Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 107, 1 Sept

9 Visitors before we left the island

Cynthia, Sacatar and all our Stuff Leaving the
Island for the Last Time
Our last morning on Seguin was foggy with Tooter tooting away. It seemed too quiet and I checked on my rescued gull only to find him dead. I had gone to bed at about 3 am and he was fine so he passed in the early morning hours. One last, sad, death in my midst to make my leaving even sadder. At least he didn’t die cold and wet in the raging storm in the night. He had a nice warm, quiet place to leave this earth. I placed him in a tranquil, special place and I named him Albert. I raised the flag one last time and made some blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries for breakfast and had a Chai tea with my last shot of Bailey’s. The calm before the storm of packing, cleaning and leaving. It was requested of us to leave at noon – WTF? No way in hell was that going to happen.  The last we heard it would be 3:00pm. We were going to take our time and clean properly and leave the place a hell of a lot cleaner and nicer than we found it

A Final View of the Lighthouse as We Leave
for the incoming people. Another irritating treatment of us particularly after there was discussion had, about us about having a more reasonable leisurely time for our last day, so much for that talk. It made us feel like expendable-hired help. Another thing we found out was the bell that was supposed to have been helicoptered out in June was to be delivered Thursday, September 4. So we would miss out on that special occasion after looking forward to it all summer. One last disappointment to add to our summer on Seguin. How ironic that most everything that was planned was delayed but not our departure which was right time on the day it was scheduled and even requested to be even earlier in the day.
So we worked quickly all around the hot humid morning to pack up our remaining things and get the house in
Sacatar on the Leeward

order. The fog started to lift in the early afternoon. I packed up the cold foods in a bin and shoved it into the fridge to stay cold. Ethan arrived with the bigger boat, the Leeward, since the Guppy was not big enough for the new group had five members with their tons of supplies that were to last them two weeks. Fred mentioned they had more for two weeks than we had for all summer.  Ethan also brought out Lindsey, his wife, three additional friends and Pepper.  Bill was one on the incoming and he was a keeper in 2009. I showed him all my gardens and plants and asked him or somebody to water them as needed and to help themselves to the veggies in my big garden. I did harvest more carrots, lettuce, another cucumber, basil, green beans and beets. I packed them up to leave with Cyndy to enjoy. I didn’t get to try my broccoli that was just getting big. My watermelon plants were starting to grow good with blossoms. It would have been nice to have another month to fully enjoy my garden or even another week.
Fred had carried all our stuff to the tram and used it to bring it all down to the cove.
In the midst of leaving there were still visitors to host and I took a group of 7-8 up for my last tour. This group included Lindsey her friends and her doggie Pepper. I sold two last T-shirts to one visitor. I
Ethan and Lindsey's Dog Pepper

went back to the house where Bill was stocking the fridge and told him I was going back up into the tower to say goodbye to Beauty one last time. Bill was very gracious and understood. I had my last talk with Beauty and admired her immense incredible magnificence. I told her I hoped to see her again sometime and to keep shining bright for all to see. Earlier I did call the coast guard and left a message that during long power outages; the lens does not relight, as it should when the power comes back – who knows if they could care about that. I worry that she will be dark and no one will reset her during the long winter months when no one is there. One last look at her and I went down the spiral stairs and out the door. I said goodbye to Bill and took one last look around the house and grabbed two bags of stuff and set out down the trail in the hot humid sunshine taking one last look back at the house and Beauty.
Down at the cove I went to the boathouse dock and introduced my self to Brenda and another lady who were going to replace us for two weeks. I had a nice chat with them and proceeded down to the cove. I looked up at the tram to see Fred carrying Sacatar down. Bill had also helped carry her since she couldn’t walk down the tram like she walked up it in May. I didn’t think she would leave the island alive but
Cyndy's Dog Hinckley, All 165 lbs of Him!

