Except for a fire inspection from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM at the restaurants, I stayed at the house and worked on the computer. The fire inspection is an annual thing and necessary to hold different town licenses of operation (liquor license, entertainment license, etc.). We passed with flying colors.
When the snowing looked like it was just about done, did an hour and a half of shoveling around the restaurants.
The only work I did today was getting all the personal things out of the way so I could put a lot of time in working during the week. Some of the time was spent watching the Patriots/Jaguars game. It was an early game that I knew I could watch from beginning until end. And I thought, with the defense of the Jaguars, that it might be my last Patriots game of the season. Someone pinch me to make sure I'm not dreaming!
Last Thursday Deb and I flew down to New Jersey to see our daughter, Halley, on her twenty-fifth birthday. Hard to believe it was that long ago. She was born on the coldest day of the winter that year.
While there we took in a Devils/Capitals game (Thursday night), visited 1 World Trade Center and went through the 9/11 Museum and then looked at housing between breakfast and dinner stops. It was a wonderful time. We made the mistake of flying down which took us twice as long as it would have had we taken a bus or the train. We were delayed in Logan for three hours. Going back we were delayed in Newark for an hour and almost missed the bus for the ride back to Portsmouth. It was a very good time overall.
Today was a mixture of emails, web site work, setting up future deadlines and book work. A large part of the day was spent building the Bunny Clark reservation book.
I let the painters in to Barnacle Billy's, Etc. at 7:30 AM to complete a project we had planned some time ago. At the same time I stayed there working in the office on Barnacle Billy's restaurant stuff and planning for a meeting with the bank at 2:00 PM. I also started building the reservation book at that time. The girls showed up in the office at that time. So I worked with them on a couple of things. I went home after noon to get something to eat and get ready for the meeting at the bank. The bank meeting lasted about a half hour. From there I went back to the office at Barnacle Billy's, said goodbye to the painters around 5:00 PM and worked on the reservation book until 7:00 PM. That was a brief summary of my day.
I spent the whole day working in one office or the other. I worked in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. from 7:00 AM until 1:00 PM completing the reservation book. During that time I was also working with the painters. They should be completely done tomorrow. After lunch I spent the rest of the day in the Bunny Clark office, completing the work order for the Bunny Clark and reviewing materials for the Recreational Advisory Panel meeting slated for tomorrow in Danvers, Massachusetts. I was completely done with my working day by 5:00 PM.
My day centered around the Recreational Advisory Panel (RAP) meeting today. The meeting was in Danvers, Massachusetts. I left Ogunquit at 7:00 AM and got home around 5:30 PM. We listened to presentations, looked at catch statistics and models. The jist of the meeting as far as the Gulf of Maine angler is concerned are the upcoming regulations for the fiscal fishing year starting in May of 2018. I made a motion to keep the status quo. The motion passed and was not revisited or revised. That means that, if the motion passes the muster of the Groundfish Committee, the Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), we will have the same regulations as we did last year. I'm not optimistic about the chances of it going through. The reason being, there is an 80% chance that the same regulations we had last year won't get us to the management goals in reducing cod.
There were several reasons for me making this motion. Number one, I don't believe the catch statistics as it applies to the private recreational angler. The statistics show that the private angler caught many more cod than they actually did, more cod than the previous season. At the same time, the cod catch has decreased in the data rich party boat fleet/charter fleet. No one believes the figures. They are laughable. The government's method of collecting data from the private angler is seriously flawed. Where the private angler numbers come from extrapolations based on questions at intercept sites, the numbers from the for-hire fleet come from surveys from data collectors on board. Plus, some of the data that has previously been proven wrong is still in the system! You can't make this stuff up. Two, there is a chance that the state of Massachusetts will stop allowing cod to be caught within state waters. This alone would free up enough cod and allow the recreational groundfish angler in New England to live with the same regulations as last year. Three, I seriously believe that the cod quota will be higher in 2019. The overage in cod quota last season won't be enough to be higher than the expected increase in cod quota. Four, the statistics don't account for the cod that were released alive and caught again, thus actually reducing the overall cod mortality. Five, the recreational angler will not catch as many cod during the 2018 fishing season. The fish will be bigger. That has been the trend for the last three seasons. But since they opened up part of the closed commercial fishing area in the Western Gulf of Maine, a rich cod habitat area, those cod will not be available to the recreational angler this season, reducing the catch and dropping the numbers of cod, decreasing the cod mortality among recreational anglers. Six, we need to show regulation stability in the for-hire industry. Without it we are dying a slow death. Consistency is the mother of good business. The same applies with the regulations. Seven, regardless of what the RAP says, in a motion or otherwise, the Council/NMFS will do what they are going to do anyway.
