Day Thirteen: Eagles And Kites

28 January 2014 (Tuesday)

Wake up at 0730. Batteries are at 23.6 – not terrible for overnight. As we are talking about the daily plan I see a big bird right outside the window to the northeast. It is a

Juvenile bald eagle spotted during breakfast

Juvenile bald eagle spotted during breakfast

juvenile bald eagle, the second eagle in a few days out here. It moves out of view and then circles back and lands on the top of the ramp. I grab the camera but it takes off and I only get a couple of pictures of it in the air. The last two winters there were no eagle sightings, and we’ve now had two different eagles and a Peregrine falcon hanging around.

Kerry is interested to know how the generator starts, so we bundle up and head out. It needs a fuel fill so Kerry grabs a tank from the first floor of the lighthouse, where we have been storing all the gas. After a fill the generator starts right up.

The seals are way up high near the house again so we are careful about moving around. The propane bottle on the big Rinnai heater has run out, pretty much on schedule (5 days), and I switch it out. Down to 2.5 bottles left. We have been much more conservative with the small heater in the living room and that bottle has now lasted longer than the previous. As luck would have it I hear from Roger at Dead River Company and he is sending four new bottles to COA this afternoon. Now we just need to hear back from Chris Candage about charter. I have not heard a peep since the final drop-off and I hope he’s still planning to help us out. Otherwise we’re stuck.

DSCN5240The wind is lighter today, 20-25 kts, so Kathy and Kerry focus on setting out slides to capture spray particulate. They will also attempt to put yellow tape on the western cove spire to delineate meters at low tide. The sea should be light enough to get that done today.

Tanya and I go into the lighthouse for a tower watch (survey for whales) and a seal count. I bring along some tools so we can reset the weather station electronics box. The box has been set out such that the opening for the wires sit horizontally and we want to shift it vertically. However we do not find a suitable place to set it so leave it as is and plan on sealing the port.

Seals wondering what that brightly colored object in the sky is...

Seals wondering what that brightly colored object in the sky is…

In the late afternoon Kathy and Kerry set up a kite for a test run. They have brought two high grade kites with camera housings so that we can get aerial footage of MDR from the ground. They move to the south of the island to stay away from the seals, but as soon as the kite is air born they all take notice. They are craning their necks trying to figure out what this object is and it is pretty hilarious to watch. They shuffle a little but do not flush.

Kathy and Kerry setting the kite for its maiden voyage

Kathy and Kerry setting the kite for its maiden voyage

The winds are 16 kts and the kite flies better than any I’ve ever seen. Kathy says that flying a kite over the ocean is the most ideal site for winds as they are interrupted by land forms and so are very stable. That seems to make sense. I am impressed with how well it does. This time around there is no camera. If the winds stay light we will do one more

Tanya, Kathy, and Kerry on trial kite run

Tanya, Kathy, and Kerry on trial kite run

test tomorrow, with a weighted object, and then the real things. We all take a turn flying the kite, it pulls rather hard even in light winds. Satisfied with the test Kerry hauls it in while I spool the line. I look forward to getting some footage from this rig tomorrow.

It has been a sunny, mostly clear day and now the sun is setting with very nice color. The snow-capped hills of Acadia are in full view along with the surrounding islands, always a welcome sight out here. I’ve always been amazed with the variation in weather, light, and general atmosphere of this small island. No two days are exactly the same. I think this is part of the reason I can spend 30 days here and not go crazy. There is always something a little different around the corner to look forward to.

Kerry makes Rice-A-Roni with leftover chicken from last night for dinner, with salad. Kathy makes another round of bread that is delicious. I do the dishes.

After dinner I give Chris Candage a call and talk to his wife Maria. I mention that Saturday might be a good day for us to get a trip together and she says she thinks he is free. This is also the original date – Feb 1 – that we had planned for a re-supply. We plan on having a phone call in the next day to work out details, but prospects seem to be good. I am glad that they are still willing to work with us after the initial chaos.

Tonight is the state of the union address from Washington and Kerry tries to stream it online. It does work for a while but eventually gives up, and there’s no major effort to restart it. We are all pretty tired. Out here 2100 seems too late to begin a speech. From what I heard Obama sounded optimistic. I’ll assume that’s how the rest of it went.

Bed at 2230.

-Chris

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