thanks to Dr. Sue she did. We have plans to see Dr. Sue tomorrow for lunch so she could see Sac and say goodbye. She requested to see Sac, which was real nice of her. So we got in the dinghy with a few things and our beloved Sac and went out to the Leeward for the last time. While the dinghy went back to get the other passengers, Fred jumped into the water to cool off and Ethan and I pulled him up onto the boat. He had made about 10 trips down to the cove and 20 trips up and down the stairs carrying our stuff to the beach.  He also rowed the dingy our and back numerous times loading our stuff so he was pretty hot and the cold ocean water felt great.
Before we knew it we were off heading out of the cove and away from our beloved island home for the last 3.5 months. I sadly looked at the island and Beauty as they got smaller and smaller and snapped a few pictures. The afternoon was glorious in the blazing hot sun and all too soon we were back at Popham unloading our stuff. We got Sac safely off the boat and up the ladder onto the dock. We said our goodbyes to Ethan and Lindsey and gave them big hugs.  We gave pats to Pepper before we left the Leeward. I went and got the car and we loaded it up and went to Spinney’s for a take out lunch that we ate in the parking lot. We drove over to Cyndy’s house first stopping to drop off our
Sequin Island Blackberries on Muddy Boots Ice Cream

recyclable bottles and cans at the grade school one last time.  We arrived at Cyndy’s to an empty house. Cyndy was working and where was Hinckley? We brought all our stuff into her house, which already had the previous loads. I unloaded the cold foods into her fridge and shortly after Hinckley arrived home with Jay and Chewbacca, his buddies who took him for a walk and swim. It was so nice to see and greet him again. I was exhausted from my tiring and trying morning and took a nap on the couch. I got up after an hour and started to make dinner for the 3 of us. I made up a nice salad from mostly my garden and got the other ingredients ready for my Hawaiian chicken. Cyndy got home after 9 pm and we had the salads as the chicken simmered with mushrooms, garlic and onions. After the salads were done I threw in the sweet sour sauce and pineapple and
Our Dear Island Vet, Dr. Sue Matteson with Sacatar

a bit of sharp, garlic cheddar cheese to heat up and melt. We had this scrumptious concoction with my steamed green beans, which tasted ever so sweet and needed nothing on them. How I wished I could have enjoyed them more than once. My cucumber in the salad was very sweet tasting also. I do hope Cyndy enjoys all the veggies I left her. For dessert we had Muddy Boots ice cream with the fresh blackberries that I had picked the day before. Again I wished I could enjoy more than one serving. We didn’t last long that evening with the big meal and soon went off to sleep. I fell asleep on the couch to keep Sac company and to think about the popovers I was going to make for breakfast the next morning. Hopefully in my subconscious I dreamt I was back in a little upstairs room with the sound of the sea lulling me to sleep and a magnificent beacon guarding my soul till a new day could dawn to explore and marvel on a special little isle in a far away place called Seguin.  Cyn.

This will be our last blog entry for our wonderful summer at the Seguin Island Lighthouse.  For those of you that followed the blog, thanks so much for your comments and feedback.  It means more than you might think.  I would also like to thank all the FOSILS members for their help and support during our stay.  Special thanks go out to Cyndy, Ethan, Sue, Anne and Ken.  Of course, special thanks go to Hinckley and Pepper who always greeted us warming and eagerly with wet kisses us at Cyndy’s home and Ethan’s boat, respectively.  Fred.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day 106, 31 Aug

0 Visitors
Sunrise off Front Porch
The morning started off overcast and cool on our last full day on Seguin. The prediction is for rain towards evening. There was a small craft warning so no visit from Ethan and the ferry. Good, I want our last day to be by ourselves for ourselves. We both went down to the cove this morning to use the outhouse and look for glass at low tide. There wasn’t much to choose from on the beach. I went over and looked at the Cove Point beach and the area near the boathouse. I went back to the house and then went back down again to water my two big flower boxes which looked dry since the sun had come out for a bit.  Fred completed mowing the upper areas which he had started the day before.  We had the lobsters for a nice relaxed lunch and they were very delicious. One was soft shelled and the other hard shelled. After lunch I copied down the recipes I liked
Sunrise as Viewed Next to the Great Lens

that I made here. I called the coast guard and left a message about the light not coming back on in the lens after a long power outage. Fred cleaned out the outhouse at the cove and at 4 pm we decided to take one last hike down North trail. Not far from the house we came across massive blackberry areas and I filled a whole quart bag. I went back to the house to put them in the fridge and give Sac her medication. I went back to the trail and resumed eating some of the berries. I went right at the loop and through the bog, which was dry on the feet. Not far from there and almost to the vista point I found a young seagull walking funny in the trail, looked like something wrong with a wing. I was able to scoop him up and he was pretty docile. I left him on a big rock and continued on the trail to the vista point at the end where I caught up with Fred who was pruning.
The "Three Lights"
Lighthouse Light, Spare Light and Sun