And what NMFS wants to do is to take another month of haddock fishing away from the recreational angler. With the same regulations as last season, we could not keep haddock from March 1 through April 15 and from September 17 until November 1. What they would like to do is also take May haddock fishing away from us. I couldn't have them do this (the reason for my motion). But, like I said, they might do this anyway. The motions get passed on to the Groundfish Committee tomorrow. They will accept the recommendations of the RAP or they won't. It's the first step of three before approval.
The only other important motion was one made my Mike Plaia. I seconded this motion. That motion was to recommend a control date of May 1, 2018 for the for-hire fleet. This is a limited entry provision or could turn into one. This has happened in other fisheries where they put a moratorium on licensing for individuals who applied after the control date. For us it offers some protection if they shut down other fisheries and those individuals decide they want to run a party/charter business. I'm not sure it would ever come to that. We did the same thing with a control year of 2006. This is only the second time this has been addressed in a motion from a recommending body since that time.
I got home at 5:30 PM but I had some work to do down at the restaurants before I went home. It took an hour. But it was an hour alone, something I need and something I'm not getting on the bike any more. I have not been on the bike since I dumped it on November 29, 2017.
I spent some time in the morning communicating with Frank Blount, the Chairman of the RAP, about the proceedings with the Groundfish Committee. By the end of the morning, I found out that both motions passed the muster of the Groundfish Committee and were sent on to the full Council for approval. The Council meeting to address these issues will take place on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. One down, two to go.
I spent the morning running around getting things ready for a meeting at the Bunny Clark. I had completed a preliminary work order for the rest of the winter. We know pretty much what we are going to do this year anyway which is why I am so late with this. Much has been done already without it. But it is helpful to write one up every year so we have a list we can work off of and so that items get completed in a timely manner. It also gives us a window toward future projects. Dave Pease and Ian Keniston were there. My son, Micah, was supposed to be there but is suffering from the flu and was in bed with a fever. The meeting started at 8:00 AM and was done before 10:00 AM.
From that meeting I had a meeting with Paul Rollins, another highly respected (genius) boat builder. That didn't take too long. From there I did some go-foring, ending up back at the Bunny Clark before 1:00 PM. The rest of the day was spent on the phone ordering paint, etc and parts. I also spend about an hour working on finishing up the work order with new ideas from the meeting. Ian is going to meet me at the house to formalize this at 7:00 AM tomorrow.
I had an hours worth of work to do in the restaurants before I was done for the day at 6:00 PM.
I received my third donation sponsoring me in my cancer cure drive with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. This was a very generous $250.00 donation from Richard Payeur &, his daughter, Elinor Kostanski. They wished me "continued success" in my fund raising campaign. There was no address on the letter so I can't thank them directly. But I can surely thank them here! Thank you so much Richard & Elinor. They have generously supported me every year since I started in 2007. I sincerely appreciate your help. All the best to you both! My next major project is to redesign the PMC web page for this season's donations. I plan to start on that this weekend.
Today was a very busy day and not at all planned. Yesterday I had planned to pick up some lobster cooker tanks that I had duplicated at Don's Sheet Metal in Biddeford, Maine. I never got free enough yesterday to take the time to do it. So today, a little behind the schedule, I did. Getting on the turnpike I went through the E-Z Pass lane without the E-Z Pass box, never realizing it until I noticed that the red light stayed red even after passing through! I ended up calling the Maine Turnpike Authority and paying on line (an hour and a half later, paying $1.50 and avoiding a fine). It took longer than expected to retrieve the tanks as I had to wait for another truck to finishing before pulling up to the loading dock. I believe I got back to Perkins Cove at 10:00 AM. But it could have been later. I had taken the other truck because it had an eight foot bed, long enough to just get the four tanks in place.
I left the truck in the lot and brought the slip up to the office. Noticing the office was colder than normal, I checked the other parts of the building. Also cold. After checking the fuel tanks in the basement I realized there was no fuel! So I called up our provider and got a truck down there in ten minutes. Six hundred and nine gallons! Apparently, they switched the drivers to different routes and we got lost in the shuffle. Luckily, the tanks must have run out in the earlier part of the morning (I was in the building at 7:00 AM and never noticed anything.). It was cold enough so the pipes running under the windows in the dining room would have frozen had it happened after I left the restaurant yesterday afternoon! Getting all that straightened out took until 12:15 PM, just in time to get a quick lunch.
