Goodbye Seguin

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.    

Paint chicken

You knitters are familiar with this concept – yarn chicken. I wasn’t sure if I had enough stain left to finish the fourth porch. So I played paint chicken. Not sure if there would be enough. By the end, I was practically licking the paint can. But they are finished and look spiffy. 

We had a wind shift today from SW to N and the flag got its knickers in a twist. 

 Tim was covering the battery for the new solar panel and I went down to caulk a window. He kept looking at me and laughing. I wonder why.  
There has always been a Davis weather station on the island. I liked it so much, Tim bought me one for home.  

  I was reviewing this year’s numbers. Maximum wind speed, 68mph, lowest outside temperature -7•f, highest outside temperature 81•f, highest inside temperature 135•f!!! Someone must have had a candle nearby. 

And tonight’s sunset seen from a different perspective. 

And to all a good night. 


Full gear

It took a little while to acclimate, reassess and see what needs to be done on Seguin. There’s always something. 

My door is finished and I’m very happy with it. I had to replace the board to the right of the door. I got to rip and cut wood on the first power saws I ever used, back in 2008. Here’s the reveal:

Once again I had a garter snake encounter but this was more of a stand off. It coiled and hissed at me because I disturbed its peaceful rest: around, under, and probably inside the pump house. 

  It got foggy.  Tim turned on the fog horn to lull me back to sleep – vhf 83, click 5 times. 

 We’ve had visitors this fall including some we’ve met on the island before. 

The Wednesday warriors arrived, just after sunrise, with a solar set up for the Clivus composting toilet down at the cove. It’s a good thing because without the fan the outhouse was less than its usual pristine self. Guess who got to install it? The support person at Clivus was awesome. I called him several times throughout the process. And we’re back in “business”.

 After the fog cleared, painting began. 3 porches and one to go. We had overnight guests; visitors can arrange to stay here through Friends of Seguin, who really appreciated and took in the whole island. 

In the meantime, Tim mowed, weed trimmed and kept the place in shape. We’ve run out of data on our plan so we spend the evenings reading, knitting or weaving (me) and playing cards and trivial pursuit. 

Here are my island creations so far. 


And then of course, there is always lots of sky watching. 



Almost visitors

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!  

Then there’s always a sunset. 



Not for the squeamish. 

I wanted to finish painting the trim on the window that needed the extension ladder. 

The window on the lower left surprisingly needed a huge ladder. I thought I’d get a head start. There was a garter snake sunning itself near the water outlets yesterday and I thought I’d give it a heads up that I would be working nearby and it would be OK to leave. 

I had left the extension ladder on the ground the day before. As I stood there I heard the sound of something  rubbing on metal. THEN THE SNAKE SLITHERED OUT OF THE RUNG’s HOLLOW TUBE !!!!

And I got on with my painting. 

Since I am already discussing yucky things, here’s my fly trap, whose bait is getting tastier by the day. I think I caught a fruit fly. 

On a happier note, all days end the same. 


New toys

The rider mower at Seguin may have been driven off the bluff – that’s how they used to get rid of elderly equipment. Tim loves its replacement. 

The island is in great shape. We got reacquainted yesterday and hosted several visitors. I even convinced Tim to take a brief, brain freezing swim after we finished our work. 

Small craft warning and rain today. Last night’s wind speed reached 34 miles per hour. Almost blew me right out of bed. To quote a little five year old I saw at the beach last weekend, “Shiver me timbers”.

 What we won’t hear is the fog horn! Maine switched to a VHF activated system. We, and any mariner, can turn it on on channel 83. Click 5 times and the fog horn turns on.  Then click your heels and say,”I want to go home, I want to…”.

Lighthouse caretaker wanted

Here’s YOUR chance. Friends of Seguin Island Lighthouse Station is looking for caretakers from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2014. Sadly, actually for happy reasons, I’m busy.

Here’s the link to information.

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Good luck.

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.

Through the lens

I finally had a chance to look at some of the photos on my camera – not my iPhone, which was the only electronic device I had on the island.  It’s easy to post from but I keep my words brief.

We were up in the lantern room at Seguin on a foggy day and I had fun with the prisms.  It’s a first order fresnel lens, large enough to stand inside when you had to change the oil, or now the light bulb.  It was built in Paris and imported and has nearly 300 separate pieces of glass.  Someone polished them to a sheen this summer with the Lighthouse keeper formula: distilled water, rubbing alcohol, a drop of dish soap.  Works like a charm.  I forget the official proportions though.

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I’ll enjoy looking at these photos forever.  I think the person who shined it spent a brief time on the island while her father was a keeper.  So she had the chance to clean the lens I am sure her father shined in the past.

A mat, a hat and that’s that

In between closing the keeper’s quarters, burning burnables on the beach, closing the gift shop and baking the cinnamon (ginger bread cookie) buns, I made a rope mat and baby hat.
The rope mat is my third attempt and is almost a charm. I made my first, while we lived on our former sailboat. My second was at Five Finger Lighthouse and now, my third graces the outhouse. One design flaw, it’s too thick for the door to swing so it’s next to the door.
We figured out the window grate system. They are numbered 1-16, except 7 doesn’t exist. Of course!

There were strong winds again today, no visitors or crickets, so we walked both long trails today to get out to rocky points where the waves crashed on the rocks. I rearranged a little cairn and Tim released a million seeds from a cat tail.


Four reindeer hats are complete.

The lighthouse door latch is secure with another Prusik knot.

And the first Aldo Leopold bench we ever built watches over the glorious sunsets. Until next season…