Back to Goat Island

Back in September of 2011, Cindy and I took a few days off and visited great friends Scott & Karen Dombrowski up in Maine. If you read our blogs frequently, then you’ll know Scott & Karen from our many forays around Cedar Key and the West Coast of Florida on our ‘Tuesdays Fundays’ adventures.

Scott & Karen split their time between Cedar Key during the winter months and Cape Porpoise Maine during the summer months. Pretty ideal if you ask me as they live in a somewhat perpetual spring-like temperature that is what most people long for. When they’re up in Maine, they act as Lighthouse Keepers for the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust that manages the Goat Island Lighthouse amongst many other islands and properties around the Kennebunk area.

We always follow along with the happenings of the Lighthouse on their Facebook Page, and while we were there on our last visit, the island was under major construction with a total renovation taking place. On this visit, the island was quiet and calm with the covered walkway between the Keepers Quarters and the Lighthouse having been completed. The grass was lush and freshly mowed, the house looks so different, it was hard to even imagine how it looked before. The place is immaculate and is truly a gem to visit. Kudo’s to the Conservation Trust for tackling this project and restoring such a valuable piece of history…and especially leaving it open to visitors to paddle over and be able to walk through on a daily basis.

Our lighthouse here in Cedar Key is only open a few times per year. Those days the tour companies that provide boat shuttles out to the island are swamped with visitors coming from all around Florida and the country for that matter. The Goat Island Light is open year round, and as long as Scott or Karen are out on the island when someone pulls up to the dock, then the visitors can climb the historic iron stairway to the top of the light and take in a magnificent panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and the quiet, picturesque Cape Porpoise Harbor.

Cindy and I spent hours upon hours just wandering around the house-sized boulders that protect the island from the Atlantic’s relentless saltwater pounding. We both joked about how amazing it must have been for Scott and Karen’s children along with the other Lighthouse Keepers children to spend their childhood years running around these boulders. Here we are as adults having a blast. As kids, they’d seem twice the size and would be the ultimate childhood playground.

The lighthouse was refurbished in the 1950’s era fashion, so the appliances look like retro models, but are up to date when it comes to the efficiency of the working parts. One afternoon was spent in 1950’s style lawn chairs that reminded me of my youth. Not that I was born in the 50’s, but my family always had old stuff, so we were still using 1950’s style lawn chairs in the 70’s when I was a kid. We sat on these lawn chairs all afternoon with the warm fall sun keeping us comfortable in our sweatshirts while the dogs entertained us on the lush lawn. Karen has a very energetic Australian Shepard that can leap off the ground head high when chasing a Frisbee. Since I see photo opportunities in EVERYTHING I look at, this kept both Karen, Follie (the dogs name) and me busy for quite some time while Scott and Cindy sat back laughing and encouraging the dog and Karen.

The evenings were cool to almost chilly where a sweatshirt was mandatory for Cindy and I with our thin Florida blood. The moon was full which meant the tides were crazy high to crazy low, and the sky was bright enough that sitting up in the lighthouse at night, we could see the harbor like it was a overcast day outside. We stayed up late into the evening taking photos, philosophizing on life’s priorities and just how lucky we are.

One long conversation, and I mean a few hours worth was on the topic of ‘Do you think people know why they were put on this earth?‘ The depth of this conversation went wild and in so many directions. Luckily, after over 20 years of being beside one another almost constantly, Cindy and I can still talk for hours upon hours about the littlest of things. We’ve both found our purpose in life, and we both agree it’s simply to live it beside one another no matter what state of mind, income level or hard/good times we’re going through.

I could talk on and on for hours about how much fun we had, but I don’t think I write all that well, so I’ll just let my images speak for themselves. Thank you Scott & Karen for your hospitality. Thanks Craig for the Lobsters and thanks to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust for keeping this  island and lighthouse open to the public.

