Day Twenty-Five: Rock Olympics Begin

09 February 2014 (Sunday)

Wake up at 0715. I fill the generator with fuel and start it up. Head in to make coffee. Tanya makes cream of wheat.

Waiting for coffee I notice that there is a gray seal pup up high on the other side of the fault line. It’s reasonably close

Gray seal pup with blood on neck

Gray seal pup with blood on neck

to the house. It is too large to be the young pup we watched from the house early one, so I assume it is the older pup we originally found on the south side. It makes it’s way over the cliff and hides behind the rock.

Kathy and Kerry set out slides on the catwalk and foghorn, then move down and collect ice from spire. Kerry mentions seeing a large seal high up near their small weather tower.

At 1030 I head outside to get check out how the sun light hits the house during this time of year. In particular I am curious how exposed the southern attic wall is to the light.

Large tanker passes close by the island, giving us something new to look at

Large tanker passes close by the island, giving us something new to look at

I have been talking to Dan about ways to mount solar in a weather tight fashion when we leave. We need to power the weather laptop. Dan’s idea is to get it on a flat surface to minimize wind pressure. Looking at the peak of the house I notice that for most of the day the shadow of the generator shed, which sits just to the south of the house, is well under the peak. We could easily mount on large panel there and get fair sun throughout the day. My only concern is adding holes in the house. Dan thinks it is an OK plan, we will give it a shot when he arrives with the film crew on Feb 17.

Seals don't seem to notice the tanker

Seals don’t seem to notice the tanker

Looking at the weather things are calm until Friday-Saturday. Then a quick low pressure is to pass south of the Gulf of Maine and create some swell. There is a chance we will see 8-11 ft seas by Friday, but without much wind. Should be fun to watch. Hopefully by Saturday, when we are supposed to pick up the next crew, the seas will subside.

Kerry goes above and beyond and pipes our weather station data to two different websites. The fist site is a little clunky but has a very large console display. The second is a bit more subdued and professional. The second one also allows us to name the station MDRLIGHT and add links to other websites. This one will become our primary link for weather. The only issue is that it displays wind in MPH, whereas we prefer knots. It is an OK tradeoff, we will always have access to the raw data as well.

Becca beginning her hop!

Becca beginning her hop!

Today marked the first day of Rock Olympics. To minimize boredom we are instituting our own Olympic Games here, with one contest per day. Today was the wobble water jug race. Rules are you must hold an empty 5 gallon jug between your legs and, without touching it with

Kerry takes the slow approach...

Kerry takes the slow approach…

your hands or it hitting the ground, travel the length of the east boardwalk to the solar panels. Before the games began we officially sung the national anthem. I bring out a deck of cards, lowest card goes first. Tanya and Kathy tie, so a thumb war ensues as a tie-breaker. Tanya, representing Belfast ME, is victor and opts to go first. She uses the hopping method and comes in at 12.82 seconds. Next Kathy, who represents NH, takes off. She is also hopping, but has too much vertical momentum and it takes her 20.28. Kerry, hailing from VT, is next. Upon “Go!” he walks as slowly as possible down the

Tanya and Chris go head to head

Tanya and Chris go head to head

track. 53.18 seconds later he crosses. Becca, competing for AK, is quick out of the gate but slows during the “hill” portion. She comes in at 19.06 seconds, thus displacing Kathy. I am last, representing MA. I planned on running but this quickly morphed into a hop, and then a giant sideways hop down the track. I ended up squeezing and bending the bottle, which may not be legal, but managed to beat Tanya with an 11.19 time. After she and I race head to head and she wins. Tomorrow is paper airplane and snowball launching from the lighthouse tower.

Chris shows off his medal

Chris shows off his medal

After the olympics we take advantage of the 5 kt winds and burn cardboard. A few people make S’mores.

Someone has been drinking a lot of Mountain Dew...

Someone has been drinking a lot of Mountain Dew…

From the tower we notice that seal has left a significant track, or chute, across the island and up very high. No sign of the seal, it must have come and gone overnight.

At some point during the day Tanya sees a red-breasted merganser. It is quite far away, near the seal ledges, so the photos do not turn out great.

Arrows point to long seal track crossing the island

Arrows point to long seal track crossing the island

For dinner Kathy makes chicken and veggie curry again, this time over pasta, and cheese on the side.

Bed by 2130.


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