Sunday, July 31st – Wow, the last day of July! Down to check out the Cove…. Holy cow the barn swallows are everywhere! They fly around like top gun pilots!  Jim and Jill were the first up the trail.  We spent some time chatting with them and then we exchanged our info with them.  Just in case we should cross paths again – stranger things have happened!

Next up was Joshua.  He used to run a charter service to Seguin.  His wife Jacquelyn and little Ruth, their daughter, accompanied him!  She was so cute and very excited to be on the island! As we chatted with them, he shared they have a garden and always have too much produce. They would love to share some of their harvest with us!  We exchanged contact information and suggested I text him on the day we are going ashore. He’ll let us know what is currently in abundance!  How great would that be?  Fresh organic produce! I’ll definitely share that part of our shore day!  Unfortunately, I gave them the tour and forgot to take a picture, but will take one when we get our produce.

Next up, Ethan, yes our lobsterman that brings us in, his wife Lindsay, Larson, Griffin and a young friend.  I gave them a kid-level tour and they all seemed to enjoy it.

Then we had a mom Sharon and her two daughters, Arabeth and Arrilyn (I hope I spelled their names correctly).  They loved their tour and two of them bought our ‘Vintage’ sweatshirts (the red ones). The one in the middle chose a hoodie FOSILS sweatshirt.  Here they are with their purchases – all were very excited.

Our next group was a family from Methuen, MA.  First time and loved the tour.  Everyone participated by asking questions and inquiring about the lens.

Another nice couple, Scott and Leah, came up the hill.  We showed them the museum and they spent some time in there while I finished up my tour.  Steve chatted with them and gave them a tour.  They are another couple with whom we connected, so we exchanged contact information.  They have a very cool Down-easter type of boat.

Had a little break in the action, so Steve and I weeded the garden a little bit.  The zucchini and yellow squash are coming in along with the herb’s rosemary, oregano and basil!  We have lots of tomatoes now, but none are ripe yet! Not sure we’ll one will get ripe enough to eat before we leave!

Next to arrive was Diane & Dave (my sister and brother-in-law) and their dog Angus.  They sailed over from Southport and plan on spending the night in the Cove.  We are very excited to see them and have them visit us here on Seguin.  Even though they have been in Southport for many years, this was their first time on Seguin!  Like many others they have sailed past it several times.

They are also on a new boat and were very excited to share it with us.  We brought them ashore along with their dog Angus and had dinner together.   Dinner consisted of some appetizers, steak tips and salmon and roasted vegetables – delicious, plus some pecan pie and brownies for dessert.  We walked them back down to the Cove.  This was the first time we walked the main trail at night!  Yikes – we had flashlights but boy it was still very dark!  There were a few stars out, but no moon.  Diane has been anxious to come out here to see the night sky as it is a location with no real light pollution.  Since the lighthouse is currently not working (due to the solar panels taking a severe hit over the winter) Seguin offers an amazing spot for star gazing!  Steve rowed them out but unfortunately no bioluminescence tonight.

Don’t forget Rabbit, Rabbit – it’s the last day of the month!

Monday, August 1st – We walked down to the Cove to row out and pick up Diane & Dave as they are spending most of the day with us.  Weather a little cloudy, some spots of sun.  Diane did say that in the middle of the night she woke up and could see out the hatch. The clouds had disappeared and the sky was loaded with stars!  It is an amazing sight.

In my quest to look down and observe, I found a periwinkle making his way across the beach in the Cove.  Not sure how long it has taken him to get this far, but it’s kind of cool to see his trail!  We had breakfast on the porch with smoked salmon, pesto, avocado, cream cheese + my homemade bread.  Three kids from Popham came up.  They chatted a bit and shared they have never been here.  Their dad’s boat was off catching some bait fish so they came ashore to look around.  Didn’t really have time for a tour.

Today the roofing crew will arrive to begin the process of providing the main house with a new roof.   First all the workers, their tools, food, camping gear, etc. will be brought ashore to stage the jobsite.  It’s a crew of 6 people.   Big picture – spend this week removing the old roof, spend next week installing the new one! 