ThinkTank, Boat, Cape Porpoise, Maine, Bonish Photo

The ThinkTank Camera bag loaded up and headed out to Goat Island

Boat Ramp, Low Tide, Goat Island, Cape Porpoise, Maine, Bonish Photo

Notice how far down the tide is! This boat ramp has a hoist at the top to bring the boat up into the boat house for these low tides

Light House, Goat Island, Cape Porpoise Maine, Bonish Photography

Sunset Behind Goat Island

Australian Shepard, Karen Dombrowski, Goat Island, Bonish Photo

Karen playing with her energetic puppy Follie

Cindy Bonish, Bonish Photo, Goat Island, Maine

Cindy playing on the rocks on Goat Island

Bon Fire, Maine, Goat Island, Bonish Photo

Cant think of a better way to spend a fall evening in Maine

Langsford Lobster House, Maine, Cape Porpoise, Bonish Photo

Scott and Cindy holding up our dinner at Langsford Fish House

Goat Island, Cape Porpoise, Maine, Bonish Photo

Cape Porpoise, Maine, Docks, Bonish Photo

The Docks at Cape Porpoise

Lobster, Cindy Bonish, Bonish Photo, Maine

Cindy Picking out our Dinner

Long Exposure, Goat Island, Light House, Maine, Bonish Photo

Dog, Goat Island, Bonish Photo

Just Chillin’ out on the porch

Goat Island, Light House, Maine, Cape Porpoise, Bonish Photo

View from atop the Lighthouse

Cat, Goat Island, Bonish Photo

Keeper of the Lighthosue, Otie the cat

Goat Island, Cindy Bonish, Bonish Photo

Perfect way to waste away an afternoon on Goat Island

Langsford Fish House, Maine, Cape Porpoise, Bonish Photo

Slicing up some fresh swordfish at Langsford Lobster House

Door Knob, Antique, Bonish Photo

Antique Wooden Door Knob inside the Lighthouse

Cape Porpoise Harbor, Maine, Bonish Photo

Even low tide in Cape Porpoise Harbor looks pretty under the right lighting

Scott Dombrowski, Cindy Bonish, Bonish Photo

Scott & Cindy heading out for a boat ride

Goat Island Light Ale, Beer, Bonish Photo

Maine, Boat, Chain, Bonish Photo

Bell Tower, Goat Island, Maine, Bonish Photo

Shadows on the Bell Tower

Lobster, Scott Dombrowski, Cindy Bonish, Maine, Goat Island, Bonish Photo

Scott & Cindy playing around with our dinner

Goat Island, Light House, Maine, Bonish Photo

Looking down the hallway that connects the light house to the keepers quarters

Topless, Cindy Bonish, Light House, Maine

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Lobster, Maine, Bonish Photo

Fresh off the boat and onto our plates…Maine Lobster at it’s best

Dog, Smile, Lauren, Bonish Photo

Loving these cool afternoons and warm grass to roll in

Goat Island, Light House, Maine, Bonish Photo, Window Pane

Rainy Sunset on Goat Island

Bonfire, Goat Island Light House, Maine, Cape Porpoise, Bonish Photo

Sailboat, Cape Porpoise Harbor, Maine, Bonish Photo

Pink Dahlia, Flowers, Bloom, Bonish Photo

Scott Dombrowski, Dog, Goat Island, Bonish Photo

Scott & his trusty companion Lauren

Cape Porpoise, Harbor, Maine, Bonish Photo

Cape Porpoise Harbor after sunset

Lobster Boat, Cape Porpoise Harbor, Bonish photo, Atlantic Ocean, Maine

Lobster Boat returning into Cape Porpoise Harbor

Goat Island, Cape Porpoise, Harbor, Bonish Photo, Maine

Cape Porpoise Harbor as seen from atop the Lighthouse

Cape Porpoise Maine, Harbor, Goat island, light House, Bonish photo

Same Scene, only shot in the middle of the night with the full moon behind my back

Dogs, Sunset, Goat Island, Maine, Bonish Photo

Follie & Lauren playing at Sunset

Maine, Goat Island, Bon Fire, Scott Dombrowski, Karen Dombrowski, Light House, Bonish Photo

Maine Postcard – At least that’s what Cindy said when she saw this

Goat Island Light House, Maine, Cape Porpoise, Bonish Photo

Australian Shepard, Dog, Jumping, Karen Dombrowski, Bonish Photo

Follie can catch some air

Stars, Milkyway, Goat Island, Light House, Maine, Bonish Photo

The Milkyway over Goat Island Light House

Goat island Lighthouse, Maine, Cape Porpoise, Bonish Photo

Waves Crashing against the giant boulders. This sound is deafening when this close. My feet/shins were wet to get this shot

