Sunday, June 26th – Beautiful day!!! Woke up early and saw another sunrise. Took a picture out the front window upstairs, a slightly different view. We decided crab cakes with eggs benedict would be a great way to finish the last two crab cakes! Boy were they good.
Four seemed to be the popular number today. First group of four was “RADD” – Ron, Alicia, Dave and Dave. They are a random group of friends from MITA (Maine Island Trail Association). Most have been here before, but they decided to put in nearby and come visit again. We saw them coming in towards the Cove, then we actually saw them going around the island! I hope to see the South and West side of the island someday. Ethan said he could take us around it at some point. Anyway, they finished going around then came into the Cove. I of course gave them a tour and we both spent additional time having an interesting conversation with all of them. They hung around for a while, did one of the hikes, had lunch, then headed on their way.
Next group of four was a family that was from Southport. The next obvious question, was if they new Diane and Dave. Turns out they were very familiar with them. Janeen (not sure I’m spelling correctly) knew both of them as D&D are often out in their Boston Whaler taking pictures when the youth have their sailing races. Their parents don’t really get the ‘see’ that part as they are out in the Sheepscot River. We chatted with them sometime about our experience so far, how we got here, etc. They came to Seguin for a picnic lunch.
Next group of four were from Boothbay Harbor, but they had a limited amount of time as it was just a quick stop and just a brief tour.
Things slowed down a little, so I went over to where we have one of those sign posts that say how far places are, like North Pole ‘x’ number of miles. It’s amazing to see how the paint has worn away, but more interesting is how the board has worn away from the wind and what was painted is raised up and hasn’t worn away. The paint maybe off, but there is more wood. See if the pictures explain. I updated the paint on some, added Richmond (number of miles was as the crow flies). The top ones I couldn’t reach without a ladder. Task for another day. I think I should add the North Pole…
Steve headed down to the Cove as there is a trickle of water and we were wondering if maybe it would be less iron as it filters through more dirt and sand at this point. So he brought a piece of PVC with him that he cut on an angle and then jammed it into the area where the water is running down. Well see… wouldn’t that be a hoot if it was better than what we’re getting out of the cistern! Forgot to take a pic, so I’ll have to post the picture another time. Coming back up, took another picture of the trail, this time with Steve in it for some perspective. We, really Steve, is continuing to ensure the trails are clear and wide. As things are starting to grow, we are snipping!
When things are not crazy with visitors, I offer to some visitors, a special, free of charge, photo op of them through the lens. I have to go up and walk around to the other side and I guess I look pretty funny (like a fun house mirror), but because the angles of the glass lens, it becomes a prism and it flips the scenery behind them upside down. I’ve already posted these two pics, but look at them again and you’ll notice the background behind them! It’s very cool – well I think it’s cool.
History Lesson II
- How about a few more historical nuggets. In 1817, Winslow Lewis installed a new lantern in the first lighthouse, but reported the original wooden tower had gone to pieces so badly he wasn’t sure it would stay in place. Congress acted, authorizing $2500 for a stone tower that was erected two years later.
- In this second lighthouse, the light consisted of 15 Argand lamps with parabolic reflectors, 21 inches in diameter. J.P.Lewis, Inspector, recommended the addition of nine lamps which would make it capable of being seen 19-20 miles in clear weather.
- It was a a fixed white light and as it still is today (meaning it is not a rotating light).
- Extreme weather conditions led to the demolition of the 2nd light.
- In 1853, the Lighthouse Board reported that the station needed to be improved and because of the importance of shipping on the Kennebec and Sheepscot Rivers, recommended that Seguin should be a First Order Station.
- Stay tuned for info on the current light.
Although not from Seguin, here is a pic of what the Argand lamp and parabolic reflectors arrangement looks like.
Another amazing night of star gazing – this is just like sunsets; they never get old and they never look the same.
