Stranded – diane cowan – down east magazine
You may have heard about me: I’m the lobster biologist who was iced in and isolated on Friendship Long Island for 34 days last year, one of the harshest Maine winters in decades. Meat sauce spaghetti My predicament made international news.
From mid-January to early March, I spent a sum total of six hours on the mainland: 2½ hours on January 22, when I filed some paperwork and took a shower at the Friendship office of The Lobster Conservancy (TLC), the nonprofit organization I created in 1996; two hours on January 30, the day before Friendship Harbor froze over completely; and 1½ hours nearly five weeks later, on March 5, the day the ice loosened its grip just enough to allow my lobsterman friend Philip Bramhall to come get me (not having showered in 43 days, I refused to venture past TLC’s wharf-side office). Bottled spaghetti sauce recipe During the long stretch that I was stranded on the island, I told my journal what I was doing, thinking, and feeling.
We had another foot of snow last night. How to make the best spaghetti sauce I’ve been out to sweep and shovel the back porch. Homemade spaghetti sauce with sausage Most of the wharf is clear, except alongside the lobster traps. Ground beef spaghetti sauce recipe It’s too windy to shovel there — the snow would just blow back in my face, and it’s too cold for that.
I always thought I’d be a professor at one of Maine’s small liberal arts colleges, and I was for a while. Italian spaghetti meat sauce I was teaching at Bates College when I started the lobster nursery habitats research project that led to the founding of TLC, with its mission to sustain a thriving lobster fishery through science and community education. Sauce spaghetti vegetarienne distasio A year after I created TLC, the organization was given a substantial donation of island properties in the Cushing peninsula town of Friendship, and in May of 1999, I moved to the largest of them, 3-mile-long-by-¾-mile-wide Friendship Long Island, where I live in a small house on the tip of a tiny peninsula that’s bound on one side by Muscongus Bay and on the other by a 6-acre dammed-off tidal cove. What do you put in spaghetti sauce This is the former lobster pound, where lobsters were kept at the turn of the 20th century when the island hosted a year-round fishing community. Crockpot spaghetti sauce from scratch Today, the pound is my laboratory, and the lobsters that live there are free to come and go as they please. Spaghetti mit sauce Every day of the year that conditions allow, I step out the door, walk a few steps, and dive in to observe their courtship, mating, and other social behaviors.
From her home perched on the tip of a small, narrow peninsula, Cowan looked out on an ice-clogged and unnavigable Muscongus Bay. Secret ingredient in spaghetti sauce She had to work hard to stay warm, but she was well provisioned.
Although there’s no ferry service to the island, I too can come and go as I please six months of the year, rowing the one mile to Friendship Heritage Lobster Co-op when I don’t have so much gear to mess with and zipping back and forth in my 21-foot motorboat, Zostera, when wind or labor requires.
A lot of people seem to enjoy my way of living in summer, when all of Friendship Long Island’s 25 homes and camps are occupied. Perfect spaghetti sauce By October, however, when the winds begin to howl in earnest, most, if not always all, of the houses are empty. Homemade spaghetti sauce with tomatoes I drain the pipes in my house so they won’t freeze, and I beach the ramp and float that allow access to the wharf. Homemade spaghetti sauce Coming and going becomes a lot harder, especially if I take Sula: I row to Zostera’s mooring, towing the kayak that I then haul onto the motorboat. How to cook spaghetti sauce from can When we reach the mainland, I drop Sula and my gear at the wharf, motor to my Friendship mooring, launch my kayak (which can’t accommodate Sula), and paddle to shore. Is tomato sauce the same as spaghetti sauce From November through April, hindered first by wind and waves and later by big chunks of ice, I make it to the mainland about once every two weeks to visit the post office, buy fresh milk, do laundry, and take a shower. Spaghetti sauce using tomato soup Then I turn around and head home, where there is no running water or mail delivery or stores or cars or neighbors. Spaghetti sauce using crushed tomatoes Just Sula and me.
