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.
Later this afternoon we headed to Logain International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts to fly to Calebra Island for the Christmas holiday. This was an idea Deb had this summer after working with a rental-by-owner thing she found on line. It seemed like a great opportunity to take our two kids to a place where we could all spend time together. The island of Calebra is a very quiet island by Caribbean standards.
I spent the day getting organized for the beginning of the working winter, the time starting January 2nd.
In the morning, I rounded up my trucks and launched our skiff that I had taken out of the water previous to leaving on vacation (one less thing for someone to look out for while I was gone). I had to work on moorings for a couple of hours including dropping the Bunny Clark's mooring that had remained in place when I left to provide for another boat that hadn't been hauled out yet for the winter. I worked at the restaurants for a while and checked out some of the winter projects that are going on. Of course, half the work slows with the holidays.
I had lunch at 1:30 PM. And from there I was on the phone for the rest of the day.
I did have to take some extra time to care for our border collie, Gill. When I was launching the skiff from the bait wharf, the dog had wandered into the bait cooler. It was low tide so, during the time it took to lower the skiff with the hoist to the surface of the Cove, Gill had had plenty of time to check out every inch of the bait cooler. In the winter, they leave the bait cooler refrigeration off. This last week saw some very mild temperatures. This also gave some of the bait a chance to "ripen" up a bit (there are always a couple lobstermen in every harbor who don't fish as often as they could). By the time I called Gill down to get into the skiff to go to the other dock, I could tell where he had been. Even with the little bit of northwest wind we had I could still tell. And once the skiff was tied up and the dog with in the cab of the truck, the smell hit home. He didn't roll in it, thank God. But he did wade in a bit of the slurry in the back. I am used to the smell. Deb in not. And it didn't take Deb very long to detect the foul odor coming from the dog. We were not in the house very long. So I combined cleaning mooring buoys at the edge of the Cove shore with cleaning Gills legs. He didn't like it much but I did get the job done to Deb's satisfaction!
I received three donations helping with my fund raising for cancer research & care with the Pan-Mass Challenge during the time we were gone. The contributors and their donations are as follows: Tim Rozan (ME) for $100.00 in the form of an "egift" through the PMC site, Peter & Patti Vangsness (MA) for $100.00 and Dave & Madeline Gray (VT) for $100.00. Thank you all for your support on this at this time and all the donations and support you have given me over the years. It is much appreciated by many!
I spent the day organizing. But I should qualify. I actually spent the morning organizing with an hour spent at the dentist. A major root canal is in my future; it's hell getting old.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston came over the house. We talked about the planning and plans for the boat and the new engine.
After lunch I gave up for the day. I was planning on watching the World Junior (hockey) Championships in Montreal but it appeared on a paid cable channel I didn't have. It was offered on the internet as well but I found that there was no coverage in our area. After the first period of one of the worst Bruins games I have seen this year I went to bed.
And I received two more donations towards this years cancer fund raising drive with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Both were "egifts" through the PMC web site. One was from Dick & Kathy Lyle (PA) for $100.00 and the other, received seven minutes later, was from Leslie Goulet (ME) for $150.00! Thank you all so very much for rounding out a great cancer fund raising drive for the Jimmy Fund and I. I do so appreciate you kind and generous efforts!
I took the day off.
I spent my day working at Barnacle Billy's restaurant, ordering supplies for the Bunny Clark and starting back into working on the Bunny Clark's Guestletter.
I spent most of the morning riding my bike before the expected inclimate weather expected for tomorrow. During the afternoon I worked on preparing myself for the Guestletter.
I learned that my mother, Bunny Tower, wanted to give another $1,000.00 to the Jimmy Fund through me and my involvement with the Pan-Mass Challenge. I found this out yesterday. Her wish was to add it to the 2014 total. She had written the check out on December 27th. I called down to the head office in Needham, Massachusetts but was unable to confirm if that was possible. For now I'm adding it to this years fund raising total. That would make my total the third largest amount I have raised in a season in the eight years that I have been involved in the event. Thank you, Mom, I very much appreciate your choice of emissaries and the cancer curing world appreciates all the support it can get!
I had a very busy day in the office today. It started at 6:00 AM and, except for lunch, didn't get out until 6:00 PM. I worked on a wedding reception extraviganza for two hours that's taking place at Barnacle Billy's, Etc in the fall. I had a lot of organization items to work on for both restaurants and the Bunny Clark. Plus, I was working on the Guestletter, particularly all the database, spreadsheet materials and graphs I use to write it.
