We have had 3 beautiful days, sunny, with a light breeze, but finally are getting some Maine weather. After several days of crystal clear blue skies, clouds and moisture moved in ahead of a cold front.
That’s an amazing part of this 360 degree view: being able to watch the weather roll in. Two scheduled groups of visitors, overnight guests and a working bee, were cancelled.
That didn’t stop a group of 10 or so kayakers from paddling in as part of an outdoor leadership training. We briefly met one of their guides in 2008, June 22 to be exact, when he appeared with a group that navigated here through pea soup fog by gps and the sound of the foghorn.
Yesterday the foghorn came in while Tim was practicing his keyboard. These days sailors have to request the foghorn by using channel 83 on the vhf radio and clicking their heels ( or the mic button) three times. We can’t see the cove from the house and were visited by three Coasties who were here to test the foghorn and take an inventory of stuff they are going to take off the island by helicopter.
I wish I was bound to an island but for now, we are at our home away from home, Seguin Island, Maine. The weather shone upon us and we arrived on island with only one dunking. Me of course but no harm was done, just a little bruised ego.
I started dreading the trip about a year ago, largely because our arrival by dinghy, with all we need, is always a crap shoot. Once we make it ashore, wet or dry, our stuff – food, keyboard, clothing and knitting – then has to make it up 300 feet to our quarters.
There used to be a donkey engine and tram to haul our stuff when we were first here in 2008. But alas it no longer works. Leave it to Friends of Seguin to come up with a solution. They built a hand trolley we pushed up the tram and got our gear up the hill in two trips. Luckily there was a group of strapping young men on the beach who helped us carry our water (in 48 lb jugs) to the trolley.
So maybe I won’t dread our first day next year. Just maybe.
The island keeps getting better. It’s lush this year and the apple trees are loaded with fruit. I may try to make a pie with them. I didn’t bring any in an effort to keep the weight, ours and our gear’s, down.
We found a new type of tree on the North Trail, a crab tree!
The first order fresnel lens is sparkling.
And the solar led lights work fine.
The old back up lens is in the Museum. Now that the light is solar powered, no need for backup.
I am not the most graceful person getting in and out of a dinghy on a rocky Maine beach. In my defense, I was weighted down by a drybag on my back with our electronics. As I was climbing aboard the stern, the boat bucked, and with my legs and arms already in the boat, my butt and drybag landed in the water. It was an impossible position to get out of myself and Tim had to haul me aboard. Another memorable dinghy moment. One year, the dinghy flipped and we had to bob for apples in the cove.
We finished getting the grates up before the island closers arrived.
The departure day was perfect, clear, dry and crisp. The lighthouse was tucked in and would shine all alone for the winter.
The fog has lingered for several days There is a gale blowing now and it should tidy things up a bit. We’re battened down. Such drama. Boats in the cove looked like ghost ships and Pond Island seems to rise out of the mist.
Even though we have been coming here for 12 years, I still discover new things. This old man rock on Cobblestone Beach is a new vision.
Need some help?
This lovely rock weed pops around the beaches. Sweet little yellow flowers, different from goldenrod.
A couple of seals have been resting during low tide at the cove.
We went to the workshop, Whistle House last night and once again saw how nice it is to return to the lighthouse at night.
We left the deer at home to finish eating the rest of my garden. They’ll have to pass on the geraniums though. These came from Seguin at the end of a season a few years ago.
Tim suggested we drive through the White Mountains to Maine. Then he took a nap. He woke up for the hairpin turn of the Kancamagus highway.
We enjoyed a leisurely drive and made it to Bath, ME in time for my French zoom class. I am confident Canada will let us back in one day…It was fun to have a little time to roam the town.
As predicted the wind lied down by Thurs and we took our favorite lobsterman’s boat with our gear and food to the island. The new Yeti cooler performed as advertised.
Getting the gear up the hill is always a chore but Cyndy from Friends of Seguin Island helped and it went easier than I remember. Maybe it was a good plan to backpack and build up legs prior to this trip.
And here we are.
This year, through individual contributions, Friends of Seguin Island raised more than $100,000 to convert to solar energy. And it works, even in this foggy spot.
The Island had the same caretakers for the last two seasons, Debbie and Chris, and they kept it in great shape and made several major improvements: a spanking new generator shed for the spanking new generator; a plank walkway in the North trail’s swamp; a new interesting trail and a new bench on it. . Some of this was done last summer, when the electric cable failed and they had to run a generator 4 hours a day. Hats off!
Here’s to a few more beautiful sunsets in my happy place.
Despite world events that kept me riveted to the computer yesterday; and trying to figure out just what a Devil’s Triangle is, I managed to finish painting the pump house. The island is in good shape, even if our country is not.
The lighthouse has a window leak, a project for next year, but sparkles.