We enjoyed some M & M’s at the north point near the water for about 5 minutes. We hiked back to the main trail and I showed Fred where I found the seagull. He was still sitting on the rock I put him on. I know it will be a big hassle but I couldn’t just leave him there to die. I’ve seen enough dead seagulls this summer and decided to take this one back to the house and try to care for him a bit. We hiked the long trail back and I stopped and fed the gull a few blackberries. I then went back to the house and put him in a big plastic bin with newspaper. I fed him some dog food kibbles soaked in water and large shrimp that I chopped up. He is nearly full grown and has that dangerous pointy beak that is quite strong. I called Avian Haven and actually talked to a person who said they would get back to me. I’m leaving tomorrow for good and will have to take him with. If I don’t get a call from them I will have to take it
Lobster Lunch, See How Big They Are! That is a Full Sized Dinner Plate

to a vet. I wonder what they will do to him. But after seeing that magnificent black back gull with the injured wing and then seeing him dead I couldn’t leave this one to die horribly. I thought of Arthur also.
There was a bit of rain spitting and as the evening wore on it got heavier. I did cut off one of the cucumbers for salad along with the veggies I got yesterday. Fred made a salad and I started to play my violin one last time in the tower. Fred joined me and sat up with Beauty while I played away just under her. It was nice to play again for her and us in our magnificent lighthouse concert hall. I just enjoyed playing some of my favorite pieces. As I played the storm got worse and raged noisily outside. I always seem to play here during a storm. After about an hour, I finished up and packed my violin, music and stand and brought them down the spiral steps. Fred had
Front Door of Lighthouse "Concert Hall"

left me my rain jacket and a flashlight. It was raining torrents now. I packed my music folder under my jacket and grabbed the rest and shut the lights off and opened the door – it was like someone dumped a bucket over my head. I went as fast as I could, using the flashlight to see. There were puddles everywhere and my feet got soaked before I bounded through the kitchen door. What a wet mess! Peeled the jacket off and stashed my stuff. I made one last enchilada from leftovers and Fred and I shared it with our salads. I also had some cold shrimp with cocktail sauce. I checked on the gull and he was fine. Before I went to bed I stepped outside and walked far enough to get a good view of Beauty with Tooter tooting away in the fog. Low and behold there was my favorite swirling fog scene going on right before my eyes – just like I captured in my painting. I did do it right – I did! What an incredible way to spend our last night here with Beauty sparkling high above and the ghostlike wavering fog, screaming through the great black spokes. It has got mean something to appear like that on my final night. I wish I could stay up all night and just sit and watch this mesmerizing phenomenon. I will try to hold that eerie spectacular scene in my brain as I hopefully drift off to sleep on a tiny island with a grand lady in the North Atlantic as my final gift from Seguin and with it, an at peace feeling when leaving them all the next day.
Sacatar, Resting in the Living Room

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day 105, 30 Aug

11 Visitors

Hinkley at Cyndy's House
We got up at Cyndy’s to a bright sunny, cool morning. It was strange not to look out a window and see the ocean. I did get a nice greeting by big ‘ol Hinckley though which was even better and Cyndy who prepared me a nice cup of hot tea. Fred put back the roof carrier on the Subaru and went into town to get some bananas, dog treats and McDonald’s hash browns. I took a shower and packed up to return to Seguin. Off we went giving hugs to Hinckley and Cyndy and arrived at Popham dock just in time at 10 am. We had a hard banging ride at times in the choppy sometimes-big swells. My last ride to Seguin and I could see Beauty shining in the distance, my last view approaching her from the north. Ann and Greg were waiting on the beach with Laura. They had a very nice night and took great care of Sac. So we were back on our beloved Seguin for just a few more days. Not long after we had a few visitors trickle in and I gave them tours and even sold a fleece jacket to a young photographer. It was nice that it wasn’t too busy with visitors and we could relax and pack some more. Fred retrieved the lobsters that Jackson had left us Friday in the keeper box in the cove. This will be our last scrumptious lobster feast. Jackson said he picked out some especially nice ones for us. Fred hauled the burn pile of construction and rotted wood down on the tram to the cove. We are
Fat Cucumber from our Garden