Also, I was reminded that there is a webinar public hearing on the proposed opening of the closed areas hosted by the New England Fishery Management Council between 3PM and 7PM tomorrow. Officially, it's called the proposed OHA2 (Omnibus Habitat Amendment). You can register to share your opinion (which I hope you do) by going to this link. Call-in Info: 646.307.1706 | Access Code: 911-628-108.
I am reminded by Priscilla Brooks from the Conservation Law Foundation that:
"1. Our struggling fisheries and their habitat need more protection, not less.
2. All existing closed areas should remain closed, including the important Cashes Ledge Closed Area.
3. Trawls [draggers] and dredges should not be allowed into protected areas.
4. Habitat for spawning and prey species must be protected."
I agree 100%. I hope you will join in with the webinar later this afternoon.
Today was a day of meetings. At 8:00 AM, Deb, Jared Keniston, Ian Keniston and I went over the game plan for the upcoming Bunny Clark fishing season. By 10:30 AM we had finished with the schedule and rates for the 2015 season. Generally, we have gone with the same schedule as did last year. In other words, marathons will again be on Tuesdays and Thursdays all year except in July and August. This means that the extreme day trips will be Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the season except in July and August. What we also decided was to allow marathon trip charters on Mondays and Fridays. Those days are normally set up as an extreme day trip. But if the date is available (no anglers booked) and a group wants to get the whole boat for a marathon trip on one of those days, as long as it's not in July or August, we can accommodate you. I will not be the captain on Mondays or Fridays. I will post the new schedule and rates as soon as I can, hopefully today.
I will be registering for another go at the Pan-Mass Challenge tomorrow. Sign up starts at 9:00 AM. At the end of the 2014 I had passed on a total of $207,136.77 to the Jimmy Fund since I started being involved with the event in 2007. All of this money thanks mostly to you! Hopefully, I will be close to a quarter of a million dollars by the end of 2015. Time goes by so fast. It seems like I just got involved yesterday!
The rest of the day was spent ordering, working at the restaurant, on the phone and on the email. I also worked on the Petrel and the skiff to prepare them for below freezing temperatures, this while the air temperature was still above freezing.
The last part of the day was spent on the Webinar with the proposed OHA2 (Omnibus Habitat Amendment). That was a disappointment. I commend the work of Michelle Bachman and Andy Applegate. But it is very complicated for the layman to understand. Hell, it's complicated for anyone to understand if you don't know the implications of each proposal within and the fishing mechanics of all the different fisheries involved. Michelle did a good job of presenting the material. The graphics were well done. But it was still complicated. When I finally got a chance to speak, my microphone didn't work. I've been using it all week with no problem. During the webinar - nothing. Afterward I tried to make a few calls through my Gmail account and it didn't work there either. I never did get it to work! That was frustrating and time consuming. I did write an email, putting my concerns in words on electronic paper. And I will probably attend the hearing in Portland, Maine on Wednesday night. We'll see.
My day was filled with orders, engine replacement logistics and working on the web site. By the afternoon, I had completed the 2015 Bunny Clark fishing schedule, rates and rules. I posted this at 3:30 PM or so.
Sometime after 9:00 AM, I signed up for the Pan-Mass Challenge again. It will be a few days before I put the my new PMC update on line. But I will be starting the fund raising all over again here pretty soon.
Also, there is a Federal hearing on the proposed Omnibus Habitat Amendment (OHA2) in Portland, Maine between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM at the Holiday Inn By The Bay Portland. If you want to speak up against opening the closed commercial groundfish areas in the Gulf of Maine, this is a good forum to speak. I will be there.
I worked at the restaurant most of the morning. We had a meeting there from 10:30 AM until noon. After lunch I worked on what I would say at the hearing in Portland this evening. I ended up with a three page itemized list to talk from. At 5:00 PM, I headed to Portland armed with a banana, a bottle of water and my paper. The hearing room in Portland was fairly crowded. I didn't count but I would suspect that fifty people were there. Once there I realized that what they wanted at the hearing was not what I had written down. They wanted more specifics about each part of the amendment. So, when I did speak, I never used what I had written. And, basically, all I said was that I believed that the status quo (keeping the closed areas the way they are now) was most beneficial to the fishery. That, in these times where our groundfish stocks were in trouble, the last thing we needed to do was to open the areas that brought us the haddock and contained spawning areas for four of our major groundfish species. I got home just as the Bruins/Penquins game was getting under way.
