Categorized | Keeper's Log



DAY 1. 9.28.11
Beautiful day, highest tide of several months. 16.8 feet. Crazy.
Began with a radio call from Terry in town. Had to meet the Axiom Technologies team on the boat ramp at 9:30. We spent almost four hours but they were successful in placing an antenna on a tree on the north side on Widow’s Bluff, then ran a cable almost 300’ through the woods back to the house. Successfully hooked up internet and wifi, with a pretty good connection. Wow. First time an email has been sent from Little River.
Did some online work, including responding to the Worcester School District turning down the teaching job offer. At the same time heard from the state of MA that I had been officially certified as a licensed educator in MA.
Headed into Machias without Shasta and the car just lost power while I was driving, while still in Cutler. Tim came and got me and they gave me Kathy’s car, as they are going to the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival for two weeks. Ugh. Car is on side of road and I have to figure out where and how to tow it tomorrow.
Got back to Island and worked on the Endeavor project.
Hot dogs for dinner – didn’t get to the store obviously.
Did some emails while listening to CBC1 Radio.
Very tired and heading to bed shortly.
The stars are again mindblowing. Several nights in a row. Clear and dark. Wow.

Day 2 9.29.11
Woke up and went down to boathouse to call AAA. Arranged to have the car towed where it sat since yesterday on Route 191. There are advantages to being in a rural area. Truck came and took car and they’ll look at it tomorrow. Went into town looking for bulbs for my globes but no luck. Met with the Branch Manager of EBS (building supply) about pellet stoves and cellar insulation. Good meeting. Went to Hannaford’s for some provisions, mostly dinner related. Stopped at Tim and Kathy’s to pick up part for Hardy Boys Boat. Stopped by Ken and Pam Britton’s and spoke with Ken. Met Lee from the Christina Marie (Norb’s boat). Left message for Adam to call me about wrinkling. Got to wharf about 3 hours past high tide and it was then pouring. Loaded bags down by rope and headed out to island. Not bad. I’m sure it will be much worse. Shasta was very happy to see me as this is really the third time I’ve left her alone. Made a BLT sandwich which was wonderful and did some work. No mowing the lawn today. Should’ve done it earlier. Called Deb and now settling in for a few hours of work. Have got to finish the DOC. Just make it “Good Enuf”. Nice to have internet!

Day 3 9.30.11
Raining in the am. Then cleared up and turned out to be a beautiful day. And warm. Not going off island today. Shasta’s leg seemed to still hurt, she was still limping, until we went out and she started chasing squirrels again. She was paying for it later. Worked on a bunch of stuff. Had a great yogurt and berry breakfast. Mowed the lawn with the new lawnmower which was quite a workout still, but in a different way as this one is self-propelled. Wow, hard to keep up with. Power-Mowing! Great dinner of pasta with an artichoke marinara sauce. Had a great conversation with this guy Tim Sheehan who had posted an ad on craigslist for Wrinklers. Turns out he’s Tidepool Tim, a blog I have read. He’s a marine biologist and friend’s with Scott Fraser from WCCC, who I met when he brought his family into the harbor on a sailboat a few weeks ago. Could be some real interesting possibilities there with kelp harvesting in the salmon pens, wrinkling, and even helping him with marketing. Have to apply for a “harvester license” which I will try to do today. Discovered that HULU works for me and watched the premier episode of Pan Am, which of course I loved cause I love that period and happen to be especially fond of Pan Am brand/legacy.

Day 4 10.1.11
Raining and grey all day. I love that. Not foggy though. Shasta’s front leg seems a little better. Had Blueberry coffee and scrambled eggs, rye toast for breakfast. Worked on TLE document most of the day. Finally finished it to where it’s “good enuf” although I am pretty happy with it. Made some changes to the animoto video but it wouldn’t take the text slides I made up for the end. I tried it four times. Hmmmm. Can’t figure this out and don’t want to have to wait till Monday for assistance. Continued working, had leftover pasta dinner. Watched the first two episodes of The Playboy Club on hulu, which I loved. I have such a fondness for the mid-century period. Wind has been picking up. Still not cold though. Got to figure out how to raise some money fast.

Day 5 10.2.11
It’s Sunday so nobody’s going fishing. It’s also blowing like crazy, probably a good 20-25k out of the northeast and raining a bit. Blowing so hard it knocked the double Adirondack chair that sits out on the lawn clean over and that’s pretty hard to move with two people. Decided to head into town to meet with Adam to learn more about wrinkling – that’s harvesting periwinkles at $1 a pound. Left Shasta behind, which turned out to be smart. Assessed the harbor conditions and figured I could manage it. Got halfway across in the Hardy Boys boat, a 14’ Lund with a 15 hp Yamaha and the engine died. Couldn’t get her re-started and I started being blown pretty quickly to the southwest side of the harbor, which is the unpopulated side. I tried rowing but the wind was too strong. It became apparent that I was headed for a band of rocks and no matter how hard I rowed, that was my impending destination. I never walk out of the cottage without the handheld VHF and so I radioed for help. Not a lot of folks have their radio on on Sunday but on the second try John from Rebby’s Mistress responded. He and his son Jordan were on their way, coming from about 3 miles away. Rowing with all I had I was trying to get past the trajectory that would throw me against the rocks, repeatedly, and probably swamp the boat. That would land me in the water, in which I would maybe have 5-10 minutes of strength assuming I survived being slammed against the rocks. Now it was just a matter of time. I radioed again and John’s wife repeated they were on their way. As I was about 50 yards short when I spotted a small skiff headed in my direction. By the time they reached me I was about 25 yards from the protruding rocks and maybe another five minutes short of impact. Wow, a good dry run so to speak. In fact, if the wind had been coming from the west I would’ve been blown out of the harbor into the ocean and quickly out of radio range. I’m very cautious and conservative but I did make a couple of mistakes I won’t make again. Always take the windward side of the harbor so that should I have engine failure I have more time. Secondly, if the wind is blowing out to sea, don’t make the trip! Thirdly, I need to get an anchor with about 100’ of line on it so that I might be able to secure myself from going anywhere. I do have an airhorn, whistle, first aid kit and knife onboard, and always have a life jacket on before I even step off the dock. But I learned some great lessons today.

