Friends Depart and the Fog Rolls In

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It’s been almost a week and I feel I’ve neglected to put a few things down.  Probably the biggest news, other than the great time we had with friends from New York who stayed for almost a week, is that the wooden tram is no longer working.  Some of the cable came off the spool when we brought it up to load and when I tried to undo it, I exacerbated the problem and pulled the pulley out of it’s roots at the top of the tram.  It will take a work party to fix.  Getting supplies up the hill without it is difficult.  We’ll have to see when Dave comes out to assess the damage, just what needs to be done to fix it.  Hope we don’t get fired.  In hindsight I would have done it differently but at the time, I thought I was on the right track to untangling the cable jam and solving the problem.

We finally found the end of the South Trail with the help of Chris and Dee from New York.  The very south end of the island is rocky and rough.  It’s probably why the foghorn blasts in that direction.  We kind of cleared it with hand tools and France is out there now finishing what she started yesterday to open it up with the weed whacker.

The fog has come and gone.  In spite of it we had quite a few visitors yesterday.  And Ethan brought four people out on Friday after he dropped me off.  France had seen no one all day and I was up taking a long hot shower to recover from hauling provisions without the use of the tram.  When I came downstairs, Ethan was sitting in the living room reading one of my New Yorker Magazines Dee had brought.  He looked so big and out of place (out of the usual context), I hardly recognized him.  He was taking five while France showed the visitors around and I was glad he felt comfortable enough to make himself at home.   Today the sea is very rough and the fog has now totally enveloped us so that we can’t see much.  We’ll make work of doing some chores inside and catching up that way.

While Chris and Amy and Dee were here we had several swims, barbecued twice on the new Weber grill supplied by FOSI and toasted to France’s mom Josette, with a new cocktail she introduced us to, mixing rose with grapefruit juice.  We named it the Rosette.  It’s quite delicious.  And of course we all had to pose in our new long sleeved Seguin Island Lighthouse tee shirts.

While we were enjoying margaritas at the picnic table on the last night of our friends’ visit (the beer had all been drunk), a fellow named Rob stopped up who was spending the night in his sailboat in the cove.  France invited him to join us.  He was an interesting fellow and the next morning when he saw the smoke coming from the Donkey House, he came up to see if he could help.  That’s when I had to leave him with France to meet the boat to shore.  He couldn’t stay long; France worked on the cable jam for hours and had to give up.  It can’t be untangled by hand.

After margaritas, we had a wonderful pasta with fresh shrimp and scallops and just a little tomato paste and crème fresh.  Oliver came by to stare at us from a rock as we ate outside at the picnic table and when I wasn’t looking, France threw him a scallop.  When I realized what was happening it was too late.  Next thing you know, she’ll be setting a place for him.

Last night there was the most beautiful surreal red sky at sunset.  Fog was intermittent and the sun appeared as a red ball.  We had sat out watching it and decided to have a light supper of snacks because lunch came late.  We just got out onto the front porch and noticed the sky turning red in the west.  Moving quickly we grabbed the wine and glasses and tray of snacks France had put together and raced for the sunset bench just as the red ball disappeared over the horizon.  What happened next I’ve never experienced in my life.

As the clouds above the horizon in the west turned darker shades of red we could see a fog bank along the shore that seemed to be moving toward us.  It was a bit like a wall of fog but more like a giant tube that was rolling across the water.  It was probably moving about as fast as you could run.  We watched as it touched the northern tip of the island and began to move south across it.  Its fingers were ethereal.  As it embraced and enveloped us the cool dampness caressed our faces and the smell changed instantly to that of the sea but not a foul dead fish smell; it was more fresh, and intensely saline.  When it had rolled past us we saw it leave the island and what was left behind was clear.  Later, smaller waves of fog came across the water but closer to the surface.  This was something I’ve never felt so intensely.  A real wow moment.

Jim called on my cell to say he was in the cove and could I dingy out to get him.  His boat is not that big and the sea was rough but the cove was more calm and protected.  He had come to inspect the damage (and to let his in-laws enjoy the company of his wife).  It started to rain as we came up the hill.  We photographed most of it and he stayed for a cup of coffee.  They’d been to a big brunch.  It’s going to take some work to repair the damage and it could possibly get done this week.  But Jim did say that the huge wooden king post the pulley was bolted to was rotted.  This doesn’t make me feel much better about what happened.  But like the flagpole, I believe that one person’s mishap could be the reason the next guys escapes serious injury.

This evening another similar sunset occurred and this time I was equipped with my camera.  France wonders what we’ll do in September without the sunsets and the vast sea around us.  I may hibernate for the winter.

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6 Responses to Friends Depart and the Fog Rolls In

  1. debbie says:

    I wish you would have grabbed your camera instead of the wine glasses and snacks. But I have a picture in my mind of what you described. It sounds absolutely incredible. These blogs are like a bedtime story for me. Goodnight….

  2. Mary Ann Weddle says:

    Your garden is looking good!

    • Thanks Mary Ann. We’re eating salad every day. France made a nice omelette from the sorrel last night and the zucchini are about three inches long. They’re taking over the garden!

  3. Mary O'Hara says:

    Hi Michael,
    It’s Mary. Dee’s friend from Carbondale. I really enjoyed reading about your visit with Dee and Friends, as well as seeing the island. Your recommendations for sight seeing in NYC were great, especially the High Line. It is inspirational. My Best to you, Mary O’Hara

  4. Rob says:

    Hi Michael and France,

    I wanted to thank you both for your hospitalty and the tour. The margaritas were a welcome unexpected treat after being in the fog all day and it was very nice meeting you and your friends. Glad to see you have the tram back in operation.

    Have a nice day,

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