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was -7°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the northwest at fifteen knots and the visibility was fair to poor over the ocean in sea smoke. The air temperature dipped to -8°F before making the climb toward the 0 mark. And it didn't get there until around noon. In fact, the highest air temperature I saw was 13°F (I'm sure it got warmer before midnight). That happened at 3:00 PM. Sea smoke was evident all day, something that rarely ever happens. The wind blew out of the northwest all morning. When the wind hauled out of the west at noon, the air temperature started warm more quickly. Just that edge of wind off the water made the difference. By sunset, the wind was almost out of the southwest. By 7:00 PM, the wind was blowing out of the southwest at over twenty knots with gusts to thirty knots. The sky was clear all day, cloudless, becoming overcast after dark. The visibility over the water was poor in sea smoke. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 17°F (with a low of -9°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 19°F with a low of -1°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 17°F (with a low of -9°F).
I spent the day on licensing, mostly. I also spent time at the boat and watched Dave Pease, with help from Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston, take the final steps in hauling the engine out of the Bunny Clark. Later, they placed the engine aft on the deck. On Monday, the boat will be hauled out of the barn, a crane will pick the engine up off the deck and set it on the ground and then the Bunny Clark will be put back in the barn to get the boat ready for the new engine. A lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of money.
I took two shots of the crew in the throes of lifting, below. My camera the iPhone again. Handy little bugger. The shot on the left shows Ian with the come-along while the shot on the right shows Dave Pease and Jared with the chain-falls.
Desk work was in order until the Town office opened up so I could pay my yearly contributions. From there I went to boat. The engine had been moved to the deck where it will reside until Monday, assuming the weather is good enough to move the boat. I took a couple iPhone pictures while there. These appear below. On the left is the hole left where the engine resided. On the right is the engine on deck. The engine room will be meticulously cleaned, sanded, West Systemed and then Awlgripped (Awlgrip - a two part linear polyurethane paint, first developed for aircraft) white. It's been a while since I painted the engine room. It's hard to realize how big a hole the engine room is. But if you look at the float switch or the extra wooden two-by-fours you can probably get an idea. One of the other problems we had was lighting in there. Now with the new low draw LED lights available today, I'll be able to ring that engine room with them.
I spent the day taking notes and gathering information towards writing the Guestletter. This is a project that takes an enormous amount of time because, when I'm done, it gives me a status report with figures I can refer to for years to come. Most of my references come from the data I collect that resides in the folder of material I build before I start to write. When I started to fall asleep reading my own writing (last season's daily fishing "blog" that I write - here, this one) - and this happens frequently - I started working on building the reservation book. With the cold temperatures expected tomorrow morning, I suspect I will be doing the same most of tomorrow as well.
I finished working at 4:30 PM, just in time to watch the Patriots game from the seat of my bike hooked to a fluid trainer. Now, normally, I can only sit on a trainer for about a half hour. Even watching TV, it's too boring and certainly not as much fun as riding a bike on the road. Today I amazed myself with 62 minutes, one of the longest times I have ever spent on a trainer. I know guys who can spend three hours on a trainer. That is not me. That's really not me. And I think that the reason I could hang out so long this time was that the Patriots just made me feel (in the first half - I couldn't watch the second half!) like they were going stumble and bumble their way to a loss. I really do think that if they took the game a little more professionally they would win more games. Like I can't imagine that Brady throwing a hissy fit will really help his game as it progresses. But, hey, that's just me. I don't really care for football but I do like all sports and they are our team. I hope they can make it to the Super Bowl, the first day of Bunny Clark reservations!
I took some time off for a couple of hours in the morning. Most of the morning was spent researching for the Guestletter. After lunch, I worked on building the reservation book until 4:30 PM.
At 5:00 PM, I took the dog, Gill, for a 2 mile run on the beach. I have tried taking him for 3 miles or better (on the beach) but have found that he does the tip & roll thing at that longer distance. I have a leash that belts around my waist which then leads to the dog five feet away. I know when he's about to do the tip & roll when he starts running behind me. Normally, he runs to the outside, beside me on the left. He generally looks at me with his tongue hanging out. I usually look down and try to encourage him. But when he does fall behind and I feel a little more pressure, I become wary. On the longer runs in the past he would get behind me, I would feel a bit of pressure and then a lot of pressure as he would dip his shoulder and go down on his back. I would look back and find the dog on his back with both feet up in the air as I towed him along (he wears a full body harness). He only weighs about 40 pounds (just the size of a good sized steaker). Of course, I would stop, he would get up to a sitting position and I would pet him and ask what was wrong. After I brushed all the sand off his back, I would encourage him. This would get him going again. The last time I ran over 3 miles, the tip and roll happened four times. I believe we were doing a 9 minute pace. From then on we have been running two miles, albeit at an 8 minute pace. But only two miles. He's been liking this a lot better. And there have been no tip and rolls for two weeks. This night we had only one period of running behind. But that didn't last too long with another bit of encouragement. After that we normally have ten minutes of playing, as we did this evening. And then it's back in the truck and back home. At some point I'm going to try him off his leash. I don't think this will happen in the near future.