Goat Island Light Station, Night Time Photography, Bonish Photo, Star Trails

The Heavens revolving around the North Star

Cape Porpoise Harbor, Goat Island, Boats, Maine, Bonish Photo

Looking across Cape Porpoise Harbor

Cape Porpoise Harbor, Goat Island, Bell Tower, Storm, Clouds, Maine, Bonish Photo

Fish House, Lobster Traps, Cape Porpoise Maine, harbor, Bonish Photo

Fish house Reflections, Cape Porpoise Harbor

Cat, Drinking, Bonish Photo

Otie the cat getting a drink of water from the faucet

Dinghys, Harbor, Dock, Maine, Bonish Photo

Goat Island, Lighthouse, Maine, Bonish Photo

Night Time, Clouds, Goat Island, Light House, Bonish Photo



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16 Responses to “Back to Goat Island”

  1. Arianna RoseSeptember 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    I absolutely love love love the photo of the long hall!!!that one is my favorite one

    • Pat BonishSeptember 19, 2014 at 2:30 am #

      Thank You Arianna, that is one of my favorites too!!

  2. Tina CasazzaSeptember 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    Pat (and Cindy) — Pat you are such a talented young man — you have such a way with words and a great eye to see what some of us miss completely!! So happy you and Cindy have been together for these last 20 years……hope to see you both one day soon……tina

    • Pat BonishSeptember 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

      Thank you so much Tina!!!

  3. LoriSeptember 19, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    So they live there in Cape Porpoise during the summer and go to Cedar Key in winter? Wow…That’s a Double Blessed Life! Great pics and blog as usual and this is one I’ll come back to and enjoy the pictures from time to time. It has so many things I love…lighthouses, old wooden boats, a cat and dogs, shoreline rocks, wood frame buildings and other things Nautical. I must have been one of two things in a previous life: A Lighthouse keeper or the captain of an old wooden sailing vessel. Oh wait….Maybe I was one of those half naked big busted figurines on the bow of an old wooden Pirate Ship ? 😉

    • Pat BonishSeptember 19, 2014 at 2:30 am #

      “Half naked big busted figurines on the bow of an old wooden Pirate Ship”…..A Bow Maiden! Now we’re talking! Thanks for the comments Lori!

  4. KateSeptember 19, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    My grandmother spent her teenage years living in that house. My great grandfather was the keeper. Do you sell your photos? I would love to possibly get some as Christmas presents for family.

    • Pat BonishSeptember 20, 2014 at 12:16 am #

      I’m sure you have some amazing memories from that Island Kate. Yes we do sell our photos. Feel free to browse through the gallery here –!i=3527740628&k=Hr47VV7

    • Scott DombrowskiOctober 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi Kate this is Scott Dombrowski from Goat Island Lighthouse. We are spending some time off the island doing our fall chores before catching back up with Pat & Cindy in Cedar Key and am just seeing Pat’s blog and pictures from their visit. Spectacular and enjoyable as ever. What caught my eye is your comment about your grandmother being out on Goat Island. That is great discovery for us and we wonder if you could share any information even a family name or old pictures. We have been trying to identify the keepers and their families for over 20 years as the Coast Guard does not have any viable records. We did a 1st ever Keeper’s Reunion in 2012 where people came from all over the country. Some were family members of the keepers who had sinced passed. What a cool gathering of historical proportions and sharing of many stories. We would love to include your family in our history and get your contact information. I would love it if you could email me at
      Shine on! Scott

  5. Kevin and SherylSeptember 20, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    Now that’s a vacation!!! Glad to see you guys getting away once in a while, sometimes you even need a break from paradise.

    • Pat BonishSeptember 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      No matter how beautiful of a place you live, everyone needs some vacation! Hope you both are well

  6. Jodee GravelSeptember 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Cindy’s right about the post card! Appreciate the wet shoes for the splash/lighthouse shot 🙂 That Follie is quite the jumper, and Otie and Lauren are loves. Wonderful pics and narrative – what a great place to spend one’s summer!
    I think that’s Cindy, not Karen, with Roger in the boat (#92 in the gallery list)?

    • Pat BonishSeptember 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

      Thanks for the comments Jodee, and you’re right, it is Cindy! I’ll go make the change

      Safe travels

  7. RandySeptember 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    As always great pictures. I will check the album out too. I know there are tons of photos on there. Work so I cant look at all those.. Your words reflect your thoughts, so keep writing too. As always you have a beautiful bride and life, enjoy!

    • Pat BonishSeptember 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      Thanks Randy!


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