When you live on an island for a summer it is quite a big deal when you get to step off your island for any period of time. We have found here on Ship Island that even going out in our rowboat a few hundred feet from shore to pick up a grocery delivery can give you a totally new perspective for the day. Having been on the island for over 6 weeks now, it was a treat for me to tag along with Jim (our boat operator/maintenance/all around go to guy) on the Blue Hill Bay Census. While all the islands we have staff living on are surveyed during the GOMSWG census, Jim has the duty of boating the various bays and inlets up and down the coast searching areas where seabirds have nested historically and recently. Here is a picture leaving Ship Island…
Jim and I did a four hour loop throughout the Blue Hill Bay region stopping to look at places such as Sand Island, The Nub, Goose Rock, Indian Point ledges, Folly Island, and The Hub. We were excited to report a thriving little colony of around 150-200 Common Terns on Conary Nub. Not only did we discover a 4-egg clutch (fairly rare), but also more developed chicks than here on Ship Island, suggesting they hatched around a week and a half earlier.
Finally, while this may sound a bit crazy to all our readers out there who live on the mainland, I would like to comment on how wonderful it was to see trees and to smell trees. While we have various types of vegetation out here, including fragrant sea roses, wild irises, and rustling tall grasses, none of them really add up to having a “tree” status. We do have a groove of chokecherry “trees” and our giant cow parsnip is now at least 6 feet tall, but it’s just not the same as a spruce/fir forest. Here is a view of a typical spruce studded island called The Hub off Bartlett Island with the mountains of western Mount Desert Island (Acadia National Park) in the background.