Today was Bunny Clark engine day. I was on the phone quite a bit concerning different facets of the repowering process. That included ordering the new wheel (prop). At 10:15 AM, Independant Boat Haulers showed up at the barn to take the Bunny Clark out, hoist the old Volvo engine off the deck and place the engine on the ground. Here the engine will stay until I can find someone who might want it. The marine gear would be included in the sale. I took several pictures of the process. Some of these digital images can be seen below:
After the morning update, I spent the rest of the morning in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. Here I worked on a combination of restaurant stuff and taking notes for the Guestletter. Late morning I was informed that my endodontist had room to do a procedure (root canal) at 12:30 PM in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I was scheduled for Thursday. Knowing that would give me more free time to work on boat stuff later this week, I agreed. I have been watching my number 15 molar dying over the last two years. It had been starting to bother me a month ago. I was pleasantly surprised how painless the procedure was. At 3:00 PM, I was headed back home. After answering emails for a half hour at home, I spent the rest of my work day down at the restaurant working on completing the reservation book.
I learned about my first Pan-Mass Challenge donation for the 2015 season today. The donation was actually made on January 11, 2015 as an "egift" through the PMC site from Joe Amato (NH). Thank you, Joe, for being the first to kick off my cancer fund raising season and for your generosity as well. I really appreciate it!
I spent the time from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM working at the office in the restaurant, continuing with the reservation book and working on the Guestletter. From 3:00 PM until dinner, Deb and I were the lawyer's office (general house keeping - we haven't been to see a lawyer since 2007.).
Another thing I did (that took me two hours) was putting up my new Pan-Mass Challenge website. So now when I receive a donation I have a place to show it. There's more to it than most would think.
Another day researching for the Guestletter kept me in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. By being there, I was also able to answer the Billy's phone and complete some restaurant projects as well. Taking my lunch with me at noon, I took the truck to Portland to pick up the newly inspected Bunny Clark life raft. From there I went to Hamilton Marine to look at lights, manual engine control levers and sea strainers. At 3:40 PM, I met Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston at Barnacle Billy's where we took the life raft canister out of the truck and put it in the restaurant until we need it. For the rest of the day I worked on the reservation book.
For a nice touch, the dog (Gill) followed me in to Chase & Leavitt (where I have my life raft inspected) and lifted his leg on some charts that were in the back of the room. It was embarrassing. I dragged Gill over to the spot, scolded him for what he had done and then put him outside. About ten minutes later, as I was heading out the door, the phone rang. It was my wife. A fisherman (I assume) had seen the dog outside C & L and thought it was lost. So he called the number on the collar tag. Gill wasn't far from my truck but this guy didn't know. Now Deb was mad at me for "losing the dog". Sometimes you just can't win.
Joe Dressner (NY) became the second donor of the year to support my cancer fund raising with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. The donation was $100 in the form of an "egift" through the PMC site. I emailed Joe my thanks. I got a nice email in return. I do appreciate this Joe, very much. All the best to you!
After I finished the update (on this page) here, I spent the rest of the morning at the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. The first couple of hours was spent on researching for the Guestletter. The time after that was spent working on restaurant issues. At 11:00 AM, auditor showed up, an annual thing. At that point I moved over to finishing up with the Bunny Clark reservation book. At 12:45 PM, I went for lunch. After lunch, I put away a metric ton of fuel pellets (Micah helped me). Once that was completed, I went back down to the Cove to finish up the reservation book. While there was still light, I went down and cleaned the skiff of snow and ice.
I received another $100.00 donation from Bill Parsons (NJ) supporting me in my cancer fund raising cycling event with the Pan-Mass Challenge. I was not expecting another donation so soon. And I was delighted to pull up the email to find it this morning. Thanks, Bill, very much. I very much appreciate your kindness, support and generosity.