They towed me back to the island and it just goes to show how this community of fisherman support each other. The whole thing could’ve turned out very differently without their swift response.

Spent the rest of the evening putting a few final edits on the Endeavor document and finally fixed the closing slides on the Endeavor video piece.

Dinner and bed.

Day 6 10.3.11
Chatter on the radio was fairly incessant from about 3am on. But I won’t turn it off. So I sleep with one eye open. Cleared up by mid-day. Yogurt and craisins and blueberries for breakfast. Shasta is still limping in the am. Worked on sending the document and video package out first part of the day. Shower and other stuff. Sorted out the recyclables and bagged them and brought them to the boat. Left
Shasta again and fired up the Hardy Boys boat. Seemed fine, even in reverse but when I put her in forward she died. Only about 40’ from the dock but tide was incoming and I was being drawn away. Was certainly not going to call for assistance two days in a row. Rowed like crazy for 30 minutes to get back to dock and took the other boat, the Mac boat into town. Had to go to post office and redemption center, where I was promptly redeemed. Back into Cutler and went to Jeremy and Charlene’s house – talked about project and other things I need to do to be safer on that boat and harbor passage. I need a proper anchor and line, along with a flare gun. I have a radio, strobe, oars, life jackets, knife, etc. He’s going to help me with that. Was heading back in and rode by to say hello to Nick, Captain of the Phantom, who was with crew on one of the floats weighing today’s catch. Said hello and he asked me if I’d like a couple of “bugs for supper”. I said yes and he tossed them onto the deck of the Mac Boat. Off I went, stopping to make a visual check of the quality of kale growing on the abandoned salmon pens, as I’m hoping to make a business venture out of their harvesting. Quality looked great – I’m no expert, and then the light got all glinty and I stopped to shoot some shots of a buoy which I think I might have gotten one good one. Which is great. Walked back to the cottage, fed Shasta, carefully made my way down the rocks in the front yard to fill a bucket with seawater to steam the bugs – lobsters. Did some emails and work and I will soon eat, then do some more project work. Listening to CBC radio, which is much more globally focused than US radio. Hmmmm. A whole nother subject. Dinner – lobster, olives, broccoli, and some home baked bread from a friend. Oh, and “weatha” is coming for Weds and Thurs. …

Day 7 10.4.11

Worked online in the morning. On the Endeavor. Waited for the tide. Wind was blowing like crazy again today. And raining. But pretty warm – mid 50s. Rode the Mac boat in around 3p and went to A2Z (convenience store). Joanie was there, and Bobbie Jo. Picked up a few things and came back. Worked more. Dinner was chicken breast with artichoke marinara sauce over tortellini. All good. Watched pilot episode of Terra Nova on hulu. Pretty good. Slept poorly. Shasta slept great, as usual.

Day 8 10.5.11
OK, today it’s cold. 45 makes it cold I think. Windy too. But gorgeous. Worked on website, blog and networking all day. A lot of outreach. Thanks to Matt Griffin and Rich Whitney for getting the site together. Stayed on island. A lot to figure out before I head to MA Friday for a few days. Skype is a nice addition. Had multiple conversations today. The ocean now looks different. It looks like winter. It’s a different color or hue now. Darker blue. House is still warm enough with just the electric heaters, but won’t be for long. Dinner was lobster bisque and cheese and crackers.

Day 9  10.6.11

Thursday and another crisp blue autumn day.  Continued to work on the website, which is coming along nicely.  Scheduled our first educational event today!  On Saturday Oct 22nd a group of students from Washington County Community College will be sailing in and will spend half a day on the island – learning about nautical navigation, lighthouse history and preservation, and hopefully being inspired to follow one’s dreams and do what you truly love.  Seanie will be here still then, so he’ll be able to shoot it and Dave Corbett and his wife Cheryl will be here too.  Dave’s father grew up on the island as the son of the last lighthouse service keeper here before the coast guard took over.  He has wonderful stories to share and will add a lot to the student’s experience.  This is the kind of opportunity I want us to be able to offer many educational groups and other organizations.




  1. Scott Sade says:

    I truly enjoy reading on this website , it contains wonderful content . “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” by Andre Gide.

  2. Richard Rocko Yates says:

    Bill, it’s Rocko, your old flyer hanger and sometimes bouncer for Rockitz and other shows you put together at other Richmond locales. I am so proud of you for following your muse. Your few posts on Facebook aroused my curiousity enough to where I said, “Okay, let’s go see what Bill Kitchen is doing,” thinking you were still living in NYC amid all the hustlers while you tried to raise funds to save this lighthouse. And then once I landed on this website of yours and started reading your blog, I thought, “Wow! Kitchen is a modern day Thoreau! He’s turned inward and is in touch with what is important in life.”

    I just started reading your entries from Day 1 and intend to read them all ’til I’m up to date. I will be in contact after I read all the entries.

    You and Woode are heroes of mine. I’m starting to take those first steps lie you have both done.

    More later.

    Rocko in Key West

    • Bill Kitchen says:

      wow pal! how nice to hear from you! and thanks for the props. besides the education and preservation angles, i am hoping to inspire others the step outside their comfort zone. i look forward to chatting. mobile phone? you can’t call me but i can call you.


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