allowed to have a bonfire on the beach to get rid of the wood and Fred called in our intentions to the appropriate State Agency. While he was doing that I was harvesting veggies from the garden.  I found two large cucumbers that I don’t know how I missed that last several weeks along with a bunch of green beans.  Picked some carrots and beets as well.  I found one pea pod with two peas, ate them both! My raw peas are incredibly sweet and tasty, wish we had more.  After Fred finished the wood transfer to the cove he mowed once again the cove area and 60% of the upper areas near the house. He worked till dark. I worked on the blog and did another tour when I noticed the fog horn was tooting and there was no fog. As I went outside on the catwalk with the visitors Fred said that we had a power failure and I checked Beauty and sure enough she
Green Beans, Beets and Carrots from the Garden

was not lit, a most disconcerting view of her not shining like she should. Later after the power came back on I checked on her at about 6:30 pm to see if she was lit. Months ago we had an hour power outage and she did not come back on automatically like she should and we had to push the reset button in the Whistle House. Sure enough, this time it was the same case and she was distressingly not shining so I went and pushed the reset button and she lit back up. I will have to call the coast guard and let them know about this predicament. If there is a long power outage in the winter there is no one here to reset Beauty and someone will have to come out to do that.
Later I decided to clean some upper areas of Beauty at sunset. It was nice to touch her and make her sparkle in areas that needed it. I also noticed some grimy
Our Pumkin, About 7x9 inches in Diameter

fingerprints on two lower lenses near the entrance of the lens!  Who dared to molest precious Beauty and accost her with their filthy fingers – horrors! I tell people to not touch the glass when I let them go up a few steps to take a peek inside her.  Perhaps this happened when I was on shore leave at any rate that is why we don’t let them up to her level – who knows what they would do to her. I reflected on the first days I cleaned her, months ago and felt so very comfortable alone with her at dusk, like being with an old dear friend. I spent about an hour with her and wished her good night. I then bundled up and with my headlamp headed down to the cove to see the bonfire that Fred was about to light. It took Fred some time to move the wood from above the high tide line to very near the low tide mark.  There was one boat moored in the cove
Cynthia in Front of Our Bonfire Down at the Cove,
Note Seaweed Covered Rocks Around Fire

when Fred lit it off. It was nice to sit and enjoy our big fire nestled in the seaweed covered rocks and watch it blow toward the sea. The high tide would extinguish all coals in a short time and take it all away. We left after it had burned down to coals. The night sky was beautiful with the stars out and a sliver of moon shining. We hiked back up to the house and I was very tired and laid down for a nap. The next thing I know it’s around midnight with Fred asking about lobster dinner. The next thing I know it’s about 3 am and we missed our lobster dinner!  WAHHH!

I was hungry and had some crackers and cheese, chips and salsa and finally went back to bed. I got a bit of sleep in but then I couldn’t sleep thinking about how I will have only one more night here. I got up just before sunrise and went up to be with Beauty for a sunrise and took some photos before sunrise and during and after sunrise. I did get some shots of the 3 lights together – Beauty’s shining bright 1000-watt bulb with it’s unlit spare and the sun rising in the distance through the lens. I got some of the sunrise through the lantern glass with Beauty reflected in the glass. I did notice some spots on some lens and wiped them clean. So back to bed with the sun now well up for hopefully a few more hours of needed rest. Again I was distracted with the knowing of my approaching departure and fretfully but finally succumbed to tiredness with a glorious early morning Beauty shining bright.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Day 104, 29 Aug

