At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 48°F, the sky was overcast, it was raining, the wind was blowing out of the north northeast at thirty-five knots, the seas at the closest weather buoy were sixteen feet every eleven seconds and the visibility over the ocean was not very good. The heavier than normal seas continued throughout the day with a wind more northerly than northeast as the storm that was creating this mess moved off Cape Cod and to the waters off Canada. Wind speeds were sometimes over forty knots in gusts during the morning hours. No gusts over forty knots were seen after noon. Seas were huge and the tide was higher than normal in the Cove. But the surge wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. All the boats were secure. It rained on and off all day, heavy at times but not for long. It seems like everyone else received more rain than we did in Ogunquit. That's a good thing. The air temperature remained in the low 50°s all day. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 53°F (with a low of 48°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (at Logan International Airport) the high was 54°F with a low of 48°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 51°F (with a low of 46°F).
My morning was spent sharing time at the home office working on Bunny Clark stuff and at Barnacle Billy's in the office there. I spent the rest of the day (after noon) at Barnacle Billy's.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 48°F, the sky was overcast, it was raining lightly, the wind was blowing out of the north at twenty-five knots (more or less), the seas at the closest weather buoy had dropped to just over ten feet every eleven seconds and the visibility over the ocean was still not very good. Seas dropped from ten feet to seven feet by 6:00 PM. The wind blew out of the north to over twenty knots during the morning. By noon, the wind was dropping. By 5:00 PM, there was no wind along the shore but it was still blowing out of the northwest at ten knots at the closest weather buoy (nine miles away). It rained on and off for most of the morning. By noon, the rain was done for the day but it was still misting along the shore. The sky remained overcast until nightfall. The air temperature got up to the low 50°s but I don't believe any higher than that. The visibility over the ocean improved during the day. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 54°F (with a low of 48°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (at Logan International Airport) the high was 52°F with a low of 46°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 50°F (with a low of 46°F).
I spent the morning working at both the restaurant and on Bunny Clark stuff. My son, Micah, was going to haul the Petrel, our lobster boat. So I was helping Micah to a very small degree. At high tide there was still too much surge to haul the boat out at the ways in the back of the Cove. So the Petrel was put back on her mooring. In the meantime, I took in the storm lines off the Bunny Clark. By noon, I was back in the restaurant.
I had to leave for a Perkins Cove Harbor Committee meeting at 1:00 PM. That was over by 2:15 PM. It was back to Barnacle Billy's until 7:00 PM.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 45°F, the sky was clear with stars and no moon visible, the wind was blowing out of the northwest at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good at least. The day seemed to warm up quickly. But I think this was because there was very little wind and the sky was clear and sunny. We had a little bit of wind in the morning before sunrise. After sunrise we saw no more wind the rest of the day. The ocean along the shore remained calm with waves chest high or better for surfing. The air temperature got up to 60°F by noon and creeped into the mid 60°s afterward. It was warm, perfect. The visibility was very good.
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the west at ten to five knots. Seas in the morning were chops of a foot or more over seas of two to three feet. This was the roughest it got. By 10:00 AM, the ocean had flattened out considerably. The sky was clear and sunny all day. The air temperature was mild. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The tide (current) was strong. The surface water temperature reached a high of 55.1°F on the fishing grounds. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 66°F (with a low of 42°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 64°F with a low of 46°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 66°F (with a low of 34°F).
The fishing was just good with the strong current and a lot of dogfish, particularly in one spot. The catching of legal fish was very good, excellent for some. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. The largest number of fish landed in a few weeks. Captain Ian had enough smaller pollock (5 pound fish) after the first couple hours to go exploring for larger fish. He was successful eventually but there was slower fishing and dogfish between times. Legal landings also included a monkfish, a redfish and three whiting. Over forty-five dogfish were released. Nine cod would have been kept had summer regulations applied. There were no haddock out of the twelve caught that would have made the summer legal measure. Drifting was the only boating method employed. Jigs and cod flies caught the most fish.
Mike Schetter (NY) was high hook with a large number of legal pollock. His largest fish was a pollock of 10 pounds. Ian didn't weigh a number of the 10 pounders caught today. So Mike may have had a slightly bigger one. Joe Sinkler (NY) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 17.25 pound pollock. Joe also caught a 12 pound pollock. Tony Giordano (NY) won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 16.5 pound pollock. The third largest fish was a 15 pound pollock caught by Bob Vogel (NY). Bob also caught a 12.25 pound pollock.
Other Angler Highlights: Dave DeGraw (NY) caught an 11 pound pollock, his largest fish. Ralph Mills (NY) landed the hard luck award for getting involved with everyone else's lines.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 48°F, the sky was clear with stars, the wind was blowing out of the west at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good at least. The wind picked up to almost twenty knots out of the west by 7:00 AM. The wind blew out of the west for three or more hours and then hauled out of the northwest at fifteen knots or better. The wind stayed like this until sunset and then hauled out of the west northwest and blew up to almost twenty-five knots in gusts. The sky was clear all day with very few clouds. The air temperature broached the 60°F mark today. The visibility was excellent. It was a perfect fall day ashore. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 63°F (with a low of 42°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 59°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 57°F (with a low of 38°F).
I spent my second 70+ mile ride in the saddle today (in as many days - 143 miles in two days), leaving early on the bike both days and spending four hours riding each one. This is what I do with my new spare time when the boat isn't sailing. Both days I worked in the restaurant from noon 'til close. And it was busy both today and yesterday.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 45°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the west at twenty knots (more or less) and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. It was a windy day ashore. By 9:00 AM, the wind was blowing out of the west northwest at speeds of twenty-five with gusts to thirty knots. The near shore coast was a froth of white caps marching offshore. And believe me it was an army! I managed to get thirty-three miles on my bike but I was all over the road the whole time. The air temperature managed to get up to 60°F. The sky was mostly clear. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 61°F (with a low of 42°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 63°F with a low of 46°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 60°F (with a low of 35°F).
Micah launched the Petrel today as I worked in the restaurant. I had a lot of book keeping to do (end of the year stuff), orders, order sheets, patrons to greet and employees to talk to. I got a chance to tell some of our better people how much I appreciated their work this summer. It was a great day for someone who can't go fishing.
I received two donations supporting my work with the Jimmy Fund through the Pan-Mass Challenge today. One was a generous $200.00 donation in memory of my father, Billy Tower, from Higher Ground, garden care & design - our wonderful people who work on the garden and produce the flowers we display at the restaurant all year long. The other was a very generous $1,000.00 donation from Richie Carlson & Jean Massarone (both NY). They host a "BBQ for the Cure", a portion of the money generated they send to me to be used at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. It's so wonderful that they think of me and the Jimmy Fund in so doing. Thank you all so very much for your help and for supporting me in the cause. Noble, yes. But helpful, so much so! This is so very much appreciated!
At 4:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 45°F, the sky was clear, there was no appreciable wind and the visibility over the ocean was excellent.
The ocean was flat calm (there wasn't a breath of wind), the sky was clear, the visibility was excellent and the air temperature was mild on the ride to the fishing grounds. You could have floated a scallop shell on the surface of the ocean this morning. On the grounds, the ocean was flat calm as well without a ripple on the surface. That lasted for ten minutes. As soon as we started fishing wind ripples appeared out of the southeast. This wind gradually increased throughout the day. And I mean gradually. By noon, we had five knots of southeast wind. We saw our first one foot chop by 1:00 PM. We had twelve or thirteen knots of south southeast wind for the ride home. Seas then were chops of one to two feet. The sky started to cloud over by the time we arrived at our destination this morning. By 9:00 AM, the sky was mostly overcast. The sky stayed overcast for the rest of the day. But it never rained. The air temperature was mild for the trip. The tide (current) was light to moderate. The visibility ranged to thirty miles. The surface water temperature reached a high of 54.3°F on the fishing grounds. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 57°F (with a low of 45°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 60°F with a low of 45°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 66°F (with a low of 35°F).
The fishing was good to very good all day. The fishing could have been better but for the large number of dogfish we had to keep throwing back. And we caught larger than normal fish today so we saw more tangles than we normally see. Landings were very good overall today. Size was impressive on all the fish that were legal to keep. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Legal landings also included twenty-five white hake, three redfish, five cusk and six butter mullets. We released close to a hundred dogfish, six cod (four would have been legal in August) and twelve haddock (one would have been a legal one under the previous rules - it's estimated weight was 4 pounds or better). We drift fished and anchored. Jigs and cod flies caught the most fish.