The next group up was Winn, Lori, Mark and Michelle.  Diane and Dave know Winn as he is the owner of the Boothbay Harbor Brewery and Campground on Rte 27.  I gave all of them a tour including Diane and Dave.  Around 11:30 the sky cleared up and we could kind of see Monhegan, an island east of us, which is 22 miles away.

Another group 4 plus Grandma walked up.  Very excited to be here and some have been here before.  Steve chatted with them and they were going to walk around a bit and check out a few trails. Everyone is always excited to be here, it doesn’t matter whether they were here last week, last year, twenty years ago or this is their first time.  Seguin has a reputation of being an island of all things beautiful and puts them in one spot!

Around 2:00, it was time for Diane and Dave to head back to the boat and sail back to Southport.  Steve brought them out in the dinghy and we watched as they pulled away from the mooring to begin their journey back home.

Next to come up the trail were Michael and Michelle from S/V Ibis.  We notice they were on the mooring next to Diane & Dave.  Instantly, we could tell there were a very friendly couple.  We talked with them quite a long time, gave them a tour and chatted about a couple of books.  They were interested in the book I am reading, “A Short Bright Flash – Augustin Fresnel and the Birth of the Modern Lighthouse” by Theresa Levitt.  Since my tour speaks in some detail about Augustin Fresnel, Michael shared the author and name of two other books I might enjoy reading – “Longitude – the True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solve the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time,” by Dava Sobel and a book call “Cod – A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World“ by Mark Kurlansky.  Both sounded very interesting.  They were staying the night, so we knew we’d talk to them again. They also mentioned they had a water maker on their boat and if we needed some more drinking water they are happy to “make” some!

We had a group of 9 show up, then another group of two guys and then the Grandma of the group of 4 came back with her family, but they had run out of time for a tour. Maybe next time!

Well last up was a couple Jorge & Fran from S/V Skalliwag. Within a couple of minutes of starting the conversation, it turns out he used to work for Dominion at North Anna (a power station in Virginia)!  How random is that!  We knew several people in common and in fact he made a post to his Facebook page sharing who the lightkeepers were on Seguin Island he was visiting in Maine.  It never ceases to amaze me where and when your circle overlaps another and there is something in common.  Jorge recently retired and they are sailing full time. Thought I took a pic of their setup, but it’s not in my photos. Their vessel was clearly set up for long distance sailing.

It was getting to be late in the afternoon, so we headed down to the Cove to see if there are any new boats which may translate to the need for a tour.  No new boats, so we took our dinghy and rowed out to Ibis.  We chatted with Michael and Michelle for some time.  We learned they spend some portion of the winter in West Palm, FL, not far from Ft Pierce, Florida, which is where we are going this winter. They offered to take us sailing if our timing should work out.  How fun would that be!  Of course, we exchanged information and hope to meet up with them. We did bring out a jug to fill with water but totally forgot that sinks are small on a boat and we couldn’t get the jug under the faucet!  We were able to fill it using their shower that was on the back of the boat. Drinking water is a precious resource on Seguin!

Back up to the house to prep dinner.  Tonight, we are having chicken meatballs, homemade red sauce loaded with veggies over chickpea pasta.  Always a good hearty meal!

Tuesday, August 2nd – Pretty foggy this morning which translates to a great roofing day – no sun!  I made some Oatmeal Zucchini bread for the group and an extra pot of coffee.  Always feed the crew!  This is the front of the house showing the pile of used shingles so far. They pull them off and just throw onto the tarps. We walk around and sometimes help out by putting those that land on the lawn back on the tarp.

I gathered some herbs to bring out to Ibis as we noticed they hadn’t left yet and I wanted to reciprocate their water gift!  I then headed down to the Whistle House to do a few things on the internet like bus tix for Colin, where are we staying the few days after we leave here and a trip in late September to South Dakota.  It’s always something with this internet stuff, today you can’t seem to step away from life, even for a few days!

