This red spindle marks Long Ledge, off Great Cranberry Island, warning mariners against running aground when the ledge is covered by the tide. The mail boat passes it several times daily, on its way to and from Northeast Harbor and the Cranberry Isles. Every spring, islanders anticipate the return of a pair of Osprey who find the spindle to be an ideal nesting spot. Two weeks ago, the Coast Guard removed their large nest, claiming it was a navigation hazard. Many of us were dismayed and disgusted by what was an unnecessary disruption of nature. (The spindle has always been clearly visible, despite the large nest inside.)
One week later, mail boat passengers observed the return of the osprey, delighted by their clear lack of respect for authority. Score one for the sea hawks!