I stayed pretty clean this trip out, doing the usual sweeping but mostly shoring up and pitching in where needed. Everyone out there knew what they had come for. David, so quiet and smart, did what needed to be done to finish the equipment room. That meant knowing where everything is and putting it all back in place at the end of the day.
Nan also. No fuss—just “Okay,” and she went up to the watch gallery to put a last coat of paint on the ceiling.
“You left the rims in the top of the windows unpainted. Do you want me to paint them?” is all she asked,
“No,” I called up to her. “Not until we figure out how to get the broken panes out.”
I started the day being steaming mad at Cooper for making everyone wait at the ferry for him. Not the first time he missed it. Nonetheless he too knows what needs to be done, and he got the four stationary windows in. We talked about caulking the insides, but left it to Eileen, who is expert at it. They’ll be okay for a week or so. As they are, they’ll set. I hate to think after all we struggled to strip the wood surrounds, we’ll have to paint them white. But there are splits in the wood that need to be closed with caulk. Maybe we can stain them or use brown caulk, and then sand and varnish them.
How great it was to see a round window (I did this twice) and think the glass wasn’t in yet—but no! It was—and so clear and clean.
Three things loom: The hole in the kitchen wall where the Coast Guard chopped out the alcove to make a door, the stairwell, and the light gallery.
Covering the exterior of the hole with steel and a gasket seems relatively easy. I’m not sure. But rebuilding the alcove requires brickwork. That means bringing a half-pallet of bricks out—er, I mean, asking Glen to do that—and unloading it. We could do it too, though, little by little.
Then I have to find a bricklayer. Cooper says he thinks it will need a double course of bricks to make it to the depth of Kate’s alcove. Meg is sad that we will have to paint the bricks white—but we do. Personally I am worried about the damn threshold.
So how did I stay clean today. Well, I wiped down all the condensation on the windows and opened them a bit to let air in. I stuck plastic into the kitchen “door” cover after Meg pointed out how open it was around the edges—ran out of duct tape—used painter’s tape—to hold it in. Also helped everyone. Found things, organized things, cleaned up, took a lot of photos of the hole and the cover.
The stairwell is becoming more and more reasonable each time I look at it. I thought at first we would never be able to do it but now, thanks to John Tretout, I know we can brush it down, scrape as needed, and seal it.
I am going to keep hoping the Coast Guard has a carpenter who can replace the rotten beadboard in the light gallery. It has to be taken out along with the little round screens, which have to be cleaned up, and replaced. And we have to make sure the windows are tight. I’ll appeal to the captain and crew of the Katherine Walker again.
Miscommunication at Miller’s left people ready to leave, but it took an hour before anyone showed up. Teresa wasn't in. She always tells me what’s up. So while we waited Nan and I organized the bedroom supplies, sorted gloves, and she decided she would recover the seat on the little wooden rocker we’d brought out last spring. She’s always imagining what the place will one day look like one day.
Lighthouse Log Book is a series of stream of consciousness writings by Executive Director Erin Urban after each Crew date at Robbins Reef. It’s informal and meant to impart a sense of the energy of the volunteers and the work they accomplish in regular seven-hour workdays to Robbins Reef Lighthouse.