03/16/2012

What’s New at SeaCat’s Rest?

We anticipate a busy summer of providing an affordable Maine seaside apartment to our guests. We have made a few improvements since last year, the most important of which is a second well. This was a tough decision since we had to weigh the very existence of the apartment against the substantial cost of the new well. Our own needs were met by the old well, but on a few aggravating and embarrassing occasions we ran out of water during the height of tourist season.  Now that has changed. We no longer need to wring our hands, forgo showers or flushing when we have guests.

We added a little button for guests to push when they are disturbed by activity above their heads. It is basically a doorbell which we hear in our kitchen and tells us to tone down our activity. We don’t get a lot of complaints (actually, only one so far) so it’s more for our peace of mind. Occasionally we have guests who need to catch an early morning flight, so with this little button we will know without the guest having to bother with a phone call or personal visit.

AT&T coverage here is excellent

Since we started the apartment rental, we have included a land line phone. This phone costs us around $20/month and we were under the suspicion that just about nobody used it. Recently, Lamoine got a new cell tower, and it seems every guest uses their cell phone. We can reconnect at any time, but for this year, we are going to wait until we get a request for reconnection from one of our guests. Even with a seasonal connection, we are ahead of the game compared to year-round, so we consider it an important cost savings. Cell coverage remains less than ideal (you may have to stand outside) but that varies by your cell company.  Our US Cellular phone gets only one bar inside and two outside, but our tracfone gets four bars in and out. A Verizon phone will do fine since it’s a Verizon tower. According to company reception maps, t-moble’s reception here is “moderate” (outdoor only), Sprint’s is “off network roaming”, Nextel’s is zero, AT&T’s is excellent. Since we have very good broadband, skype is another possibility.

Digging the soft shell clam

Much of the exciting changes have to do with the shore. First, with the new local law about licensing clamming, the clam population has rebounded. This is great for guests who wish to try their hand at digging clams for a $12 recreational license (from the town office).  Concurrently I have become a much better clam digger, so I am happy to offer free lessons and equipment (you may want to bring your own rubber gloves and boots, but we have some).

The other big news is, of course, my lobster license, boat and traps. I can’t claim to offer the full-blown Maine lobster fishing experience, since at this point I still don’t quite know what I’m doing, but by mid-summer of 2012 I should know more. I will have to check my 5 traps at least every other day, so guests could arrange to come along. Laws forbid any active participation; trap handling, baiting or boat steering, so guests can observe only.

Being involved in providing vacation accommodations is like skipping over all of the stress in most people’s lives. I get to be the one to bring you relaxation and fun and sometimes, show you how to have more. It’s what I want to be when I grow up!

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