So many days in Maine are foggy and especially on Seguin. Which makes it especially fortunate that on the day we came out, last Saturday, May 18, there was not a cloud in the sky and the sun shone brightly with a light breeze over the water. It was cool and when we landed on the island, the tide was low enough to welcome us with a sandy shore. The ten people who came out to open the island were seasoned veterans and all went quickly to work at tasks they knew well to begin the process of welcoming visitors to the summer of 2013 on this glorious paradise.
There was just time before the boat left to stop in at Percy’s store for a plate of eggs and bacon. Dave and Tracy were hard at work and remembered me from past summers. I was able to introduce Dave to Mary who will be out here the entire summer and no doubt in for future visits.
There were old friends and new acquaintances to meet on the boat. Mary Reed was there with a friend. She and her husband and two children and big white dog were overnight guests in 2010 when France and I were caretakers. That was the weekend of the Coast Guard visit when we all witnessed the landing of their huge helicopter for routine maintenance on the light.
Soon the groceries and blue cubes of water, the luggage and coolers and the gas for the mowers and tools were loaded on a couple of trips up the tram while Greg, the other new summer caretaker, was learning the ins and outs of the donkey engine and the quirks of the old wooden tram.
And soon there were ladders lugged out of the whistle house along with the wheel barrow and the mowers and the weed whackers ,and soon the steel gates were pried off the windows, the pump was turned on and water began to fill the cisterns in the basement. Power was restored to the house and it wasn’t long before the refrigerator would be chilling and freezing the groceries we brought, enough to feed a small army, even though we will only be here for four days.
At the end of the last season, the parts finally arrived that were ordered to repair the sit down lawn mower, and Cyndy and Ethan got it all put together but no tested. I was anxious to tackle the grass and so happy that the season would begin with a working mower. I’d never been part of this part of what goes on here. As one of the summer caretakers of 2010 I was fortunate to experience three and a half months of the magical paradise that this place is for so many who come here. And having been blessed to work the extended season in September a couple of times since, know what it is to close things down and secure the island for the winter. But I’d never been asked to come out before Memorial Day to open things up and prepare the island to welcome visitors, the hardest week of all, I was told.
Fortunately, Ethan saw how eager I was and knew that I probably wouldn’t do all of the proper maintenance checks and followed me down to be sure the tires were pumped, the battery hooked up and the oil filled. So I spent most of the next two days mowing and raking, dodging rocks and stumps of sumac that was cleared last season.
Ann came out to call a break for lunch and as we all sat resting and soaking up the midday sun, Ken asked everyone to introduce themselves and speak about what Seguin meant to them. So many wonderful stories but the recurring theme was the shared belief in the magic of this place and how special it is and the concern that it be protected and maintained.
Before two in the afternoon, the crews departed on the three boats they came on, and the island was left to me and Cyndy, together with the new caretakers, and the seagulls, to spend the next four days together sharing stories, passing on what we knew of the task that lay before them and enjoying the island, good food and drink and the pleasure of each others company. Boston baked scrod was on the menu with fiddleheads and noodles. We were blessed with a beautiful sunset which we shared on the bench facing west.
The next day, after a hike to the end of the north trail and a loop through the bog (see photo below of Greg and Mary and newly laid eider duck eggs) we continued raking and mowing, as the weather was still beautiful. Toward the end of the day, there was a chill and the fog rolled in. The grass was to wet and I had promised to make an heirloom tomato pie for dinner along with crab cakes from Gilmore’s.
So today is that foggy day and I’m finally catching up on a post for the blog. Greg and Mary are so lovely and so happy to be here. You must come and visit, meet them and share the joy of this magical place.