But we are comfortable. Spaghetti sauce recipe without meat My house has solar panels, which charge a bank of batteries and power the lights, computer (complete with Internet connection), television, DVD player, stereo, and microwave oven. How to make spaghetti sauce from tomato sauce My refrigerator runs on propane.
As I look out on the ice-choked bay, I wonder if, for the first time in 16 years, I’ll go more than two weeks before crossing to the mainland again. Spaghetti sauce with meat recipe Stranded: Day 8
Am I bored? No, I’m far too busy doing what I need to do to keep from freezing. Spaghetti sauce recipe using tomato sauce I get frustrated that I can’t find enough time to work on my lobster data and the book I am writing, but I can’t imagine I’ve ever been stronger or more physically fit.
I spend my days splitting wood, dragging already-split logs out of the deep snow in the woods, and hauling buckets from my only winter water source, a dug well about 120 yards from my house.
And I shovel snow. How to make spaghetti sauce at home I shovel paths to the well, the outhouse, and to my field site one mile away on the other side of the island, where I take a census of baby lobsters in their natural nursery habitat, a valuable indicator of lobster fishery health. How ro make spaghetti sauce The lowest astronomical tides of the month, when I can count and assess the baby lobsters hiding under rocks usually covered by water, won’t start for 12 more days, but considering the amount of snow and how long it takes me to travel a few feet, I need to start grooming the trail now.
I also shovel out my boat, but I can’t do that now: access to its mooring is blocked by sea ice, and I have too high an instinct for self-preservation to walk across it. Homemade italian spaghetti sauce My pledge to stay off the ice was solidified earlier when I was snowshoeing in the woods and suddenly dropped hip deep into a spruce trap — a cavity that had formed around a fallen tree under the deep snow. Easy spaghetti sauce recipe from scratch I stood there and thought a minute, then dropped onto my right side and rolled until I could grab a tree limb and pull myself out. Pasta with spaghetti sauce From now on, I’ll poke around in the snow with ski poles before advancing through the woods. Best italian spaghetti sauce recipe from scratch And I won’t walk out on the ice to my boat. Light spaghetti sauce I love life, and I don’t want to die until I’m so old and feeble that there are no other options left. How to make spaghetti sauce filipino style Stranded: Day 12
Mom wants to know what I’m eating. Best spaghetti sauce recipe no meat Today, I emailed photos of the refrigerator, freezer, and kitchen shelves to show I have plenty. Spaghetti pasta sauce Mom wrote back, noting that I had lots of candy canes. Spaghetti sauce recipe canned tomatoes I hadn’t noticed all those Christmas leftovers, but I did notice two jars of green coffee beans. Spaghetti and sauce I’d forgotten about my plan to roast my own beans. Homemade spaghetti sauce pioneer woman With my stockpile of Rock City Coffee Roasters Jet running low, now’s the time to try it — hooray!
A lobster biologist, Cowan spends hours underwater observing lobsters’ behavior, and she has a particular interest in monitoring baby lobster habitat, accessible just once a month during the lowest astronomical tides. Homemade spaghetti sauce tomato paste Here, she and Sula examine her collection of molted shells.
I also reveled in the culinary delights yet to come: My freezer is still full of local scallops, island deer meat, garden basil, pesto, chard, beet greens, peas, and more. Best authentic spaghetti sauce recipe I’ve run out of olive oil, but fortunately I have bacon grease, so I made up a new pan-seared scallop recipe: Coat 1 pound of scallops in one stick of melted butter and refrigerate. Spaghetti sauce with italian sausage and ground beef Go to the “root cellar” — a.k.a. Sauce a spaghetti ricardo the bathtub, the coolest, driest place in the house this time of year — and take out a couple of leeks from last summer’s garden. Vegetarian spaghetti sauce Cook them with the scallops in bacon grease and serve over squid-ink pasta from Portland’s Micucci Grocery. Spaghetti sauce in pressure cooker White wine, if you happen to have it, would enhance the sauce nicely.
