Posted by: tflana | June 2, 2018

First Day of Work

First Day of ‘Work’ – June 1, 2018


Pa Baker at Sunrise

Pa Baker Lighthouse at Sunrise

Sparrow at Sunrise

A Sparrow enjoying a beautiful morning


I woke up early enough to get a picture of the sunrise today, unfortunately, the low clouds didn’t want to cooperate. The biggest challenge of living in a new location is figuring out where the best camera angles are for the perfect picture. The less than spectacular sunrise allowed me to figure out where to stand to get the sunrise picture without all the solar panel equipment in the scene. The solar panels are a reality living on the island but not the greatest subject matter when you are trying to include the lighthouse in a shot. This is the beauty of digital cameras, you can take thousands of pictures and get that one you will keep without cost or time waiting to look at the pictures.

As I write each day’s blog, I sit at the kitchen table in the Keeper’s House overlooking the northeast corner of the island facing Manchaster by the Sea. Not bad for a view from an office. My usual routine is to percolate a pot of coffee as the sunrises, Brian sleeps in, and I write or catch up on my computer work. It is one of the most peaceful times for me without distractions. This allows me to just think! More people need to stop and find that spot where you can think without so many distractions. And of course, everyone should have a perfect spot to enjoy their first cup of coffee of the day!


Brian cutting grass

Brian cutting the edges of the lawn

Once Brian woke up, it was time to start working on the landscaping of the compound. With the cool and wet conditions out here, the grass grows like hay and will need to be cut once/twice a week until July rolls around. It is fun for me to play on the riding mowers and Brian gets the detail work with the push mower or weedwhacker. Starting at 8am, the grass cutting commenced. There is a lot of grass here to enjoy but it will take a few times before I realize where all the hazards are and the best way to make the lawns looks great! Right now, we are focusing on getting it shorter, the pretty work will start on the next time.




The Norseman Rock Formation

Brian and I got a good amount done before lunch but there is still more to get done. The goal was to get the main yard cut and trimmed, we would move onto the trails tomorrow. The first section I cut was near our cottage because the grass was so tall, Ms. Pickles had a hard time walking through it, it was taller than her. I felt bad the night before because she had a hard time exploring and pushing her way through the tall grass. My goal was successful because her afternoon adventure included sniffing every corner of the cottage yard and did some crazy run around patterns, she is truly enjoying her new kingdom.



Black Back and Herring Gull

A Blackback Gull on the left and a Herring Gull on the right & both of their nests are right next to each other

Living on the island, it is important to play as well as work. We sometimes feel like little kids making sure we get our chores done so we can go off exploring. Both of us put in a 7-hour work day yesterday and it was time to go off exploring. I hadn’t walked all the trails yet, of course Brian had so off he went as lead pathfinder to show me the shore line! This also gave us a chance to see how best to tackle the cutting of the trails. I finally got to see the rock formation called the Norseman but could not get a great profile picture because the seagulls are nesting and did not taking kindly to visitors. As they see us walking around more frequently they will settle down some but will still want to poop on our heads when we get close to their nests.



Gypsy Moth Catepillars

A Tent Caterpillar nest seen along our walk today

I also found some sea glass along the outgoing tide line. Last summer on Seguin Island, I tried to give myself about 20 minutes of me time along the beach at low tide gathering sea glass, now I need to pay more attention to the tides to add this to my day. They are all small pieces but beautiful none the less and I even found a small blue piece, which is usually my indication to stop searching for the day. Brian’s scavenger hunt usually includes metal and figuring out what each piece was in its working days. He found something washed ashore and it does have some identifying marks, but he needs to sand off some rust to figure them out and work on researching what it was.


As we were walking along the beach, there was a schooner sailing by. One of the fun things we do is use our AIS (Automatic Identification System) app on our iPad to be able to identify the boats that pass us. In this case, I took the pictures and went back to the cottage to check on the name of the vessel. It is the Harvey Gamage,(it also has a not so good nickname, the Hardly Damaged) a sailing schooner that usually gives tours. It also was a frequent visitor around Seguin Island last summer. This is our version of a traffic report!


Harvey Gamage

The Harvey Gamage sailing past the island

When we returned to the cottage it was our first time working with the shower system in the cottage, the good news is we have great hot water, but you need to be a speedy showerer to have it for the entire shower. It seems as we get about 2 minutes of hot water and then it cuts off to cold. If you shut off the hot water and wait a minute and turn it back on, you have another minute of hot to rinse. Turns out, it is all based on water pressure talking to the on-demand water propane water heater. If the pressure drops below 20 psi in the water tank, the propane heater shuts off because it wants a psi of 20-80 to heat the water. There was a helpful not on how to take a shower from a previous keeper, but we are varying the process a little and will figure it all out, so no one has to take a cold shower. There is a solar shower in the work shop which we may bring out for use as the weather warms up and we spend time in the water, showering outside will keep the sand out of the cottage.


As sailors we tend to keep a continuous eye on the weather, our whole life and home’s safety is at the whim of mother nature. As Brian checked the weather after dinner last night, we figured out if we are going to go to town to provision, we may want to do it on Saturday morning. If we miss this weather window, we may not get ashore until Friday or next Saturday. So the morning plan is made for us to go to Manchester by the Sea to get some fresh fruit, veggies and a few other necessities. When we get back we will tackle the trails.

The sun set at 8:15pm and we had a bird’s eye view of it, we could see the skyline of Boston and all the lights coming on along the shoreline surrounding us. Another perfect ending to a busy day.

Lowtide: 7:15am
Hightide: 1:31pm
Sunrise: 5:08am
Sunset: 8:15pm

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