The Lighthouse Keeper of Seguin Island

We sailed our home into the snug harbor of Seguin Island, made fast to the last of the moorings, and rowed in to the rocky beach that was midway through the rising tide. We’d read in our cruising guide that the island was home to one of the last manned lighthouses in the U.S. so we had to (at the very least) check it out. After making landfall (which is always a big deal when we’ve been underway for a while, being as though “Terra Firma” is rather hard to deal with after being on a small, constantly moving sailboat for more than a few days) we made our psych-adjustments and headed inland towards the lighthouse beaming at the top of the island. The trail leading up to the actual lighthouse station was a perfectly manicured 4 foot strip of soft mowed lawn that winds its way up to the station house. Everything on the grounds seemed to be as well kept as that trail. The station was perfectly painted, all the grounds were mowed with quite a few trails leading away off down to the cliffs all around the island. Looking back at our boat on the mooring in the snug harbor was awesome! We were met at the top of the trail by Larry, one of the two volunteer summer lighthouse keepers. Him, his wife T’Ann and the (unofficial) lighthouse mascot, Bandit the oddly dignified chihuahua. As it turns out the lighthouse is only “manned” during the summer months, and only on a volunteer basis. The Coast Guard maintains the light and the horn, but the rest of the island belongs to a non-profit org called Friends of Seguin. T’Ann was the daughter of a former Seguin lighthouse keeper from the days when the Coast Guard staffed the[…]

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Smooth Sailing Is Hard to Write

We just recently saw ourselves in a distorted mirror. I (James) was talking to my friend and woodworking client, Don, who expressed his understanding, based on our blog posts, that we were miserable. From pulling the engine cabling into the transmission, to running out of fuel, to the toerail breaking, to boats bumping us in the night, he thought we were “living in hell”. Screeeeeeech. No, Don. Not at all. It dawned on me that what we write in the blog are the mishaps because they bring contrast to the beauty of what we do. They provide the spice in what otherwise would be a fairly monotonous tale. Not boring to live, but with enough repetition that it’s hard to find new ways of expressing the beauty. We found out a long time ago that photos are faster, easier, and more effective at communicating the experiences of watching the sun set, of staring at our dinghy as it wags behind us like a tail, of sitting and watching the world of other boats come and go around us. Words are powerful tools, but bringing them to bear on largely non-verbal, maybe even pre-verbal, experiences of the senses is hard work. When you’re living your dreams, even in very moments of the mishaps, it’s absolutely beautiful.

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