I couldn't tell you who was high hook but I would guess that it was Chris Willy (VT). Chris landed the second largest fish of the trip, a 29 pound Maine state trophy white hake, the largest groundfish he has ever caught. However, he did not enter the boat pool for the second largest fish. Some of his other good fish included a 19 pound pollock, a 21 pound white hake, a 15.5 pound pollock and an 18 pound pollock. Bruno Rozen (NJ) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 33 pound Maine state trophy white hake. This is the Bunny Clark's third largest hake of the season so far. Bruno caught this fish as part of a double keeper catch that also included an 11.5 pound white hake, both fish caught on the same line at the same time! This is the second largest double keeper catch of the Bunny Clark season to date. Bruno also caught a hake of 17.5 pounds. The third largest fish was a 24 pound white hake caught by George Willy (VT). But he too was not in the boat pool for the second largest fish! Some of George's other good fish included our third largest redfish of the Bunny Clark season so far at 2.1 pounds, a Maine state trophy (Only the third trophy redfish of the B.C. fishing season.), a 22 pound white hake and a 12 pound pollock. Walter Palczewski (NJ) won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the fourth largest fish, a 23.75 pound Maine state trophy white hake!
Other Angler Highlights: Steve Brown (ME) came close to winning the boat pool for the second largest fish with a 23.5 pound white hake. His other good fish worth writing about included a 15 pound white hake and a 12 pound pollock. Joseph Daszkiewicz (NY) caught a 20.25 pound white hake, his biggest fish by far. Richie Grziasak (NJ) caught the first pollock of the day weighing 16.5 pounds. Some of his other good fish included a 22 pound white hake and a 15 pound pollock. Mark Lenczewski (NJ) caught three of the would-be keeper cod today. The largest one of his that was released weighed 11 pounds. Some of the good fish he was able to keep included a 14 pound white hake, an 11.5 pound pollock and a 12.5 pound pollock. John Gill (VT), another high hook contender, caught our largest cusk of the Bunny Clark fishing season today, so far. It was a Maine state trophy cusk of 19 pounds! Needless to say, I was very happy to see it! I took a picture of John and cusk with my iPhone. This digital image appears on the left. Some of his other great fish included a pollock double that included one pollock of 15 pounds with another pollock of 13 pounds, a 23 pound white hake, a 23.5 pound white hake, an 18 pound pollock and a 16.5 pound pollock. Tim Anthony (MA) caught a 12 pound pollock, his largest fish. Eric Hazard (VT) caught two pollock of 13 pounds each. These were his two best fish. John Manis (NY) caught the largest pollock of the trip at 23.5 pounds. This ties our fourth largest pollock of the Bunny Clark fishing season to date. He also caught a 15 pound pollock and another pollock of 14 pounds. Tom Kirley (VT) caught a 13 pound pollock as his largest fish. He had another pollock between 10 and 13 pounds that I did not weigh. John Scott (VT) landed the hard luck award for catching nary a significant fish and for getting in a few more tangles than he would have liked!
I received a $25.00 donation from John Gill sponsoring my in my Pan-Mass Challenge bike ride for cancer care and research today. Thank's, John. It was nice to have you aboard today. I very much appreciate your support on this cancer project.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 52°F, the sky was overcast, it was misty, there was no wind and the visibility over the ocean was poor in fog. The fog hung around until 9:00 AM and then backed offshore to hang like a wall outside the bell buoy. Later in the morning the fog disappeared altogether. The air temperature was mild most of the morning. The sky remained overcast all morning as well. After noon, the sky lightened up. By 2:30 PM, we had sun and clouds. It was mostly sunny until sunset. The air temperature after 1:00 PM climbed to almost 70°F. It could have made it that high. It felt like it but I never did get a look at a thermometer to confirm it. The visibility was good or better than that at the end of the day. We didn't have enough wind during the daylight hours to lift a flag. Sometime around 8:00 PM, the wind came up out of the west to fifteen knots, overcast skies became the rule and the threat of rain was upon us. At that point I went to bed. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 63°F (with a low of 48°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 74°F with a low of 52°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 58°F (with a low of 41°F).
My day was spent at the restaurant again. Every once and a while I would look out at the Bunny Clark tied to the dock.
At 4:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 46°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the northwest at ten to fifteen knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent as near as I could tell.
We cruised to leeward to get to the fishing grounds. The wind was out of the west northwest at about fifteen knots with seas of two feet or better once we got outside the fifteen mile mark. It might have been blowing harder at times. At the twenty mile mark the wind started to drop off. We had excellent visibility, mild temperatures and a very clear sky. On the grounds, the wind was just about eight knots, or just strong enough to turn over a chop. Seas were a foot or two at most. The wind hauled out of the northwest around noon and then died out altogether. We had flat calm seas and variable wind all the way back to Perkins Cove. The sky was partly sunny and partly cloudy, clear for the start. The air temperature was mild (high 50°s), the visibility was thirty miles or better. The tide was light. The surface water temperature reached a high of 55.5°F on the fishing grounds. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 59°F (with a low of 36°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 59°F with a low of 46°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 56°F (with a low of 30°F).
The fishing was very good to excellent all day. The conditions were great and it was very easy to hold bottom. The catching of legal (desirable) fish was horrible for the first one third of the trip (only three fish in three hours), good to very good for the next third and excellent for the last three spots - almost a fish a cast on all three spots. Landings were good to very good overall. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. In fact, there were many pollock of 10 pounds I decided not to weigh today. Legal landings also included five redfish, three whiting, three butter mullets and one white hake. We released approximately forty dogfish (more or less), twenty-eight cod over twenty-one inches to 8 plus pounds and two haddock that would have been legal in August. We drifted fished all day except for two spots where there were bigger than normal pollock. Jigs and cod flies caught all the fish.
The great Race Westermann (MA) was high hook with more legal fish than any angler has caught on the Bunny Clark for a trip in October and, possibly, September of this season. His largest fish, an 18 pound pollock, was the third largest fish of the trip. A couple other good fish of Race's included a 14 pound pollock and a 14.5 pound pollock. Rob Wright (MA) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 20.5 pound pollock. He also won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 20 pound white hake.
Other Angler Highlights: Chris Porter (MA) caught largest whiting of the Bunny Clark fishing season to date. It's weight was 4 pounds exactly. This is just under the IGFA all tackle world record and is tied for the second largest whiting (silver hake) ever caught on the Bunny Clark. I took a picture of Chris with his silver hake. This digital image appears on the right. His largest fish was a pollock over 10 pounds. Fred Kunz (NH) was probably second hook. He caught more cod over twenty-one inches than any other angler on the boat today with a count of eight fish. His two biggest were both probably 8 pounds or better. Fred's largest fish was a 13.5 pound pollock. Fred Ostrander (MA) caught a 13 pound pollock, his largest fish. Jon Griffin (MA) caught the best double keeper catch of the trip. His double included a 17 pound pollock and a 12 pound pollock, both fish caught on the same line at the same time! This is the Bunny Clark's seventh largest double of the season so far. Taras Melnik (NJ) boated a 13 pound pollock and a 13.5 pound pollock, his two largest fish. Chuck Lennon (MA) got off to a slow start but finished big. His three best fish were all pollock weighing 11 pounds, 15 pounds and 12 pounds. Buddah Hayes (MA) landed the fifth largest fish of the trip, a 15.25 pound pollock. Richard Stowe (NY) landed a 12 pound pollock, his largest fish. We really had no one with any hard luck today. So, thinking that this could be the last Bunny Clark trip of the season (weather forecast for the weekend), I gave out all the hard luck award shirts I had in my bag.
I received three donations from anglers/friends supporting me in my exploits with the Jimmy Fund (fighting cancer) through the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Those anglers and their donations are as follows: Chris & Paula Porter gave a very generous $1,000.00 in honor of John & Thelma Drury (MA). Thelma was lost to cancer this year and John is battling the disease now - with Dana-Farber's help. Wobby Barnes (MA) gave $20.00 and Fred Ostrander gave $25.00. Thank you all so very much for you kindness and thoughtfulness. So many appreciate what you do, most of whom will never know who made them better.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 42°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was blowing out of the northeast at ten to fifteen knots and the visibility over the ocean was good to very good it seemed. The wind blew out of the east or northeast all day, but lighter than it started out in the morning for most of the day. In fact, the ocean was fairly calm along the shore from noon until nightfall. At 9:00 PM, the wind started to blow over ten knots out of the northeast. I went to bed after that. The sky was a mix of clouds and sun all day. I would say that overcast skies won out in prevalence. The sun, not so much. The air temperature was cool all day with a high of only 55°F that I observed in Ogunquit. The visibility seemed very good over the ocean. We had no chance of rain today. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 53°F (with a low of 34°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 54°F with a low of 45°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 50°F (with a low of 37°F).