At 1:00 PM, I was back at the restaurant at a meeting with our baker, Tessa Knight, and our new baker, Heather Betz. We worked out a plan for the start of the new season. That took about an hour or more. After that I worked on trying to bring the Internet back in the restaurants. We have service to the buildings (the web cam works fine) just not where it concerns the POS system and our on line computers. Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent on that. I never did solve that problem. And it was just before the weekend. So the hopes of fixing it until Monday were slim. I was still back on the phone sleuthing this out at 6:00 PM when I finally said I had had enough. It's not like we need it to stay open. The techs were very good about it but I had been up working since 2:00 AM so I was done. And between the time of the meeting's end and 6:00 PM, I was doing a few other jobs like moving the lobster tanks into the restaurants, going over reel orders, setting up a date for fire inspection and answering emails (on my phone).
That was my day. I thought I would finish the Guestletter. That didn't happen. I was hoping to take Gill for a run on the beach. That didn't happen either. It would have been a perfect time just before sunset (the tide was perfect for it) but I was still hot on the trail of achieving connectivity. Monday!
I didn't leave the house today except to visit my mother and to drive to the USPS. The whole day I spent proofing the Guestletter. By 6:00 PM, I had posted the Guestletter on line. Nice to have it completed. But I do enjoy writing it. I re-live the last season every time I do. Even when I'm not actually there!
During the late afternoon, I got a call from "Haddock Jack" Brouse (NH). I was hot into finalizing the Guestletter at the time. But I did call him back soon after. He had an individual who might be interested in the swing hand's position this summer. After I talked with Jack, I called this guy. He had a great personality and has had plenty of experience. He would have no problem getting the job done. But there is only so much you can learn over the phone. I'm going to have to talk over the situation with Ian and get back to him. We do things a little differently on the Bunny Clark; not necessarily better or worse than other operations. It may or may not be something he wants to do. Anyway, he has first refusal at this time.
Except for editing this site, I took the day off to take advantage of the overnight above freezing temperatures and go for my first bike ride since November 29, 2017. I got back at 1:00 PM and spent the next hour cleaning the bike and myself. The roads were so wet from melting snow that the bike was covered with dirt and I was soaked and dirty. I watched some of the NHL Allstar games. And I made up a plan for tomorrow's busy day.
After writing this update and calling in a couple of orders, Deb and I left for a meeting in Massachusetts. After lunch, we were back at 2:30 PM. From there I had to order a couple of engine parts and complete a large paint order for the cosmetic work on the Bunny Clark this winter. With the colder weather over night I cleared the skiff of water and ice. For the rest of the day I worked on a computer problem at the restaurant. I was done by 6:00 PM. Nothing too exciting today.
I got up pretty early so I could get all the desk work done and leave myself plenty of time to run around the country and get all I had planned completed. I had to be in Portsmouth anyway, so I drove to the Portsmouth Pool, arriving there by 5:30 AM so I could swim a couple of miles and get exercising out of the way for the day. From there I had to pick up the winters paint/supplies order for the Bunny Clark. Ian Keniston and the Bunny Clark were the next stop. Ian helped me unload the truck. We had a short meeting afterward. My son, Micah, has had the influenza A virus so part of the discussion was talking about him getting better and working at the boat. Micah has been sick in bed with a temperature for five days. Navtronics was the next stop. I had to pick up some inspected VHF radios and my track plotter. I also discussed the new radar that hasn't come in and acquiring a better bathymetric chart for the plotter.
From there I drove to Kittery Eye to see about getting new prescription lenses for the sun glasses I damaged when I dumped the bike late November. My prescription had changed a year ago anyway. It had turned out that my near sighted vision was even worse than it showed on the newer prescription. So, with the new lens', I will be able to see things better. I was due. It was hard to read with the old sun glasses anyway. After getting home and sorting out my morning projects, I headed to the Ogunquit Town Office. There I paid my two mooring bills, excise tax on both boats, renewed my annual business license and procured my hunting license, basically a renewal.
After lunch I took about two hours to secure a reservation for a CPR/AED/First Aid course for later next month. This took quite a bit because I have to round up fourteen individuals, figure out a date/time that works for all fourteen and make sure I can get the teacher to the restaurant at a date/time conducive to her. We have had the same teacher for the last couple of years. My crew needs to be updated (including me) and the Barnacle Billy's staff has to have a certain percentage of individuals ready to help in case of a medical emergency. Last year we had two choking incidents with positive outcomes. One could have turned into a fatality had not someone been trained. That was done and secured by 3:30 PM.
