We’ve walked by a particular home a couple of times over the last few days, that is redoing their porch. Neither of us could figure out why there wasn’t any footings as these rods surely weren’t strong enough to support the porch weight along with people sitting on it! So, we decided to walk back by the house where the two guys were working on it and ask them.
As we started the conversation, one of the guys was looking as us and said, “well that’s interesting, what do you do?” We explained that we’re retired engineers and have a construction background. Then, are you ready for this – he asks us if we were in St. Thomas (STT)! He says, “I’m Bruno.” I’m sure I screamed! He was our sailing instructor at the St Thomas Yacht Club which we had joined while we were there. OMG can you believe that! As we were talking, he looked familiar but with a had and glasses on, I couldn’t connect the dots fast enough. We all couldn’t believe it – he was helping his son Sean put a porch on a new deck while he was taking a break from STT.
We chatted for a while and caught up, explained why we were in Bath Maine. He shared he is picking up a boat in MD later this summer and would definitely come out to Seguin. How random – they were working, we chose to walk down that street and strike up a conversation. He actually brought us to some neighbors two doors down to explain who we were – we all still can’t believe it. Even now that I’m typing this up, it seems very incredible!
We wrapped up the day with driving down to Freeport (about 22 mins) to meet Sharon & Brent for dinner. We had such a great time and it was fun to see them. I met Sharon in the STT airport in October 2018 when I was on my way home to see my Dad. His health was failing. She is a PT and we just struck up a conversation in the airport and immediately connected. We ran the 8 Tuff Miles (a run/ walk race in St John) with her and hitched up with them again when Brent came to Saint John’s in March. Very genuine, down to earth peeps! We had a wonderful meal at Linda Bean’s Topside Market – some local brews, fresh fish tacos, sandwiches and a wonderful beet salad. And guess who had the salad? Steve !!! I had the fish tacos with Sweet Potato Fries (yum, yum)
Lastly before I forget, a shout out to Paul, Joan and Betty at the Marriott Residence Inn in Bath. They were fantastic people and as our reservations kept moving out, they were very helpful. Betty ran the morning breakfast and she was on top of it! I’ve never been at a hotel that included some many toppings for either oatmeal or yogurt! Besides fresh pineapple and strawberries, she had walnuts, pecans, almonds, brown sugar, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins, cranberries, granola, and more. But everyone there was great!
Monday, May 23rd – Yay! Departure Day has finally arrived! We got up at a reasonable time and left the hotel about 6:45 a.m. We needed to be at the dock by 7:30 as some of our stuff was going on the first trip out to the island. There were 6 other people going out who were going to work on “their” projects out there as well as assisting us in getting acquainted with the various systems on the island. As we left the hotel, we got behind a school bus, stopping every ¼ mile to pick someone up! After they turned off, we were behind a large dump truck that appeared to have asphalt in it. Then we came upon the paving operation! Yikes – It was like we couldn’t get there!!!! It should have only taken us 20 mins to get there…… Finally, we arrived at Fort Popham and unloaded our stuff onto the floating dock!
The first crew left. Lots of tubs containing items for the museum, equipment, supplies, food, tools, gas etc.
After they left, we drove back up the road to Bisson’s Center Store.
As we were driving back to the Fort, Captain Ethan called to say he was on his way back. Popham State Park has this amazing stretch of beach. I’ll try to remember to take a pic when we head in some time – It goes on for miles!
We’ve arrived at Seguin! The plan is when we get into the Cove, someone from the 1st group needs to row out in the dinghy to pick up us and all our gear, tubs, supplies, food, etc. After four trips in and out we have everything on the beach…. Now everyone pitched in to carry our stuff up the steps from the Cove beach to the “Donkey House” (that has the engine that used to run the tram). Two of the guys on the first boat trip are engine mechanics working to try and get that engine running again. There are 7 of us making trips up to the Lighthouse! It’s about 200 steps on the path, first some grassy trail, then some with rocks here and there, till you walk up under the tram, and turn to the right and there she is! The light keepers house and the Tower! Love at first sight!