Weather cleared up around noon so that was a good thing.  Tried my sourdough starter again but it didn’t rise enough to make bread today. However but I’m always up for making crackers.  Most times I like the crackers better than the bread!  Next guest was Penny and Kent Goetjen from Charleston, SC.  Penny is an author that writes mystery novels.  Steve gave them a tour.  She has written several novels and Steve has ordered one of them to read! The picture is of Penny and Kent. She was very interested in the ghost stories and other goings on at the lighthouse.

What is really interesting is the next couple Russell and Nicolette were also from Charleston, SC.  No, they didn’t know each other, but that stills seems a little coincidental! Russell and Nicolette were so enamored with Seguin and the tour, they asked what kind of wine we like, red or white. Of course, Steve said red!  Humm, what could that mean?  Actually, later in the afternoon Russell came back ashore, ran up the trail and dropped off a bottle of wine with a little note – “Thanks for the wonderful tour, sorry we were out of red!”  How nice of him to row back in and drop it off!  The pic is of them sailing away in the late afternoon as they had to be at their next stop later that evening.

I have a unique question for all the crafters…. Below is a series of pictures of an item we have in the gift shop.  Someone made it, but none of us can figure out what it is for?  Any thoughts?  Comment on this blog post with your thoughts!!!

We went down to the Cove and hung out till about sunset.  Looks like a dinghy is headed in.  We headed up ourselves and met Chuck and Randy.  We all chatted a bit, but all agreed a tour in the morning would be best!

Tonight, dinner was Tofu Curry, which is an amazing dish we make loaded with vegetables in a wonderful curry sauce that includes peanut butter (no pic ☹). However, we had a beautiful picture of the grounds as the sun was approaching sunset.

Wednesday, August 3rd – I awoke around 5 but was too lazy to take a picture.  There were a lot of clouds which were lit up, but you couldn’t actually see the sun.  Ok back to bed for a little bit.  The picture to the left is looking at Cobblestone Beach from the South Trail entrance vista! WOW what a beautiful day we have.  Stopped by the Cove and looks like we have three boats.  One is Randy and Chuck’s boat, one is AJ, the roofing guys boat but not sure who is on the third boat. 

Later on, we took another walk down to the Cove and actually walked a little bit on the beach.  Steve was heading out to our lobster car to get some more crabs.  Me, I’m still in search of the smallest claw.  I have had a couple of other pictures, but this one looks the smallest.  Guess I need to put them all in a row.  I’m using my finger for scale so later on I can tell which is the tiniest! Also checked the Clivus and on the way back up took a jug of water and a scrub brush to clean several signs that had bird droppings on them!

Around 10, we saw a group come up and it turns out it was MITA (Maine Island Trail Association).  A group from their organization volunteers once a season to come by and help us attack some of the bigger clearing / weed whacking challenges.  A couple of them headed up under the tram, like they walked up the entire tram around the trestles and cleared the growth away from the wood.  HOLY COW!  They did an awesome job.  Since most other areas are very dry and the grass / weeds have not grown much, we gave them a couple other areas to clean up, like the edging.  So they edged the sidewalk, around the main house, and weed wacked the area by the cradles that held the diesel tanks which store diesel fuel for the fog Diaphones.  Another group of MITA workers went down to the area where the Coast Guard cleaned up the scrap metal pile near the Whistle House and cleared all the grass that had grown up and around the pile.  This allowed them to clear around what was once a foundation for another building here on Seguin.  The group was amazing!  They still had more time so then they helped fill helicopter bags of old shingles and condense some of the lesser filled bags.  They were all like energizer bunnies!  Thanks to Chris Wall and his team of workers!  Here are a bunch of pictures I took of them working and the areas they cleared!

Just before lunchtime, Randy and Chuck came up for a tour.  Steve offered to gave them a tour.  Nice guys and they plan on coming back here in a couple of weeks I think with their wives.

Next group was John and Cindy (local folks) that brought two friends, Terry and Des who are from England.  A delightful group.  I gave them a tour which was well received. Then we had Brenda and Brian from North Reading, MA, then Linda and Jim from Phippsburg and another group of 4.  The picture above on the right is the group of 4 in the Tower with Steve.

After all those tours, I sat on the front porch and cleaned crabs.  Not sure yet what I’m going to do with the crab, maybe crab bisque this time.  Did I already make that?  Well for dinner we had swordfish and a zucchini stir fry – scrumptious!