Afteward, I took a short nap and got cleaned up to attend a selectman's workshop at the Town Office. The workshop allowed no audience participation. So I didn't have to speak. Although, I was prepared to do so. And the workshop was hosted by a representative of the Town's law firm. The workshop was, basically, a review of the laws governing the procedures and the conduct of elected officials working for the public's good. This involves the selectboard, various committees and town officials. Since, at present, I am the chair of the Cove Committee (officially called the Harbor Committee) I went to get some guidance. It was a two hour meeting with questions directed to the Town's lawyer from the selectboard. It turned out that I knew the answers to all of the questions asked. And most of it was common sense. Some of it was knowledge I gained from previous town managers over the years while working on the Budget Committee and Cove Committee. I left about a half hour early.
Tomorrow, we start taking reservations for fishing on the Bunny Clark. For years we have taken reservations starting at midnight on the first day. We will no longer be doing that. Reservations start tomorrow at 5:00 AM. I hope to be talking to you! Most likely you will be talking with my wife, Deb, or Jane.
I got up early and worked in the office for about four hours. At 7:30 AM, I took our border collie, Gill, to Ogunquit Beach for a three mile run. The air temperature at the time was still 16°F. Gill and I ran up the beach all the way to the first house with the leash. At the first house, I took him off his leash and I ran a few houses up, looking back to keep him in sight. I turned around and ran back to him. Once together, we both ran almost all the way back. I pulled a ham string just about a third of a mile away from the Norseman Hotel. So I stopped and walked the rest of the way. Of course, Gill thought I was stopping for him. And he was really excited about it. Below is a shot of Gill walking near the ocean. You can see in the digital image that at 16°F, it's still cold enough to make salt water ice.
They started going over the motions first made at the RAP and then approved by the Groundfish Committee. The first motion was the one that I had made in the RAP meeting on the 24th of January that been accepted for a Council decision. That motion was to approve the recreational regulatory measures that we had last year. As I mentioned in the January 24 entry on this page, this motion called for the status quo (i.e. 12 fish bag limit on haddock with a 17 inch minimum size, no cod possession and no haddock possession from September 17 to November 1). This option had only a 19 percent chance of achieving the numbers we needed for cod mortality. I defended the motion at the microphone explaining the reasons for making the motion, those points mentioned in the January 24th entry (above). Of particular concern (to me) were the effects on this motion of the opening of the eastern portion of the Western Gulf of Maine closed area to commercial fishing, the ridiculously high cod landings numbers for the private recreational angler and the fact that the same cod are being caught over and over again were not figured into the cod mortality numbers. These, of course, I mentioned and expanded on.
In order for my motion to work, Massachusetts has to stop allowing the take of cod by recreational anglers within state waters. With only a 19 percent chance that this motion would get us where we wanted to be under the cod quota for the recreational angler without the help of Massachusetts, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS or the Service) informed us that this would not go if Massachusetts kept the same regulations. This, of course, I already knew. But what the Service was really asking for was something else from the Council so that if Massachusetts remained with a cod possession they would have some suggestion from the Council on where to go next. Otherwise, they would have to take the month of May as a no haddock possession month. No one wanted that! So another part was added on to the motion. The change would drop the haddock bag limit from 12 fish to 10 fish for the for-hire fleet but keep the private recreational angler at 12 haddock per person. They did end up passing this almost unanimously. So I left the meeting with a feeling that the Service was going to do everything they could to keep the status quo even if they had to take two haddock out of the bag limit to do so. They were not going to take May away from us. I will keep you up to date on the events leading up to the new regulations. But I am pretty sure we will end up with the same or very similar regulations for 2018.
There were other things discussed at the Council meeting, most of which is really of no concern to the recreational angler, in my opinion.
For some unknown reason, I was really tired when I got back home at 5:00 PM. I didn't feel that the meeting was mentally draining. Although I forgot to take my heart rate monitor off when I left to attend the meeting. I kept noticing at the meeting that my resting heart rate was up about ten beats a minute higher than when I am at home working at the desk. Who knows. The result was that I was done with work when I got home. I went to bed at about 7:30 PM, knowing that the first day of Bunny Clark reservations starts tomorrow at 5:00 AM.