A glass of wine also would taste good with such a wonderful meal, but I don’t have wine or any other adult beverage, and the nearest wine shop is (almost literally) an ocean away. How to make spaghetti sauce from scratch with fresh tomatoes Fortunately, I do have yeast, and I have fresh ginger, so today I started brewing my own ginger beer. Spaghetti sauce homemade Stranded: Day 16
It’s minus 10 degrees this morning. Italian homemade spaghetti sauce The sea is ice white. Sauce spaghetti rapide et delicieuse The world is silent and still. Spaghetti sauce without meat All I can hear is the crackling of the wood burning inside Mr. Recipe for italian spaghetti sauce Green, my emerald-colored enamel woodstove. How to make spaghetti sauce into pizza sauce Thank God the wind has died, and thank God I didn’t neglect Mr. Sauce spaghetti el ma mia Green last night. How to cook spaghetti sauce It was too cold (47 degrees!) to sleep upstairs in my bed, so I slept on the floor in front of Mr. Spaghetti sauce with meat Green, getting up every couple of hours to feed him. Best meat sauce for spaghetti Despite his huge bed of coals, it’s still cold in here.
4:30 a.m.: Outdoor temperature 27 degrees. Best spaghetti sauce jar Indoor temperature 62.2 degrees. Special spaghetti sauce Predicted tides: high of 11.31 feet above mean low water at 10:44 a.m.; low of -1.96 feet below mean low water at 5:06 p.m.
I’ve had my eye on this set of tides — the biggest tides of 2015 — since I bought the Maine Tide and Everyday Calendar last August. The best spaghetti sauce recipe If they converge with a frozen sea and a storm, it could be a disaster.
The marine forecast has a gale watch. Sauce spaghetti mijoteuse High winds are predicted the next few days. Spaghetti sauce alternative So here I sit, looking out on a frozen sea, worrying about what will happen when the big tides come.
I remember the tide that floated the steps of the front porch on December 3, 2009. Recipes with spaghetti sauce That day, the water had someplace to go, splashing through the boards. Homemade meat sauce for spaghetti Ice won’t be so forgiving. Easy spaghetti sauce from scratch I could lose the entire wharf.
7 p.m.: Not long before sunset, I walked across the island to my field site, hoping to count and measure the juvenile lobsters that had been there when I did the January census. Quick and easy spaghetti sauce The gravitational pull of the moon had drained the sea away, leaving the low-tide terrace covered with large chunks of ice. Great spaghetti sauce recipe The ice was softer and not as thick as the ice on this side of the island. Homemade spaghetti sauce crockpot I walked in snowshoes nearly all the way to the lobster habitat, then switched to Muck boots somewhere around the mean-low-water mark, where there was open mud and some pooled seawater. How to make spaghetti carbonara sauce It’s been a long time since I’ve seen mud. How to make spaghetti sauce It stunk like heaven to me.
The outer ledges were mostly free of ice, but broken chunks, probably left as the tide receded, were teetering on top, preventing me from conducting my census. Homemade spaghetti sauce using canned tomatoes I was surprised to find ice where the baby lobsters live, but even if it hadn’t been there, I would not have been able to count the lobsters, because there was water. Quick homemade spaghetti sauce The tide didn’t go as low as predicted. How to make your own spaghetti sauce That’s data too, I reminded myself.