Well, we all had our jobs. Where to start! There’s cleaning and sweeping, carrying our bags up to our room on the keepers’ side of the house, then I emptied the tubs, coolers, etc. and started organizing our kitchen. Steve was getting his training on the solar and water systems and power equipment in the maintenance shop (also known as the whistle house). Then he was off on the zero-turn riding mower! About 3:00 we started to help carry down empty tubs and other supplies that were going back with the crew on the 1st boat trip. In the pic, we have “Water” Greg, “Solar” Rick, “Project Guy / Historian” Chris, “Roof” Tom and Scuba (oops, guess Steve got cut out of the pic).
Cyndy is staying with us for “training.” Steve made a couple of trips out to Ethan’s boat rowing them and their stuff in the new dinghy.
While he was rowing them and their gear out, Cyndy came down to the cove with the cover for the dingy. She definitely looked like royalty in her cape (the dinghy cover)!
Now it was time to switch gears as the sun was setting. We had a beautiful sunset. I don’t think you can zoom in on the image but to the right of the rocks in the water in the center of the picture is the profile of Mount Washington – 90 miles away! When the sun sets, it’s behind the mountain and it silhouettes it. It was gorgeous!!!
Then the strangest thing happened, as I walked towards the north side and looked towards the mainland. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked like a fire! The smoke was very black and you could actually see flames! We couldn’t quite figure out where it was. The next day, my sister Diane that has a home in Southport (pretty close by), found out the fire was in Boothbay Harbor.
The Boothbay Register (newspaper) serving Boothbay Harbor, Southport and Edgecomb since 1876 reported on the fire. (Beach Cove inn fire cause undetermined | Boothbay Register)
Let’s wrap up our 1st day…. After we saw sunset, it was time to prep dinner. Cyndy brought some delicious cheese and crackers. For dinner we had little falafel patties mixed in with my quinoa that had peppers, onions, and zucchini topped with toasted pine nuts. Cyndy brought some sweets from the Bath Sweet Shop. Then we played 3-way cribbage and called it a night. Busy, busy, busy!
Tuesday, May 24th – Guess I’m excited to be here – I woke up about 4 a.m. Tossed and turned for a while and got up at 5. Before I start my day, let’s check the sunrise. Not sure what time that happens but low and behold. There is was!
Time to pause for just a minute to reflect on where we are and how lucky to have this adventure ahead!
We were having trouble with the battery sleeve that you insert in the gas stove so you have a “clicker” to light the burners and the oven. So, I attacked that first. Put in ½ new batteries and reinstalled worked! Yay! Just where is the multi-meter now so I can check the batteries I took out as well as check the 30+ batteries that will go in the smoke alarms! Don’t need one to start beeping, as they “talk” to each other and if one starts, then they all follow suit.
Next task was, now that I could get the oven to work, to make my favorite “Honey of an Oat Banana Bread.” This comes from a Bed & Breakfast Cookbook a friend gave me over 30 years ago – but it’s a fun cookbook. But one note, it’s not a very “healthy” recipe which means it’s awesome! It comes from Aunt Polly at The Cornell House in Lenox, Ma.
Yowzah does it smell and look good! Today we mow, weed whack and mow some more. Lots and lots to mow! This is the first cut of the season and some of the grass is 12-18” tall! Steve did the South Trail, Cyndy did under the tram and the ‘campsite’, yes we have a campsite!
Then we had to mow the “front” lawn, which has a slight hill. If you use the tractor, you can’t stop, the pull mower is difficult, weed whacking – grass is too tall. Steve use the weedwhacker to take some of the height down, then I mowed with the push mower R->L. Took a long time.
We came back to the house to have some lunch – got to feed the help as we’re burning calories for sure.