I spent the day working on the Guestletter. I finished all the reading (of this boring update section of my web site) and notes by 10:30 AM only to find out that I had not made the last entry (of the specifics of the last fishing trip of the season) into the database. Of course, I had printed all the tables and made charts two weeks earlier. So I had to do all the tables and charts all over again after putting the last entry into the database, an extra hour spent on something I had thought I had already completed. After lunch I started on the mechanics of building the newsletter (outline, the largest fish of each species, etc. etc.). I finished around 4:30 PM.
I did take our dog, Gill, for a run on the beach. I've been trying to run at a slow pace every other day. At the same time I am giving the dog some exercise. This time I left him off the leash to run beside me. And he wasn't too bad. It was getting dark, being after sunset, when we ran. Gill, pretty much, ran beside me except for meeting a couple of dogs and owners half way up the beach. And, on the way back, he strayed a bit towards the dunes but still kept me in sight as I did him. At one point he ran up to me with what looked like a "hog leg", it was just a silhouette in his jaw. When I grabbed it I realized that it was the frozen head of a gannet broken off at the base of the neck, a sea bird that on very rare occasions you might see near shore. He only seemed interested to show it to me as he didn't go after it when I chucked it behind us. I have never seen a dead gannet on the beach. Probably it died of starvation since the mid-water herring trawlers have raped the resource unchecked for so many years. The herring is the main food source of the gannet.
I took the day off from both the restaurants and the Bunny Clark. The only thing I did was update this site, answer emails and bail out the skiff. I did watch the Rangers beat the Penguins as I ate lunch. And I watched the two NFL games. It was obvious to me that the Packers had no interest in going to the Super Bowl with their poor decisions in the second half of the game. And I stayed up too late watching the Pat's game. C'est la vie.
The was an organizational day. I never did get to the Guestletter as I had too Monday offerings to deal with. I did take a ride up to the Bunny Clark where Davd Pease and I went over the new engine beds, the new placement of the sea strainer, fuel line discussions, shaft discussions, cutlass bearing discussions, etc. & etc. The rest of the day I was on the phone at home in the office. The day's issues included the fire inspection at Barnacle Billy's restaurants, the satellite phone, Penn reel parts, the accident involving my truck, fuel tanks in Perkins Cove (an tomorrow's Selectman's meeting) and various other boring things that had to be dealt with. Although I accomplished a day's work it didn't feel like I got much done.
The morning was a mix of engine research (fuel line specs, control levers, lighting, engine mount templates, sea strainers, etc.) and making sure both restaurants were up to code for the fire/liquor inspection tomorrow. I was involved in this from 7:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Instead of taking lunch, I made up a protein cocktail and jumped on the bike for thirty-one miles. On the bike I took seven phone calls and various texts, one of which was from a field appraiser (Hanover Insurance) who was looking at the damage done to my truck on January 9th. After I got home I got a call from the body shop that is going to do the work on it for me. With this call I firmed up an appointment to bring the truck in. I was able to work on the Guestletter for an hour before dinner. At 6:30 PM I attended an Ogunquit Town Selectman's meeting where I spoke in favor of fueling installation in Perkins Cove. I managed make it back home in time to plant myself down in front of the TV just before 8:00 PM to watch some of the Bruins game before retiring for the evening. They didn't look too bad. And I was happy that Tyler Seguin didn't factor into the game too much. I wish he were still with the Bruins.
I was informed yesterday that one of my favorite anglers passed on January 11, 2015. Jim A. Hall was his name. A great guy. And a true Mainer. In fact, more of a Mainer than I will ever be. He was from that part of the state that breeds honesty and integrity. He was both. And he was a lot of fun. He and David Symes started fishing with me about twenty years ago when big cod were a prevalent part of my catch and the target species. We caught so many big fish with them on one trip that Jim was actually glad when he broke off the "biggest cod of his life". He said that there was a limit to what a man should have on the end of his line. And, as I am so clearly reminded more frequently than I would like these days, there is also an end of the line. We referred to Jim as "that A. Hall". He got as much or more fun out of that expression than we did. Last year, he and Duke (David Symes) attended one of the two ultra marathon trips I offered last year. Their first ultra. They had a great time. And it was a wonderful trip. And it may be one of the last times we will be able to catch cod like that. So did Jim die at the end of the cod era? I hope not. And his memory will certainly be a happy one that will live on with me forever. I am a better person for meeting Jim A. Hall.
