This weekend many firsts happened, and some just regular fun things occurred. Two outstanding events over the weekend were: I canned the first batch of Baker’s Island Blackberry Jelly, and we had a humpback whale swim around the island for about 3 hours Sunday morning!
The first event has been something I have been waiting to do all summer, make jelly from the island blackberries. Last year we left just as the berries were starting to ripen. This year is a bumper crop from the ‘super-secret’ blackberry bushes. I am picking about 10 cups of berries every 2 days. So, using some improvised pans and strainers, the first batch of jelly was made (and sampled) and by the next morning, my toast was wearing a very healthy serving of jelly. The first batch was 9 jars, and it looks like more canning jars are needed out here on the island.
On Sunday morning at sunrise, our overnight guests were enjoying the view and the next thing I knew, they told us they spotted a whale just off the northern coast of the island. Of course, I ran to get the camera and was waiting with everyone on the foghorn porch hoping to catch at least one sighting of the whale. Not only did we catch one sighting, the whale continued to feed at low tide around the island for almost 3 hours. 600 pictures later, she finally swam back out to the ocean. The early morning fisherman certainly were getting great views because the whale was breaching right next to the boats that were also trying to catch the perfect fish!
The weather was perfect for visitors to enjoy the view, games, the trails and talk with us about life on the island. Many came up to the sun parlor to rock and chat about life. Others had a snack watching the ocean and the boats heading towards Gloucester and further north – perhaps even Nova Scotia? I am 100% positive no one left disappointed with their visit to Baker’s Island.
Brian and I still tried to get some island work done in between, but what we worked on paled when compared to a whale swimming off our beach! It was a great weekend for the marine traffic around the island because of the Maritime Festival in Salem. Nothing like looking up from cutting the grass or painting and seeing a tall ship or schooner sail by the island. It always makes me think of years gone by when that would be the norm and not the exception.
By Sunday afternoon when the last tour left the beach, Brian and I were ready for a little down time. We had been going strong since Tuesday morning with the first group of volunteers. The week was a success but we were tired – time for a little sunset watching and rocking on the porch.