Sunday, May 31, 2015

2015 Opening Weekend - Day Two

A beautiful sunny Sunday at our St. Helena Island light station last weekend.
The combination of improved weather and the poison ivy barely poking its head through the ground created an irresistible opportunity for most of our crew to set out across the the island to explore the site of the old fishing village which existed on the north shore in the mid 1800's.
This tree clearly took root many years after the fence was erected around the grave site of the young man who was buried here.
Ric Mixter proudly shows off his new friend "Wittle Fishy" whom he found on the shore near the old village site. Knowing Ric, we would not be surprised to see this fish showing up on his Facebook page at some tim.

A carefully placed foot gives dimension to this large pile of scat that was lying out in the open trail. We can only wonder who might be responsible - coyote, wolf, bobcat! The complete lack of evidence of any of the once abundant snowshoe hares on the island bears witness to the fact that there have been some larger predators on the island of late.
The crew made numerous stops along the way to pause and pick up trash and tale a close up look at wild flowers. Something really seems to have everyone's attention here ....
Walking the shore in the bay around which the village was located 175 years ago. Imagine the tales these beach stones could tell if only we could understand them.
Ric Mixter and Bob Brunais de-barking some cedars that Bob cut last year. It is our plan to split them and use them in building a fence.
One of the final tasks was for Rc Mixter to don his dry suit and SCUBA gear and dive on the two moorings we maintain offshore. Here we see Ric in the water, MaryAnn Moore at the helm and Terry Pepper connecting the buoy to the chain mooring. Note the whitecaps out in the water between the island and the north shore.
Mike Finn and Jim Koch sift soil to remove any artifacts and to prepare it for use in the garden.
As the day wound down and we managed to cross just about all of our tasks from "the list," most of the guys ended up helping out with garden p[reparation.
The marine weather forecast predicted that the water would begin flattening-out after 6:00 PM on Sunday, and they were spot on. Here we see our crew loading both of the Zodiacs ready for the trip back to the mainland. For safety reasons, we made two round trips in each of the boats.
AMARANTH, the first of out two Zodiacs departs the dock headed for the mainland.
Once we got out of the lee of the island, the waves picked up a little, and everyone got a free shower before we made it to the mainland. The buoy in the background marks the mooring we hooked up earlier that day.
Back on te mainland, AMARANTH and MARIGOLD are loaded back on the trailer, and ready to be put back in storage for a week. A HUGE Thank You to the entire crew for helping out on this somewhat challenging weekend! Our volunteers are AWESOME!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

2015 Opening Weekend - Day One

The boats and gear are all on the beach, and we are getting ready to head out. St. Helena Island can be seen two miles offshore to the right.
Preparing to launch AMARANTH, one of our two fourteen-foot Zodiacs.
AMARANTH in the water. Time to get the motor.
Getting ready to lower the motor and fire it up.
Because of all the gear we brought to the island for opening, we had to make a total of five round trips.
AMARANTH makes her second trip to the island with a couple of freighters and the Mackinac Bridge in the background.
Both AMARANTH and MARIGOLD are tied up to the dock and we are bringing up the final load of supplies.
After unloading all our gear, some time at the fire pit was called for to remove the chill from our bones.
The roll-out dock, which we pulled from the water at the end of the 2014 season, called us mockingly - reminding us that we would likely need to get wet once again as we returned it to its summer position in the lake.
But before we tackled the dock, some lunch was in order. Clearly, Marie Koch and Mary Pepper found something to brighten their day while preparing pulled pork sandwiches and salad for the crew!
One two three PUSH. The dock makes a begrudging return to the lake.As the only one with a dry suit, Ric Mixter volunteered to push the outer end.
The dock is in and leveled, and the crew pauses to give tribute to the V-Dock Company which manufactured the roll-out dock system. Left to Right - Ric Mixter, Bob Brunais, Steve Sheridan, Mike Finn, Jim Koch and Terry Pepper.
The weather finally cleared as the sun started to set, and we had the makings of a beautiful - but chilly - evening.
Some of the crew returned to the fire pit to warm up before turning in at the end of a productive day.