Monday, June 27th – They (you know, that group of all-knowing people) said it was going to be rainy and windy all day. Doesn’t look like that right now. I spent most of the day getting ready for our friends Gwen & Jim that arrive tomorrow morning. The finishing touches, flowers in the room, vacuuming, etc.– just like at home. Well, here in Maine they say, “don’t like the weather, wait an hour and it will change” and it did. The picture to the left is the house after the weather shifted to what I like to call a ‘Maine-u-lar’ day.
Side house topic – We have a sump pump in the basement that has a level switch that clicks on when the level gets too high and pumps out to a leaching field. It’s for our kitchen and shower water. Steve makes checking the sump part of his daily rounds. It’s a fussy switch, but this morning he moved a few things around and now it appears to be working on its own without having to give it a daily jiggle! Yes, we get excited of little things like this!
I mentioned a Steve drawer project and today it was finished. The two “catch all” drawers in the kitchen, do collect everything small and random. They are the drawers under the microwave. Well, I asked him to make some dividers in the drawer to the right and it already had some cutouts for pieces of wood. He put the right to left divider in, lived with it for a day or two, then I decided I wanted a least one divider that went front to back. So, he added that. It’s perfect. Instead of searching for the tools I use all the time, I can find them lickety split! Ok, stop laughing, again it’s the little things we do to make this house our summer home!
Today I made some granola and brownies this afternoon. I was almost out of granola and the brownies are for dessert tomorrow night. I was having a little issue with the oven. Sometimes the temperature is what we set and it stays there, other times it seems to creep up to a temperature I don’t want! The granola got a little over cooked and the brownies were a little under cooked in the middle. I don’t mind that but most folks don’t like it. Oh well, I can always cook them a little more tomorrow.
We took a walk to Cobblestone Beach. This is one of my favorite places… actually the whole island is my favorite spot. There isn’t one place I don’t like! It was still very foggy. Found a pretty nice, fairly new 5-gal bucket down there. Steve opened it up and found a special “surprise” in it. So, I took a look and put some ocean water in it, swished it around and dumped the contents out. Yep, I think it was poop! Who would do that then throw the bucket overboard? Anyway, I just rinsed it some more, swished some seaweed around and it was as good a new. You can always use another 5-gallon bucket. You never know what you’ll find on the beach for sure!
On the way back I picked some Rugosa Roses to put in my vases. They are sooooo fragrant. Here is a picture of them. I remember when we were working at Millstone (in Connecticut), we’d go for a walk at lunch and the path would be lined with these bushes. They are roses that have only a single row of 5 petals. But I can’t put into words how wonderful they smell. The bushes are so loaded with buds as I think once they open up, the flower only lasts a couple of days, the petals fall and a new bud opens up. There she goes again, off on another tangent!
Turkey meatballs for dinner with some, you guessed it, fake pasta. The sauce was jar sauce but we doctored it up with loads of veggies including sauteed mushrooms. And we treated ourselves to the “dipping” sauce we make with EVOO and spices to swipe up with my homemade sourdough. Delicious!
Well, that’s a wrap for Monday!
Tuesday, June 28th – Today Gwen & Jim arrive – should be here around 9ish as they are coming from Small Point. Gwen and I were texting along the way as they were parking at the church so when we come in tomorrow, their car will be with ours. Here they come and Steve rowing out to get them!
They did a most excellent job in packing light! One small backpack each. Gave them a tour of the keepers quarters (they stayed in our 2nd bedroom), showed them the ‘operation’ of the Sun-Mar toilet and gave them an orientation of the museum.
We talked about a walk and I shared info on all the trails. We picked the North Trail to walk. On this trail there is a little trail that branches off to an overlook of the Cove. It’s a little side trail with very different vegetation. Lots of pines grow here and some interesting ground cover. Looks like something from the lily of the valley family. Back to the main part of the trail out to the North point. Still, lots of seagulls squawking and protecting their new little ones so we did not go all the way to the tip of the island. We did see one twosome of newbies – little and furry. Too far away though to get a decent pic. We stopped on the way back for a picture from a vista on the trail.
