My to do list is getting shorter. We leave in a week to become caretakers at Bass Harbor Head lighthouse. If you are one of the 100,000! people who visit annually, please say hi.
The National Park Service acquired it from the US Coast Guard in 2020 and we will be its first NPS caretakers! Mount Desert Island is technically an island but we can drive there.
Time to clean the fridge. Meals become interesting as we eat through its contents.
Time to finish projects I can’t take with me. Actually, I will take my latest with me in its finished form. Back in March, I started weaving a queen size blanket made of alpaca silk yarn. I planned and calculated but still ran short of yarn 2/3 through and could not find more. I found some similar though, waited for it to be delivered, and made do.
I wove about 10 yards of fabric, cut it into three panels and, poof, we have a blanket to take to Maine.
Tim is in full form so I no longer am responsible for EVERYTHING!! Of course, he is already doing too much.
Sparky is sporting a new windshield but won’t be making this trip with us. He is strictly a lake boat. I found a great guy in the north country with a can do attitude and he did it!
We plan to bike the 45+ miles of carriage road in the park and I converted Tim’s bike to fit me, while he had a new recumbent bike delivered to Maine.
My car may look like the Beverly Hillbillies because I also fixed my roof rack just in case.
We applied the finishing touches to the Tram Engine House yesterday and it looks spiffy. Tim did more of the ladder work than I, but groundwork has its issues too.
While we sat on the porch with the last of our cocktails, a small city floated by.
Another popular way to leaf peep along the coast of Maine. Later, I saw another ship further off shore, both were headed downeast.
As long as it is moderately calm, lobster boats haul their traps. Last night at 03:00 there was a boat hauling traps, under the moonlight, a half mile south of the island. Maybe they had big plans for the daylight hours.
The Monarch butterflies remain in large numbers and I love when they fly in a loose swarm around me.
Now, I want you to make the sound of a plane buzzing close by; something like mmrroowww, or perhaps vrooom. This is what we heard as we made breakfast in the kitchen. We looked out and saw a small prop plane buzz our clothes line.
Yesterday was so clear, we saw Mount Washington, 86 miles away, most of the day. It shone at sunset even with a lazy shot from the dining room, looking out past the lighthouse.
Two seals washed up in the coves earlier this summer. In addition to the cute little, live baby seal we saw on our first couple of days, there has also been a large, dead, harbor seal in the cove. With today’s full moon, I thought it might go out with the high tide. No luck. Midnight’s high tide is higher so my fingers are crossed. The birds have been scavenging it and it is quickly decomposing. There has been an “Unusual Mortality Event” this summer with hundreds of seals washed up on beaches in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Many have been infected with an avian flu and/or seal distemper.
I called Fish and Wildlife just to report it and the biologist I spoke to needed a photo to be able to document it and count it. We have been giving it a wide berth for many reasons but I approached it for a photo, which is not included here. Instead, look what I found on the driftwood right next to it, a seal!
Today Tim got me to paint the Engine House, despite my procrastinations. Tim has done all the scraping, which I despise, ( I don’t despise Tim’s scraping, I despise scraping) and lots of the painting, and I have done lots of painting. My hands and wrists are sore. But we want to get as much done, hopefully all the white, before we leave. Looks pretty nice already. I can’t let it interfere with my knitting though. For you knitters out there, today I cut a steek in a sweater, which means I purposely cut a sweater I am knitting down the middle.
The lighthouse dome shines after this summer’s paint job.
All good things must end. Our two week stint is over and it was a great one. We had all sorts of weather, nice visitors and completed lots of projects. It is also starting to get cold in a house without central heat: 47 degrees f this am as the sun rose.
I donned a hat and gloves (both knit by me of course), and every sweater and jacket I had, and we carried our gear down the hill to meet Capt Ethan with the dinghy.
It was seamless trip ashore despite the cold wind and we met up with several friends before we left. I had my first meal out and used a flush toilet. Woohoo.
I write this from the comfort of my own couch, looking forward to our next trip to Seguin.
We were prepared to receive overnight guests yesterday, but the weather forecast for today kept them away. And rightly so. Wind and waves; Maine in October.
Tim set off to change the oil in the various motors. I tackled 2 home improvement projects and one weaving project. The best advice we heard from caretakers we met in Tasmania was, “Every day do at least three things: one for the island; one creative endeavor; and I can’t remember the third – I think it was a fitness activity”.