I had a lot of desk work, calls to make and this update took me extra time to think about and write. I wasn't done with fishery management issues. I ended up writing a few individuals, one at NMFS. And I wanted to make it known that they consider giving us back September and October as haddock months if at all possible. I'm sure that's about as likely as me throwing flower pedals over the windward side of the Bunny Clark in a gale expecting them to land on the water! I also had communications with Rick Bellavance and another about attending a workshop on the 10th concerning eVTRs (vessel trip reports sent via the Internet). This becomes mandatory in March. I also had a few other orders.
Later in the morning I drove to the Bunny Clark to bring supplies to Ian Keniston. From there I had to go to Portsmouth to pick up more supplies. I brought those back to the Bunny Clark as well. I stopped at Greenleaves for lunch expecting to see Dick Lyle, David MacDonald or Greg Veprek. Alas, none of them showed. I spent the rest of the afternoon at home working on emails and filling out a long order for reel parts we will need for reel repairs during the season and next winter. I don't like to be looking for reel parts when we need them as, more often than not, they are out of stock on some items. I was done by 5:30 PM.
As mentioned, today was our first day of reservations for the Bunny Clark. Bookings were slower than normal as expected. This has been the case for the last four years or since we lost cod possession. That doesn't mean I'm any less excited for the season to begin. Most of you know my feelings. I don't care about keeping cod. I like catching them. And I love catching the big cod. I don't have to keep them in order to justify going fishing. Nor does it make me any happier because I kept them. Of course, I know that not everyone feels as I do.
Below is a digital image of Ian Keniston enjoying another day on the deck of the Bunny Clark!
I worked at the desk here at home for most of the day. My day consisted of ordering, catching up on projects that I have parceled out to make sure the projects are done on time, checking with Ian Keniston with projects on the boat and building the PMC site, my site, for this season. By 5:00 PM I had almost completed building the new PMC site.
At 9:00 AM, I had a fire inspection for both the Petrel (our lobster boat) and the Bunny Clark. That took about an hour. The inspector, a guy who's name was Jay, was an avid cyclist. So I enjoyed the best fire inspection I have ever had!
On to the Super Bowl. Go Pats!
I spent the whole morning, lunch and early afternoon working on my web site and finishing up on my PMC web site. I was happy to get all that behind me. One less thing to do before the season starts. I was done working by 2:30 PM.
After that I was planning to swim three miles in the Portsmouth Pool, figuring that it closed at 5:00 PM. When I got there I found that they actually closed at 4:00 PM. So I had just a little less than a half hour to swim. Hey, a mile is better than nothing. And not being the fastest swimmer in the world, it took a lot of extra effort to get a mile under my belt.
I spent a total of three hours working on Bunny Clark stuff. I started on the daily trip logs. This I will finish sometime tomorrow. These are the daily sheets that the captain fills out and completes after every trip. It gives me useful information so I can write the daily fishing updates here during the season. Most importantly it gives me angler names along with the fishing successes or hard luck during a trip. Anglers, of course, are the most important part of the Bunny Clark world. I've always felt that their angling achievements and hard luck should be recognized even if it's only a local recognition.
I took the rest of the day off. I tried to run with Gill on the beach. But, we hadn't gone a hundred yards when I noticed he was pulling on his leash to slow down. I was only running a 10 minute mile at the time. I noticed he was limping. So I stopped and checked it out. Holding the paw didn't hurt him. But I didn't want to press it. So we went back to the truck and I brought him home. He actually seemed happy to be home.
I did watch a little of the Super Bowl. But I didn't have a good feeling about the Patriots. So I stopped watching after the first quarter. Too much hype for me before the game and too late in the night for me to watch.
I mostly worked at the desk all morning, here at home. After lunch I worked on orders, the weekly schedule and working down at the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. until 6:30 PM. It was one of those days were I just went off a list that brought me to the phone a few times, on the computer and using the computer to order things that I couldn't get through the normal channels. I also took a few reservation calls while Deb was out.