Came back for some lunch and they decided to take a nap. They were up early this morning to travel and meet up with Bill, the person that brought them out. I went out to the garden and noticed some weeds coming back. I weeded the area and then walked around to collect some dry grass clippings to spread around more area of the garden as that seemed to help keep the weeds at bay. While I was doing that, we noticed we have a zucchini coming in! How exciting!
Then on to some more weeding of the sides of the back side walk… making progress. We sat out front enjoying the view and noticed a pretty large boat going by. Steve checked it out on one of his apps (Marine Traffic) that gives you some info on the boat just by where you are and what boats are in the area, then you click on a boat and it gives you a few nuggets of info. After a while you can tell which boats are pretty large in the expanse of the huge ocean!
As I was doing that, Steve was doing some additional mowing and clipping down under the tram and out the Cove and Cobblestone trails then up the main trail. Done for the day.
Then it was back down to main trail for Cove Time. Here comes our geese family, although they walked up to the beach, the little ones pecked at the sand for a little bit, then they walked back in to the water and went on their merry way. Also, the men brought up the dinghy and covered it for the night. When we came up we decided to do the tour of the Tower and we took one of those pictures where the background flips because it’s through the lens!
Side note is AJ and Sean showed up and were spending the night in the Cove. AJ is the person that is installing the new roof on the main house the end of July and Sean is a friend of his who is an amateur photographer here to take pictures of the Lighthouse and the stars / milky way tonight!
Well, bet you can guess what we had for dinner! Lobst-a, salad, tots and brownies!!!!! Then to top it off – it’s sunset bench for a special moment taking in the 360-degree beauty of Seguin including Mount Washington.
The last picture I want to share is a picture Sean took with his drone of the sun setting through the 1st order lens in the Tower. He was kind enough to share it with us so I could post to the blog. Sean can be found on Facebook – Sean O’Connell Photography/Midcoast Maine Drone (here is the url but not sure how it will appear in the blog (www.facebook.com/Sean-OConnell -PhotographyMidcoast-Maine-Drone-Imagery-100960558669563/ )
Wednesday, June 29th – Here we are, headed ashore again. AJ and Sean were up early doing their stuff but they helped us carry some of our stuff down. Steve rowed out Gwen and Jim with all our stuff. AJ actually gave me a ride out in his dinghy so Steve didn’t have to come get me. The Wednesday Warriors were here and they took our dinghy in with all their gear. Here we are on Ethan’s boat heading in – thanks Jim for taking the pic! We don’t often have pics of Steve and I together.
Gwen and Jim are not in a super hurry to start the journey home, so they are going to join us for breakfast. But first we have to stop at the transfer station and as always – check out the free section! I picked up some small Ziploc type of food storage containers as I don’t really have any small ones. All in great shape! Gwen was excited to find some Tervis glasses! Win-win for everyone! On to Winnegance….. I would have bet money that one of us gave the phone to Chloe, our waitress to take a pic, but no one has one!
Steve had an egg sandwich on an English and both Jim and Gwen had an omelet. I had a special of peach and raspberry glazed sourdough French toast with maple butter. I haven’t had a breakfast like that in I don’t know how long. But how fun to sit at this place enjoying a yummy meal with great friends. Life is grand! We parted ways and headed on to Bath to start the round robin of laundry, groceries, fish store, etc. and they headed on their journey home.
Today we had some extra time as we didn’t have any other stops to make. We decided to spend some time walking around downtown just enjoying the pretty day. The town was decorated with banners etc. in preparation for July 4th. As we walked around town, we thought of getting a growler of some Bath Brewing so Steve went off to taste it and I went over to the tattoo place. I wanted to talk to them about my Seguin tattoo! The name of the establishment is Old Bones and there are three artists. I explained what I was looking for, where, size, etc. He suggested I go on line and look at the work of the three people to decide who would be best. I’ve looked once, but need to look again as I’m just not sure. But since I only have so much time, I want to plan ahead and book an appointment. Here is a pic of their building. They are on the 2nd floor, standing outside is Shawn the artist with whom I chatted. It should look familiar as it is next to Best Thai II!