I worked at the desk from about 6:00 AM until 8:30 AM. The normal stuff. At 8:45 AM, I met my brother at the Cove to wait for the Town's Code Enforcement Officer and fire specialists from the Department to inspect Barnacle Billy's (fire/liquor inspection). After 9:15 AM, I called the office and found that they had thought inspection was at 8:30 AM and had left just before I got down there. I never did find out who was right on the time. But they did agree to come back down. They inspected both buildings and found a half a dozen small items that can be fixed in a day. After they left, I called our electrician so that I could get those items that I would probably forget fixed on Friday. These included things like exit signs with only one light working (they have two), emergency lights with dead batteries (two), etc. I want to change all the exit signs to LED lighted ones so that we don't have to deal with that in the future. I also made a list of the other items so that when we opened all would be completed. I was done at 11:30 AM.
When I got home I had to rush around to get the truck down to York Corner Auto Body to get the truck bed replaced and repaired. I threw my bike in the back so I wouldn't have to be picked up. It was a nice day for riding with lack of wind and sunny skies. I was home by 2:00 PM. From there I grabbed some protein bars (in lieu of lunch) and headed to Portland. But this didn't happen until I could get the Bunny Clark truck going. When I went to start it I found I had a dead battery after the truck hadn't been started for two weeks. (I have some electrical leak somewhere - this is the second new battery in two years. The truck is a 2011.) The truck was down at my sister, Cathy's house. So getting that going took the best part of a half hour.
In Portland I had a list of items I needed for the boat. I'm experimenting with a new type of sea strainer. Plus, I'm changing over the lighting to LED where bulbs have failed. To do all the lights would be too expensive right now. I had to pick up new engine controls. And there were various little items I needed. All this at Hamilton Marine. I got home around 6:00 PM.
After doing my normal between 4:00 AM and 7:00 AM, I jumped into the newly charged Bunny Clark truck and headed to a meeting with David Pease at the boat. We went over sea strainers and lighting. From there I headed to the Recreational Advisory Panel (RAP) meeting. The RAP is a Federal committee of the New England Fishery Management Council. We act as an advisory panel to the Council on recreational fishing issues. Since recreational anglers are allotted 33% of Annual Catch Limit (ACL), a lot of what we say and do is reflected in the regulations. However, on regulations specifically, we are held to what the best science available will tell us and allow us to do. And this means we are very restricted in what we really can do. So our real job is to find out how we can work things around for the benefit of the recreational angler and the conservation benefit without going over the ACL. It's tricky. And without representation from the Council (Frank Blount - Francis Fleet, Point Judith, RI is the Council representative on the RAP), we would not be nearly as effective.
We made a couple of motions and pushed forward a few consensus statements to the Council. I didn't write them down. But when I get the language tomorrow I will post them. The meeting lasted from 10:00 AM until about 5:30 PM. Going home I ended up missing the York exit and had to drive to Wells before I could back track south and get home! Sometimes I had myself!
One thing I will say is that under the regulations there will be no possession of haddock or cod until at least May 1, 2015. And this only if Framework 53 is in place by then. I would go into more detail here but all would be moot if something changed before then. I will say that there will be no possession of cod for any angler in the Gulf of Maine in 2015. The other thing I will say is that we are trying to get a four (4) haddock bag limit for the start of the fiscal fishing year, May 1, 2015. We are also asking for a minimum length limit of 17 inches. This went forward as a motion from the RAP today. The commercial limit is 16 inches right now. My feeling is that 4 haddock and seventeen inches will go through. I am an optimist. But I'm sure you knew that already!
When I got home tonight I found that Paul Kostopoulos (CT) had sent me a $250.00 donation supporting my efforts towards a cancer cure with the Pan-Mass Challenge. Paul has supported my cause for the last nine years that I have been doing it. And most of his donations have been this large. I am very grateful for his kindness and help. Thank you so much!
I spent the time from 7:30 AM until 11:30 AM at the Cove, at Barnacle Billy's in the office. We have two more days of electrical work to complete. This was one. And I was there to let Bridges Electric in at 8:00 AM. But I had a lot of desk work including revamping the Barnacle Billy's work order and answering vendor questions along with various emails on various subjects. After lunch, I rode my bike over to a meeting at the "Barn" where the Bunny Clark resides. We went over the placement of the new engine room lights, the new position with the new sea strainer and went over electrical questions. The meeting ended with parts and part numbers. When I got back home, I got on the phone to chase all these parts down. I hope to do so tomorrow.