So I improved upon my fly trap. A penny in a plastic bag with water. I hung one in the kitchen and, for the first time since we arrived, the flies seem to have skedaddled. Here’s my porch version.
We had to fill the cistern yesterday and I noticed the pump house entrance had deteriorated since Tim’s brother, Bill, repaired it eight years ago.
I chopped, cut and ripped wood I found, primed it, put it up and caulked the heck out of it. It will save it for a few years. Finished photos to follow when the weather improves and I can paint.
I’m relearning tablet weaving using sewing thread. Not the pattern I anticipated but pretty nonetheless.
I’ve covered 2 of 3 but my trips down the hill to the cove keep me fit!
On another note, I attended Stitches East Market today. Let’s just say I’m not the most committed, whackiest knitter out there. I don ‘t have a bumper sticker which says, “If I wasn’t knitting, I might kill someone!”
But I do have some cashmere, quiviet and silk yarn, some alpaca roving, stitch markers and a weaving book.
Me and the whales. They do it just because they can, I do it because we are getting ready to head home.
Today is our last full day on the island and it looks like it will be a beauty. There’s not much packing up to do because others will stay here after we leave. Our food held out and I’ve been foraging a little on the island. Just a little because the plant books say you can eat one plant but be careful because there’s a poisonous plant which looks just like it. Thimble berries are in season and taste sort of like a raspberry but not as sweet.
I’ve feasted on salmon for weeks. Tim wrinkles his nose.
We’ve had pizzas, bagels, apple pies, custards and all sorts of goodies and unfortunately the hula hooping wasn’t as much of a success as I had hoped. I ran around the heliport once or twice but it was a tight circle. The best exercise is climbing up the tower steps, 75 or so. So one of the things I’m looking forward to when I get home is stretching my legs and going for a run. Also to sleep in my own bed.
I’ve had a bunk bed all month, and a low one to boot. If I sit up too quickly I bang my head. And when I get out of bed, I have to arch my back in such a way that I don’t hit the bunk above me, which is thankfully unoccupied. Just as well because the upper bunk acts as my spider shield. Spiders hang out on the ceiling. I have had a chance to remember how much I love my sleeping bag. (notice how I roll it up each morning to prevent spiders from entering it when my back is turned). I’m also looking forward to dry dishes. Everything is so damp here, when I sniffed the bouquet of my first glass of wine, I was mildly nauseated. We’ve been out of wine for a while but I still sniff the plates and mugs. Not a nice habit.
Otherwise, the quarters are very comfortable.
It really has all the comforts. But there’s no place like home.
Today started mellow enough. I had a visitor via Ravelry, who has friends in common with me. I posted for Maine knitters to visit and the only taker was from Long Island, NY. We had a whirlwind fast tour before she and her daughter had to leave with Capt. Ethan. We have an extended family visiting with the cutest daughters, 8 and 11 years old, and are having fun with them.
But moving isn’t fun even when it is in an idyllic setting. We were too busy today. We finished closing chores: cleaned the main outhouse, emptied one of the cisterns, tacked up the last couple of boards on the house, applied linseed to the gutters, jacked up the deck and shored it up with rocks, winterized the rider mower, cleaned the house, refrigerator, moved picnic tables and benches into safety and found a dead woodcock in the gutters. Then we packed and sent our stuff down on the tram. Whew! Now I am on the couch with a Shipyard Ale.
Yesterday was bittersweet. Rose a caretaker in 2006, brought a bench to memoralize her husband, Jack, who passed away earlier this year. He loved Seguin and has a bench here to honor him.
It’s getting colder and windy weather is here to stay. I am glad our last few days here will be sunny and hope for calm seas when we leave.
The cats enjoyed the chance to get outside and took several hikes with me. I am feeling a little bit of a traitor because as much as I love Seguin, I am getting excited about going home, seeing family and our next caretaking gig on Deal Island, Tasmania. My three month shopping list is in progress; can’t forget anything.
The third nor’easter of our stay is passing by today. A gale with wind and rain. It’s not raining yet but there’s a fresh breeze from the north.
We took advantage of fair weather yesterday to board up the keeper’s house and other buildngs in preparation for our departure this weekend. Now we look though grates in the first floor windows. Nice jail.
Last night, Tim thought he heard voices, no music, on a couple of occasions and I heard footsteps. Hmmm. Maybe someone’s happy we are getting ready to leave.