Next stop was the Kennebec Meat Market downtown. Steve thought it was a BBQ restaurant based on the logo, etc., so we stopped in. It was a real meat market with a butcher and some crazy cuts of meat! They also carried a bunch of locally made Maine only products for people who don’t have a brick-and-mortar place. Super cool. We chatted with a few patrons and some employees and of course we said we were the keepers this year at Seguin Lighthouse. It was fun to talk to everyone. We decided not to get lunch today as we had a big breakfast. That way we’ll be hungry for dinner!
At the fish market we picked up swordfish and salmon and then we went next door to the Swango Produce Market. It’s a little market that carries some local produce and a few products. Their strawberries looked amazing but it was a quart and it just looked like too much. But they had some local asparagus and some beet greens. They grow their beets for the greens and the beets still attached were small and so cute! I’ll take a pic next week but I also bought some local made popcorn. Seemed to see it in a lot of stores so I had to try it. It’s Little Lad’s Herb Mix. They have other flavors, but I decided to try this one. I met Rose, she is the owner here. We talked about so many things, then got on to Yarn! She is a knitter and used to work at Halycon Yarn which is supposed to be an AMAZING yarn store. However, they only do curbside, which is probably a good thing for me. Anyway, we just chatted and chatted. I went out to the car and Steve said what no strawberries? We changed our mind and got them, here I am with the strawberries! So sweet and all red inside!!!! Well after all my dilly dallying around – we headed on our way to meet Ethan.
We were there a few minutes early actually! Steve dropped me off in the circle near the pier and dock. It’s high tide so that means, what? You’re catching on, we get to use the floating dock! Yay! I started carrying our bags out on the floating dock and a person walking by asked if I needed help – I said sure. His name was Marty and he used to own a place in Popham for 16 years but sold it a few years back. Now he just comes and stays at his neighbor’s house because his neighbor can’t come anymore. We chatted about a few things, he’s from Hancock, NH and we talked about Ethan still bringing the caretakers out, etc. Then he shared some people fishing in the river today (the river being the Kennebec), said they saw a couple of tuna! Holy cow – that’s pretty wild to see tuna in Maine!! Anyway, nice guy! Should have snapped another photo!
When Ethan pulled up, Sam his summer helper, was on the boat and they needed to separate today’s catch into hard and soft shell, put them in the lobster cage and then tie it off next to his skiff. We loaded our stuff in and we’re off. Back on the island (I love how that sounds) we waited as the Wednesday Warriors came out and we pulled in their gear, put ours in the dingy and we rowed ashore. We unloaded, carried up from the beach then covered the dingy. Then we regroup some of the items and decide what needs to be carried up right away and what we can leave in the donkey engine house till another day.
As we’re climbing up the main trail and I get to the sidewalk in front on the house, I see a powerboat coming back to the island? Is it Ethan? Humm, did someone forget something here? I texted Cyndy to see if anyone had left anything here and she responded no. I headed down to the cove while Steve was starting to put fridge stuff away. Turns out it wasn’t Ethan but it appears we’ll have some visitors! So, I headed back up to help Steve.
The group was Kevin, David and Ian. Kevin and Ian are father and son. The connection is Kevin has been renting a house in East Boothbay for years and they rent it from a relative of Dave’s – I think I got that right. But they have been renting for over 20 years and have become good friends. Ian lives in South America but comes up for a month or so to visit/vacation here in Maine. Super nice group and we bonded for sure!
Ok – good day all around. Decided to try my “shrub” and mix it with some bubbly. The Shrub was the raspberry artisan drink mixer. Dinner was fresh salmon, beet greens and I put the little beets in some cooked quinoa and I remembered to take a photo! Phew – on shore days are always busy!
Thursday, June 30th – Well we’re getting ready for the July 4th weekend. I just checked my phone and didn’t take a pic all day! How can that be….oops wait a minute, I took one.
