Day Thirty-Four: Saying Goodbye

18 February 2014 (Tuesday)

Wake up at 0600. As predicted the winds have come around and

A christmas tree brought to the island two winters ago still stands in the debris forest

A christmas tree brought to the island two winters ago still stands in the debris forest

the ramp cove is calm. The occasional small roller piles in but all of yesterday’s energy is dissipated. Encouraging news. I call Chris Candage, who has been up since five preparing Georgia Madison, to confer. All is a go. We move the outboard motor in front of the heater. Time to prepare for logistics.

High tide is not until 1240 this afternoon, so we have a little bit of prep time. Kathy and Kerry are up early to disassemble the secondary weather station. Kerry paints some small circles around the bolts left in the rock for potential future use.

Chris and Tanya get ready to launch the boat for yet another logistics day

Chris and Tanya get ready to launch the boat for yet another logistics day

Kathy, Kerry, and Rebecca finish packing by 0930. Tanya and I launch the inflatable at 1000. The Georgia Madison arrives at the same time. We need to let the outboard run and wait for a higher tide before we can start the supply run. I let Chris know this and he takes the new crew for a journey around the Rock

Tanya leads new guests across the rocks

Tanya leads new guests across the rocks

while I sit in the cove and run the engine. 20 minutes later and we start running gear. We load up the empty propane bottles and I shoot out and meet the boat. I run the new crew into shore and drop them on the rocks adjacent to the ramp to unload. Everyone seems excited to be at the island. This is gratifying after all the struggle to get them here. For this supply run we need to send more off the island than is coming on. Because we did not send anything home during our mid-project supply run, this one ends up taking 6 or 7 trips.

Chris says goodbye to Kathy, Kerry, and Becca as he drops them off on the Georgia Madison

Chris says goodbye to Kathy, Kerry, and Becca as he drops them off on the Georgia Madison

On the last run Tanya and I bid farewell to Kathy, Kerry, and Rebecca. It has been quite a journey for us all, and it is sad to see them go. This moment comes several times during each season at Mount Desert Rock, and it is always abrupt. The tide is going and the boat is waiting. As much as you would like to prolong your friends’ departure it is imperative that you keep moving. We all grab a piece of the boat and slide it down the ramp, jumping in at the last moment. Kathy and Kerry peer back at MDR with what I think and hope is gratitude for what they found this winter. We are certainly grateful for their time. A few waves, hugs, and handshakes later and the crew are stowed aboard ‘Georgia Madison’ for one last ride. Tanya and I were supposed to be climbing aboard today as well, but I turn and make my way back to the ramp. Even with 31 days under my belt I have no reservations about doing so. I am looking forward to what the next week has to offer.

Georgia Madison leaves MDR in her wake. The crew heads back to shore after a successful winter season.

Georgia Madison leaves MDR in her wake. The crew heads back to shore after a successful winter season.

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