I saved today to do a lot of running around. I had orders that had arrived in various places around Portsmouth and Kittery. I ended up visiting these places and ending up at the Bunny Clark twice. Ian Keniston was working there as well as my son, Micah. They were painting benches when I was there. I planned everything so I could end up at Greenleaves to meet with David MacDonald and meet Mike Mann (Gloucester Fishing Fleet) for lunch. From there I had to rush home and draw un an agenda for the Harbor Committee meeting before 2:00 PM. This so I could get it posted with enough time, under town law, to have the meeting when I had planned to have it (February 15). That was done by 1:30 PM. At 2:00 PM I went to meet the woman who is going to be our baker for the two restaurants. She had two frozen "lobster pies" that she wanted me and my mother to try. I've been thinking of having a special lobster mac-n-cheese/pie thing for the restaurant. So we talked there for a while. I spent the rest of the day at the desk until the selectman's meeting at 6:00 PM when our liquor license renewal for the restaurants was being presented. If you aren't there during the meeting, they won't renew it. I got home around 6:45 PM.
I went for a run early in the morning and didn't get an eighth of a mile before pulling my hamstring. I have done this before. It takes forever to get over it. I was really disappointed in myself for pushing it when I could feel it coming on last week. Don't bother sending me a text on this, Greg. I punish myself enough over my stupid mistakes. Now if this were going on with someone I was training, it never would have gone that far. I certainly don't treat myself as well. Must be some personality flaw.
Again, I spent the day running around. I'm not going into details. No need. After I got home I found a message that a package couldn't be delivered (C.O.D.) because no one was there. So instead of having the package shipped back to Vancouver (stainless rod ends), I had to call UPS, wait to have them call me back so I could find where the package was, drive to their customer service center, pay for it and bring it home. It was pouring rain the whole way to and from. That took until about 6:00 PM.
Before I went I took a picture from the foot bridge crossing Perkins Cove looking towards the restaurants. This appears below. It was snowing at that time and 28°F.
After this report was posted, the morning was spent shoveling snow. It would have been easier last night but it was raining so hard that I bagged it. Plus, depending on where I was shoveling, it was better to not get under the snow for fear of getting ice there when all the rain froze. The downside was that everything was frozen this morning so I had to do a lot of ice chopping in places. So it took longer.
When I was down at the Cove with our dog, Gill, clearing the street drains, Micah was there shoveling off the Petrel. Gill was bored watching me. So when the dog saw Micah coming up the ramp, Gill was all over him. Micah and I talked for a little while, Micah in the truck and me in the road. When Micah drove off, Gill ran after the truck. Neither Micah nor I saw the dog do this. I started looking for the dog as soon as Micah turned the corner and went out of sight. Since Micah had to drop the oar off at our house, Gill ended up in front of the back door! I received a call soon after telling me the status of Gill. Gill has had a leg problem which was not evident this morning. After following the truck, the leg problem surfaced again. So for the rest of the day Gill held his back leg off the ground and he humped around. We will look at the leg tomorrow.
At 11:00 AM, our POS computer guy showed up after driving up from New Jersey. We have had a problem getting the internet in some of our systems at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. Thankfully, the web cam has been functional through all of this. He was successful and done by 1:00 PM.
The rest of the day I spent at the office at home. Part of it was spent getting ready for an eVTR (electronic vessel trip reporting) workshop that will take place in Danvers, Massachusetts on Saturday. There is always something extra.
Much running around and organizing for meetings next week. I spent some time in the office here at Bunny Clark Central, some time in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. and then back home for lunch. The afternoon was spent over at Ocean Graphics where we worked on the largest fish of the trip stickers for 2018, the new tackle breakers shirts and the new PMC t-shirts. The designs on the shirts have a much cleaner look this year. I finalized everything there today. We will have all of this done next week sometime. I also brought over two valet parking signs. One to be cleaned up and the other to be revamped.
I spent the morning and part of the afternoon at the eVTR (electronic vessel trip report) workshop, either getting ready for it, driving up and back, attending or planning how to set up the Bunny Clark with the equipment I need to do it. The eVTRs will become mandatory by March 12 or the for-hire fleet only. Commercial boats will still be able to fill out the paper forms and the private recreational angler won't have to do any reporting. However, when the eVTRs get to cell phones, I can see National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) go the direction of the private boat angler as well. The eVTRs were pretty simple to operate once you knew how to do it. But there were many things that I ran across that made me glad that I went to the workshop. Plus, I think I asked the most questions. And they did have pity on the oldest guy in the room!
One thing that always strikes me is the time/money lost on these projects invented by the government that we have to attend. The time we spent to go to these workshops, the money it costs just to drive to a common place for a meeting, the time/money it costs to set yourself up and the money it costs to buy a tablet and maintain it in a harsh environment. The industry is already depressed because of the regulations, the unfair regulations, that we have to comply with. Now we have to spend more. And I get that it is better for the fishery to have timely data. And, as a business, we can write some of this off. But if the Feds come up with an idea they think we need we shouldn't have to pay for it. As businesses go, the for-hire fleet is at the bottom of the food chain, a place where we shouldn't be. If the government wants us to do these things, then provide us with the tools to do so. Don't make us go out and spend more to learn and aquire the tools. My gripe.
