Packing for a deserted island

We leave on Saturday for Haskell Island, a 100-acre island in Maine. We've been going to Haskell Island since Hels was a baby. There are 3 other houses on the island, but usually we have the island to ourselves.

Packing for the week requires a great deal of thought. There is no drinking water or electricity. We use a small whaler to get to the island and need to plan carefully. If there is fog or a swell of more than 2' we are marooned.


I have lists going back for years. It is fun to see how the list has evolved from bringing the jumpy seat to bringing the beading kit. Don't read the list too closely--it's a little embarrassing how many ...er...health drinks we bring :)

This year's list includes an art kit with watercolor pencils, the niji waterbrush, gel pens, glue sticks, chalk pastels (the new favorite art supply), and sun print paper so we can try and make some Queen Anne's Lace cards. Of course the journals are also in the pile. For the journals I plan a poetry session where we spend the week putting words into a bowl then draw them out to combine into poems.

It has been VERY rainy and foggy this summer, so we are planning for time inside. This includes the favorite games of the summer--Skip-Bo and Scrabble. We got Scrabble at a yard sale, so we'll probably donate it to the island. Doesn't every island need a game of Scrabble?

The Perseid Meteor Showers will be peaking while we are on the island. It is the perfect spot to watch the meteors--very dark and open. As in past years we will spend several evenings lying out on the deck, wrapped in blankets, staring up at the glorious starry night. This puzzle seems like a good fit. Hels is our puzzle girl and chose this one.

Of course there are the boater safety items to pack--wet bag, chart, boat radio, GPS, compass, large first aid kit, and life vests. We need all of this--we've been lost in the fog before, even with the GPS, and had to use the compass to find our way. I REFUSE to travel in fog ever again, so am over-packing this year.

Then there are the craft supplies. Nels will never let me live down the time I packed plaster of paris (for shell sculpture) and wax (for sand candles). It weighed a ton. This year the craft agenda is just a bit lighter:

Sea glass and stone earrings and mobiles--we have lots of beads, earring supplies, and various copper and silver wire along. The girls have quite the beading supply stash and I made them combine it all into one of their kits. I have some limits :)

Of course we have to bring yarn. We plan to make a loom out of twigs and weave an island landscape, thus all the greens and blues in this stash.

I'm also hoping to press seaweed onto watercolor paper. Helen wants to try dyeing t-shirts with goldenrod, but I haven't figured that one out yet. It will be interesting to see how much we actually do. Better to be over-prepared when on a deserted island...

The stack of books is a little too embarrassing to share, but I'll share the head lamps in this pile of portable electronics. We've tried absolutely no media, but have found that we are all happier with some books on tape along for the girls, thus the walk-men. We use the yellow radios for when the girls head out on their own or when Nels is boating alone.

It looks like a lot, but it isn't. We have two plastic tubs of "stuff", cooler, groceries, 3 duffles, and a tote bag of sheets--about half as much as our friends brought last time we went :)



Today is bread and cookie baking and lasagna-making day. I like to bring some frozen foods along. We'll see you when we get back. We'll either be sunburned or soggy :)

Yarrow  – (August 7, 2008 at 8:22 AM)  

Oh to escape to a deserted island....I am so jealous. Many blessings on your trip, it looks like it will be tremendous fun.

Tara  – (August 7, 2008 at 8:59 AM)  

Wow! That is some kind of packing list. I am jealous, it sounds like the perfect vacation! We don't care for crowds and love nature but aren't tent camping people either. Maybe you'll take lots of pictures to share? (She asks hopefully)

Simmy –   – (August 7, 2008 at 9:34 AM)  

Oh my gosh Sarah you are organised. So glad I read this post because I am so unprepared for our trip at the end of next week (we leave on 15th). I'll re-read later and get some ideas from you.

BTW I don't suppose you could get me a bag of Maine Balsam Fir if you see it anywhere please?

Dawn  – (August 7, 2008 at 9:43 AM)  

I love that you've made lists over the years...and kept them. That's such a cool way to not only be organized, but to record memories of what your island time is like. This sounds like such a fun vacation. Have fun!

Lisa Anne  – (August 7, 2008 at 9:47 AM)  

What a dream, no wonder you love the Famous Five series so much, how about "Swallows and Amazons"? We have walkie talkies for when Amelia goes exploring up in our woods, we just saw a bear the other day so it is a good idea. I am taking Amelia to Maine for a few days when I pick her up from camp, we are hoping to find a secluded beach and just play and observe tidal pools. Your girls are going to have memories of this place to last a lifetime. Have such a great time, I am sure traveling in the fog is scary, but exciting at the same time.

We do dying with goldenrod, just mordant the t-shirts with alum and cream of tartar first otherwise they will be beige instead of gold. Although, I have only tried this on wool.

woolladyfelter  – (August 7, 2008 at 10:02 AM)  

I use lists like this too - its funny I thought I was the only one that did this. I will have to post my lists too - Have a wonderful time. I love Maine.

anthromama  – (August 7, 2008 at 10:50 AM)  

Have a wonderful trip! (I wouldn't want to go on the water in the fog either.)

Wyldhare  – (August 7, 2008 at 11:36 AM)  

Maine is so beautiful and I bet being on an island is even better! I was up in Castine in June and loved every moment. I hope your vacation is as magical and fun as it sounds!

margaretha  – (August 7, 2008 at 12:31 PM)  

Have a wonderful trip!
We're not going back to our island until September but I've started to cook and freeze already. I make a dish for every day so I only need to heat it, saves time and water. When you have to carry your water a distance you appreciate not having to wash much more than your plates and a few bowls.
Have you read Mabel Robinson's Bright Island? I believe the story takes place in Maine.
Margaretha

patience  – (August 7, 2008 at 5:14 PM)  

What a beautiful location! May you have a wonderful holiday :-)

Ilse –   – (August 7, 2008 at 5:33 PM)  

In Belgium we have a game,... and it goes like this: "I go on vacation and I bring.....
the first person says toothpaste, the second one repeats the toothpaste and says another thing, and so you keep going untill somebody forgets a word. It so much fun and that was the first thing on my mind when I was reading your post.
I wish you a lot of crafting fun on the island, and don't forget to make a wish when you see a falling star !!

Have a save trip.

Tammy  – (August 8, 2008 at 8:09 PM)  

You all are going to have so much fun! I'm so jealous. :)

I loved reading about all the fun stuff you are taking, the puzzles, games, craft supplies, and all of the beading stuff.

Have a great time!!!!!

Angela  – (August 11, 2008 at 7:30 AM)  

Enjoy! Enjoy! It sounds wonderful! Can't wait to hear all about your adventures!

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