So the weekend is a wash, our last weekend of the season. Monday will probably be canceled as well with the tail end of this weather system still making a significant impact in our fishing region. I am considering a trip on Tuesday if I can get enough anglers to go, a marathon trip. The weather on Tuesday looks like it will be very nice and warmer than this weekend, for sure. If you would like to go on Tuesday's potential marathon trip give us a call at 207-646-2214.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 41°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was blowing out of the north northeast at twenty knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good. The winds and seas increased all day. By 2:00 PM, the north northeast wind was blowing thirty knots sustained with higher gusts. Seas at the closest weather buoy were about ten feet. The wind continued to blow out of the north northeast at speeds of thirty knots or better on into the night. By 8:00 PM, some weather buoys were reporting seas as high as fifteen feet. The air temperature remained cool all day. The highest air temperature I saw was 44°F in Ogunquit. It rained starting around 8:00 PM and never really quit all day long. It never rained very hard, it just never stopped. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 44°F (with a low of 41°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 49°F with a low of 39°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 43°F (with a low of 30°F).
I spent most of the day at the desk in the office at home (the morning) and at the restaurant. Barnacle Billy's, Etc. opens at noon. So from noon on I was at the restaurant. I took two breaks today. One was to attend a service, a celebration of one of my good friend, John "J.T." Taylor's, life. He died of cancer in July. The service took a couple of hours. And I have to say, his daughters speech was one of the most touching speeches I have heard. I was pretty much all together until the end of that speech. Then it was hard to keep it together for the next half hour or so. The other break was to put a couple of storm lines on the Bunny Clark at 5:30 to 6:00 PM. I left the restaurant at about 9:00 PM. Business was slow due to the weather.
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was 39°F, the sky was overcast, it was raining, the wind was blowing out of the north at thirty knots with higher gusts and the visibility over the ocean was not very good. The wind blew out of the north all but the just before noon. Wind speeds got over forty knots (45 mph) and the ocean looked angry along the shore. We had no splash over at high tide due to the lower than normal tides and the wind direction being more northerly than northeasterly. By noon, we had some westerly in the wind but it was still essentially out of the north. Wind speeds remained about the same with gusts over forty knots. Our first real break came at nightfall when the wind hauled out of the northwest and dropped about ten knots sustained. Wind gusts were still over thirty knots but we left the forty knot stuff behind. After a morning high of 38°F, the temperature dropped and remained at about 36°F. It was cold all day and colder into the night. Rain turned into snow showers at 10:00 AM. It snowed until at least 2:00 PM and then stopped. By 5:00 PM, we were seeing a bit of sun, just briefly. The visibility over the ocean was pretty bad all day until the wind shift around sunset. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 41°F (with a low of 35°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 42°F with a low of 34°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 40°F (with a low of 36°F).
We had our first snow of the 2014/2015 winter season today. And it was going to be our first hard freeze with temperatures dropping as I write. I took a picture of the Bunny Clark at the dock with the snow just starting to fall a little after 10:00 AM. The digital image appears below.
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was 32°F (coldest morning we have seen since early spring and our first hard freeze), the sky was clear, the ice puddles on the road were frozen, the wind was blowing out of the northwest at twenty-five knots with higher gusts and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The wind blew hard all morning, mostly out of the west northwest. Gusts were as high as thirty knots. The afternoon featured the same wind direction. But by mid afternoon the wind has lost it's teeth. We still had gusts to twenty knots but there was no heart in it. The air temperature seemed to stay cold all morning. After 1:00 PM, I saw a reading of 47°F in the shade. The sky was clear all day. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 53°F (with a low of 33°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 53°F with a low of 36°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 51°F (with a low of 31°F).
I spent the morning (from 5 AM 'til 12 PM) working on the Bunny Clark and Barnacle Billy's (mostly Barnacle Billy's). After lunch, I took the morning off and went for a 40 mile bike ride on my cyclocross bike. I worked from 4:30 PM until 6:00 PM to get ready for the trip tomorrow. I was excited to go but sorry it will be the last trip.
At 3:00 AM EST the air temperature was 36°F, the sky was partly cloudy (a mackerel sky), the wind was very light out of the northwest and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. By the time we arrived on the fishing grounds, the sky was pretty much overcast and the ocean was flat calm. The sky remained mostly overcast for the rest of the trip but cleared up enough to give us a beautiful red sunset on the initial part of the ride back to Perkins Cove. There was little or no wind all morning. The ocean remained flat calm for that time period. After noon, the wind started to blow out of the south. The wind slowly increased but it never blew hard enough to prevent us from having the perfect drift for fishing. Our strongest wind was on the ride back with ten knots seen and seas in chops of one to two feet. The air temperature was mild after a cooler start. The visibility ranged to twenty-five miles at least in some haze. The current was light all day. The surface water temperature reached a high of 54.0°F on the fishing grounds. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 53°F (with a low of 29°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 57°F with a low of 45°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 55°F (with a low of 25°F).
The fishing/catching (of legal fish) was excellent all day. The only slow part occurred when I decided to fish over a wreck to see if we could get a big pollock. We got nothing there but dogfish and lost a couple jigs in the process! Most legal fish landed were pollock and various species of hake, mostly white hake. We found pollock, hake and haddock everywhere we went. There were enough pollock over 10 pounds that I didn't weigh anything unless I had time or it was over 13 pounds. Most haddock were small, probably a seven or eight to one ratio (sub-legal to legal haddock). There were more haddock released than I could accurately count. Legal landings also included seventeen haddock, twelve redfish, seven cusk and three whiting. About seventy dogfish were released as well as three cod that would have been legal under August rules. We only caught six cod total for the day - including three smaller than twenty-one inches. And all the cod we did catch were residential and unhurt when released. We saw bluefin tuna wherever we went. These tuna were of a size much smaller than we have seen all year. We also saw quite a few whales (humpbacks) and plenty of Atlantic white sided dolphins. Most of the day was spent drifting but we did try the anchor once. Jigs and cod flies caught the most fish. Bait worked great on dogfish and haddock.
I can't tell you who was high hook. I would suspect that it could have been David Mycue (RI). There were others who were close like Micah Tower (ME), Fred Kunz (NH) and Steve Brown (ME). But the fact of the matter is that the fishing was so good anyone could have been there had they so desired. This wasn't really the case. David caught the largest cod of the trip. I weighed it quickly and released it. The cod weighed 10 pounds. He also caught the largest cusk at 10 pounds and one of the biggest fish of the day, a 26 pound Maine state trophy white hake. I took a picture of David holding his fish. This digital image appears on the left. This is the largest hake he has ever caught. What David did get were some of the largest double keeper catches of the day. His best included a 19 pound pollock and a 13.5 pound pollock, both fish caught on the same line at the same time! This is our fourth largest double keeper catch of the Bunny Clark fishing season. He also landed another double that included a 15 pound pollock and a 17 pound pollock. This double ended up in a three way tie with two other angler's doubles for fifth place for the largest Bunny Clark doubles of the season! So David landed two of the Bunny Clark's top five double keeper catches of the season on the last day! Two of his other good doubles included a 17 pound pollock and a 13 pound pollock and a 10 pound white hake and a 14 pound pollock. I also weighed two other fish for him, a 13 pound pollock and a 15 pound pollock. These fish, oddly enough, were caught singly.
Micah Tower (ME) caught the largest fish of the trip, a 28.5 pound Maine state trophy white hake. He was not entered in the boat pool. I took a picture of him with his nice fish, the biggest fish he has caught with me on the Bunny Clark this season. The digital image appears on the right. It was, actually, his only trip on the Bunny Clark this season! Micah caught the most hake of any angler today. He also boated the third largest double keeper catch of the Bunny Clark season. His double included a 20 pound white hake and a 22 pound white hake. Both fish were caught on the same jig! He wasn't using a fly above the jig at the time. His best pollock double included a 14.5 pound pollock and an 11 pound pollock. Some of his other good fish included a 27 pound Maine state trophy white hake, a 16 pound pollock and a 21 pound pollock. Skip Strong (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the second largest fish, a 28 pound Maine state trophy white hake. This is his largest ever hake. He also landed our fifth largest redfish of the Bunny Clark season today with a 2 pound Maine state trophy. His biggest pollock weighed 15.5 pounds and 14 pounds. He would have caught more pollock but got involved in one of our largest tangles of the day.
Steve Brown won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the third largest fish, a 27.5 pound Maine state trophy white hake. Since he caught the largest hake of the year in an earlier trip (a 38 pounder), I didn't have to fill out a Maine state trophy card for him. Steve also won the boat pool for the third largest fish with a tie for the fourth largest fish of the trip, a 27 pound Maine state trophy pollock. (Micah tied him with his 27 hake) This ties the Bunny Clark's largest pollock of the season. A couple other fish of Steve's that I weighed included an 18 pound white hake and another pollock of 18.5 pounds. He caught quite a few haddock and managed to get a couple that were large enough to bring home. I believe he caught the largest haddock of the day but I didn't weigh it. It looked to be about 4 pounds.