Last is of course, sunset.  This was taken at 8:00 pm.  Yes, I know, it’s another one of Mount Washington!

Thursday, Aug 4th – Another beautiful day on Seguin.  Here’s my Cove picture, three boats and looks like we are on our way to low tide.  Moon is only 43% so the tides are not very dramatic. Today is shore day and we had a beautiful ride in, a few waves, a little fog and scenery that showed Maines true beauty. I tried to get a picture of Seguin as we were about half way back, but I couldn’t actually see what I was taking because of the sun/fog.  Seguin is just on the left edge of the picture in the middle below.

We had another group of volunteers come in today from IDEXX (IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is an American multinational corporation engaged in the development, manufacture, and distribution of products and services for the companion animal veterinary, livestock and poultry, water testing, and dairy markets. They are located in Westbrook, ME).  Their task was also to help load old shingles into the helicopter bags. Looks like the helicopter won’t be coming tomorrow, maybe Monday, stay tuned as that will be an exciting blog entry for sure!

Usual stuff for us in town, so I’m not going to bore you with a repeat of what we do every week!  Except one new thing, we had lunch at The Fountain.  It’s the place where Leeli and I had ice cream last week.  We decided to try their lunch!  We both had panini’s and guess who we ran into – Cyndy!  She was in ordering her lunch!  How fun to run into someone we know in town!

After lunch we began our trip back towards the dock but we had one more stop to make.  Last night we received a text from Garden Joshua and Jacquelyn to tell us to stop by on our way back to Popham.  Jacquelyn will harvest from their garden some yummy vegetables.  WOW, what a treat we had!  They live on Cranberry Point. Beautiful view from their front yard, here are some pictures of Jacquelyn, our bag of goodies and Steve and Jacquelyn!  Little Ruth was taking a nap so maybe we’ll see her next time!

The ride back was sunny and warm.  Here’s the men on the boat checking out what appears to be a whale on the west side of Wood Island.  Unfortunately, it was a dead humpback.  I’m not including the picture as every time I see it, I’m very sad.  It takes so much for nature to create one of the beautiful creatures…. (Update: it’s my understanding they didn’t need to bring it in as mother nature took care of it with the tides).

As we approached the Cove, there was a beautiful blue schooner coming in.  All hands-on deck tiding up the ship.  Also, there was a group heading in as well as our group assembling on the beach to come out to swap places.

Here is Jeff and his crew from the schooner.  I don’t know the name of the program but it is designed to help build leadership and teamwork skills.  As they came up, we noticed another schooner lowering her sails and heading toward the Cove.  They are not sailing together but are from the same program.  It was already 5:00 but how could I resist them, so I gave them a tour.  Great group of very polite kids that enjoyed the tour and had lots of questions.

Ok, not too bad, actually ate dinner around 7:30!  Tonight, was salmon with peach chutney and fresh basil, a cucumber/tomato/Kalamata olives/feta fresh salad, along with blistered shishito peppers! After dinner, got a text from Dave wondering if we could see the lightning show to our west.  We ran outside to see it see – it was amazing.  Tried to catch a pic or two with an actual lightning flash – but no luck.  Even the video was mediocre but it was spectacular in real time.

Friday, Aug 5th – Day 5 of the roof project.  Good day to roof as it is cloudy and warm. Today, they are putting on the GRACE weather shield /underlayment. The flag was not moving at all, that never happens. Brooke from the second schooner came up early for a tour.  She said the rest of group was not embracing the opportunity.  So, I gave her a tour, she knew the rest of the group would regret not having participated.

I went up into the tower to take a few photos of some items I keep meaning to capture on film.  While up there, I checked the rubber door seal on the door that leads to the outside as Steve noticed it was loose in a few spots.  Steve and I grabbed some nails to reattach where we could.  Some places the wood has rotted out. Let’s see what I have for pictures.  First, I took some of the stairs.  Here are two pictures, the left one is from the deck at 28 steps looking down and the second picture was from the 38-step deck looking all the way down.  These stairs were designed and built by Ira Winn of Portland.  He was well known for his iron work.  They were built there and assembled here.  Unfortunately, about 10 years after the install, the facility in Portland had a fire and all his designs were lost in the blaze.  So, it’s likely these stairs are “limited edition.”

