When we decided to return to Seguin this summer, I started thinking about the kind of blog I’d like to write this year.
I knew I wanted to do something differently than last year’s daily journal-themed posts, but what? My “aha” moment came in May when I read an NPR piece Chris shared with me, referenced in this year’s first post. Briefly, the article addressed how one might live purposefully in atypical circumstances. The featured example was a man who has lived high in the Colorado Rockies for decades, year-round and alone. Specifically, the article featured his efforts to “Notice and Record” some of his daily personal and professional activities, the latter which includes regularly recording and submitting weather data used to study climate change. So with that idea in mind, I have shared some of our summer on Seguin with each of this year’s posts, to include this, our season’s last.
At the conclusion of our 2019 season on Seguin, Chris and I made a presentation about our summer at the Patten Free Library in Bath. This is an annual season’s-end event for FOSILS’ summer keepers. Since we’ve all had to go virtual these past few months, I am going to use this venue as our forum for this year’s concluding “presentation.” Enjoy!
By nautical leagues, our most frequently heard comment/question this summer?
“I have motored, sailed, just moored at Seguin for two, five, ten, fifty years, and this is the first time I’ve stopped/come ashore. I’m so glad I did. I had no idea how special it is up here!”
Additional conversation usually confirmed that past summers were full of other things to do that took precedence over stopping here or even coming ashore if they moored in the cove. By contrast, this year’s regular summer residents, as well as COVID “refugees” who have flocked to Maine, have been searching for new experiences, including new venues to explore and enjoy, and a stop at Seguin has filled the bill!
Our second most frequently heard comment this summer?
“We didn’t think you’d be open this summer!”
And, coming in a close third, “Can we tour the tower and museum?” We invited those who posed that question and received our “not this year” response, to return next summer when, we hope, the tower and museum will be open again.
Singular Seguin Summer 2019 experiences:
- Generator necessary to power everything! No electricity otherwise
- Ferry from Popham Beach brought visitors three to four times per week
- International sailors arrived from Canada, Germany,
- Netherlands, and Sweden
- Rain, rain, and more rain, which had us mowing at least twice
- a week until mid-August
- 30 glorious minutes watching a breaching, fluke-slapping
- humpback whale cavorting off the southeast coast of the island from “front row” porch seats!
Singular Seguin Summer 2020 experiences:
- Solar installed so we didn’t use the generator at all – hurrah! –although it’s still used during heavy construction. As an unconsidered benefit, the new solar installation has also provided a new perch for birds of a feather!
- Lighthouse re-illuminated courtesy of a separate USCG solar installation
- USCG radio monitoring thanks to an abundant supply of solar-generated electricity. Wow, who knew there were so many watercraft adrift out on the water or the number of mariners apparently unaware that Channel 16 is to be used for Safety and Distress communications only?
- Seeing Comet NEOWISE, low in the northwestern sky
- Domestic-only sailors, regretfully constrained from sailing into Canadian waters over the summer and anticipating
- comparable constraints in the Caribbean this winter.
PRE-POST NEWS FLASH: We were just told that domestic sailors who own their moorings or slips in the Caribbean can still use them. We also met a two foreign sailors who had obtained their US travel visas prior to lockdowns.
- Only visitors with access to their own water transportation and still, 1,300+ came on-island in the 12 weeks we were here, more than half a “normal” summer when the ferry is running from Popham Beach.
- Drought conditions for duration of our summer made for very little mowing; about a quarter of what we did last year.
- Lots and lots and lots of geese, allover the island, until they
- flew the island coop mid-August
- A pair of peregrine falcons, and maybe a chick or two?
- Taps played in the cove, but no reveille the following morning; smart, eh?
- A bat in the house
- A blink of an eye glimpse of a minke whale breaching off the southeast coast of the island
Seguin Summer 2019 and 2020 experiences in common:
- Meeting and visiting with interesting new and repeat visitors
- Mariners initiating the fog horn…on beautiful and sun-filled, cloudless days, as well as fog-filled days and nights
- The Milky Way and Perseid meteor showers
- Spectacularly beautiful views, wherever you look.
- Berries galore
- Ospreys in the cove, and overflying the island with just caught fish in their talons
- Snakes everywhere – including the three living in the garden – leaving Chris with full responsibility for post-planting maintenance and harvesting the rest of the season. Last year’s readers were frequently apprised of how I feel about snakes – shudder, shudder – even the “good,” non- poisonous garter and green snakes who live on Seguin.
Still, the allure of Seguin overcame my distaste for them!
So once again, as summer comes to a close, it’s time for us to say adieu, with thanks to FOSILS board members and executive director, Cyndy, as well as visitors who enthusiastically supported our summer 2020 sojourn on Seguin. Please join us in welcoming our successor keepers, Cyndy and Michael, and Lynne and Tim, for the remainder of the 2020 season.