Other Angler Highlights: Don Johnson (MA) tied with Kevin Luke (NJ) and Tim Sweenor (NY) for the Bunny Clark's eighth largest pollock of the season with a 22 pounder. He did not catch a hake of 15 pounds or better but he was close. Neil Feldman (NJ) was also one of those guys that could have been high hook or close to it. His largest hake weighed 13.5 pounds. Some of the other fish of his that I weighed included a 14.5 pound pollock, a 14 pound pollock, a 17 pound pollock and an 18 pound pollock. I never got back to the stern to weigh any of Fred Kunz's pollock. A couple that I saw were around 16 pound range. He had many from 10 to 15 pounds. The fish of his that I did weigh included a 14 pound white hake, a 15 pound white hake, a 21.5 pound white hake, a 16.5 pound white hake and an 18 pound white hake. Kevin White (ME) lost a redfish beside the boat that was easily one of the biggest redfish I have seen this year. I don't know how big as I never go to weigh it. But the last time I saw it the fish was supporting the weight of two seagulls as it floated away! Kevin did get a Maine state trophy redfish of 2 pounds which is a tie for the fifth largest redfish of the Bunny Clark season. His largest fish was a 21 pound white hake. Like Fred, he caught many good sized pollock that I didn't weigh. Bill Socha (NH) boated the Bunny Clark's largest redfish of the season today, a Maine state trophy of 3.5 pounds. At the time I thought it was the longest redfish I had seen in twenty years at 18 inches caliper fork length. But after going over the records, Don Johnson had a 3 pound redfish of 18.25 inches last season on the Ultra in July and Aaron Lyle (PA) caught a 19 inch redfish during the 2003 Bunny Clark fishing season. One of the best big redfish seasons I ever had was in 1984. At that time I was not measuring the length of big redfish. So, since 1990, Bill's redfish is in a three way tie for the third longest redfish we have ever caught on the Bunny Clark. Bill's largest fish of the trip was a 19 pound pollock. Emile Gallant (ME) caught a lot of fish today. His largest was a 19 pound white hake. Some of his other good fish included a 14 pound pollock, a 14.5 pound white hake and a double keeper catch that included a 14 pound pollock and a 14.5 pound pollock. Dave Grasso (ME) caught a 25.5 pound Maine state trophy white hake. I believe this is the largest hake Dave has ever caught. It was certainly one of the biggest fish of the trip today. Dave also caught a 15 pound white hake that I weighed and quite a few pollock over 10 pounds that I didn't. Steve Brown landed the hard luck award for putting a fly hook into his hand and cutting himself quite deeply while using a knife! I had to take the hook out by pushing the point and barb through the hand on the other side and cutting the barb off so we could back it through. This isn't the first time that hard luck has descended on Steve Brown while fishing on the Bunny Clark!
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was 48°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the southwest at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good to excellent. By 7:00 AM, the sky had become overcast. It rained briefly after that. And this was all the rain I saw for the day. By noon, the sky was starting to lighten up a bit, affording us a chance of clearing. That never really did happen. We did see the sun just a bit but not enough to say the sky cleared. After sunset, the sky did clear and stars could be seen. The wind was light all day, first from the southwest and then from the west. Ten knots was the maximum wind speed. The air temperature was mild. I saw a high of 66°F. I suspect this will be the last time we see the air temperature this high. The visibility was very good in some haze. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 66°F (with a low of 41°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 66°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 62°F (with a low of 29°F).
I woke up with an adrenaline hangover from yesterday's fishing trip. When I realized what the weather was exactly going to be the night before I couldn't sleep, being too excited to wait to go. Then, of course, all the activity all day. And the euphoria on the way in. It was just too much for the old guy I guess. I was recovered by noon.
I spent a few hours in the Bunny Clark office at home in the morning. After 7:00 AM, I spent most of the time at the office in Barnacle Billy's. At 2:00 PM, I headed back home to eat lunch and work on Bunny Clark year end stuff. At 4:00 PM, I quit work for the day and started to get my bike ready for a long night ride. I met a couple other riders (from the Maine Coast Cycling Club) after I rode up to meet them at Sanford Airport. I ended up getting a little over 60 miles in.
I received two donations sponsoring me in my fight against cancer with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. One was a generous $50.00 donation from Deborah LaPerche (MA) via "egift" through the PMC web site. The other was a very generous $500.00 donation from Dave & Joanne Miller (MA). Dave & Joanne had already donated $100.00 previously during this year! Thank you all so very much for your support and generosity. As I have said a million times, I appreciate it very much but not as much as those with the disease, those same patients who won't realize why the good things are happening to them at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.
I spent the day working on year end stuff for the Bunny Clark business. This also included a meeting with Jared and Ian about future plans and next year's direction and expectations. I also had two employee meetings at Barnacle Billy's. I finished around 4:00 PM for the day.
I spent all morning and part of the afternoon in Portsmouth. It was doctor day for me. Blood work and physicals were the theme of the morning. Afterward, I went off a list of things I had been waiting all summer to procure. Most of the afternoon was spent on Bunny Clark engine stuff. Getting details about new engines and trying to get to a point where I can make some good business decisions was the theme. I had intended to jump on the bike after sunset for a few miles. But I neglected to eat lunch while I was ramming around so Deb and I ate dinner instead. I plan to take most of Saturday and Sunday off.
I had planned to take the day off today. But that didn't happen. I worked in the office until Jared & Ian showed up at 8:00 AM. They start later in the morning when the air temperature is freezing or below freezing. Clean-up is much harder early with colder temperatures. Together we all went down to the boat to get going. When I was satisfied that all was well, I went back to the office to balance out the money bags from the season's end (something I hadn't done yet), get a start on the reel orders (Ian & Jared had brought an inventory sheet for reel parts with them this morning) and go over the order plan in general for the winter. I was done by 11:00 AM. Ian & Jared were only going to work a half day today.
By 11:30 AM, I had jumped on the bike and was heading out of town when Jared & Ian (in Jared's truck) passed me heading back home. I'm not sure what Ian did during the day but I heard from my brother (Court) that Jared and his son jumped a buck and a doe out of beds in the woods but never got a shot off. I don't know the whole situation. I do know that that is more than Jared has seen in the woods this November.
Everyone at Barnacle Billy's and the Bunny Clark took the day off. I spent most of it on my bike.
I spent a lot of time in the office today. We decided on the opening and closing dates at the restaurants, I attended a half hour insurance meeting, made a few more restaurant decisions and updated both web sites, not in that order. Along with this, I met with Jared Keniston and Ian Keniston on Bunny Clark projects. And I did some work dismantling items and storing Bunny Clark items for the winter. It was a busy day but I finished at 3:30 PM, time enough for a bike ride. And I enjoyed watching the first period of the Bruins game.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) came out with the new fishing regulations under the forced (by the New England Fishery Management Council - NEFMC or, simply, Council) Emergency Action (or EA) set to take place on November 13, 2014. These new rules include rolling area closures for both commercial and recreational fishermen until May 12, 2015. And that is about the only change the recreational angler will see during this time sequence. I say about, because the only other rule effecting recreational anglers will be the extension of the no (zero) cod possession limit through May 12, 2015. This is approximately a month longer than it had been the last few years. Normally, you could start keeping cod on April 16. The way I see it (while living the debate in real time), it is unlikely that we will be able to keep cod at all (as recreational anglers) in 2015. In the meantime, the NEFMC will try to get a new plan for regulations in place before the start of the 2015 fiscal fishing season on May 1. If the Council is successful, their plan will supersede this EA. If the Council is not successful and, again, dumps it in the lap of the NMFS, this EA (or a slightly revamped version) will go back in force for another six months after May 13, 2015. My experience with the Council tells me that they won't be able to get something in place before the deadline. But these are just my feelings. I don't believe in the Council system. And they have dragged their heels on issues like these many times in the past.
I spent a significant amount of time going over the new EA today, figuring out the boundaries on a chart and looking to see how all this will apply to the 2015 Bunny Clark fishing season. There is a two day Groundfish Committee (this is a committee that advises the Council) meeting tomorrow and the day after tomorrow (Nov. 12 & 13) that will discuss their suggestions (motions) to implement the new plan and start the ball rolling for the fiscal 2015 season. I may attend part of the meeting tomorrow. But it is more likely that I will only be there on Thursday. Wednesday will be a day filled mostly with presentations to set members up for the Thursday meeting (this is my take on things). Of course, if I had time, it would be better to be at both meetings.