As far as Recreational Advisory Panel (RAP) motions (suggestions) put forward to the Council, they appear below as promised. I'm not going into detail here. I'm just going to show you what we put up for the Council's review.:
1. The RAP recommends that the outreach component to recreational anglers regarding changes to the Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod and haddock management measures, currently underway by the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, continue and its impact on reducing non-compliance be considered when predicting recreational catches for FY 2015.
2. For the purposes of reducing discard mortality on GOM cod and haddock, the RAP recommends prohibiting the use of more than two hooks per line while fishing for groundfish in the GOM. Only inline circle hooks may be baited. When using a jig or artificial lure, only single point j-hooks may be used (e.g., no treble hooks). Teasers, feathers, flies etc. may be used but count toward the use of no more than two hooks per line.
3. In light of no possession on cod and expected declines in effort (including consideration of Motions 1 and 2 and the consensus statements below), the RAP recommends that proactive AMs for GOM haddock in FY 2015 be a bag limit of at least 4 fish, a 17 inch minimum fish size, and closed seasons during wave 2 (March 1 to April 30) and wave 5 (September 1 to October 31).
4. The RAP recommends exploration of conservation equivalent proactive AMs to separate party/charter from the private modes in FY 2015 (e.g., Letter of Authorization (LOA) for charter boats to have a reduced season in exchange for an increased bag limit).
5. The RAP requests that limited access in the party/charter fleet be addressed in the next available Groundfish action.
RAP Consensus Statements:
1) The RAP feels that directed GOM angler trips will decline substantially in FY 2015 under no possession for GOM cod and the anticipated low bag limit for GOM haddock for the recreational fishery. The RAP feels that the change in effort between FY 2014 and FY 2015 would be at least a 50% decline. Data provided in Table 12 (Document # 4b, NEFSC/SSB, Recreational Catch and Effort Tables, dated January 14, 2015) supports this concern as declines in effort between FY 2013 to FY 2014 from the GOM cod and GOM haddock wave 5 (September 1 to October 31) closure were estimated to be a 85% decline overall.
2) The RAP feels that under no possession of GOM cod that party, charter, and private vessels will be much less likely to fish in areas known to have aggregations of cod and less likely to use equipment to target cod. The ability of anglers to avoid cod is not taken into account in FY 2015 recreational catch projections. Therefore, the RAP feels that cod bycatch would be greatly reduced from what is projected for FY 2015.
3) Recreational discards were not considered in the allocation of GOM cod and haddock. Discard mortality estimates are being used in recreational catch projections to determine potential accountability measures (AMs). The RAP recommends that this concern be considered when implementing AMs.
After a run on the beach with the dog (just as it started to snow), I headed to Portland to pick up materials needed for the Bunny Clark engine work. I was back before noon to have lunch. I worked at the desk for a while along with some snow shoveling. That was my working day.
I worked at the desk on Bunny Clark stuff until about 9:00 AM. From then until 2:00 PM, I worked on Barnacle Billy's stuff, almost exclusively on temporary foreign worker forms and templates. In the end I emailed documents I had filled out to allow an eastern European student to see if he could get a visa to work for us for four months. He worked for us last season and wanted to come back. After a late lunch, I spent the rest of the daylight hours shoveling snow and getting things ready for the storm we are expected to get on Tuesday and part of Wednesday. Fingers crossed!
I spent the whole day working on new engine related stuff with the Bunny Clark and Bunny Clark winter repairs. I was at the Bunny Clark at 8:00 AM where Dave Pease and I went over a few more items. We are replacing the outside cutlass bearing. Dave showed me where fishing line, over the years, has gotten in there and scored the propeller shaft. Interesting. Also, Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston had prepped the engine room with West System epoxy and were starting to paint it white. From there I went to Navtronics to pick up grounding wire to bring back to the Bunny Clark.
By 9:15 I was back in the Cove at the Harbor Master's shack talking over storm logistics with Fred Mayo (our Harbor Master). Afterward, I was in the office at Barnacle Billy's with Sarah DeCoste and my sister, Cathy. We went over a few business related items. While there, Cathy mentioned that my mother hadn't heard her generator going off at the scheduled time and suggested I take a look. So, my next move was up to my mother's house. There I found the generator battery was as dead as a smelt. So I made some calls (one to NAPA - battery), went home for tools, took the old battery out and went back home to get Deb (my wife). Deb drove me to York Corner Auto Body where I picked up my truck that had been repaired perfectly. In fact, it looked so good that if it weren't so much money I would have had the other side of the bed done too! From there I went to NAPA to trade out batteries, to Greenleaves Chinese to have a quick lunch and then to my mother's to see if I could get the generator going.
