Posted by: tflana | June 9, 2018

Our First Volunteer Day

Today was our first day on island with volunteers coming out to help us with some work projects.  A few things differ about Baker’s Island and Seguin Island from our stay there last year, the biggest difference is we get to meet and work with the volunteers here at Bakers, on Seguin, when the volunteers came out we had a day off the island.  This made a big disconnect between us as caretakers and others who loved the island as well.  My routine on volunteer day is to wake up and bake a goodie for coffee break, gives me a chance to bake and seeing as Brian doesn’t like sweets, I get to share the snacks with others.  Todays snack was brownies because I realized I have no brown sugar on island and had to use what I had available.

As I was on the beach awaiting the arrival of everyone, I took a few minutes to sea glass hunt.  The pieces of sea glass on this beach are not very big and green is the predominate color.  And most of the pieces found are rounded like jelly beans, but it still is fun for me to pass the time.  When you finally find a piece, it is like finding an emerald in a field of greys and blacks.


The Naumkeag’s landing on the beach with supplies and volunteers

We were told they would arrive around 9:15a on the Naumkeag and were asked to be on beach to help with the landing and unloading of people and supplies. The weather was perfect for the volunteers, bright blue skies and cooler temperatures, really for first time volunteers what an introduction to the island.  Once we gave everyone the tour of the buildings and a little bit of the history, we got to work.  The two big projects we are trying to tackle this month are clearing the bittersweet out of the clearing along the Captain Blackman Trail and then using the woodchipper to get rid of the branches, the other project is scraping, priming and painting the front porch of the Keepers House.  Everyone in the porch group spent a few hours scraping and chatting which made the time go by quickly.  I soon realized there is a lot of rot in the trim pieces, so tomorrow we will head into town and purchase some lumber and replace the rot.  The group with the woodchipper got some of the branches cleared but the woodchipper had some hurtles to jump to get to work, but this will be an ongoing project.  The volunteers were a great asset and by 2pm, we made a huge dent in this summers projects, and Brian and I had a chance to go over areas on the island we think need addressing with Essex Heritage.

The Director, Annie Harris, has been trying to get pictures of Naumkeag on the water with the lighthouse in the background.  Brian and I agreed to take the cameras out on the Mako and follow the Naumkeag around the island taking pictures.  I took over 500 pictures with the phone and my Canon with the hopes one of the pictures will work for the promotional material.  But we did get to circumnavigate the island for the first time and we both realized how small the island is.


Brian manning the Mako while I sit in the bow taking pictures of the Naumkeag


I think this is the “money” shot of the day.

After we put the boats to rest for the night, we walked back up to the cottage with dark storm clouds following us.  It was time to quickly put away all our tools and close the buildings because rain was on its way.  Within minutes, we had a 10-minute downpour, and ran into the house to try to keep from getting soaked.  Brian took one more attempt of normalizing the hot water for the shower while the volunteers were here, and thankfully, they remembered to bring out the bicycle pump he needed to fix the pressure in the water pump. The true test was could we take a shower with hot water lasting for more than 3 minutes, and finally, we can answer yes!  We both had enough hot water to lather up and rinse, no cold water this time around.  The true test is if the same happens tomorrow.

Last year on Seguin, we had a mascot seagull we named Sam. He was always watching us and would try to take Brian’s things he would leave outside. We hope the Maine Sam is alive and well, but we think we now have a Massachusetts Sam. Last night he tried to take our tray from the bbq, and tonight while Brian was grilling, Sam paid very close attention to the action. He also is the seagull who you will see sitting on the USCG solar panels.

Another gorgeous end to our day, we decided to climb the tower to watch the sunset, and it did not disappoint. I know I have stated it before, this is a volunteer job for Brian and I but we get paid when we are watching mother nature paint a gorgeous mural across the sky.

High tide:  7:01am

Low tide:  1:15pm

Sunrise:  5:05am

Sunset:  8:18pm

Man hours worked today:  10

Total man hours worked: 77

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