Next two pictures are some whipping that was done by Hank Lipain.  He was in the Coast Guard in the 1970’s.  He served on Seguin 1976-1977. He loved to do this type of work and was very good at it.  Some of his co-workers tried to convince him it was a waste of time.  They also told him that when they were re-assigned, the next “coasties” would likely rip it so he would have wasted all that time.  He continued to do his work as it was a great way to pass the time.  Last summer, Hank came to visit Seguin for the first time since he left here in the 70’s.  He was in his early 70’s.  He came up the last 10 stairs and saw that all his hard work was still there and in great shape.  He was very touched that it was still there! How great is that!  The design on the top railing in the left pictures is called “coxcomb.” He indicated that he would like to return next summer with his grandkids to show them it’s still here.  I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Here is a pic of the schooner Brooke was on heading back to Portland.

Next couple of tours were for Deb and Tom from PA on S/V New Life. They live in the country in PA, very down to earth and genuine people.  You can just tell when you meet some people that they are sincere, caring individuals.  I gave Deb a tour and boy did we connect.  My tour with her was a little bit longer than normal, but we had so much to share with each other and she shared some tender moments in her life.  I was there to give her a big hug.  Seemed like she needed it.  (I have a pic Steve took the them – it’s in Saturday’s write up).  Then Greg & Jennifer from Cundy’s Harbor on Harpswell. We loved their colorful shirts. That’s them->

Then a group of 6 men came up the trail.  I gave them a tour.  All were very interested in learning about Seguin.  You can just tell by their body language, questions and if they’re paying attention, they were just a fun group.  They were on a Grand Banks (again my favorite trawler).  Dave the captain is missing from the pic as he needed to run back to the boat that’s why one of the guys is holding up 6 fingers so I would remember it was a group of 6!

Things slowed a little bit and there was absolutely no wind.  Lots of fly’s today, they are little, biting and annoying. We learned from a guest that this is typical when we have a North or Northeast wind as it brings them out from the mainland.  They really like legs that have had salt water on them!  Then a really large yacht went by, so I had to grab a photo of it. You can tell it was big by the size of their “dinghy.”

As we were wrapping up, a previous guest came up, his name is Kim.  He is the person we called the “whale whisperer.” He had some time to kill before he was meeting up with someone so he thought it would be more fun to stay here than in a marina.  We are glad he returned.

I had cleaned some crab legs the other day and had enough meat and decided to make crab quiche this time. It’s a heart stopper for sure!  Made with local eggs brought to us by a visit from our lobsterman Ethan and his family and lots of Swiss cheese. I made one up and will freeze it for some breakfast later on.  Probably when our friend Betty comes to visit next week.  It’s good to have things made and ready!

Then I prepped for dinner by taking some more of our garden fresh jackpot from Jacquelyn!  This dish had spinach, garlic, ginger, onions, peppers, yellow squash and we sliced up the stems from the spinach. 

As we were getting ready to eat a crazy cool thundercloud formed over Phippsburg / Cape Small area.  I took a picture of it and then thought it would look really cool through the door of the Tower which leads out to the catwalk!  So here is that picture.  I tried a panorama perspective, but I have yet to master this function on my phone!!  I may put it in the blog anyway to see how it looks. (that’s it down below – not bad!)

The next photo was as I looked towards the North (towards Popham, up the Kennebec), you could see the fog rolling out and surround the small islands between us and shore.

Since I was in the tower, I figured it would be a good time to take a couple of photos of the roof progress, the gift shop side (to the left), then our kitchen side.  Can’t wait to see what the new shingles look like.

I walked around the front of the house to capture the roof from that perspective as well. I didn’t want the front roof to feel left out! And of course, the dinner photo.  That’s BBQ chicken for our protein.