9 Visitors

Maine Maritime Museum along the Kennebec River
This morning was a bright sunny and cool morning with a bit of wind. Ethan decided not to bring out a boatload which was a godsend to us, so we could pack up a bunch of stuff to take off the island and have a more relaxing time – yea right. I baked 24 red velvet cupcakes to take to Cyndy’s. I thought the mix provided frosting like the other one I did but it didn’t so I planned to get some on the mainland and frost them up. We didn’t have any visitor’s before we left thankfully so we could pack a lot of stuff up. I got a big duffel of clothes and shoes and magazines and odds and ends. I managed to remember
This is Washington State's New Dungeness Lighthouse where we were
keepers, Through this Group we Heard about the Seguin Lighthouse,
This is a Slide from our Presentation

to pack up some fresh lettuce and basil from my garden for Cyndy. Ethan picked us up at 3:15 pm and we met Anne and Greg and Laura, there very exuberant black lab, who were to spend the night and take care of Sacatar and the lighthouse. They were so kind to do that for us so that both of us could attend Summerfest, the major fundraiser where we were the highlight with our presentation that Fred worked so hard for. It was iffy for a while if we would get off the island – like the whole summer- HA! Fred took 2 dingy loads of our stuff to the Guppy and in between loads I helped a family off load their people who were arriving in their dinghy. Off we went to the mainland and the party. We stopped Bisson’s store to get the frosting and then onto Cyndy’s to unload our stuff and to get ready for Summerfest. I put on my knit “mermaid” dress for the occasion and Fred had a nice western snap shirt with jeans. We went to The Bath Maritime Museum that was hosting us a bit early so Fred could setup our presentation, my 2 paintings and give some inventory from the gift shop to Catherine for her to sell at the Summerfest. It was nice to get back to the mainland for a few hours and mingle at the gathering. Sue came up to me and welcomed me and bought me a drink, which was very nice.  We ran around getting things setup and talked to various people and looked at the goodies for auction. We had a scrumptious dinner buffet provided by the local Bath restaurant – Byrnes Irish Pub. We chatted with visitors that had visited us at the lighthouse this summer as well as new people. We finally got to meet Millie – the wonderful lady who was thrown off the tram as a baby by her mother in 1949 when the tram malfunctioned. Her mama saved her life by those actions and she is a devoted FOSILS
Another Slide, What We Do All Day

member who is a delight to meet and talk to. It was nice to see Ethan and Brooke at the gig enjoying themselves. There were a bunch of auctions, silent, current and raffle all evening to raise money for our beloved island and lighthouse.  I snagged a neat pink sand dollar ring and a print of Hendrick’s Lighthouse. Our duty for the evening was to do a presentation to everyone on our experiences as keepers for the summer. Fred worked very hard on a nice professional looking Powerpoint presentation with 37 slides. We both got up and stood in front of the room and we talked for about 20 minutes.  The audience seemed very interested and laughed at our humorous sections. We had about 5 minutes of questions, which further indicated people were interested. So hopefully they raised a lot of income for the lighthouse to keep her shining into the future. We drove back to Cyndy’s house and started to relax after our busy day. Cyndy was coming back from working down at LL Bean. I started to frost the 24 red velvet cupcakes when she walked in the door. We had a nice relaxing evening chatting away with wine and cupcakes till we were too sleepy to continue. I fell asleep on the couch as usual and awoke to quiet silence with a few lights still on. I finally washed up and crawled into bed but couldn’t sleep well, I was away from the island and the lighthouse which I kept thinking about well into the night. It was our first night away from them since we got there on May 18 – my how the summer flew right by!  We had excitedly looked forward for months to man the station ever since we got the word on January 11 (my dad’s birthday!).

And now we are about to close our chapter on Sequin. We do hope to return in the future for a fall week or two and enjoy it once again and she how she is doing. She will always be in our hearts and minds with great affection.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day 103, 28 Aug

0 Visitors

Seal Resting Down by the Cove
This morning was warm and sunny with a slight breeze and good-sized ocean swells coming from the southeast. We luxuriously slept in till 9 am and I raised the flag and worked on yesterday's blog. Fred headed down to the cove since he got a text from Ethan asking us what the sea conditions were like by us. The conditions were not too bad in the cove but there were the good-sized swells getting to the cove. Ethan said it looked pretty nasty at Popham. Fred stayed down at the cove to work and I finished the blog and gave Sac her morning walk. Fred called me to tell me about a little seal that was sleeping on the rock cliffs near the boathouse dock. I went down to the dock to see the adorable little pinniped napping just beyond the dock. We got word from Ethan that he was not coming out to bring visitors. Weeeee - we get to have some time to ourselves! I poked around the cove and picked up 2 buoys that Fred had
Wild Rose Down by the Ocean Rocks