This was the first day that I started to go over capital projects list at the restaurants with the people that will make these things happen this winter. I spent an hour going over these things. Completing the first part of my capital projects list was something I had planned for the day along with a couple final announcements to the cleanup crew before they leave for the winter. I also spent time (with Jared Keniston and Ian Keniston) taking the life rafts off the Bunny Clark and the Petrel to bring to Portland for repacking (inspection) tomorrow. I also spent a significant amount of time on the phone talking to everyone in every aspect of my professional life. And I had several orders from vendors I had to confirm.
It was disappointing to come home after a trying day like today and find that there was no Bruins game to watch. C'est la vie!
The first thing in the morning, I took the life rafts from the Bunny Clark and the Petrel to get the yearly inspection and repack completed in Portland, Maine. My office became the cab of my truck for two hours in the process. I also had to pick up a spare starter solenoid that had been setting at Kaza Auto Electric since Mike had ordered it for me over a month previously. The rest of the day was spent on Barnacle Billy's and Bunny Clark projects. I was finished by 4:00 PM.
At 4:35 PM, I jumped on the bike to ride up to Sanford Airport, Sanford, Maine where the Maine Coast Cycling Club has a scheduled ride every Wednesday night starting at 5:45 PM. I ended up getting back home at about 8:45 PM.
I spent the whole day in the New England Fishery Management Council's Groundfish Committee meeting in Revere, Massachusetts today. I was surprised how few industry people (either from the recreational fishing industry or the commercial fishing industry) were there. It was very frustrating. There were times when we had a glimmer of hope for future regulations. But when I left the meeting I was mentally drained. And disappointed. This isn't something new. It's what I call Council Syndrome; I have contracted this mental disorder after attending NEFMC meetings for years. This meeting was not much different. The fishery is in a mess. And, as members of the Council machine, we have complicated ourselves with so many strings of regulations a spider would be proud of us. I think it was good that I went if for nothing else but to get re-educated in the new things that are going on and to alert those in the system that I was back in the loop. That and $2.00 will get you a cup of coffee at any meeting place the Council decides to light on a monthly basis. But, seriously, I did come away with a positive feeling and a challenge to myself to be more vocal at the full Council meeting next week. Since nothing concrete happened there is nothing to tell you about. I'm hoping it wasn't a good day spoiled.
I was down at the Cove this morning warming up the engine at 5:00 AM. I went over the engine with a fine toothed comb to make sure all was in order. By 7:00 AM, the boat was ready to leave Perkins Cove. At 7:30 AM, I headed out of the Cove in the Bunny Clark with my destination to Kittery Point Yacht Yard in Kittery, Maine. I don't know what time I arrived but it had to be before 9:00 AM. Everything went smoothly. Jared Keniston and Ian Keniston met me at the dock at KPYY. I went home in the truck that Ian drove down for me. They started working on getting the electronics disconnected and back to the house.
The rest of my day was spent working in the office at Barnacle Billy's and running around getting things ready for winter and the cold weather in the next couple of days.
I spent most of the morning on the Barnacle Billy's work order. After that I spent the rest of the day on catching up with the household chores.
I took the day off today.
The earlier part of the morning today was spent hauling the Bunny Clark out of the water at Kittery Point Yacht Yard. That was completed by 7:30 AM. I spent the next hour and a half winterizing the engine while Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston (along with the help of Kittery Point Yacht Yard) cleaned the bottom of the hull. I had to leave before 9:30 AM to apply for my TWIC card and TSA approved status (airport clearance on domestic flights) at the UES Enrollment Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. From there I checked back with the boat and then went home. The rest of the day was spent researching background and agenda for the New England Fishery Management Council meeting I was going to attend tomorrow and Wednesday in Newport, Rhode Island.
I left to head down to the New England Fishery Management Council meeting at 4:00 AM this morning. I beat the heavy traffic through Boston by leaving as early as I did. I was going to spend the next two days of this four day meeting here at the Marriott Hotel in Newport so I booked a room for the night before I did anything else. After breakfast, I worked through the meeting for the rest of the day until it ended at 6:30 PM.
Of most importance to the recreational angler was the motion for the passing of a regulation that would require recreational and commercial fishing vessels to declare into one of two areas in the Gulf of Maine on a fishing trip. These two areas, the offshore area and the inshore area, were separated by a line running north and south at 70° 00' west longitude. For recreational anglers this meant that you would somehow (call in?) declare to fish inside this line or outside this line for a trip at some point before the trip started. For the regular recreational angler this was very impractical and would be very hard to enforce. The for-hire vessel (party/charter boat), for example, if you declared the offshore grounds for a trip and the weather was too tough to complete, you would have to terminate the trip instead of fishing in the safer inshore fishing area. I got up to speak against this giving examples and talking to the enforcement issue. And I also spoke to the fact that this was something that gave the National Marine Fisheries Service no benefit from the recreational angler and just further complicated the system with unnecessary burdens on fishermen and the Service. In the end, common sense prevailed and the motion passed without the inclusion of the recreational angler.
The Council (New England Fishery Management Council or NEFMC) meeting started at 8:30 AM, a little earlier than the previous day. It ended after 6:30 PM, with five or ten minute breaks here and there and a break for lunch. I spoke a couple of times. Once to the idea that lobstering shouldn't be allowed in the closed cod mortality/spawning areas. I believe that there is no reason to exclude lobster gear from the closed areas. Lobster traps don't catch enough cod to warrant exclusion, and I mentioned this. I also mentioned the gear restrictions further prevent cod from being caught in lobster traps. Lobstermen can't land cod so there is no incentive to bring cod back. And there were a couple other items I mentioned. But lastly, I mentioned that I wasn't sure why the lobsterman was being attacked when there was no mention of the mid-water herring trawlers towing small mesh in the closed areas over hard bottom where all our juvenile groundfish live. Not only do the mid-water trawlers catch a lot of groundfish, but they also catch all the best food that cod can eat (herring & mackerel) and, by doing so, they make the cod move away from the protected closed areas into areas where cod can be caught. And, most importantly, mid-water trawlers catch the most important fish the Service is trying to regulate and protect, cod! No one commented on my few sentences against mid-water herring trawling in closed areas. But the lobster gear issue wasn't pursued and, thus, was dropped from the agenda.
The most important part of the day was spent discussing the proposed closed cod mortality/spawning areas to commercial and recreational fishermen. These new proposed areas were mirrored somewhat on the closed areas established in the most recent Emergency Action (EA) imposed by the National Marine Fisherier Service due to terminate on May 12, 2015. At the end of the day, the Council settled on less restrictive areas or, in short, less areas closed to fishing. But during the interim, there was much debate both from the Council members and from the audience. In fact, the Chair had those from the audience who wanted to speak get in a line. When I spoke my thrust was trying to convince the Council that the recreational angler should have access to the proposed new closed fishing areas. [I have mentioned many times both to the Council and the two Groundfish Committees that I don't believe anyone should be allowed in the areas where cod commence with spawning activities.] But my angle on allowed access was that we already know that the Service, the PDT (Council's analysis team or Planning & Development Team), the SSC and the Council itself wanted a zero cod possession limit for commercial fishermen and recreational anglers in 2015. So my reasoning was that the PDT had already had a published written statement that with a no cod possession limit for recreational anglers that "the additional conservation benefit of the closures [from recreational activities in those areas] is likely to be minimal - the economic, social & political costs will not be minimal." With this I argued that the recreational angler was being unfairly targeted and that having the extra burden of no access would be devastating to the industry. Some others echoed my sentiments in different ways. But debate raged on.
Near the end of the day, Frank Blount (our sole representative on the Council - God bless him!) made a motion to allow recreational anglers into the proposed closed areas (all except the Whaleback Spawning Closure). The motion passed! The day ended with the Council voting to approve the Framework Adjustment 53 package of new regulations with these changes and to send it out for Service approval.
I have to caution everyone reading this missive that just because these things were accepted and approved by the Council this does not necessarily mean that these will be the new rules for the future. My biggest concern is that some of these changes will take added analysis before they can be approved by the Service. This may take some time. If it takes too much time and the document doesn't make it out for public comment on time, the regulations could be delayed past May 1, the starting date for the 2015 fiscal fishing year. The biggest worry is that if not completed on time, the interim EA could be rolled over for as much as another six months (worst case, my opinion). And, as you know, the EA prohibits recreational activity in the existing closed areas including the much loved Jeffrey's Ledge and Platts Bank. Also, the Service was not enamored by the Council's selection of closed areas. The Council's submitted plan eliminates areas that I believe the Service feels should be closed. And, John Bullard, the Regional Administrator of the Service (NMFS) as much as said so. So even though it seems the recreational angler won some small victories I want to make it very clear that anyone interested in the fate of the recreational angler for 2015 pay close attention, as I will, about upcoming fishery management events. These events could change our future somewhat.
