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Posts Tagged ‘Deal Island’

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I know. I can’t help it. I have a grade school sense of humor. Our travels yesterday took us down to Squally Cove to cut up a couple of downed eucalyptus and she oak trees on path.

I brought my new walking stick with me to bolster my confidence on the slippery downhill portions. My walking stick appeared suddenly when the sponge mop broke off from its rusted base. It was a little long, not tres chic, but did the trick.

I did keep my eyes to the ground though and found some lovely mushrooms.

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My favorite tool name is the come-along. It’s a device used to pull things together. Sort of like a hand held winch, often used in fence building. I needed to do a small fence repair and searched the workshop for one, to no avail. Instead, I saw this two piece thingy with chain hanging on the wall called a Strain-Rite.

Sounded like I was in the ballpark, but couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to use it. So I googled it and there it was with videos demonstrating its application. It’s made in New Zealand and was just what I needed. So I put it to work to straighten out a fence.
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Here I am working on another fence project during our eight day gale.
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The wind howled for days and it rained sheets. The weather service said we had hurricane force winds for a couple of days. Luckily, the only major mishap was a tree, which fell down in the compound, very near our water supply. Tim made short work of it. It was a Casuarina, used as a wind block near the house. It looked like it was bleeding where the bark pulled away.

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A wallaby convention on the lighthouse road.
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We cleared the drains a few weeks ago and got to see how well the runoff worked. It did, but we had to pick a lot of branches off the road.

The garden took a hit. I lost most of the arugula, and tomatoes. Oddly enough, some green bean plants I was getting ready to pull seemed to enjoy the storm and sprouted new flowers. I’ll clean up and replant today.

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There’s always a silver lining.

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Guest Blog

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I thought Lynne’s readers might enjoy learning more about the Deal Island lighthouse.

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Unlike the other lighthouses where we’ve served as caretakers—5 Finger, Alaska; Seguin, Maine; Bakers, Mass.—the lighthouse is 2.5 miles away from our house. It’s also 700 feet up and a total of almost 1,000 feet above sea level.

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Needless to say, we don’t go up every day. When visitors to the island wish to see the lighthouse, we hand them the key and wish them a good time.

The light is no longer functional and has been replaced by automated lights on 2 small, neighboring islands. Supposedly, the lighthouse was decommissioned because, being so high, it was obscured in clouds half the time. Well, that’s from the perspective of Wilson’s Promontory on the mainland, 43 miles away. Duh. In the almost 6 months total we’ve spent here, it’s been covered a handful of times. I’m sure the reason it was replaced had more to do with money. There is no place for a helicopter to land near the lighthouse and we’re in the middle of Bass Straight.

The tower houses a gorgeous first order Fresnel lens, not unlike the beauty on Seguin Island. Visitors are allowed to get up close to it, even walk inside. Unfortunately, the building is suffering. There have been a couple of major fires on the island which reached the lighthouse and cracked the exterior walls. It blows like crazy up there and these cracks allow moisture in the walls and now small pieces are starting to fall out. Grants to repair the lighthouse have so far been unsuccessful. At least, the temperature doesn’t go below freezing or it would be a pile of rubble!

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Guest Blog

20150509-112559.jpg

I thought Lynne’s readers might enjoy learning more about the Deal Island lighthouse.

20150509-112400.jpg
Unlike the other lighthouses where we’ve served as caretakers—5 Finger, Alaska; Seguin, Maine; Bakers, Mass.—the lighthouse is 2.5 miles away from our house. It’s also 700 feet up and a total of almost 1,000 feet above sea level.

20150509-112821.jpg
Needless to say, we don’t go up every day. When visitors to the island wish to see the lighthouse, we hand them the key and wish them a good time.

The light is no longer functional and has been replaced by automated lights on 2 small, neighboring islands. Supposedly, the lighthouse was decommissioned because, being so high, it was obscured in clouds half the time. Well, that’s from the perspective of Wilson’s Promontory on the mainland, 43 miles away. Duh. In the almost 6 months total we’ve spent here, it’s been covered a handful of times. I’m sure the reason it was replaced had more to do with money. There is no place for a helicopter to land near the lighthouse and we’re in the middle of Bass Straight.

The tower houses a gorgeous first order Fresnel lens, not unlike the beauty on Seguin Island. Visitors are allowed to get up close to it, even walk inside. Unfortunately, the building is suffering. There have been a couple of major fires on the island which reached the lighthouse and cracked the exterior walls. It blows like crazy up there and these cracks allow moisture in the walls and now small pieces are starting to fall out. Grants to repair the lighthouse have so far been unsuccessful. At least, the temperature doesn’t go below freezing or it would be a pile of rubble!

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A beautiful ending to a lovely day, which ended with a total lunar eclipse.

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I had a chance to run this morning and chose the track to Winter Cove. We swam there a few days ago and it was lovely.

Here are some of my views along the way.

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It literally took my breath away, largely by the beauty and partly by the uphill portions.

We’ve had lots of visitors since we landed. Eight artists from Flinders Island arrived the day after us and are staying in the visitors’ house. They have walked all over the island and plan to present a show on Flinders Island later this autumn. I’m sorry we’ll miss it.

There have been two groups of sea kayakers from Melbourne who left yesterday for Flinders Island. I hope they got an early start because we had wind gusts to 48 knots last night.

And a flotilla of motor boats with a total of 20 people spent the night. Not exactly a deserted island!

We are trying to swim most days before it gets too cold. What a treat.

Tim keeps me busy slaving away in the kitchen and garden. We’re stocked with fresh yogurt, homemade bread and there’s a barrel of stout fermenting away. The garden is providing tons of tomatoes and cucumbers are just coming in. I’m freezing tomato sauce, making tomato soup and prepared to make some pickles.

Today I made a batch of Anzac cookies from the Lighthouse Cookbook, which is a fundraiser for Friends of Deal Island. My daughter-in-law was sweet enough to order a copy for me before my first time here in 2010. You can find it here.
Anzac cookies are miraculous. They are an oat and flour cookie made without eggs and are held together with butter and golden syrup, which tastes like a combination of honey and light molasses. The cookies (biscuits) have been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps since World War I. The have a long shelf life but I’m not sure they will be around that long because they’re delicious.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go.  Especially since my everywhere includes the bedroom, where an amarylis is growing and the living dining area, where the tree is up and decorated and my little swirling candles and chimes are up.  Tim put the tree up and hung the lights then I tossed what I could from a relatively standing position.  I put together and cleaned my little angel chimes and am always amazed at how flimsy they are. Today I tried to find a replacement but apparently it’s difficult.  The original company went out of business when the market was flooded with cheap imitations from China and now supposedly the production has moved to Turkey, but I am dubious. They are very sweet because when the air heats up from the candle flames, the angels spin around and ring the brass bells.  I bought a much more substantial version this year from Germany made of wood.  But alas there’s no sound.  There are instead, choir angels who circle around a pipe organ and it is so authentic that the sheet music is actually a traditional carol.

We’re ahead of the game this year though because I went back and read what we were doing on the Winter Solstice last year.  We were on Deal Island and had just found our tree on a day when we also saw a double rainbow!  Then I started thinking about people we met last year and went to read about the Sydney – Hobart race, which begins on Boxing Day.  We met more racers from Victoria who participated in the Tassie Trio, and they many stopped by for a barbecue and good night’s sleep before heading home to Melbourne.

As an end note, sometime over the next couple of days, there will have been 20,000 page views of this blog!  Whodda thunk?

I finished my shopping and are waiting for final gifts to arrive.  Everything else has been wrapped and we are ready to celebrate.

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