I would say that the next two hours was spent at my mother's. I installed the new battery and was able to start the generator. I had made a call earlier to the company who originally serviced the generator on a plan that had been discontinued, I found out. This wasn't good. I had set my parents up on this plan a few years ago. But in the meantime their company structure changed and the plan no longer existed. And, to my knowledge, my parents weren't informed. So I was told I had to re-negotiate a new plan - something to do in the near future. In the meantime, the service tech (who initially couldn't come down and check out the generator) called and said he would be there at about the time I had the battery installed. And he was correct. The engine oil hadn't been changed for two years and the panel had issues. This was completed around 3:30 PM. I watched while Mark, the service tech, completed the job. The generator was operational and peace of mind was established.
I met my son, Micah, down at the Cove before 4:00 PM. I tied storm lines on the Petrel, our lobster boat. Afterward, the two of us hoisted the skiff out of the water and put it in the back of the Bunny Clark truck. I found a place to park the truck with the skiff in the back until the storm was to be over on Wednesday - at which time I will put the skiff back in. Then the two of us went around and shoveled areas to prepare for more snow. I ended up finishing the day at 5:30 PM having really accomplished not too much in the way of moving forward with the Guestletter. In fact, I haven't been able to do a thing with the Guestletter for quite a while now.
By noon, we had at least eighteen inches of snow on the ground. The surge in the Cove had picked up but the boats had settled in nicely. It was still very hard to see with the blowing snow. The wind blew out of the north which really saved us from any coastal flooding in Ogunquit. If the wind had been out of the northeast, we would have had some serious problems. And, although I didn't believe it was going to happen, we did have gusts to sixty knots. I can't remember the last time I saw sixty knots. I can remember earlier times when I saw sixty knots (two times sustained) but not the last time. We never did totally lose power although it flickered off for five minutes at one time. The generator ran about ten times but never to bring power to the house. By nightfall, we had over two feet of snow on the ground. Some drifts were six feet but the snow was deep everywhere. And even with being plowed late in the morning I still got stuck halfway up the driveway late afternoon. The high air temperature that I saw in Ogunquit was 16°F. I don't know when it stopped snowing. It was blowing so hard you could tell if it was snowing or that the wind was picking up the fallen snow. Seas twenty miles offshore were as high as thirty feet. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 17°F (with a low of 11°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 19°F with a low of 14°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 21°F (with a low of 12°F).
I would like to say that I got some work done. But I didn't. I did have two hours where I didn't have to shovel or worry about Perkins Cove. But I used that time to watch a video on Lance Armstrong. And once I started that video (Stop at Nothing - a BBC production) I couldn't stop. Steve Canizzo first told me about this video this summer. But I didn't have time to watch it at that time. How I thought to look at it today, I don't know. It's not that I have a reminder taped to my computer or anything. It was quite a video. Certainly if you are a Tour de France fanatic like I am you won't be able to start to watch it without seeing the whole thing.
At 3:00 PM, I started shoveling again, meeting my brother, Court, and sisters, Meg & Cathy, down at the Cove before 4:00 PM. Although it was high tide at 5:00 PM, you could tell that we weren't going to have any serious flooding. So a bunch of us including Mike Remkiewicz and Jeffrey Riccio, two of our best local lobstermen, shoveled the whole deck and the patio at Barnacle Billy's, the road storm drains, the doorway path, the roof and deck at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. It took us about two hours to do the job. I kept shoveling at that house until about 6:30 PM. I was done for the day after that.
After getting most of this update finished, I started shoveling snow at 5:30 AM. I continued shoveling until 9:00 AM when I took a break, came inside, grabbed a coffee, finished the update section and then put it on line. Before 10:00 AM I was back outside shoveling out the Bunny Clark truck with the skiff in the back. Once I cleared enough snow to get my truck out, I drove down to the Cove to launch the skiff. Once it was in the water I skulled out to the Petrel to shovel her out and take all the storm lines off her. There was really not much of a surge. After shoveling the rest of the back of the truck out I headed home to grab a sandwich. I also had some calls to make and office work to complete. At 1:30 PM, I got a call from Hamilton Marine to say that my lights had arrived. So I jumped in the truck and drove to Portland. It was 4:45 PM when I returned. I'm all set to go back to work tomorrow.