So as it looks from here, the recreational angler will not be able to bring a cod home to eat in fiscal fishing year 2015, from May 1, 2015 until April 31, 2016. Assuming the Council's plan is accepted as presented, we will still be able to access the closed areas including Jeffrey's Ledge, Cashes & Fippennies and Platts Bank. The haddock question did not come up at all during the four days of Council meetings. Nor was haddock on the agenda. However, the talk is that haddock will go to a legal limit of 17". This is not certain but it makes very good common sense. There will be a bag limit to be determined. And, as I interpret the discussion documents, this could be anywhere from two to six fish. And this could change during the season after May 1, 2015. So much more has to be decided.
Keep in mind also that all the above is my interpretation. Not studying this on a daily basis leaves me out of the loop somewhat. I have to rely on information I get from Council members, my interpretation of what I read, what I believe is the common sense approach to these problems and public statements made from many sources.
I also have to give a nod to New England's state representatives who represented both the recreational anglers and commercial fishermen in this four day event. All did a super job walking the fine line between good conservation, good management, common sense and trying to keep the fishing industry together. I felt they all had the recreational anglers best interests at heart. And every one of them vocalized as much, my interpretation. I was particularly proud of Terry Stockwell representing Maine, the Council Chair. And Doug Grout, representing New Hampshire, just did a wonderful job as did Dr. David Pierce (one of the most vocal and most knowledgeable members - Massachusetts), Mark Gibson (RI) and Mark Alexander (CT). As I thank them here it wouldn't be a bad thing to thank them yourself. Their email addresses can be found on the NEFMC website.
At the end of the meeting I drove home through Boston, arriving a little after 10:00 PM, way after bed time!
I spent the day working on home projects that had been neglected during the summer. It was mindless work but I constantly kept in touch by text with Council members and members of the audience alike during the proceedings. The day at the Council was spent setting up priorities for future Council consideration. The most important part as recreational anglers was the question of allowing mid-water herring boats in the closed cod mortality/spawning areas. I voiced my opinion to some at the meeting by text. I never did hear if some of my thoughts were ever voiced. But I was asked and I did reply.
I also had some Bunny Clark items to complete including side curtain repairs, ordering and future plans. I did not work on anything related to Barnacle Billy's stuff. That will come tomorrow.
I spent most of the morning catching up on this Internet report after a few days of being idle with it. I spent the rest of the day on orders, phone calls and coordination activities with the restaurants. I had to get a new tire for my bicycle so I gave up work at 3:00 PM and rode my bike down to Portsmouth, New Hampshire along the shore to Papa Wheelies. It was fairly cool but I was dressed for it.
I worked at the Bunny Clark desk for part of the morning (the early part) and then grabbed my bike and drove to South Berwick where I joined a group of cyclists doing a charity ride for a local soup kitchen to benefit those a bit less fortunate in the local area. This is an annual event I started doing last year on the same date. It was a forty mile ride that started at 10:00 AM with riders I met for the first time last year. A great group of kind and thoughtful people. After that, I drove home to attend a "Celebration of Life" for a good friend of mine who passed away last week. I still had time for my wife to drag me away to go shopping and grab some essentials I was unable to obtain during the busy season. Thankfully, that list is almost completed!
I took the day off today. I spent the morning cycling on my own and with the Maine Coast Cycling Club for a total of eighty-three miles. During the afternoon, I watched the Patriots game.
I spent most of the day at the desk in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. I had various business emails I had to answer, business decisions, calls and a winter work order to complete. I got there at 8:00 AM and left the office at 1:30 PM. I ate lunch in the Bunny Clark office, answering emails, working on orders, making various calls pertaining to winter projects on the boat, etc, etc & etc. Later in the afternoon, I procured 2400 pounds of pellets (for the pellet stove) and stored them away. I just had time to run to Canvasworks in Kennebunk to pick up the Bunny Clark's side curtains that had been repaired. I called it a day at 5:00 PM.
After working at the desk here at home and then working moving things around and bailing skiffs at the Cove, I drove to the "Barn" to meet Jared Keniston and Ian Keniston. This is where the Bunny Clark will be residing for the winter and where I was to meet the U. S. Coast Guard inspectors for the hull inspection at 8:00 AM. The inspectors were a little late. But that was good because we had some trouble getting the straining plates off the thru-hull fittings on the outside of the hull. The inspectors need to see up into the thru-hull fittings in order to check for electrolysis near any of the metal. After the inspectors arrived we spent most of the morning with them as they went over every detail both inside and outside the Bunny Clark. In the end they found one support piece that had some angel hair. We will replace that. And, under the keel, they found some scratch marks that will be finished and re-glassed (this from touching the bottom in Perkins Cove at low tide during the season). Other than that, the boat was more than fine. After going over a few things with Ian, Jared and David Pease, I headed for lunch.
The rest of the day was spent working around the house, getting ready for Thanksgiving and getting the truck ready to take over to Portsmouth to be worked on over the holiday. I drove to Portsmouth with my bike in the back. After working out all the details with the dealership, I jumped on the bike, rode around Portsmouth, rode down to Hampton Beach and then turned around and rode home via 103 and Shore Road to Ogunquit. I got back home around 6:30 PM. It was a beautiful night for riding with temperatures in the high 50°s.
After working at the desk on Bunny Clark stuff, I met our carpenter (Jack Ladderbush) to go over the winter projects work order. I had already typed out the list. We went over this list for both buildings. That took about an hour to complete, maybe a little longer. After that, our kitchen chef at Etc, Chris Kirste, and I removed a few tables and chairs to be used at our respective Thanksgiving Day family get togethers tomorrow. [I can't tell you what a help Chris has been to the business over the last year.] We wanted to get this done before the expected snow arrived. From there I had other Thanksgiving related duties to perform. I also had an interview for the Portland Press Herald over the phone - relating to recreational fishing restrictions for 2015. This is supposed to appear in tomorrow's paper. At 1:30 PM, I had a meeting at Kittery Point Yacht Yard where we discussed re-powering the Bunny Clark with a new Catapiller diesel engine. That lasted an hour. From there I met a Portland Press staff photographer, Whitney (sp), at the Bunny Clark's winter home so current pictures could be used with the article. So I posed mostly around the steering wheel. That might have taken fifteen minutes or more. For the rest of the day I was on the phone with various companies discussing various engines for next years Bunny Clark and experience. I was done at 5:30 PM.
Aside from shoveling snow around the Cove and our house, the day was spent preparing for a large Thanksgiving dinner in the afternoon. Deb hosted the day at our house for half of my family. It was a very nice time.
The morning was spent in recovery mode. No, I didn't have anything to drink yesterday except for one flute of champagne. Getting the house back to normal was the plan. I received my marching orders early from Deb. Micah helped me bring the extra tables and chairs back to the restaurant. After that, I looked at engine specs until lunch. After lunch I traded trucks with the dealership and retrieved the truck I had brought in earlier in the week. We do business with Coast in Portsmouth.
On the way back from Portsmouth, I stopped in for a meeting with Grant Hubbard. He and his family have been running the Finestkind Scenic Tour business off the Barnacle Billy's dock since the restaurant started fifty-three years ago. Our families are very close. Since my father died, I have had the responsibility to make sure both businesses run smoothly and maintain a dialog throughout the year. Both businesses complement each other. And both families know that we each have each other's best interests in mind. It's a great relationship with a wonderful family. Plus, we always end up talking about the passenger carrying business as we both (with the Bunny Clark) fall under the auspices of the U. S. Coast Guard. This time we added a conversation about engines and Tier 3 compliance. The meeting was over too soon.
After the meeting, I went back home to get shovels to get the snow off the Petrel. I also wanted to start the engine and warm up the engine room so I wouldn't have to drain the saltwater side of the engine before our first real cold snap. The air temperature was going to be in the teens tomorrow morning. I let the engine run for a hour while I shoveled off the canopy top, the bow and the washrails.
An article appeared in the Portland Press Herald this morning featuring yours truly in a couple of digital images in the paper itself and online. The article was fairly accurate but didn't make all the points I would have liked to have seen made. And the shots of me certainly showed a dour look on my face. The photographer didn't want me to smile. I'm not sure how long this article will remain on line but you can click on the link and find it for now.
I spent the day working on researching data for this years Guestletter. Unfortunately, I can't remember everything during a season. I checked on the Petrel after sculling out to the boat with our dog, Gill. I still haven't drained the saltwater side of the engine yet. Until I do I have to keep a weather eye on the air temperature and the Cove water temperature. We have seen skim ice form twice on the surface of the Cove so far. If I don't drain the engine, I have to go out to the Petrel, bring her engine up to temperature and then shut it off so the cabin stays warmer through the night.
