Pouring rain now with dense fog. Glad I filled the
toilet buckets in the tidal pool before going to bed
last nite. Checked the cistern under the dining
room. Full to the top and starting to overflow.
What a nice site, especially since it was down
below 1/3 full ten days ago. Pumped water up into
the attic holding tank for ten minutes with the
Jabsco pump I have hooked up to a 12V battery.
This took enough water out of the cistern to stop
it from overflowing. Water in the attic tank is
gravity- fed down to the kitchen and bathroom
faucets for wash-ups and dishes. I use the
buckets of tidal pool water to flush the toilet rather
than cut into the cistern supply. Got to be real
careful with water usage out here. No fresh water
except what the cisterns collect off the roof.
Checked the tower for wetness. Still a few leaks.
Not bad, but too wet to paint the iron staircase or
platform at the top with Gempler's Rust Converter
which had been my plan for today. No problem,
plenty of other projects. Can't walk more than ten
feet in any direction, inside or out, without seeing
a "project". Ten years of total neglect and
exposure to the open sea in Maine winters will do
That Rust Convertor is really something! The
tower's iron staircase was covered with rust and a
budding algae garden (LEFT) when I received the
deed to Mark Island. With the panes in the tower
gone and the openings only partially covered with
old doors tied around the dome, sea spray and
driving rain had taken its toll on the circular
staircase. I was "told" by "experts" that sand
blasting was the way to go. I took measurements,
went ashore and rounded up an estimate.
Several thousand dollars. "Are you kidding?", I
said. "Blah, blah, blah, island, dangerous,
distance, equipment, etc", was the response.
Edison said that, "Necessity is the mother of
invention". He could also have added, "Lack of
money"! I started thinking about rusty ships and
tracked down a lobsterman who I knew had been
in the Navy. I told him my dilema. "Half the ships in
Tower stairway BEFORE!
Clorox + wacks from 5 lb hammer +wirebrush
+ broom. Then brush on the magical Gempler's
Rust Converter. And, Presto!
Monday 9 September 1996 continued
"It rained for four years, eleven months, and two days. There
were periods of drizzle during which everyone put on his full
dress and a convalescent look to celebrate the clearing......"
Garcia, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Looking southeast past Schoodic to Africa.