Whitehead Light Station featured in Down East
Whitehead Light Station is featured in Down East magazine's "Gift of Maine" article - click here.
Pine Island Camp's saltwater outpost grew by leaps and bounds this year. This spring, we welcomed Gigi Lirot as our new Island Manager. She joined Matt Wall and Mary Podevin and together this amazing group ensured that each of our guests enjoyed a memorable stay on our magical island. (If you haven't already, please take a moment to learn more about Gigi, Matt, and Mary here). Our guests simply could not be in more capable hands.
The 2011 season began with a very productive and enjoyable Spring Volunteer Week, which prepared the building and grounds for our summer guests. We ran four superb Adult Enrichment Courses, and welcomed two groups of renters. The courses were well attended, and our feedback questionnaires were full of rave reviews of the food, the staff, the instructors, and of course the place.
The 2011 courses included two sessions of Mindfulness Stress Reduction, The Art and Science of Beer, and Knitting from the Yarn Up. Instructors Robert Cox, Charlie Papazian, and Shannon Okey worked very hard and generously gave of their time and expertise to make all four courses memorable and valuable to all the students.
Mary Podevin was able to again take time from her home in Avignon, France to cook fabulous meals for everyone. Captain Matt Wall took care of not only boats but also the property and buildings, keeping all in terrific working order. He also took students out on Biscuit cruises in the early morning and in the evenings to share the beauty and richness of the local scenery. Island Manager Gigi Lirot managed the logistics and assisted with cooking and captain duties.
Storm Irene provided much entertainment in the form of howling winds and wild sea spray for the beer enthusiasts attending Charlie Papazian's course in late August. The lighthouse, Keepers House, grounds and surrounding structures weathered the storm just fine.
Our renters wrote that this was the best vacation they had ever had. Indeed, by all accounts this season was true to our mission in providing "not just recreation, but re-creation."
We are proud of our growth in 2011 and look forward to new and returning guests in 2012!
September 12, 2010
2010 Season is Sunny and Superb
The 2010 season at Whitehead Light Station, one that featured one gorgeous day after another, included three Adult Enrichment courses a very productive Spring Volunteer Week, and an August rental. This year as last, feedback from all who spent time at the Light Station was 100% positive.
The season started with six days of volunteer work at the Light Station during the first week of June. Nine volunteers worked from sunup to nearly sundown washing windows, cleaning, scraping and painting, clearing out the trails, adding a bathroom to the Whistle House, restoring the Whistle House windows, cleaning out the Whistle House for use during the courses, mowing, and weed whacking. Lee Bryan was our chef so we ate like kings!
We had three new staff at the Light Station this summer. Michelle Caron (Island Manager and Assistant Captain), Matt Wall (Captain), and Mary Podevin (Chef), arrived a week ahead of the start of the first course and worked long hours as they learned the ins and outs of the Light Station and prepared to receive the course participants. By the time the Mindfulness Stress Reduction course began on August 6, Matt, Mary, and Michelle had the WLS launch Biscuit and the Keeper's House ship-shape and stocked with great food.
Whistle House Now in Use
An exciting addition to the facilities available for use at the Light Station is the Whistle House, the 40' x 40' brick building that sits just a few feet from the crashing surf. The Whistle House was so named because it was originally built in 1888 to house the steam fog whistle that replaced a large bell. The steam whistle was replaced by a compressed air horn in 1933, and the Whistle House then housed the big compressor and a diesel generator that provided backup power for the light and the compressor.
Until this year the Whistle House has been used as a shop and staging area for much of the renovation work at the Light Station. A full renovation of the building is in the long-range plan (tax-deductible donations to the effort are welcome!), but for the short-term a cleanup, work on the windows, and the addition of carpets on the floor and a colorful spinnaker sail suspended from the ceiling made it into a beautiful and useful room.
Course instructor Robert Cox purchased a number of cushions made for yoga and meditation, so the Mindfulness Stress Reduction course he taught was able to make full use of the building throughout the course. Further improvements will be made to the Whistle House this fall and spring so that it can be used by other courses as well. If you are interested in helping to fund the more complete renovation of the Whistle House, please contact Ben Swan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three adult enrichment courses were offered during the 2010 Whitehead Light Station season. They included Mindfulness Stress Reduction with Dr. Robert Cox; Cooking With Daisy with chef, author, and Food Network star Daisy Martinez; and the Art and Science of Beer with homebrew guru and noted author Charlie Papazian.
The Mindfulness course had a waiting list and got the WLS season off to a great start. The participants had so many nice things to say about the course, the place, the staff, and the food! Dr. Cox was delighted with the new Whistle House space and has already begun to plan next year's course (or courses!)
Daisy Martinez and her assistant Carolina Penafiel once again wowed their students with three full course days packed with great instruction, camaraderie of a sort Daisy's thousands of other fans could only dream about, and of course amazing food. (Daisy's website)
Charlie Papazian once again filled his Art and Science of Beer course quickly, and he and his wife Sandra and their four-month-old incredibly adorable daughter Carla made the trip from Boulder together. 100 types of beer and mead later, they wound up the course with the traditional lobster feed out on the rocks. This year's course included a full day in Portland, Maine touring three different breweries. (Charlie's websites include Beertown, Charlie on Twitter, and Charlie on Facebook.)