The monarch butterflies are getting ready for their migration to Mexico. They are filling up on purple aster nectar and can be seen fluttering all around the island, especially among the wildflowers.
We spotted another seal taking a rest in the cove at high tide.
Today we’ll clean up and get ready to return to the “real world”. There’s a rubber band effect to time here. We arrive, acclimate and it feels like we’ll be here forever. We start working on projects, then we tackle more and then there doesn’t seem like there’s enough time.
In addition to Island work, and keeping Tim well fed, I completed my Board recertification, found a house sitter for our next adventure, reviewed patient charts and managed office issues. I’m a little too connected, especially since internet has improved somewhat. We no longer have to go up the tower or sit in the museum to get a signal, most of the time.
I did manage to knit one very cool dude child’s sweater, a kin to the Big Liebowski’s and two adorable hats.
Just trying to keep the people in my life safe and warm. They were all knit with Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter, which I saw spun at Harrisville Designs, and is a fitting name for these times.
Today is a beautiful fall day off the coast of Maine. A high pressure blew in last night. The weather station is on the fritz so I don’t know the maximum speed here but the house hummed.
I love windy places where you can see weather fronts move.
Seas build, no visitors can land and it is a great day to do laundry.
The weather prevented a couple of friends from getting out here today but that’s island life.
I pack much lighter than in the past, partly because the tram needs repairs and isn’t running. This means Tim sees the same clothes and I do a little laundry.
We pack our gear and food as best as we can and haul it up the hill to the keeper’s quarters. Tim definitely lugs more than me and does all the water transport.
My cooking has simplified too. We no longer have dessert AND coffee break every day. I have passed the point in my metabolic life when I can do this and not continue to grow.
While we had grilled organic, grass-fed, happy steak our first night, we have also had not so organic franks and beans and even freeze dried backpacking food. In my defense, we are going to the Grand Canyon in November and I am trying out new food. What better place than here.
I didn’t tell Tim this until after dinner. He thought the shredded pork in a sweet and sour sauce with rice was “interesting” but as camp food it was pretty good and is a keeper.
I had another American pelecinid encounter; this time on the screen door of the kitchen.
Not as scary when there’s a screen between me and it.
We have some painting and trail projects today. I’ll brush my hair, maybe, and watch the clouds pass overhead.
I guess it’s been damp in Maine because the mushrooms on Seguin Island are flourishing. Can mushrooms flourish? The weather station reported 183 inches of rain since January but that sounds impossible. The highest recorded wind for the year was 79 mph. I believe it because a favorite tree was lost and the boathouse dock had a section ripped off over the winter.
I considered calling this the fungus among us but that term may be passé. Google it; it has been used by Sponge Bob, Warcraft and Disney. So…
Here’s a horrifying appearing insect that is harmless.
What looks like a gigantic stinger is actually an extension of its abdomen that lets it burrow and find and consume some sort of grub. Good to know. Despite knowing this, it’s still a bit horrifying.
The day was beautiful but surge was up in the cove. It didn’t matter, a group of intrepid workers surfed into the cove with Tim at the helm of the dinghy.
A dock was shored up and rebuilt, the donkey engine House was scraped and painted and sumac was eradicated from around the helipad. Here’s a view, not to be seen again, because the sumac in the foreground is caput.
My favorite lighthouse caretaker repaired the catwalk door latch.
The lantern’s dome was repainted this season. It entailed climbing harnesses and strong nerves. A job repeated every sixteen years, by the same person!
So things are looking pretty sweet on Seguin. Time to tuck in for a gale the next couple of days.
Nothing is more magical than the shadows the light casts at night.
And it is lovely during the day too.
The fog and rain came and went all day. I occasionally heard the prolonged horn blast of a ship somewhere out in the mist.
So we worked on rainy day projects. I did some – ahem- compost management. This entailed cleaning the fridge of old food and emptying the composting toilet tray. Always fun.
The flies had plagued us since we arrived. Not biting flies, just annoying ones. I had visions of us destroying the house’s interior and furnishings with a fly swatter. I collected several while I vacuumed. Score. Then, suddenly, they were gone. Maybe they were just testing us until we settled in. Knock on wood please.
Tim went to work on the mowers, the blades were already sharpened, so he changed the oil. If you ever are in the market for a ride on mower, NEVER buy the Gravely zero turn models. They paid no attention to the acrobatics and manual dexterity you need to merely open the oil drain plug. Even though Tim wrote down what worked for us last year, we both ended up bleeding. Shame on them. But it is fun to operate.
Due solely to Tim’s determination, we got the job done. I think I would have thrown up my hands, cursed a bit, which I did anyway, and walked away.
The pump house may need a whitewash but my door frame held up nicely.
Tim’s brother, who passed away last year, rebuilt the door and I want to keep it looking spiff for him.
So many memories from the last 11 years we have been here and more to come.