Steve headed off to whipper snip the Cobblestone Beach Trail including the sides. What we’re finding is that the trails are getting walked on almost enough but now the sides seem to have stuff growing towards the trail. I went down and tended the Clivus, the public “restroom” on the island down by the donkey engine house. Just as we were getting ready to go back up, a foursome came into the cove. They had a center console boat and he whipped it around, three jumped out onto the beach, then he took the boat to a mooring and paddled in using a paddle board. They were Bill & Lynn (Freeport) and Dave & Pam (don’t remember). We stood there chatting for a bit and they offered to help us bring our stuff up! How awesome!
While they were walking around on a trail, I did some Blog work and loaded some pictures. They came back and I gave them a tour – super friendly and very engaging. Next guest was Paul, from Madison, CT and he is up in Robinhood. Robinhood is a popular marina many folks stop at or stay at as it is well protected. It’s up the Sheepscot River, then you cut over just past Five Islands and you’ll arrive in Robinhood Cove. A picture of a map might help….. I’ll have to find one that will work in the blog.
Next visitors were Chris and Steve. They are from Belfast and on their way to Portland to pick up some friends. Oh, and today some campers (John and Katie) have arrived by kayak. Looks like they are staying for 2 nights due to weather. Rest of the day, I swept the Gift Shop and the entire Tower including gently in and around the stand that holds the LED bulb. Hard to tell in the picture, but it looks way better!!!
Well, that’s all I have in my notes!
Friday, July 1st – Both of us were awake early today. We actually slept with the window open last night – how refreshing is that compared to a month ago!
I’d like to pause a moment here as Steve’s Aunt Marie (affectionately referred to as Re-Re or “Misery” as Steve called her when he was small) passed away this morning peacefully. She was a very loving, caring and warm person. We were the lucky ones to have known her. Always there with a quick remark “Well praise be to God for that….” or “Well, you know I’m almost 90.” She would always be there with a plate of food if you were hungry. A few years ago she moved into independent living and began taking painting lessons! Turns out she has a real talent and painted many paintings for friends and family members. Most recently, she wanted to paint something for Steve and I. She checked with Steve’s mom Joan who suggested she paint the lighthouse, Seguin, for us. Marie said she didn’t have a picture. So, Joan sent her one. And low and behold when we were in Florida this past March, Cathy (her daughter) wrapped up the painting and gave it to us! What a wonderful gift! We were so touched and moved by her beautiful painting! It hangs prominently in our home and will remind us of her kind and gentle soul. Here is a pic of Marie and the painting. When I look up at the sky tonight, I will find a new star and name it ‘Re-Re.’
I headed off to whipper snip and clip the Cove Trail. The campsite, which is in the middle of the trail was already mowed but I needed to get to the edges. I met the campers and explained my plan. They were fine with it. Also, I wanted to grab a lobster trap I noticed on this trail (that had washed up at some point). I was pulling the trap through the campsite and they came to help. Yikes it was heavy! They helped me carry it over to the old ramp that leads to the tram. It seems our signage is not enough. “Tram Unsafe – Use Path” the sign says. I figured it might act as a deterrent to walking up the tram. Time will tell. John and Katie said they would like to come up later for tour.
Well, we walked back down to the Cove for a little bit. Nothing but just beautiful scenery. Steve posed for a different angle down at the Cove. It was a little chilly (hence the sweatshirt). Time to head back up for dinner. As we came around the corner to see the house, I could stand so the sun shone through the lens. Not quite as fancy as Sean’s picture, but I think it looks pretty. Just before dinner, Steve went out to take the flag down as the wind was picking up and it was around sunset. However, we had a slight issue! The clip for to the lower part of the flag came off! Now there was no way to pull down the flag! We tried a couple of wiggles and shakes, but the wind was too much and the flag doesn’t weigh enough to pull itself towards the ground. Guess we’ll have to figure it out tomorrow – nothing else we can do now!