After driving back from Danvers, I had a meeting in Portsmouth. When I got there I realized that I had left my laptop at the Hilton, where we had our meeting. One of the port control officers for NMFS, Pam Thames, who works with us (during the season) was at the meeting and was still there when I called her. She lives in the next town over from Ogunquit. She found my computer and brought it with her so I could pick it up at her house. I almost drove back when I realized what I had done. But she was good enough to go out of her way to get it back to me without, me, losing too much time. Thanks, Pam!
I worked at the computer for a little longer than I wanted this morning. Deb and I headed to Portsmouth after that. I combined upgrading my iPhone with getting a tablet at the AT&T store. I needed the upgrade on the phone. With the upgrade, an iPad was another $100.00. I needed the iPad as a dedicated computer to keep aboard the Bunny Clark for vessel trip reports (eVTRs). I was done setting all this up by 3:00 PM. I stopped work at that time and watched the Olympics.
Deb and I had a meeting in Wakefield, Massachusetts with our accountants. That took up most of the day. After lunch, I worked on emails, orders and setting up the tablet for vessel trip reports. I was done by 6:30 PM. I got a lot done but it wasn't a very exciting day.
I had reel parts I had to drop off to Ian Keniston at the Bunny Clark. Both Ian and my son, Micah, were painting on the canopy top. I voiced a quick hello before jumping back in the truck and heading home. We are all taking a CPR/First Aid/AED course tomorrow.
I received a very generous $500.00 donation Paul Kostopoulos (CT) sponsoring me in my cycling event, the Pan-Mass Challenge, to curb cancer. The fund raising arm of the PMC is the Jimmy Fund. Many in New England have heard of this. Anyway, the donation is very important to my fund raising efforts and, of course, very important to those with the disease who will never know Paul but will surely benefit. Thanks so much, Paul. This is so much appreciated! See you this fishing season, I hope!
Aside for watching the Olympic women's hockey game (US vs OAR - or "Bobby", as I like to call them), I spent the morning until 7:30 AM working in the office here. At 7:45 AM, I went down to Barnacle Billy's, Etc. where I had set up a 1st Aid/CPR/AED course for ten of the Barnacle Billy's crew and four of the Bunny Clark crew, including me. That took up the whole morning. At 1:30 PM, I drove to Portsmouth to leave the Bunny Clark truck to be serviced at Coast GMC, the last time it will be serviced until the end of the summer. Deb gave me a ride back. For the rest of the day I was on the phone with a couple of Barnacle Billy's items and a routine call to the Department of Marine Resources.
Captain Ian Keniston, Captain Micah Tower and Captain Jared Keniston were all at the course this morning. It was good to see Jared. There is a chance that Jared may captain a weekend day this season. If so I wanted to make sure we were covered by having him renew his 1st Aid/CPR card and keeping him on the random drug testing program. The jury is still out as to his availability this summer but I'm willing to take that chance to possibly have one of the best crew I have ever had on the Bunny Clark back again. After noon, Micah and Ian went back to working on the Bunny Clark.
Today was a busy day for me. I got up at 2:00 AM so I could get forty-five minutes of core exercises completed before starting on this "Update". Then I dug out the red car so I could get the engine running and drove it to Portsmouth Pool where I might have swum two miles except that with the cramping in my calves I had to stop just shy of my target. After picking up a coffee at Aroma Joe's and going home, I got organized and went to the bank where I spent a half hour signing papers for both businesses to get two lines of credit to get us through the rest of the winter. It was off to PT for a pulled hamstring muscle in Kennebunk after the bank. I was okayed for a slow three mile run tomorrow. After lunch, I went back to the office to finalize the work I was doing on setting up and understanding the new electronic vessel trip reporting system for the Bunny Clark. I had to make a call to one of the contractors to get a dose of feeling stupid. Sometimes I make things much more complicated than they are. At this point I am ready to teach the rest of the crew how to do it. At 2:00 PM, I rode my cyclocross bike to Coast GMC to pick up my truck. There was water in oil so I had them do a complete engine flush and change the oil a second time. And I didn't want to bother Deb to give me a ride over there. My calves did not loosen up any on the bike ride over even though I took it slow, spinning in the small ring with an average heart rate of 117 bpm. After a shower back home, I got down to organizing tomorrow's day. I was done by six.
