There is no Tom on this island with us. I often misspell Tim and then started doing it in purpose for my own warped sense of humor. Here’s what Tim has to say:
Questions, questions, questions
These are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve heard as caretakers on 4 lighthouse islands:
–How did you get this gig?
About 15 years ago, I sailed with a friend to Seguin Island lighthouse in Maine. I chatted with the caretakers and discovered something I would love to do. When I met Lynne, I soon realized she was the perfect person to join me. We applied and voilà. The 3 island lighthouses after that were found through word of mouth and internet searches.
–How do you get supplies?
We don’t. We come with 3+ months worth of food, supplemented by the garden. Lynne plans and buys everything we need with amazing aplomb. AND, she’s a hell of a cook!
–What do you do all day?
We follow the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. Repairs out here are very difficult.
We maintain a presence and greet visitors, perhaps our most important responsibility. We introduce them to the island and sometimes invite them in for a cuppa. It’s quite a trip to Deal and people don’t rush off. We had 230 visitors the first 2 months and none the third. The rest of the time we’re cooking, gardening, clearing 16 miles of trails and dirt roads, cleaning (Aussie caretakers are neatniks!), maintaining the power and water systems, making repairs, and even building furniture.
We leave plenty of time to explore, swim, jog, star gaze, and—sorry to say—surf the internet.
–Finally, there’s a question often implied but rarely voiced: how can you spend 3 months alone together?
If anything, isolated islands bring us closer. You have to be really nice and loving with each other if you’re going to make it work. We’ve now spent over a year and a half as caretakers with more to come.