Saturday, July 2st – We got up about 8. Kind of late for me. I like 7ish – that seems to be a good time to start the day. I decided to make more banana bread. Sometime the bananas say “we want to be bread, we want to be bread.” That usually happens when we have too much fruit and they end up getting a little too ripe for just eating. Well you know the recipe and I used a glass loaf pan which worked much better. However, we don’t have a cake rack (yes I’m putting on the GW list). You’ll see a rack under the bread but I’m not sure how that one is supposed to be used. What I like about this recipe is you can melt the butter/shortening and mix everything with a spoon – no need to break out the mixer and then have to wash it! Once it went into the oven, made Steve a fancy breakfast.
After breakfast, Steve went out to try some ideas he had on how to get the flag down. Took a few try’s. The rock went flying one time, yikes, thought it was headed towards the window in the house! On the next attempt, he got it, yay! I walked down to the Cove as I wanted to get some seaweed for the garden and some more sand for the joints in the sidewalk. When I went down, I noticed the campers were all packed up in their kayaks and just getting ready to launch. The weather was cloudy, but the breeze was warm. Here are a couple of pics of them leaving. Their boats were sooo packed with gear, they only had a few inches of freeboard. Off they went….
While I was down there and since I reference the Donkey Engine House, I thought I’d take a couple of pics and share a few nuggets about the tramway and the engine and their roll here at Seguin.
- The original tramway, a 1006-foot-long railway built on trestles, was a valuable asset used to haul coal, furniture, heavy equipment, food, supplies and people to/from the top of the steep island. Currently the trams stops at the top and no longer continues towards the fog signal house.
- Little is known of the early history of the tramway. It may have well been powered by oxen or mules.
- During the period of Lightkeeper Elson Small (1926-1930) and his wife Connie Scovill Small (author of “The Lightkeepers Wife” – an excellent read), the tramway was condemned as unsafe and a new one was built. At that time it was powered by a mechanical engine.
- In 1995, the tramway continued to be operated, powered by the 1953 GMC diesel ‘donkey’ engine with four large levers that control the direction and speed of the wire cable attached to the ‘car’.
- While extremely useful, the tramway is also dangerous. As a result of an accident in the 1950s when the cable broke and the wife of one of the keepers was seriously injured (and another keeper’s dog died), the Coast Guard prohibited tramway use for passengers.
- As recent as our arrival trip to the island, 2 diesel mechanics spent a good portion of the day, working on the engine. They are trying to locate a new water pump.
- FOSILS is repairing the structure a few “bents” at a time, as funding permits. If you are interested in the Tram project please call Cyndy at the FOSILS office. (207) 443-4808 Thanks!
Ok – here’s a picture of the yellow squash in the garden and it too is bearing fruit! That’s pretty exciting given our conditions here. The cucumbers didn’t make it and the tomatoes look like they have started to adapt! Here is Steve enjoying the shade on the front porch – but check out the clouds behind him. I have learned so much about the weather by being here.
We headed down to the Cove as Steve was going to row out to one of the moorings in the dinghy and try his luck at fishing again. It started to get pretty breezy in the Cove and it was spinning him around. He decided to come back in.
We walked back up the house after bringing the dinghy in and covering it for the night. Grabbed a beverage and headed back down for our Cove Time. Just as we got to our usual spot of sitting in front of the boat house, a small cruise ship went by. We’ve seen it a few times, but this time it looked pretty close. I believe it leaves from Portland and heads up to Boothbay. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit on the rocks and absorb the heat from them – here is Steve enjoying the sunshine, a warm back and a cold beverage! Once the sun goes down behind the tree line on the western side of the Cove, the temperature starts to drop and we start back up the hill.
We prepped dinner and ate about 7:30, marinated pork tenderloin, sweet potato and asparagus. One of the dinning room windows faces due west so we can see if we need to head out the capture the sunset. I took a time lapse one tonight and took a couple of snaps to post. The sunset picture was taken just about 8:30.
Hope you all are enjoying the blog and the stories of our life on Seguin. Thanks for reading!