Categorized | Uncategorized

Day 158 – Wednesday, March 14, 2012

“Mussel Mania”



A fierce northeasterly wind continues to challenge the ocean side of this island as it has done so since yesterday, and while the surprisingly weighty tandem Adirondack chairs have laid down and surrendered, the trees large and small solidly stand their ground.  The windows in the Keeper’s House rattle and clatter and despite storm windows, the rain finds its way inside the panes.  Water is funny like that.  It goes where it wants.  It somehow finds a way.

I have been contending with a lack of internet for the better part of the last few days and am reminded how reliant I am for the only connection I have to others besides the VHF radio, which has been mostly silent.  Keepers of days gone by were truly a different breed to have weathered that isolation.  I understand why this was always a lighthouse tended by families.

Monday afternoon I seized upon the opportunity to run into the Village, mostly for some companionship, and mostly because I could.  I started with a stop at the Post Office which despite the lack of anything awaiting my pick-up is nonetheless warming thanks to the two wonderful women who work there and always welcome me with a smile and chat.  Spotting Jeremy (skipper of the F/V Charlene Gail) outside with his kids I walked across the Mosley’s yard to say hello.  They were getting ready to shoot off model rockets.  Nice to know kids still do that.  And while earlier in the day I watched the first boat of the coming season head out with a load of traps, Jeremy explained that we’re still probably a good three weeks from the onset of any real fishing.  (“Fishing” here means lobstering btw).

I am hoping to secure a personal license for the five traps allowed, and guidance on how to properly fish them this spring.  I then headed over to Little River Lobster to see if Dean might be around, which he was, and we visited for a bit.  It is the simple things here that are so important, and valued.  I do love this Village and am grateful for the kindness and friendships I have been given.

Back to Jeremy’s to witness a launch or two and his Dad Brian had arrived to join in the aeronautics.  Brian owns the no longer used salmon pens that line the sides of the harbor.  He told me he had sold three of them and would be towing them south at the end of this week as the buyer was going to try to use them to farm-raise cod.  While happy for him, they are a daily and protective part of my little world and I will miss them.  He graciously invited me to snatch some of the mussels that grow on their rings on my way home for suppah, something I had never done because they weren’t mine to take, but was excited at the prospect.

Back on the wharf the setting sun’s light had turned glinty, my favorite, and I couldn’t resist taking some pictures.









On the way back to the island I pulled the Hardy Boys boat up alongside one of the pens and began plucking mussels, dropping them onto the bare bottom of the boat until I had about twenty, then headed home.  Here’s some snaps of the pens.







And here’s a pic of some creature I discovered when I got back to the dock, clinging to the mollusks.  It’s about an inch long.  After his cameo I returned him to the sea.


The mussels were steamed in salt water, then drizzled with melted garlic butter and it occurred to me how many times that must have been done by Keeper’s from the past.  Dinner.  Right there for the taking, in one’s backyard.  Everything tastes better in Cutler.

On a few other notes, Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City NJ is presenting a fascinating program on March 24 entitled “Lighthouse Empire – The Rum Runners” focused on the historic role lighthouses played during Prohibition.  It includes a theatrical performance, a 228 step climb up the tallest lighthouse in NJ and the third tallest in the US, along with “smuggled” wine and beer.  You can find more information here:

I recently ran into a small contingent of Girl Scouts who had set up shop at a convenience store in Machias, raising money and awareness for something good.  I approached one of the leaders with an invitation to spend some time on the island later in the spring.  We traditionally have the Boy Scouts out for a few days every summer but have never had the Girl Scouts.  I hope they will consider it.

Here’s a few other snaps from the afternoon of a “Dragger”, and trap line anchors sitting on the wharf for the winter…







Along the same lines, we have begun our formal outreach to schools and other organizations and if you know of any that might like to get involved with Little River Light, Little River Island, and The Lighthouse Endeavor please contact me at:

As I often mention, both this project and the Light are in serious need of funding support.  Much of the Keeper’s House needs immediate restorative work and the Tower desperately requires painting.  All donations are fully tax-deductible and most receive a commemorative gift ranging from t-shirts and caps to overnight stays.  Our newest item is the classic oval airport bumper sticker supporting Little River Light and The Lighthouse Endeavor.  All donations of $25 or more will receive one.  Here’s a quick pic…





Donations can be made by check, as well as via the Friends Of Little River website –  Can you please help us in this education and preservation project today?

As always, thanks for the support and interest, and please share these posts with friends.  Pics get bigger if you click on them.  I’ll keep the Light on.  Good Enuf.

(All photo rights reserved)


8 Responses to “Day 158 – Wednesday, March 14, 2012”

  1. Tim Harrison says:

    Excellent and informative post. I hope folks realize the importance of making a small dobation to the lighthouse, the new sticker is pretty cool and would look great on car windows to show they supported the lighthouse.

  2. elayne kitchen says:

    If I send a donation can I get an oval sticker (which is really cool) AND some mussels?

  3. Dave says:

    Great post. When you mention how water always gets in I am reminded of the old construction adage…water always wins. No matter how you try, it will find a way to beat you.
    Very nice shot of the sunset. People usually think only of sunrises in the “Sunrise County” but a sunset is as telling and as beautiful in its own right. Keep it coming my friend.

  4. Isaac Stephenson says:

    I want to try the personal license lobster fishing too. are on a cove in Lubec.
    Also want to stay at the light for my birthday, but having trouble getting a call back. Can you help?

  5. Laura says:

    Wow, you are so lucky the winter was mild. I am so impressed with your endevour! We will be in touch. ;o)


Leave a Reply