All three courses enjoyed extended cruises on Biscuit with captain Matt Wall. Some went out early in the morning while others took afternoon journeys. Some of the most remarked upon trips were those that cruised among the lobster boats moored in Spruce Head harbor in the misty morning.
Three lucky couples had the top bid in a charity auction in the spring and won a long weekend at Whitehead Light Station right at the end of August. They cooked for themselves and Michelle provided a lobster feed on the rocks one night. The twenty-something couples had a wonderful long weekend and are thinking about renting the Light Station for a week next summer.
If you would like to be part of the 2011 Whitehead Light Station season, please visit the 2011 Courses page.
Click here to view 2010 photos
December 1, 2009
2009 Season is Huge Success
We offered three courses at Whitehead Light Station during the 2009 season, ran a Pine Island Parents Introduction to Whitehead Island, welcomed a group to the Light Station for a weeklong rental, and sponsored a volunteer week. Nearly fifty people spend part of their summer at Whitehead Light Station and every one of them left the island reluctantly and with high praise for every aspect of the experience. Everyone agreed that the accommodations are comfortable, the food fantastic, the instruction first-rate, and the view unbelievable. 100% satisfaction indicates just how wonderful this unique place is.
Click here for the 2009 Adult Enrichment Courses Photo Galleries
2010 Season Offerings Set
We are very lucky to have been able to sign on the three superb instructors who taught courses at the Light Station last season for the 2010 season. Chef Daisy Martinez, Homebrew and Microbrew Guru Charlie Papazian, and Mindfulness instructor Robert Cox have all agreed to reprise their 2009 courses. In addition we will again offer a Pine Island Parents Introduction to Whitehead Island in late June, and the Light Station will be for rent by the week in June, July, and September. For more information go to 2010 Programs, Rental opportunities, or Volunteer Opportunities.
have come a long way since our last report! The Keeper's
finished and many people have already enjoyed its comfort and
incomparable location. Many more lucky people will be living
the Keeper’s House this summer and fall as Adult Enrichment Courses
begin and the facility is available for rent. We
three courses this season: Cooking With Daisy, The Art and Science of Beer, and Mindfulness Stress Reduction.
recent developments include finishing the School House renovation,
completing the docks on the mainland and the island, working on the
Whitehead fleet of boats, and improving the Whistle House and the
Boathouse. This spring volunteers will arrive to clean up
the winter storms, wash the salt off the windows, and make the beds in
preparation for the season.
Stires and Jon Weislogel have signed on to be our chef and skipper.
log book in the library of the Keeper’s House is already beginning to
fill with the names and comments of many visitors. This will
undoubtedly be a busy season and we hope to see you
January 24, 2008
Contractor Nick Buck and his crew of two stalwarts continues to work
just about every day out at Whitehead Light Station. They
found the crossing from Emery’s Wharf easy enough in most weather and
have been pleasantly surprised to find that the Keeper’s House heats up
very nicely with just a couple of small electric heaters, especially on
a sunny day. The building faces due south and with new
an insulated attic, a layer of thick “felt,” and new clapboards and
shingles on the outside, the building is very tight. The wind
be howling outside and it is quiet on the interior.
crew is now working to finish all the trim in the bathrooms and
bedrooms and to hang all the doors. We have agreed on a
layout. Soon work will resume on the interior of the School
House, which already has a bathroom and tiled shower similar to those
attached to each of the seven bedrooms in the Keeper’s House.
Whitehead Light Station Committee member James Eklund will be up later
this winter to volunteer more of his time on that part of the project.
We expect to bring in a painting crew in March.
materials for the building that will house the septic tanks have been
transported to the island. The tanks must be above ground because of
the lack of soil on the island. Since it needs to support 13
(2 full tanks), the framing will be 8x8 beams. The shingles
trim will match the Keeper’s House.
frame to hold the solar hot water racks is finished and the piping to
the heat exchange units in the basement has been laid. We have
kept several radiators hooked to the system so that during the winter
we will be able to continue to heat the house minimally to avoid damage
from winter cold and damp. Since all the plumbing is finished,
next step is to get the solar racks up and get the system running.
island dock is nearly finished. Marine contractor
Tibbetts had to stop work because of the weather, but he will be back
early in the spring with his barge and crew to finish up.
is done, we will have a 34’ float and a 50’ ramp up to the granite
pier. The granite pier is connected to the island with a
bridge. On the mainland, at Emery’s Wharf, we will
another ramp and float system so that no program participants will have
to climb or descend a ladder.
Just as exciting as our
progress on the Light Station's physical plant is the progress on the
courses and rental opportunities
we have set up for 2008.
The Whitehead Light Station
fleet will be all ready to go this spring. Biscuit,
our 32’ lobster boat is in storage and undergoing an overhaul and the
as-yet-unnamed 24’ Privateer has just receive a new Yamaha outboard, a
new hydraulic steering system, new wiring and electronics, and a
general overhaul. Biscuit’s
tender Weevil needs only a coat of paint to be
ready for the season.
Stires, former cook and six-year director of the Pine Island Camp
Whitehead program, and her husband Jon Weislogel will be the core staff
for the first year of operations at the Light Station. Anne
be the chef and Jon will be the Captain and Light Station