When I got home around sunset, I just wanted to come inside and get warm, but Sula wanted to roam around and play. Best meat spaghetti sauce I felt bad leaving her behind, but I am afraid she’ll go too far out on the ice — and I fear a confrontation with the bobcat that’s been leaving tracks everywhere. Home spaghetti sauce I wouldn’t normally, but the poor cat is obviously getting desperate for food. Homemade spaghetti sauce giada That’s why I made damned sure I was home before dark, and I sang at the top of my voice all the way. Recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce Stranded: Day 25
I was watching a movie, eating popcorn, and drinking my first home-brewed ginger beer, when my friend Pam Cabanas called. How to make spaghetti sauce out of tomato soup She and a few friends have hired an airplane to look at the extent of the sea ice. Venison spaghetti sauce recipe Pam thought the pilot might agree to drop a package from the sky. Recipe for spaghetti sauce She asked what I wanted.
Then Pam called. Spaghetti sauce slow cooker recipe I was sure she was going to tell me that there would be no gifts falling from the sky. Spaghetti sauce secret ingredient Maybe there’d be no flying at all — after all, it was minus 15 degrees on the Knox County Airport runway. Best spaghetti and meat sauce recipe But I was wrong: Penobscot Island Air pilot Tomás Sowles was excited to make an airdrop. Italian spaghetti sauce Pam was preparing two small packages, and they’d soon be on their way.
I dressed in layer upon layer and donned snowshoes, and as I walked along the narrow strip of land that connects my place to the rest of the island, the plane appeared and a package dropped from the sky, but I couldn’t see where it landed. Make good spaghetti sauce I made my way to the outbuilding on my neighbor’s property, where I watched the plane circle overhead. Spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes I waved, hoping to see faces. Taste of home spaghetti sauce After a half-dozen or more passes, a second package careened out the co-pilot’s window, dropping smack dab into a snowbank on the shore. How to cook a spaghetti sauce A perfect landing! Sula got to it first.
I searched and searched, but I couldn’t find the other package, so Sula and I went inside to warm up and see what we had: coffee, half and half, oranges, breakfast sausage, dog food, a Snicker’s bar.
I went back outside and searched until I found the second package. What goes in spaghetti sauce Inside were more oranges and a bottle of rum. Homemade spaghetti sauce with meatballs Dark and stormy, here I come. Easy spaghetti sauce recipe Stranded: Day 28
Am I lonely? Not when there’s no one around to remind me that humans can be a nice distraction. Homemade sauce for spaghetti I was fine and dandy, just me and my dog, until that plane flew over, and then I wished I was up there with my friends. Making spaghetti sauce And I felt lonely today — 13 days since I last saw a boat go in or out of Friendship Harbor — when the Coast Guard came but couldn’t manage to break us out of the ice. Freezing homemade spaghetti sauce But mostly, I’ve been way too focused on what I have to do to survive and on keeping some good work on lobsters going.
Over these 16 years of island solitude, I find I generally get lonely twice a year: in early summer, when the summer people arrive and remind me there’s another world out there, and again in early fall, when, just as I’ve gotten used to them, they leave. Top spaghetti sauce The rest of the time, I’m happy just to be out here with my furry, feathered, and crusty friends. How to make spaghetti sauce from tomato paste Stranded: Day 29
The ice is breaking up. Spaghetti and meat sauce There are some open places in the pound, not just in the sluiceway, and the ice is looking thinner in the bay. How to flavor spaghetti sauce The best of the February light has turned to near-March ugliness. Sauce fur spaghetti Bless the winds for staying relatively calm. Yummy spaghetti sauce Stranded: Day 32
This morning, I stood at the end of the wharf with binoculars and saw the WCSH News Center team a mile away on the other shore, filming me for the 6 o’clock news. Spaghetti sauce easy The airdrop has attracted media attention.
