Today was moving day. When I came up the hill after bringing a bag to the cove, I was greeted by this. The magic of Seguin. I guess I must come back. It’s a sign.
Not just any island, offshore please. Ideally with only two occupants. Yesterday made it perfectly clear to me why I love these opportunities. In between putting up window grates and storing the multitude of benches that now reside here, I stared in awe at the sky as it constantly changed. Black clouds brought a little rain and then moved to the north.
From the vantage point of a hill atop an offshore island, and safely onshore, clouds, gloomy skies and rain are spectacular.
And you need clouds and rain to form rainbows. As we got ready for dinner, Tim saw a rainbow out front. I went out back to see it and watched it with the current, resident peregrine falcon.
Until he found something to hunt and flew off.
This is the view I wake up to from our bed looking south to mile buoy. There is also the sound of the wind, bell buoys flag halyards.
We have not seen any whales but the boat traffic is interesting. With a Marine Traffic app, many times we can identify the boats and ships we see offshore. It makes them less anonymous as they drift or cruise by.
And of course it helps that Tim and I usually enjoy each other’s company and work well together. I couldn’t do this without such an excellent partner.
We’ve been busy, shutting down the island in earnest. We often have helpers for a couple of days but the seas did not cooperate this year.
We still find plenty of time to enjoy all the island offers. We spent a couple of hours in the cove that other morning and I found treasures combing the beach.
I tossed this guy back into the sea because he was still alive. I found more snails cavorting and a piece of green sea glass – bingo!
It has been a wet year. The weather station recorded 100 inches of rain! Good for mushrooms.
I heard a strange bird sound the other morning and we found a pair of peregrine Falcons admiring the fresnel lens.
Wonders never cease. A few cold fronts skidded by, hence the lack of visitors, but they created interesting clouds.
And, of course, sunsets.
We had a short stay on Seguin this year but it delivered plenty of joy. The trails were in great shape and we walked them all.
We dripped in fog for days – not a good time to try to dry newly spun yarn or laundry. A gale came through with winds of 40 mph. We dined out aboard a sailboat and we tucked the island in. The lens sparkled brightly even with its new solar powered LED light.
Friday, our last full day on the island, began with fog, which turned to rain, and ended with double rainbows at sunset. What a treat.
Islands always give more than they take.
We leave for Seguin Island Lighthouse sometime over the next few days. Initial plan was Tues but by late last week, I started to watch the weather and saw strong north winds and high seas in the forecast. It still looks that way until at least late Wednesday.
This is the way it goes. We have been island caretakers for five different islands and they all have their sweet spot. North winds don’t work for Seguin because they create waves onto the rocky beach. We learned that over the years. Our first time here, the skies were blue and crisp, looked beautiful, but it came with a north wind. We waited a week.
Baker’s Island has an exposed beach and a rocky landing. Especially fun with cats. For many reasons, including the fact we don’t currently have any, we no longer travel with cats.
Deal Island, Tasmania, in the Bass Strait, was the roughest. There’s always a west wind and you pound into waves for four hours from the east unless you catch a plane. The boat ride off island has always been lovely.
Protection Island, Washington and Five Finger Lighthouse had tides to contend with. We could only leave on a medium tide in Protection and Alaska had 25 foot tide changes so no boat could anchor nearby, it was a scramble on and off the rocks.
So while I have coffee at home in the Adirondacks, where there has been frost on the ground every morning, I check the weather update and contemplate another wet boat ride. It’s always worth it.
A cold front moved through yesterday and swept everything clean. The fly population was down for a while and the outhouse smelled like roses.
With the dry air and clear skies, today was a beautiful day to work outside. Tim took to the trails and I painted some trim. My project was interrupted when the Coast Guard arrived to replace the ground wire on the tower and borrowed my extension ladder. When they finished, they toured the museum to get a glimpse of what life use to be like in the Coast Guard and Lighthouse Service on Seguin.
I heard them talking about the ghost story associated with Seguin. A piano plays a key role. Tim has a keyboard in the caretaker’s quarters and I couldn’t resist. I played a few notes, which caught their attention.
Yesterday,I built a fly trap in an effort to at least keep them out of the kitchen. Tim thought it was a huge success until I confessed that the two flies in the trap had been caught and deposited there – by me.
We watched a whale swim offshore for about an hour before dinner. We spotted it from the south trail then returned to the lighthouse and watched it with binoculars and a scope. Island life!
We are on the road again. We headed to Long Island to go to my son and daughter-in-law’s baby shower. That kept me busy before-hand finishing up lots of projects.
There’s nothing more fun than working on baby items and imagining the soon to be, new little bundle.
I made a quilt, crocheted a blanket, knit a sweater, and a Halloween costume, and wove a 6 yard baby wrap.
Then off to Seguin Island after provisioning at the local Shaw’s. Luckily we packed light because the tram isn’t running. We got everything ashore and up the hill without a hitch and had lobster for dinner.
We had a chance this fall to return to two lighthouses we tended in the past. First we headed off to Bakers a Island in Salem, MA. We knew it when. Now the grounds are cleared, the lighthouse is freshly painted, both keepers’ houses have been renovated and the public can once again visit the island thanks to Essex National Heritage Trust, the National Park Service and volunteer caretakers.
Next we headed north to Seguin Island, Maine. We arrived as the summer caretakers departed and the foghorn was mistakenly blowing. We settled in and hiked the trails with good friends. After dinner, as we got ready to play a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit, we lost all power to the island. The light went out! And the backup lights didn’t come on.
After checking out the boathouse at the bottom of the hill, the whistle house at the top of the hill and all their circuit breakers, we made calls to find out which power company supplied the island and contacted them. In minutes, coincidentally (?), the power returned. You can imagine the phone call. We don’t know our zip code, account number or name. They were impressed we were calling from a lighthouse though.
But the light never came back on. So we contacted the Coast Guard, who maintains the light, left a message and went to bed. This morning, while volunteers arrived in pea soup fog to tackle several projects, the Coast Guard walked us through some troubleshooting to no avail. They stopped by for a visit today and got things working again. Now we can rest easy and enjoy the sunset.
It’s true. I occasionally buy lottery scratch off cards and have won as much as a new card…and so on. I received a contest offer in my inbox today, I couldn’t resist. Halcyon Yarn is offering the chance to win your “wishlist”.
I think I need an inkle loom, my home grown dyes didn’t work, and, since I have been a Seguin Island caretaker for 5 years! I “need” to weave the placemats they designed for the catalog they shot on the Island when I wasn’t there!!!
I encourage you to enter too, even though that puts you in direct competition with me. What the heck, someone ought to win.
Until then, I’ve been knitting, weaving and even spinning and oh yes, my son got married and had a gala event!
These two hats headed off to my daughter yesterday for two friends who requested an orange bearded hat and a black hat with electric. I think I met the requirements.
I still have yards of warp on my table loom and have been playing with a Swedish weave structure called Krokbragd. I was unimpressed initially until I realized my pattern was actually on the reverse side.