We headed back to the South Trail as Steve had only been able to weed whack so far as it was difficult to tell where the trail went, but we walked the rest of the way. Saw some Canada geese and their gosling – trying to teach it to fly! Ultimately, he/she made it down to the ocean to join Mom & Dad. The geese have hatched but now comes Seagull mating and hatching season so on both the North and South trails, we’ll NOT go to the end as that is their area now. This will last till about mid-June. Next, we walked down the Cobblestone Trail. If you come up from the Cove to the donkey engine house and the welcome sign you’ll a sign for the Cove Trail (which passes through the campsite) or the Cobblestone Beach Trail which takes you to a rocky beach. The pic is Steve walking towards the “beach” part – it’s all rocks but the rocks here are different, rounded and very smooth….
Well, that’s all the mowing, weed whacking for today. Went down to the Cove to just sit and watch the waves lap at the tiny beach that is now home.
Just to get a sense of where we are when I talk trails, check out the pic of the trail map
Wednesday, May 25th – Today we slept in a little longer – like maybe I made it to 6 or 6:30! Got up, had some breakfast. Off to mow again – now Steve is mowing over some of the areas he already mowed to mulch the cut grass.
It was so thick and tall. Time to weed whack some more as there are always places you see that need a little trimming!
Talked to my sister Diane for a little bit. She is trying help me find a captain for our first guests. They arrive in Maine June 4 and planning to come out to the island sometime during the week they are staying in Boothbay. I spent some time in the battery room as we’re trying to figure out the wi-fi associated with the router that is used to send data from the solar system to the mainland. We even called US Cellular – not very much help. We’ll figure it out eventually but with little cell service, all my pics can’t get to google photos! I’m working on trying to figure out a new process for writing the blog and including pics.
Next was to move out the various benches on the property. One at the top of the tram, a couple facing due west for sunsets and one facing east.
Then Cyndy and I walked around the tower (aka the Lighthouse) a little bit. Here is a pic from the catwalk facing north.
Did some minor work in the Museum getting a few things ready, learning a little about tours, cleaning the shelves for the shirts, learning the process for sales, etc.
Well, we had dinner and enjoyed chatting with each other, learning more about each other’s background. I decided to go out and take a peek at the night sky. The lighthouse isn’t working as the solar panels that power the light had some damage over the winter. Hoping for a star-studded sky, I walked out and saw the light was lit! It was pretty dim, but it was still lit. I texted Cyndy and she was surprised and came out to see. It was like a nightlight! Still kind of cool.
Thursday, May 26th – Kind of cloudy this morning and breakfast was scrambled eggs with bacon this morning. It was yummy – something a little different. Today’s mission, whack the North Trail. This is the longest trail and has a couple of loops. Weather not the best but good working weather. No need for suntan lotion today. We made great time and finished in about an hour and a half.
On this trail there is a path that is over some areas that can get wet, so you walk on boards that have been mounted to other board. Kind of a boardwalk but the boards run parallel to how you walk. And all along this path there are some irises just starting to come up! Can’t wait for them to bloom – think we need a little warmer weather. When whacking, you have to shut off the machine to change the line as they are not self-feeding. We had pre-cut several to take along with us as well as a pair of plyers to pull out the nubs. Anyway, as Steve had stopped to change his, I moved my weed whacker out of the way, but didn’t do a very good job with situational awareness and wacked his chin! Ouch!!!! Even through his jeans there were still marks! Sorry honey!
Also, while on this path, we came across a small rock wall. This wall marks the last 10 acres that were deeded from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (yes it included a good portion of lower Maine) to the Federal Government for the building of the lighthouse. They only thought the island was 20 acres when in fact it was 65! A little nugget of history!
Took a break for lunch, but not for long – off to more ….. wait for it….. you got it weed whacking!!! This time Steve headed off to finish the Cove trail and I went off to finish the South trail out as far we can go being mindful of the seagulls and they DO NOT like humans very much! Cyndy and I started working on the weather station. We checked the battery and it was till good. Had to pull out the good old manual and read the steps. We made it through all the setup but it’s still not showing the wind speed – and that’s one of the most important items we’d like to know. It’s still not registering as I type this and one of these days I’ll give them a call to find out what we missed.
