Our first shore leave, so to speak came on Wednesday, only four days since we’ve arrived. Getting down the hill, even with the use of the tram is an ordeal; remembering everything, even harder. All we really forgot was the shopping list but once you’ve made one of those, you know what you need. We had to bring empty plastic boxes to resupply the gift shop, laundry, the coolers for the provisions we bought and backpacks. Once you unload the tram at the bottom, you have to schlep the stuff down a trail and then down stairs to the rock beach. If the tide is out there’s a lot of sand sloping down from the rocks. If it’s in, the rocks are all there is. So you get all the stuff as close to the water as possible and then wait for the boat. Captain DeBery is a sly sweetheart. He’s about thirty something and very knowledgeable, with curly copper colored hair and a small goatee. And he came right on schedule, at 7AM! On the mainland we met Fred who has loaned us the use of his car every Wednesday. He drove us around and showed us some sights and showed us how to find others. Once we dropped him off we took care of the first order of business: breakfast at Betty’s. She’s a sweet old gal and makes great home fries.
Then we bought $160 worth of flowers, herbs and vegetables at Skillin’s, got our laundry started at the mall and spent $160 dollars on groceries while the duds were in the washer. Love getting the Wednesday Times (Food issue), which we perused while the stuff was in the drier.
We had some time to explore Bath on foot before our meeting with Connie at the FOSI office: had coffee at the upscale place, shopped the fancy kitchen supplies store and then found the cheaper general store that has everything you can imagine on two levels. There’s a jewelry story that I swear hasn’t changed in 100 years with tin ceilings and fancy chandeliers – really nice.
So the trip back means that the 6-gallon water jug is full (48 pounds and God forbid you use more than one!) the coolers are full of food and the plastic boxes full of items to be sold at the gift shop on the island. Ethan (Captain DeBery) saves time by nosing his boat onto the shore if the tide is out and not using the dingy, but it means you have to jump in the water. One person keeps the boat off the rocks and the other unloads quickly, scrambling to find a temporary level place to set everything down. Ethan is gone as soon as everything’s off the boat and the two of us do the trip in reverse. What a hoot! I mean it. I’ve never done anything remotely like any of this before.
So today, even though the 98% humid air is thick with fog, and rain comes intermittently and the temperature hovers below 60, we were determined to plant the garden and some of the flower boxes. France had prepped the vegetable garden so we put all the herbs (parsley, cilantro, thyme, basil, dill) and vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, green beans, lettuce and nasturtium) in. Then we needed to decide where to put the flowers and even though we each had strong opinions, we both felt as though we compromised and came up with a plan. The rain drove us inside and France made some tea. We talked and realized that we can fertilize the garden with our own poop. And understand this, these are very sophisticated toilets; you’re not dumping poop in the garden, you’re fertilizing it. Just the same, I’m not going to be making speeches to guests about why the lettuce is so delicious.
The rain stopped and it was a little warmer out so we took some of the leftover plants down to the cove to plant them in boxes I’d seen in the donkey house aka engine room for the tram. Those moss-covered rocks on the trail are really slippery! I went down flat on my back. Yikes! None the worse for wear, I think, but it scared France. (Both of us had visions of evacuation helicopters arriving long after I’d succumbed.) And I’m not sure if one of the plants will grow since I left most of it behind on the trail. I showed her what I was taught about working the composting outhouse and then the rain came back.
There was a broken gull egg below the tram we noticed on the way back up, we hadn’t seen before. How did that get there? Each time we worked the tram yesterday, there were two seagulls that perched on the rail and I knew they were guarding a nest. Today they were back eyeing us, even though we didn’t use the tram. Once back to the top I took the flag down (not supposed to fly it in the rain) and headed in for a shower. France made ratatouille and I’m going to bake haddock to go with it for dinner. Yum! We may not have any visitors for a while if the weather doesn’t change.
Except for tomorrow night. Ethen just called. Fourteen people from the Senior College are arriving at 5PM to watch the sunset. I must remember to enlist help lowering the flag and take photos for the log.