I ended the day with a ride on the bicycle from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
I took the day off today. And I can happily say that 90% of the day was gilt free. I have to practice for a day off since I have no days off from March until the end of the season. My first couple of days off (Sundays) are tough. I keep wanting to do something and feel guilty that I'm not. But today, like I said, I was pretty good with just watching a couple of football games, reading and calling an old friend I used to go to college with.
Of course, I always take Sunday morning off even during the season to ride my bicycle with the Maine Coast Cycling Club in Kennebunkport - 70 (miles) on Sunday. Today I got in 64 miles. And they were not really fun miles. I partially dumped the bike early just getting there on ice at 7:00 AM when I lost traction on my back wheel (I wasn't going very fast - thankfully). And, once I started riding with the group, you couldn't stay on anyone's wheel too long before you got soaked with the water, dirt and grime that was wicked off the road from the wheel of the cyclist in front of you. I always wear a visor under my helmet in these situations so I can protect my glasses. It's way worse if you are getting wet and you can't see either! So even though the air temperature was in the 40°s by the time I rode home, I was slightly chilled from being wet. In fact, I was cold enough that I thought I wouldn't warm up so when I got home I left the bike and ran three miles. I was warm after that.
I ended the day with the Patriots loss to Green Bay.
I spent the morning cleaning the office. The weather was too nice to continue working after lunch. So a friend and I went for a long bike ride together.
It's been a long time since I received a donation supporting my cancer cause with the Pan-Mass Challenge. But I did receive one today. This was a $30.00 donation from Bill & Kathy Devon (VT). Bill has been fishing with me probably since I launched the Bunny Clark in 1983, Maybe before the B.C.! At any rate, I consider him a regular and he is regular with his donations to my cancer fund every year. Thanks so much, Bill & Kathy. I appreciate it very much.
I spent most of the morning working at the desk in the office. I had to get a few things done before the day started. At 8:30 AM, I drove to Portsmouth in my wife's vehicle to trade it for the silver GMC Bunny Clark truck. Deb needed to have the oil changed, tires rotated and engine checked in her vehicle and it was just as convenient to drop her truck off and pick up mine on the way to Massachusetts. From Portsmouth, I drove to Power Products in Wakefield, Massachusetts to look at new marine Volvo engines. I took my clipboard, camera and tape measure. I spent at least two hours there. Aaron was very helpful to me there. From Wakefield I drove to Milton Cat, the Caterpiller dealer, in Milford, Massachusetts. I was interested in looking at the C18, an engine with plenty of power and low end torque but maybe a little too heavy (in weight) for the application (Bunny Clark). They were very nice there, Tom Dockery showed me around and brought two models down from storage to show me.
I was done with engines at 3:00 PM and headed home at about that time. I really spent most of the time driving while on the phone. Probably not a great practice but I got a lot of work done. I still have to make a decision whether to repower the Bunny Clark. But this had been in the five year plan, if I made it this far, to change out the engine this year. Needless to say, I was not prepared for the onerous fishery management rule changes. But I do believe there is a viable business in deep sea fishing from the Bunny Clark. We'll see how I feel about that this summer! Stay tuned about future engine decisions.
I had a mix of things going on today. From the very beginning until the end I was fielding engine related phone calls periodically. I did a bit of ordering for Bunny Clark related items. And I spent a substantial amount of time at the office in Barnacle Billy's. Some of my time there was spent coordinating some of the projects we have going there right now. I did end up finalizing the work order as it relates to carpentry items. I still have to meet with plumbers, electricians and painters. I also finalized a few office decisions that needed to be made, particularly around health insurance.
I did go for a very slow run on the beach. We got a new dog at the beginning of the summer. Our last dog, Finley, had passed away in April. My wife, Deb, had seen a border collie on Craigs List. At first I was against this; border collies require a lot of work as they are much more active than collies - the species of dog we have had for years. And I was still not very happy about losing Finley. I just didn't want to have another dog at the time. Deb won. Of course (By the way, Chris Rock has a new video out alluding to some of these things. Very funny.). We had a new dog, Gill, within the week. I had forgotten how much work and destruction a puppy creates. And active. My God! A collie on steroids! Gill grew to be a much smaller dog, about the weight of a sack of pellets (40 pounds). This was nice as I would take him to the Bunny Clark every morning. He would get on the boat okay, by himself. He would not get off. He loves people. So I would have to carry him off. This happened every day. And it became somewhat of a comedy routine every morning. Everyone seemed to get a laugh as I carried him off. I would even turn around and wave a paw at my patrons while the dog had that sad sack look on it's face. Lately, Gill has been running with me on the beach. I used to run with a friend, John Mixon. But John has been busy with work lately. Gill has no problem running with me for three miles. And this is what we did after my last phone call of the day at 4:30 PM. I'm just starting back into running again so Gill had no problem doing three miles at a 10 minute mile pace. I think he could do that on one leg. My legs haven't adjusted yet. I've completed 7200 miles on my road bike since January 2014 and I can hardly complete three miles running. Different muscles. It takes me a couple of weeks to acclimate. Happens every fall/winter. By then I should have Gill perfectly trained as a running companion. And John runs with his dog as well. We'll see how that combination works out.
After running around trying to get caught up on a few things, I headed to Portland to pick up the Petrel's newly inspected life raft. Chase & Leavitt had called yesterday afternoon to tell me it was ready. I was back by 10:00 AM. From there I took the Petrel off the morning, brought it to the bait wharf and loaded the life raft canister into its cradle on the canopy top. There were a few things I had to do on the boat before I took it back to the mooring. I was done by 11:30 AM. The rest of the day was spent at the desk, working on orders and setting up for next week.
After noon, Ian Keniston called me to tell me that the bridge sleeve assemblies for one of the Penn reel models was the wrong part. The assemblies were for another type of Penn reel. A few calls went back and forth between myself and Pure Fishing. But it looks like I got everything resolved with the correct parts coming next week.
The morning was spent playing with boats, finishing up my daily report (here), making calls, making plans for next week and getting the 110 bridge sleeve assemblies back to Penn. At 10:00 AM, Deb and I had a meeting with the senior loan officer at our bank (the potential new engine - I still haven't made my decision yet). I wanted to be ready in case the new engine plans go into effect. And I can't see moving forward without going this route. The old engine cost us trips and too much money last season. And it has 25,000 hours on her. It's also obsolete; they haven't made this model almost since I bought it seventeen years ago. Doesn't seem possible that much time has gone by.
The rest of the day was spent on the Bunny Clark's work order, the Guestletter and on the phone with engine questions. I'm considering various engine applications from various vendors.
I also did a bit of Barnacle Billy's stuff too. I try not to say too much about the Barnacle Billy's side of my life on this site as it is more of a party boat oriented monolog.
I worked all morning on Barnacle Billy's stuff and getting everyone alerted to meetings on Tuesday and Thursday next week. I worked on the Bunny Clark's work order all afternoon, completing it by 5:00 PM. Once I decide on what is going to happen with the engine, we will have a strategy meeting with the list I made up today. I'm already looking forward to fishing this upcoming season.
Phil Eastman (Eastman Docks) called me the other day. Phil, as most of you know, runs his commercial fishing vessel in the winter for groundfish. They have been severely limited by the cod restrictions and the new closed areas. He wanted to know what was going on in the world of upcoming regulations for recreational anglers (concerns about his own family's party/charter business). I had no answer for him. In fact, there is nothing going on right now. Of most concern is the future of the haddock bag limit. I have every reason to believe that we will be able to catch and keep haddock. I'm just not sure how many we will be able to keep. The reason for this is the haddock fishing's relationship with areas where cod can be caught and the potential cod mortality consequences while fishing in the areas that have been newly closed for commercial fishing vessels. Although I don't believe it's an issue when you consider that, regardless, commercial vessels will be able to market a certain poundage of cod that are caught. But the regulators and scientists don't see it like I see it. And if they see it the way I think they see it, we are going to have to make some haddock concessions for our ability to be able to fish in the closed areas.
Another thing Phil wanted to tell me was that he is seeing more cod than he has seen since 1986. That, to me, is a bold statement. However true it is (and Phil is by no means a liar of any sort), I'm not sure if this is just a local phenomenon or something more wide spread. Cod seem to come together for any number of reasons, bait and spawning being primary ones. Are all the cod concentrated in Ipswitch Bay and Massachusetts Bay? Or is this something happening throughout the inshore areas. I don't know and I don't think many do know. What I do know is that everyone knows some part of the big puzzle. The problem is getting everybody together to finish the puzzle in a timely manner so we know the now of it as it pertains to the whole Gulf of Maine. I am encouraged by what Phil tells me. But I am very wary that it isn't enough information to hold my hopes up that the population of cod is bigger than I believe it is.
I spent most of the day riding my bike, running and doing some core stuff. Part of the day I spent working on the Petrel's engine, getting it set up for the winter and draining the engine of sea water.
