Good tidings

After a week of rain and overcast skies the weekend was glorious. We had friends over on their way down from Castine (Maine) to their home on Long Island and took a break from the horrendous vacation traffic up and down the Maine coast.

When we have visitors in the summer we enjoy our beach and waterfront more than when we are alone because there are always so many chores to do. We like having people over and enjoy our place. What we take for granted becomes very special when visitors come and stare in disbelief at our earthly paradise.

Early in the morning I facetimed with Faro to see him ride on his walking bike – in two months he has grown enough that he can now reach the ground with both feet. After that I facetimed my brother who has finally moved in with his love in a lovely house after waiting patiently for their respective children to leave the parental home and selling their two houses. He gave me a facetime tour of the house and it felt as if I was walking through it with him. How wonderful we can do this now so easily.

The son of my friend Lydia showed up with his family (to enjoy the beach) and a friend (to go spear fishing). They wriggled into their wetsuits and then departed with the red and white diving flag floating in tow to keep them out of harm’s (i.e motor and speedboats) way.

They swam all the way from Lobster Cove to Singing Beach, spearing a view tautogs and cunners (bottom dwelling fish I had never heard of) and flounder along the way. They like these fish because they hang out on the bottom and are, I was told, more easily speared than the fast moving fish at the surface. They also make for good dinners. But it does require you hold your breath, that is part of the sport and the challenge. They returned hours later with their catch and filleted it on the beach, leaving us with some of the fish by way of thanks.

While they were hunting, we did the same in a more relaxed manner looking for oysters. Mother nature has deemed it necessary to compensate for the loss of our mussels after she realized that the green crabs, as ingredients for crab bisque, wasn’t appreciated as much. Turning crabs into bisque requires much effort and wading into the cove to empty the trap twice a day. It has been sitting on the floor of the cove for weeks now, serving more as a playground for crabs than a trap. They have figured out how to go in and out with ease.

Axel snorkeled in the emptying cove to places I pointed out from my kayak. The water was very clear and I could see the oysters clearly. We had seen some shells on the beach lately which gave us the idea of taking a closer look. We harvested about 10.


Still, we haven’t given up on our mussels. We transplanted more mussels from Ipswich Bay and expanded the colonies of last years’ transplants. They seemed to have fared well except that the baby mussels keep getting eaten by something, green crabs or, what we learned yesterday, maybe the tautogs and cunners which have sharp teeth and can easily pierce the brittle shells.

Good news awaited us inside as email and phone messages alerted us to progress in Faro’s potty training and Tessa and Steve house buying saga. The poops are landing in the toilet and Tessa and Steve will become homeowners on August 28, becoming residents of New Hampshire, the state where people want to live free or die.

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August 2014
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