It was a week of weather and winter repairs! I believe I said something about the solar system last week. We figured out why they call it solar, lol. Three days of fog, rain & cloudy skies reduced the efficiency of the system. Fortunately we are able to add generator power to the mix when needed. Without central heating in the old lightkeepers home, it was about 53 degrees inside, 50 outside this week. The 30 knot wind gusts didn’t help – ha! But we bundled up, just fine, waiting for that sunshine to come out again – and it did 😁. The last few days have been glorious!
These early days of our summer are really all about getting the lawns and trails ready for guests and cleaning & fixing up the house to feel like home. With the nicer weather, our tans are coming along just fine! (or is that the iron in the water??) Definitely getting our exercise and discovering some long unused muscles. Rick’s background as a master auto technician is invaluable here. When you’re living and working in structures that were built in the 1800’s, there’s always something that needs fixin’ or improvising. From yard & maintenance equipment repairs to clogged kitchen pipes, he has so far found a way to get things running smoothly on this amazing island.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. The Seguin Island Light is the crown jewel and reason we’re here. She is the highest light in Maine with a powerful rare first-order Fresnel lens (pronounced fru-NEL). As the 2nd oldest light on the Maine coast, it is an honor to be entrusted with her care, including the task of gently dusting & cleaning each of its 282 glass prisms that have been here since 1857. (Well, maybe not all in one day…). The lens itself stands 9 feet tall and is a fixed light “beehive” design. Her new LED light can be seen 14 miles out to sea and puts out a magical glow around the house at night.
In 1794, President Washington approved building the first lighthouse on Seguin. The waters here are known to be quite rough, with fast tides coming out of the Kennebec River meeting up with strong winds off the Atlantic. In fact our one day a week to come to shore can be cancelled or postponed because of those same conditions today.
So the first lighthouse (1795) was a simple wooden structure which lasted only 24 years in the weather here. Its location is marked on the island, not far from the house. The 2nd lighthouse was built from stone but eventually succumbed to the weather by 1857. At that time the existing stone tower was built and this year celebrates its 164th birthday – now that’s endurance! Of course she’s had some historically accurate touch-ups over time, but haven’t we all!! (I mean, I was a blondie my first 6 years, right?!)
We have become believers in the statement that “Seguin Island is one of the foggiest places in the world”. We’ve been here just 2 weeks and there are days we cannot see the ocean! Loving the fog signal – 2 blasts every 20 seconds. It’s just loud enough to hear yet not be annoying. (Something we had wondered about!) We’ll share some fog stories another time…
We are getting ready for our 2nd trip to shore courtesy of Cap’n Ethan. He is the best! He grew up on the Kennebec River and when he’s not delivering folks to Seguin, he is hauling lobster pots. Our Maine man, thru & thru. So last week we caught up on laundry, groceries, things for the house & water. Mistake!!! Cuz when you do everything on one trip, that means you have to carry everything up the 1/4 mile hill by yourselves! In this case we were lucky, one of the FOSILS members had worked on the tram and made it available to push up the tracks. Hahahaha – did I say lucky? It took us 7-8 rest breaks to catch our breath and get up the hill – but I guess it was better than 3 – 4 trips up & down on foot. So as you may guess, we won’t be doing everything each week.
We are beginning to have visitors come up to the lighthouse now that Memorial Day has passed and the weather is so beautiful. What a treat to visit with folks and hear the stories of where they live, previous Seguin visits, where they’re heading next. Most are thrilled to get a tour to the top of the light, many for the first time. Its such an impressive piece of history, and the view can’t be beat! : )) We also are seeing that some boats come into the cove and just moor for the night without coming up. Unless its a NNE wind, the cove can be quite protected for a starry overnight stay.
Hope you enjoy the photos – catch ya next week!