As I mentioned, Micah and I took the truck to Stonington, Maine this morning to look at diesel engines, particularly the D13 Volvo. Our target was Billings Diesel & Marine. I was meeting a Greg Sanborn there. Greg turned out to be one of the most knowledgable individuals I have met on diesel engine installs and repowers. And he was very helpful and informative. He was very familiar with my engine and with all the brands except John Deere. He had a D13 on the floor right next to a C18 Cat, which I also looked at previously. I took a picture of both engines side my side (digital image appears below - the Volvo is the green engine). It may not look like it but the Cat is a much bigger engine than the Volvo. The Cat weighs about 600 pounds more, bobtail (without a gear), while the Volvo is 600 pounds less. Of course, the Cat has a much bigger displacement at 18 liters as opposed to 13. We spent an hour there, most of which Greg was there answering questions. Billings is quite a place and everyone was super nice.
I had a lot of office work today. Most of it down at the restaurant. At 9:15 AM, we had an insurance meeting, talking about health insurance and the future of Barnacle Billy's employees. That went for a little over an hour. I stayed there in the office and worked until about 1:30 PM. From there I went to Flo's to secure a few hot dogs for Deb and I (lunch). After lunch I worked on going between engine stuff and the bank. At 4:00 PM, I drove over to the Bunny Clark to take more engine measurements. Dinner was at 6:30 PM.
After dinner, I went down to the Cove to find Mike Remkiewicz who was already down there. My skiff had filled with so much rain water, the current had flipped it over and was under the dock. With Mike doing most of the work, we flipped it over, pulled it onto the float and slid it over the other side to be tied paralell to the dock or positioned with the bow into the current. Next we ran a storm line from the float to the ice breaker further up the channel. We also bailed out a few of our friend's skiffs. One we pulled up on a float and left it upside down so it wouldn't fill with rain and be lost. Last, we pulled out planking sections on the dock so the higher than normal tide would allow the Cove water to move freely around it without taking the dock out with the surge force. And there was a lot of surge with seventeen foot seas just outside the mouth of the harbor.
I went down to the Cove again at 11:30 PM. Everything was stable at that time. I had a fitful sleep.
Today was a day of meetings. The first was a meeting with our electrician, Mike Bridges (Bridges Electric), at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. Next I met with the general manager of BB, Etc, Chuck MacDonald. At 9:00 AM, I met our painter, Gary Charpentier, to go over repairs needed before the start of the season. The rest of the morning I was in the office with my sister, Cathy, and our bookkeeper, Sarah DeCoste. I stayed there working on the computer until 1:00 PM.
After lunch I spent the rest of the time on office duty at home. I'm trying to get myself into a position to start working on the newsletter which I spent about an hour on a week ago and haven't worked on since. Much going on this fall/winter.
I started the day like I start every day with working at the desk until about 7:30 AM. At 8:00 AM, I went down to the Cove to bail my skiff out and take storm lines in. There was still a surge in the Cove but not enough to compromise the integrity of the moorings. And my lines were right in the way of commerce if anyone wanted to bring their boats to the dock. At 9:15 AM, we had an employee meeting with all the Barnacle Billy's managers and book keepers. This is an annual meeting where we go down the list of employees we had last season and decide if they want to come back. The list includes all our employees including those who left us, those who worked periodically and those who come back year after year. Most we invite back. But we need to know who to send letters to. No one is refused. Those of whom we are not sure about are usually not sent a letter. They soon realize this (as most are local) and call us if they want to come back or just leave it as is. We were done before noon.
The rest of the day was spent on new engine details and work at the Bunny Clark. I drove over there for a bit late in the afternoon.
I just found out today that Richard Fox (CA) gave another $200.00 donation to help in my cancer fund raising efforts with the Pan-Mass Challenge. His donation came in the form of an "egift" through the PMC website. The PMC alerts me to these credit card donations but the email appears in a different folder in my account. I usually take a look in that folder a couple times a week. This time when I looked it was like Christmas to see Dick's donation. Thank you so very much for your kindness and generosity, Dick. I appreciate it very much. Now all you have to do is come to the east coast this summer and take a ride on the Bunny! Relive the old days!
It was an all engine day today. The early part of the morning was spent comparing engine specs. By 9:00 AM, I was talking to Dave Simonelli at Kittery Point Yacht Yard (they have been very helpful). That meeting lasted a half hour. By 10:00 AM, I was talking to Dave Pease where he agreed to put the new engine in for me. I'm delighted because Dave has done everything just the way I wanted it including building the Bunny Clark (except for the hull) since 1983. I always want him to be as much a part of the Bunny Clark as he wants to be until he wants to give it up. I spent some time with Dave after the meeting going over measurements and talking over potential future challenges with the new engine. For instance, all new engines have the exhaust running out of the starboard side of the engine. My old engine has the exhaust and exhaust manifold on the port side. After lunch, I was on the phone and on email concerning the engine until 4:00 PM. I called it quits for the day after that.
I spent the day working on the Petrel, my lobster boat. Some of it was engine work (a sticky raw water drain valve in a hard to reach place). Other things were snaps and a curtain clip. I also changed moorings, dropped two of the summer moorings and grabbed the appropriate storm lines associated with the new winter location. I also had some tools that were left out that I had clean up and store. Just house cleaning exercises, really.
I took the day off today.
Working on the Petrel (engine, side curtains & raw water drainage), the Bunny Clark's potential new engine and my website consumed my day. I spent my time between the office at the house and the Petrel in the Cove. I quit at 4:00 PM.
The day started as is it normally does with the Internet stuff. That completed, I met painters at Barnacle Billy's, Etc (wall papering the ladies room upstairs). From there I had a doctor's appointment in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. At 10:00 AM, David Pease, Ian Keniston, Jared Keniston and I had a meeting at the Bunny Clark to go over this winter's work order, the primary item being the new engine installation. After lunch, I finished the last couple of items I needed to complete the winterization of the Petrel. Afterward, I tried to help my former brother-in-law with a fuel pump problem with his lobster boat engine (a Ford diesel). I was unsuccessful there. The rest of the afternoon I was on the phone working out marine gear problems, completing the final draft of the Bunny Clark work order and looking over new engine questions I am going to have to answer in the next two days. I was done by 6:30 PM.
I received a surprise donation today of $200.00 from Bob & Donna Nixon (NH) in a last minute bid to give another donation this year to my cancer fund raising efforts with the Pan-Mass Challenge. Bob had just sent me an email the other day encouraging me to continue with the PMC in 2015. And, yes, I plan to do so again. How can I not? The PMC it just too well organized, one hundred percent of the donation goes where it is needed (no percentage goes to administrative costs), the money goes to one of the top three cancer research institutes in the country and this money helps so many people locally. There is so much more, most of which Bob Nixon (and I) recognizes. Thanks so much, Bob & Donna. I do appreciate your support so much.
I had a busy day today. I completed the Bunny Clark's work order, grabbed wheel pullers and a couple other things and headed to the Bunny Clark to meet with David Pease. Through our discussions I decided on a reverse gear for the new engine. In turn, I decided on purchasing the D13 Volvo to replace the 163P Volvo I have had in the Bunny Clark for almost seventeen years (It was a good engine. In fact, I have never much of a problem with any Volvo I have ever owned. I've owned five.) This will be my third Volvo engine in the Bunny Clark and the sixth engine overall since 1983. I had several things I had to do at the office in Barnacle Billy's, which I did. Micah (my son) and I hauled the skiff out of the water to work on it a bit in the afternoon. The rest of the day was spend on email and on the phone securing everything I needed in order to go forward with the new engine purchase. I am buying the engine through Power Products in Wakefield, Massachusetts, a division of which resides in Portland, Maine. This also means that I will have the same mechanic I have had working on the Bunny Clark for over twenty years. This is important to me.
The Conservation Law Foundation came out with a short video about keeping the Cashes Ledge closed area closed instead of opening it up to commercial dragging as is the plan right now. I had a short part in the video. I am very supportive of keeping the Cashes Ledge area closed and keeping the status quo on the Georges Bank closed areas numbers 1 & 2. Some on the New England Fishery Management Council want to see Georges Bank, particularly, opened to dragging. This is where our haddock are coming from, the biggest groundfish success story of the modern era. And they want to open it up? It's selfish and crazy. The video on my browser starts as soon as you bring up the page but you have to scroll down to see it. Otherwise, all you hear is the narration. There is a petition to sign at the video link I just gave you after the video is completed. I would appreciate it if you signed your name in support of keeping the Cashes Ledge area closed. The closed areas have been a very important part of the rebuilding process of the groundfish stocks in New England. Without the closed areas I am certain you will be kissing your fish goodbye. This isn't the only thing that needs to be done, of course, but it's a good start. Thank you.