Saturday, October 10, 2015
Dawn brought a clear morning. We were happy for the sun on our last full day on the island so that we could get all of our work done. We first went down to the cove to finish boarding up the windows in the Donkey Engine House and running the gas out of the push mower for the winter.
Back up to the top of the island, we needed to do the same with the new sit-down mower. This was a lot more fun because we got to drive it around the yard, but not too far away from the barn, because once it ran dry, we had to push it back into the Whistle House. That is if you could figure out first how to put it in neutral. Fortunately we know where the manuals. That is if you can figure out how to read them.
The view from the bathroom upstairs in the Keeper Quarters is spectacular. Even the pilot of the Coast Guard helicopter that landed while I was here five years ago commented on that when he came out of the craft to make use of it. (And I thought he just wanted to shake my hand.)
Lunch was the last of the shrimp chowder, more eggplant parmesan, and a grilled cheddar cheese on olive garlic bread.
The south side of the house was protected today from the wind, and the setting sun was so warm and peaceful, we stayed on the back porch for a long time soaking it in.
I was privileged five years ago when I was here for three and a half months in the summer, to meet Jackson, one of the local lobstermen, and make an arrangement that I’ve used every time I’ve come to the island since. Jackson’s number is still in my cell phone and all I need to do is call and leave a message the night before we plan lobster for dinner. He ties a keeper box to one of the moors in the cove which floats just below the surface of the water. We can put water to boil on the stove in the huge lobster pot late in the afternoon and head down to the cove with a tall plastic pail; untie the dingy, and paddle out to the box which contains our order, filled just as we requested. By the time we’ve paddled back and secured the boat, climbed over the rocks and up the stairs and up the trail to the top, the water is boiling and in go the lobster for the freshest meal you’ve ever had. I prefer meeting Jackson in the cove so that we can chat, and he is a talker. But if we don’t connect, I leave a blank check made out to his son Jake for his college fund and let Jackson fill in the amount. At these prices, we could have lobster every day of the week.
Cyndy wanted to have lobster races but I thought that seemed cruel. Instead, we let Grady play with one of them who went very still very quickly. So that wasn’t cruel.
I love Grady dearly and will miss him very much but my advise to anyone who wants a dog (me included) is to avoid the puppy stage and get a rescue dog from the pound who will love you for the rest of the time you have together. Our last sun set and we enjoyed the best meal we had in all of our sixteen days on the island.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Ethan was due to come with Anne and Greg to help do the final close down of the island at eight in the morning and called last night to say they were coming at seven thirty instead and wanted to make a quick departure after the work was done, because high seas were expected. We were up at five and the cove was calm but the wind and the waves from the southwest were kicking up. Per tradition, after a lobster meal, the next morning the shells go back into the ocean on Cobblestone Beach.
I had hoped to take photos of our departure and the final close down but it was too fast and furious and it seemed we were not as prepared as we should have been. Apparently the trip out for the crew on the boat was a really rough one and they we very worried about the return.
Greg is champion of the big aspects of the final shut down and takes charge of shutting down the water, which involves draining the pipes, and turning off the electricity. We thought we’d have time during this process, to put the final screen gates on the downstairs windows but in fact, the crew was disappointed we hadn’t already taken care of this.
To make a long story short, we made such fast work of all of this and hightailed it down to the cove so quickly that there wasn’t even time for a selfie. We had intended to tow the dingy back to shore to winterize it but instead, ended up tying it to a mooring with most of our provisions in it for weight as it wasn’t advisable to take it out on the high seas. Ethan said he’d come for it tomorrow and I hope he’ll take me along to help. It’s like a refrigerator there so we’re not worried about the food from the fridge going bad; we just don’t really know what we’re going to have for dinner.
Fortunately the trip back wasn’t as bad as the one out, according to the captain, but we managed to get soaked in the choppy water regardless. Grady was secure on Anne’s lap in my old canvas bag but was still shaking like a leaf on my lap later on in the car.
It’s a shock to be back on the mainland. Cyndy’s car wouldn’t start and after Anne gave it a jump, we were on our way, enjoying the fall foliage. (Tthe colors had really popped while we were on the island.) But trying to start it again at Cyndy’s house after we’d unpacked was a no go so she was off to the neighbor for jumper cables. So off to that big store starting with the letter W for a new battery. I went inside to look for matching curtains to the ones in the living room of the caretaker quarters, so that we could use them on the two doors into the room, but they were not in stock and the whole experience really brought us down. After purchasing the Sunday New York Times at the drug store in Bath and a coffee at Cafe Creme, we went for a truly delightful lunch at the new Winnegance Cafe and are now tucked in for the day to recuperate.
We enjoyed our sixteen days on the island more than you can imagine and got a lot of work done too. It’s always a privilege to carry on this tradition with such caring friends who are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of this wonderful light, and we are grateful to share with them this responsibility.
Your first sight of the first order Fresnel lens at Seguin Light will take your breath away. Each time you view it after that is no less magical.
Loved the commentary and pictures of our favorite island! Good work. Hope to see Michael, Jim, and Cyndy on a tropical island this winter!!!
Thanks Mary. That would be so much fun.