found yesterday and hoped the tide would bring to the cove. Surprisingly, they did.  Fred returned to the house to work on our presentation for Summerfest, FOSILS big fundraiser where we are supposed to be the highlight with our presentation of our experience on Seguin for the summer. They usually have it earlier in the summer, which would have been preferable to us since it is only 3 days before we have to leave the island on Labor Day weekend. I would rather have had the time to enjoy my last days on Seguin and plan my massive packing job. It puts more stress on us and dampens our final days here. Perhaps the person who set this up will have better planning next year and do a better job with much more consideration to the keepers. They obviously never have had to pack for a 5 month trip and travel 6000 miles back and forth across the country. I can hope for the sea state to be high on Monday so we can’t get off the island and have another day to ourselves.
I went down the Cove trail to looks for sea glass. The waves from the swells that were coming in as the high tide approached were spectacular. They were generated by now tropical Hurricane Cristobal, now a tropical storm that came up the East Coast.  I found some nice glass pieces and called Fred to see if he wanted to hike around the peninsula since the waves looked so incredible. I looked around for a few more minutes until
Waves Crashing on the Rocks

Fred joined me for our hike. The waves were awesome as we worked our way around. I stopped at two rose bushes that were blooming late. One had pink blossoms and I the other had white. The white roses were much more fragrant than the pink and I inhaled it's sweet scent. This is the same bush that I got a few petals from to put on the poor dead black back gull. I noticed the big rose hips from past blossoms on the bushes also. We continued around the rock cliffs enjoying the huge waves crashing on the rocks. We could see seaweed and debris fly off as the waves hit. We got back near Cobblestone and saw the very young seagull chick that we saw before hiding in a crack in a wall of rock. We saw him with another young gull on the top of the ridge of rock and I got a nice shot of them with a crashing wave in the background. We poked around the Cobblestone area and then ventured back up to the house. We were starving
Two Young Seagulls Watching the Waves with Us

since we just had cookies to eat in the morning. I made up some bacon, cheese, egg sandwiches with grapefruit and fruit salad. Since I was thirsty I made an iced chai tea. Fred worked on the presentation and I checked emails. He heard an announcement from the Coast Guard that 2 kayakers got swept out from Popham Beach. We thought they might be heading for Seguin so Fred hiked out to the North tip to see if he could see anything, which he couldn't. I did some packing and took a nap or tried to. I had too many things to think about to relax and sleep. Fred later contacted the Coast Guard and they said the kayakers had made their way safely to shore. Around 6 pm we hiked down the South trail to see what was going on there. The late afternoon sun was going in and out the tremendous display of clouds. When we arrived at the vista point the confluence of sky, waves and sun was awesome and we stayed about 10 minutes to
Late Day Sky with Streaks of Clouds

enjoy the spectacle. Back to the house we went with me pruning here and there. The sun had set behind a bank of clouds but the surrounding clouds to the east were lit with gentle pinks and blues. Fred worked on the presentation and I got Sac her dinner and watered the gardens as well as getting veggies from my garden for salads.

I did more gathering of stuff to be brought off tomorrow as well as getting some things from the gift shop to sell at Summerfest. We had a dinner of pasta with chicken meatballs and salad.  I worked on the blog while watching the news and Fallon. I noticed a small tapping at the window and saw it was a small bird, seeming to want to come in side. I went out for a look and scooped the tiny confused pilot, which was a goldfinch. I gently carried him to the picnic table around the corner and let him go – he
Lens Back Lite by the Sun Late in the Day

just flew over to the kitchen window and repeated his behavior. I again carefully scooped him up and this time walked around to the base of the lighthouse where it was dark and released him to the night. I went back in the house through the kitchen door and shut off the kitchen and dining room lights. All was quiet for a while and then he returned to the living room window with tapping. We shut off all lights and worked on the computer and Ipad with their screen lighting. Eventually the little bird stopped and hopefully went safely away into the night. Well too sleepy to continue and off to bed – to dream about what else I need to pack and take off the island.