We are not alone here

Well of course not. We have the cats with us. But even during the storm last night, a boat was tucked in behind the lee of the island. They must have been waiting for the tide to change because the weather didn’t really get better until later today and they were gone by early morning. We had several hours of sun today, which was very nice and brightened our moods. Even the cats were a little stir crazy. We were all happy to be out for a while today. Lobsterman were back out and a tanker went by about 3 miles south of the island this afternoon. There’s a hawk, which circles the east and south sides of the island and a few seagulls about. There’s an assortment of migrating birds passing by and attracted to the light.

Enterprise

I accomplished a lot of knitting yesterday and now find I like to have several projects going at once. I used to be almost exclusively a serial, monogamous knitter but there are so many projects. Some I have to focus on and others are more mindless. I’m knitting a “one stitch lace scarf” for patients who receive chemotherapy at the hospital, in a teal, machine washable blend. It’s simple garter stitch, with a dropped stitch lace pattern, and great to knit while we catch up on old episodes of Dexter.

Knitting trio

The gray and pink lace scarf was a mistake but now I’m so far along, there’s no stopping me. The stripes, combined with the lace, are too busy but I’m six feet into it so there you are. The pattern is Traveling roses, a pretty pattern but 43 stitches by 43 stitches for one repeat and this old mind just hasn’t been able to memorize it. I have it on my Kindle and insert a note to remind of the last row knit.

Monkey socks

The third project is a pair of socks for me with knitpicks stroll in a heather. Very pretty yarn and I have made myself a pair of socks each time we have been here (I’m wearing my pair from 2008 now). So I want to keep up the tradition. It’s a nice reminder all year of the wonderful time we have on Seguin.

One stitch lace scarf

Traveling roses scarf

Seguin 2011

Outhouse bound

Outhouse outfit We’re in the middle of a four day storm.  Hurricane Ophelia is passing offshore tonight stirring up the wind and water.  There’s no way on or off the island for a few days, which is always interesting. It makes me just a little more cautious.  No power tools, careful walking the quarter mile or so (in full foul weather gear) to the outhouse and spend way too much time indoors.

At least I have several knitting projects underway and lots of food to cook. Yesterday I made a couple of loaves of bread, chile and chicken soup. Tonight I’ll bake an apple pie. What could be more cozy.

Microwave mystery

Microwave mystery
Getting to know an old home again has it’s benefits and disadvantages.  I can’t figure out one of the icons on the microwave. I’m not sure if I ever knew what it meant but now I am curious. Middle row, right.

I understand the cup with wavy lines over it will heat my coffee.  Defrost and clock are fairly self-explanatory although I would never trust top-brown. So what does it mean? I tried baking a potato with it to no avail.  It looks too smooth for popcorn but I will give it a shot.  The only thing it reminds me of is the Rolling Stones image but what would I cook with that?

Acorn soup fog

Seguin oil house
It’s great to be back on Seguin. Today the fog rolled in and so the foghorn is blowing.  I made a curried apple and acorn squash soup and worked forever to replace a broken window pane.  All’s cozy now.  

The weather report said we had “uncharacteristically high astronomical tides” today.  Something must be up with the moon and the sun.

A long way to go

Distance traveled
After a six hour drive to Popham Beach, ME, our stuff still had a long way to go.  Naturally we arrived at dead low tide and we had to lower everything by boat hook, including two cats, off the fixed pier to the Seguin Ferry below.  On the other hand, low tide exposed the beach so offloading was easy – with the help of friends.

Aldo Leopold bench
Our Aldo Leopold bench continues to stand watch over glorious sunsets.

The bridge is now unabridged

The bridge
The road crew returned, put a few more boards and supports down and announced the bridge is unofficially open. With a running start we may make it over the hump.  

I took advantage and went shopping to buy some of the heavy items we’ll need on Seguin Island next week.  Time to plan for a couple of weeks’ provisions.  I just have to take the Deal Island, Tasmania list, convert it from kilos to pounds and divide by six.  Maybe I can just divide by 3 and call it even.

A beautiful ending

We are poised to leave Deal island on the 15th of March. The Parks manager arrived with the new caretakers today and we are officially off duty. And the weather couldn’t be better. It’s warm, like summer. It was calm this morning for their trip out. We’ll see how we fare in two days. We’ve spent the past couple of days cleaning and getting everything in order. Now we’ve moved over to the visitor’s house and are visitors. Yesterday we walked to the lighthouse and had fun looking at our shadows. P3120147.JPG

At the end of the day, I had a home brewed stout, which had a creamy foam.

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Today, I put the work gloves away. It’s official.

Another bush bash

Today we headed up a hill in the middle of the island to look for a cairn reportedly there.. It literally was a bush bash. We walked through shrubs, trees and tussocks. We got to the height of land and couldn’t find a cairn. I kept thinking it might have blown down because we found open spaces with rocks but no pile. We had a nice lunch but were a little discouraged. Before heading back down, I looked around and saw an area a little higher than where we were. There was a panoramic view and we were able to see the lighthouse and both the south and north entrances to Murray Passage. Tim went over there to explore and sure enough, there was another cairn!! Our day was complete.

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This is how the grass was. You can just about make out Tim. We follow wallaby tracks but they hop and we have to plod through the clumps of grass.

P3100215.JPG Cairn off winter cove track

In the company of strangers

We saw Deal Island from a new perspective yesterday. A luxury yacht anchored in the cove the night before and called us and said they wanted to see a little of the island. They didn’t have a lot of time but checked out the museum and Barn Hill, which has some spectacular views of Murray Passage. Then they asked us if we wanted to come with them to Erith Island before they left. You betcha!

It was strange because it was our first time off the island for three months. Sort of a practice run for this weekend. The passage between Erith and Deal Islands is much more open then it seems from up at the caretaker cottage. We got to look back at the island and the compound from the water and then from Erith.

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While we were anchoring, we saw our first sea eagle on the rocks of Erith.

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We walked the tracks to explore the shack and campsites we knew were there. Then on the way back, we were joined by dolphins. P3090145.JPG

When we got back we walked to the lighthouse which was shrouded in fog. Quite a day.

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All in a day of caretaking

We awakened yesterday to the smell of smoke. Not a good thing when you are trying to protect an island. There wasn’t lightening the night before so we thought if it was here, it would be from an open fire on one of the beaches. So we hopped in the ute and checked Winter Cove, where the campground is (and our recent sign, “No Open Fires”). No smoke or flames. We returned home but then as the day progressed, it got smokier and smokier. We went to the north beach, Garden Cove, where we doubted any boats were anchored because of the wind direction, no smoke or flames. Then we heard on the radio, there was a bush fire in Victoria. The smoke kept getting thicker and thicker here until our view of Erith island was obscured. The fire was 100 miles away but with a wind from the north and the pure air here, we smelled it like it was in our own backyard.

Smoky mountains
Next we were involved in a search and rescue. There was a boat here, which left a few days ago, who asked us to report their position to the local coast guard. They never checked in at their home port. The coast guard called us and asked if we knew anything more. We could only add that they were headed home since we knew they had run out of food and only hope they forget to check in when they arrived.
Then we saw a tinny (metal dinghy) with lines out fishing in Murray Passage. We radioed them and informed them they were in a no take zone and they headed out.
After dinner, we walked down to the new bench to get internet reception, view the stars, which were finally visible again and watch and listen to the fairy penguins come home.
It has been a good caretaking day.