Meanwhile, after a doctor's visit for Gill yesterday where he peed on the floor in the office there (he's very scared of the veterinary clinic), Gill's leg is getting better. No sign of limping today at all. In fact, he played for a hour with the dog next door without any ill effects. So I promised Gill we would go to the beach later tomorrow after the meetings I have planned for the day. Deb says I tease the dog by talking to him like this as they have no concept of "tomorrow". Everything to them is in real time. Maybe.
Ian Keniston and Micah Tower worked on the Bunny Clark all day getting the cosmetic stuff completed. I think they are still doing the enamel work.
My day was pretty busy but mostly with meetings. I worked at the desk here at home until 8:30 AM. I chaired a meeting at Barnacle Billy's starting at 9:00 AM that ended just before noon. After lunch I chaired a Perkins Cove Harbor Committee meeting that commenced at 1:00 PM and ran for a couple of hours. Ocean Graphics was next with a new idea for menu boards at the take out section of Barnacle Billy's. From there I had to drive to Biddeford to Don's Sheet Metal to have to lobster tank covers made. They won't be ready for a week. But I needed to get the old lids up there so they could get the dimensions off them. It was still light out when I got home so I went for a three mile run on the roads around Ogunquit. I would have taken Gill for a run on the beach but Deb didn't think he was ready enough with his hind leg. I felt the hamstring once but it was only a feeling. But it seemed fine. We shall see.
After posting my comments on this site, I did a lot of running around. Mike Dumas (Dumas Welding & Fabrication) had finished welding the pieces I needed done. I drove to pick those up around 8:00 AM. I brought the pieces to the Bunny Clark from there. Ian Keniston and Micah Tower were painting. From there I went to Navtronics where they had the new radar array waiting for me. I brought that back to the Bunny Clark as well. From there I attended the joint Budget Committe/Selectman's meeting where they were discussing capital expenditures for Perkins Cove. I was there to help in case questions came to the harbor master where he might need support. He didn't need any support but I was glad I was there.
After lunch, I drove to Portsmouth to get a years worth of paper towels. Believe it or not, this is a three and a half hour project from the time I leave here, buy them, completely fill the long bed of the Bunny Clark truck with paper towels, drive home, unload the truck and get them all up in the attic. And there is so much climbing up stairs and down that I end up being stripped down to just a t-shirt not long into it. This time I also strapped a heart rate monitor on to see what my average and peak heart rates were, just for curiosity. It was probably the equivalent of me running a ten or eleven minute mile.
I also made quite a few phone calls and spent a significant amount of time in the office at Barnacle Billy's. My concerns were the ice cream flavors for the season, adjusting the inventory to accommodate the new flavors, ordering AEDs, electrical improvements, menu boards and getting the managers together on projects that should be completed by the middle of next month. It was a busy day. With the Olympics going on, I looked at this week as the "long program" where I was trying to get as many "quads" in as I could in the time allotted before the weekend! And, yes, I do like the figure skating!
I worked in the office most of the day. Part of my time was spent writing up the minutes for the Harbor Committee meeting and submitting them to the Town. I had a meeting with our electrician at the restaurant after noon. Other than that I stayed at the desk all day.
I did take a break in the afternoon to run on the beach with Gill. This was the first run with Gill since I pulled my hamstring. Under PT orders, I wasn't supposed to run faster than an 8:30 mile pace. My average was 9:07 with a much slower first mile and a quicker last mile. Gill was with me the whole way. It was like he practiced while I was down for ten days!
With almost six inches of snow, light in texture, it only took an hour and a half to shovel today. Micah shoveled out the Petrel so that was one thing I didn't have to do. The rest of the day was spent running around and organizing. It wasn't until late today that I realized that tomorrow was a holiday. So half of what I had planned for tomorrow would have to be put off for later.
At this time, I am looking for a deck hand on the Bunny Clark for next season. It's what I call my "Swing Hand" position, a job requirement as a deck hand for four days a week, or six trips. Requirements for the position included a pre-employment drug test, enrollment in a random drug testing pool, a current CPR/AED/First Aid certificate, the capability of handling a rolling vessel on the ocean and a love of catering to people of all types and abilities. We have other requirements but those will be taught or self-taught before you take the position. If you are interested, you can call 207-646-2214.