I think I’ve mentioned that the lighthouse is not really working up to full brightness. Cyndy connected with the Coast Guard and they are stopping to repair a few other locations and plan to be here on June 3. So we’ll see. She went off to sweep the tower (lots of dead bugs, etc.). But here are some cool pics of the lens and the view and the not so perfect solar panels that power the light
There will be a post for sure talking about the lens as it was a revolutionary development in lighting the shores of the U.S. The design made the light (whether from a flame or a bulb) shine 500 times brighter. Before the LED, the bulb used was a 1000-watt bulb and it would shine out to 20 miles. I digress….
Dinner was our Tofu sausage crumbles (compliments of our friend Caroline!) on Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash boats. One of our favorites and now one of Cyndy’s!!! It requires lots of chopping and everyone pitched in.
To wrap up the night, we watched “A Knights Tale”, thanks to Kate and Steve!!! Cyndy said it was a special event as she had not only not seen the movie, but had never watched a movie on the island! Well leave it to the P’s to go out there and do something crazy!
Friday, May 27th – Started out pretty clear and as one might expect in Maine, you could see the fog rolling in.
A very “Maine-u-lar” day! We had a treat though as we were celebrating the completion of Round 1 of all the mowing and weed whacking! Cyndy made special blueberry pancakes for us. Delicious – didn’t even need syrup!
Steve worked to fix some balusters on the front porch on both sides that were loose and started posting some trail signage. Cyndy and I headed to the Museum and gift shop for more learning and the deep clean. Yep, sweep, vac and wash the floor, clean up all the little white dots you get from spider droppings in the corner, vac up cobwebs off the brick, etc. – by the end of the day the placed looked awesome! Then she showed me all the things we sell in the shop and their prices. Took a pic of the price list as she needed to take it with her and update it.
And as the day rounded up, Cyndy noticed 2 people coming off the North Trail. Well wait a minute, where did they come from! Our first guests of the 2022 season – we’re officially open!
Turns out Don and Pam are from Biddeford, Maine on their way to Boothbay and then onto Robin Hood (a common well-protected spot to hang out). They have been here many times and were very familiar with Seguin. Rough sail getting here though as seas were 8’+ and wind in the not-so-good direction. But warm and friendly folks!
For dinner we had a vegetable quiche Cyndy made and it was a special 2 for 1 as she made an extra one to freeze! That will come in handy some night. After dinner, Cyndy and I finished our Rummy 500 game and Steve read his book. Feels like we are starting to settle in a little bit!
Saturday, May 28th – Little chilly today. If I don’t make any notes on what we did that day, I rely on my pics. Didn’t take too many today. Steve finished up putting the various signs on the trails, things like “Vista”, The Cove Trail, directional arrow signs, Poison Ivy!
In the afternoon, Steve and I re-walked the North Trail as there are a couple of loops and as he was posting the signs, he wasn’t sure where the trail went. We figured it out. I did a Map My Run of the north trail – was curious to see where it went.
Again, we are steering clear of the very north and south tips of the island because of the seagull mating and nesting season. Per Cyndy, this should last till about mid- June or so.
After lunch, I got on my clean kick again. I noticed some water had dripped down to the floor in front of the kitchen sink. Well in wiping it up, I decided, alrighty then – time to scrub the floor. When I saw how clean the spot was, I just had to do the entire floor!
Of course once you look down, I then looked up and Steve and I both decided to vac the rafters of the winters decorations (cob webs, dust, etc).
Busy first week! Feels great to be out doing physical work as then there is no need to do any other exercise! We’ve both been tracking our steps and Steve’s also been checking how many calories he’s burning. Thanks for hanging in there and reading this blog – it was a big one!