Ollie Commutes by Tram

Friday, September 3, 2010

Now that we’ve noticed that Ollie J is not only to be found at the top of the tram, but is often seen at the bottom as well, we’ve realized that he is using the wooden walkway between the rails to commute to and from the sea.  I’m glad he’s still foraging on his own even though France still feeds him.  She thawed some haddock I’d planned for fish chowder yesterday to add to the supply of his meals which is down to cans of dog food we picked up especially for him.  What else would you buy your favorite wounded gull chick at the grocery store?  France thinks she’s seen more evidence that he’s been pecked at and attacked by bigger gulls, probably a Great Black Back.

Seal pups have taken once again to beaching themselves in the cove where they blend in with the rocks so well that sometimes you don’t even notice them until you’re right on top of them, at which time they usually try to get back into the water.  They seem to time it well coming in as the tide recedes and then just resting as long as it takes until the tide comes in again and takes them back out to sea.  It’s not that easy for them to crawl back on their own.  Their front flippers only seem to do so much in terms of propelling them forward on the sand or over the rocks and the back ones just lie there limp like a tail appendage that’s failed to be useful on land.

I felt sorry for Geof yesterday who stayed in the guest quarters most of the day doing work on his computer and for France who continues to sand the white paint off the brick walls in the gift shop.  I hope future caretakers don’t decide to paint it white again.  Lucia and I spent a lot of time in the cove enjoying the hottest day we’ve probably had all summer.  I spent more time in the water than I probably have in total since I arrived, floating on my back and actually swimming.  The water temperature usually hovers somewhere around 62 but on such a hot day, it felt so refreshing.

While we watched the pups turn into giant slugs draped over the rocks, John, one of the counselors from Camp Small Point who had come out twice this summer with large groups of children to play and picnic and climb up the inside of the tower, came in on his small boat with four people from Maine Island Trail Association, who hope to include Seguin Island in their upcoming edition.  Membership allows anyone with a boat to visit otherwise private or uncharted islands along the coast and know just where to tie up or anchor and just what you can do and expect once you go ashore.  They were delighted with what they found here, needless to say, but couldn’t stay long enough to explore the trails and see more than the museum and tower.  It was a pleasure to meet this group from Portland and think about the prospects of what it might mean to include Seguin in their publication.

There was only one couple with Captain DeBery yesterday; he brought his small boat and I was there to help them off as he nosed up to the shore line.  They were both delighted to spend a couple of hours on Seguin and said it was the highlight of their trip.  We don’t expect anyone today or tomorrow and fully expect to hear that the work party will be pushed to Sunday or perhaps even Monday, since it’s a holiday.

I kept a pork roast on the stove all day yesterday slow cooking and after pina coladas and Camembert with spicy tomato chutney, which Geof brought, dinner at the picnic table at sunset was a delight.  We opened a bottle of cabernet sauvignon I’d saved from 1989 which was different and not yet fully turned to port.  I’m not sure why people do this.  You save a really special bottle of wine and finally share it with friends and I can never really tell if it would have been nicer to just get something fresh from the grocery store.  I get the wine thing and all but in situations like this, you really have to have a back up bottle anyway in case your friends say they don’t like what the aging has done to the taste, so you throw that one away or use it for a reduction in cooking, and wonder why you saved it for so long in the first place.  I find myself scratching my head at life more than I want to admit.

What’s worse is that I find myself bumping my head more than I want to admit, against the strangest things with the most wicked results.  Reaching for a bottle of beer in the way back at the bottom of the fridge, I nicked my pate on some part of the shelf on the inside of the door two days ago and it bled bad.  Then loading the new kitchen light fixture I finally found at the junk shop on Route 1 we never managed to hit while it was open before, into the back seat of Fred’s car, I hit the rubber molding at the top of the door frame just right and once again nicked my little baldhead.  I guess the sun has dried it out or something and made the thin unprotected skin more vulnerable.  Coming back from the cove yesterday afternoon, not to be late for cocktails, and chatting with Lucia who’s a non stop talker, I whacked it a good one on one of the tram supports.  Ouch!  This was a scrape the size of a dime.  I should start wearing hats maybe; the top of my head looks like a battering ram.

I’ve put off my last project, thinking I’ll spend some time indoors when Earl hits, of recovering the bench in the museum.  Cyndy supplied the padding for which my reward to the first person who did so of lighthouse shortbread cookies was much appreciated, and there was a bolt of heavy muslin in the living room closet I’ve already cut to fit.  Now I just need to put it together with the upholstery tacks I found at the hardware store two weeks ago and there will be yet another small improvement to this splendid place from the 2010 caretakers.  The bench is now covered with the same cloth without padding which someone painted gray.  It’s not very comfortable and I hope what I do will be an improvement.

My sister Sue and her husband Wayne had the hats made for France and I.  I found them in our P.O. box this week in Phippsburg.  They say “Lighthouse Keeper” on the front and “Seguin Island 2010” on the back.  On the day I picked them up Ethan and Drew arrived that morning in the cove in the small boat but each wearing their new hats for the Leeward.  I wore mine on the return trip but he didn’t notice even though I thought it was an interesting coincidence.  Pictures will be forthcoming.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The storm passed through overnight.  The foghorn sounded late in the afternoon yesterday and we ate burgers from the grill and mac and cheese at the picnic table after margaritas and appetizers, but everything was wet.  When the fog comes in, spider webs are suddenly visible and screen doors fill with water droplets.  If there’s a breeze going through, the floor gets soaked.  Waking this morning warm and dry, outside it’s not any more than a windy storm which is not out of the ordinary.  I still doubt we’ll see anyone from the work party, or anyone at all, for that matter.  I’ll have plenty of time to recover the bench in the museum.  Geoffrey getting to Portland?  That’s another matter.  In Serbo Croatian they have a nice expression, which translates roughly as “a little tomorrow.”

Every time I put my camer down, there’s more dramatic waves crashing into the cove we call Cobblestone Beach on the eastern side of the island.  Here’s a few, before my batteries gave out.  We dodged another bullet.  Where’s Fiona?

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