Saturday, Aug 6th – Well today is an absolutely gorgeous day!  Wind slowly out of the East. Today’s breakfast is the crab quiche!  It was really good!  I’m sure my cholesterol was going up as I was eating it. Roofing crew is not working today.  We continue to walk around though and pick up pieces of shingles and nails.  Just looking out for our visitors and making sure they all wear some type of shoes, especially the little ones.

First group up today was Noah, Miro and Renee.  Noah brings out some friends every so often and each time he participates in the tour and is very complimentary! 

Deb and Tom from S/V New Life came back up this morning. She gave me a bag of apples to thank me for yesterday.  She asked if we had any knowledge on the engraving on the rock part way up the main trail. We asked, “what engraving, what rock?” We had never noticed the rock. It’s tucked back a little and usually in the shadows. It says “J. Gould 1859.” We are not sure who he/she is but have a text in to our historian, Chris to see what he has to say. We found a J. Gould that was master of a boat “Nancy” where he and the first keeper John Polereczky engaged in cod fishery in 1798.  However, the years don’t line up.  I had to give some other folks a tour and felt bad I didn’t actually get to say goodbye to Deb. She’s an amazing woman.

Our next group Glen, Linda, Peter and Karen shared their experiences with Hopetown Bermuda Lighthouse which is also 1st Order Fresnel lens that still burns kerosene.  They shared their observations of the start-up process that is used at the lighthouse today.  It’s quite involved and takes a fair amount of time.  Anyway, Glen and Karen are siblings and also related to Carney, who runs our Seguin Instagram page! Lots of people today.  Another group of 6 plus 3 dogs out of Boothbay.  Next was Niko and Mary.  Sifting through all my pics but don’t see one of group of 6 or Niko and Mary!

Next was a Bob and Lori and their daughter Aidee.  Very warm and friendly.  Loved the tour and we chatted with them for some time.  Then Aidee and Steve started talking about offshore wind as Aidee had a job interview in the next day or so with Central Maine Power in the offshore wind area.  That was pretty fun!

Next was a group of three + 1 little person.  Here they are in the Tower with Steve for a tour.  Do you notice that in all the pics, everyone is smiling?  They all love Seguin and learning about her history! Didn’t get a pic of the next group, but it was 15 from Southport, Towns End Rd.  I even know where that is! They were all having a blast, have been coming for years and this year they now have 3 generations present!  It’s great to see folks that are committed to their families and the continuation of their traditions.  This was the first year all three generations made it to Seguin! We had a grandfather that has been coming here for 30 years with his son Driscoll and two grandchildren Hadley and Declan.  Fun group, but forgot the pic!

Then there was Lindsay and Jason + their pug dog.  I took them on a tour while the dog waited patiently at the bottom.  Younger couple but very engaged in the tour. 

I forget who was in the power boat, but here they are leaving.  Steve then remembered there was a race out of Portland that was going on all weekend up to Seguin, and around the can on the south side of Seguin.  I ran out to the concrete deck south of the Fog Signal building (aka Whistle House) and there they are.  All had made the turn around the can except one.  I think one of them initiated the fog signal, so I kept running out in between blasts to try and get a pic 😊

Here is sunset for Saturday night, the close of this week’s blog.  Be well, be present and show kindness each day!

Love sunsets? Make sure you come back to read the next blog. The sunset photos we took on Aug 13th, next Saturday are UNBELIEVABLE!!!

2 thoughts on “Week of July 31st -My Sisters Visit, Rip Off The Old Roof, Garden Jackpot, Lots of New Friends and “What Am I”

  1. Carol, thanks so much to you and Steve for your hospitality! It was a pleasure to meet you both. My husband Kent and I enjoyed our trip out to Seguin with Cal and Katrina in early August, arriving as the fog was lifting from around the island. We appreciate how much time Steve spent with us on a tour, getting to climb to the top of the light to take it all in and walking in the footsteps of previous keepers. You both took on a huge responsibility–and at times daunting, I’m sure– caring for Seguin Island Light this summer and have fulfilled your onus admirably. As your assignment nears its end, you will no doubt be looking to what lies ahead but can glance back, knowing you carried the torch and left your mark as stalwart keepers of Seguin Island Light. Well done.
    Penny Goetjen

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