In an email, WCSH reporter Don Carrigan asked me if I feel claustrophobic. Authentic italian spaghetti sauce No, I spend the better part of every day outdoors. How to make tomato sauce at home in hindi I feel for the people in Boston who are stuck inside their homes and offices because the sidewalks aren’t plowed — that would make me claustrophobic. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe from scratch Surrounded by nature’s majesty, I often feel small and insignificant, but that’s a very different thing from claustrophobia. Homemade crockpot spaghetti sauce It’s affirming. How to spaghetti sauce In no way do I feel trapped or cornered. How to make spaghetti bolognese sauce from scratch Stranded: Day 34
This morning at around 4, the first indication of ice out was auditory: waves slapping the wharf and dam. Best sauce for spaghetti Then I heard rain hitting the water. Recipes for spaghetti sauce with ground beef These are welcome sounds. Can you can spaghetti sauce I tried to go back to sleep and failed, so I got up, but it wasn’t for another hour or so that I saw the extent of the sea’s thaw: Last night at dusk, it was ice from here to the mainland. Mr c’s spaghetti sauce This morning, it’s open water.
7:53 a.m.: I talked to Philip, my lobsterman friend, yesterday: There is still a lot of ice floating in the harbor, but Reliance — the Island Transporter barge that moves construction equipment up and down the coast — came and broke out his lobsterboat. The best homemade spaghetti sauce The A.S.A.P. What is in spaghetti sauce (named for Philip’s wife Sue, their daughters Amanda and Ali, and Philip himself) is on the wharf, ready to take Sunset Knoll Landscaping workers out to Cow Island for the first time in three weeks. World’s best spaghetti sauce Philip said he’d call if he were able to drop off mail, but there are big chunks of ice floating this way, and I wonder if they’re going to lock me in again.
9:02 a.m.: Philip is going to try to get out before 11. Homemade spaghetti sauce food network He asked if I wanted to go to the mainland. Simple spaghetti sauce No! Please just bring my mail! Not having showered or laundered in 43 days, I don’t wish to be seen or smelled. Things to make with spaghetti sauce And what if the ice comes back while I’m gone? I can’t get stuck on the mainland with Sula still on the island. How to make spaghetti sauce from tomatoes But I finally agreed to go on the condition that I don’t have to venture beyond TLC’s mainland office, all of 20 paces from the wharf.
11:51 a.m.: I’ve been ashore! From my window, I watched as Philip arrived in A.S.A.P. Easy spaghetti meat sauce and carried a tote full of letters, magazines, and packages to my house — I joked about all the Valentines I had gotten. Zesty spaghetti sauce recipe Then we set out for the mainland. Spaghetti sauce ingredients We had only a small window of time to get out and back while the tide was high.
At the TLC office, I took a shower, did a load of laundry, filed papers, and watered the plants. Pasta sauce recipe jamie oliver I rummaged through the cupboards and the freezer, filling a bag with cheeses, tea, olive oil, and dog treats. Best italian spaghetti sauce recipe When I returned to the island, Sula was frantic. Spaghetti no sauce I’d been gone less than two hours.
Now, I’ve just come in from hanging laundry (yes, it’s 25 degrees and cloudy, but the clothes will smell so good) to find a phone message from my dear friend Fred Moon! He’s at his place on Pine Island in Florida and says an 80-year-old woman noticed his Maine license plates. How to make easy spaghetti sauce She told him she’d seen a story on the Today show about a woman iced-in on a Maine island. Homemade spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes recipe Fred knew it had to be me. What can i add to spaghetti sauce Almost Free: Day 37
I have mixed feelings as I watch the winter melt away, knowing I’ll probably never see anything like it again. Homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs As soon as I’m zipping along in Zostera, coming and going as I please, I’m going to buy an old wooden treasure chest and fill it with books, movies, chocolates, olive oil, Rock City Jet coffee beans, maybe a pretty dress, and a bottle of rum. How to make own spaghetti sauce I’ll hide it in a closet and mark it with a sign: DO NOT OPEN BEFORE FEBRUARY!
Photo credits: Pam Cabanas (top photo: Diane Cowan waves to her friends who arranged an airdrop of goodies on Cowan’s 26th day of being icebound on Friendship Long Island.); Irvin Serrano (portrait); other images courtesy Diane Cowan (boat & dock See more from this issue!