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.
After I got the morning chores done and this update posted, office work took the rest of the morning. Bills, decisions, logistics and my mother's generator took the time from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM. From there I headed to the Bunny Clark for a short meeting with Jared Keniston, Dave Pease and Ian Keniston. I also had some supplies to drop off. From there I had to drop my road bike off for repairs (Papa Wheelies, Portsmouth, New Hampshire). Some of the gears on that bike turned 60,000 miles by the end of this year, including the big ring. So that will probably have to be changed out. I had an appointment with the endodontist (also in Portsmouth) at 12:30 PM to finish the root canal project on number 15. I didn't get out of there until about 2:15 PM. From there I drove to the New England Fishery Management Council meeting at the Sheraton in Portsmouth. I attended this meeting until 5:00 PM.
The Council meeting in Portsmouth was important to us because they were considering the motions the Recreational Advisory Panel (RAP) made. Frank Blount, the RAP's Council representative (and owner of the Francis Fleet in Point Judith, RI), read off all the motions (that I presented to you in the January 23rd entry). Every motion and consensus statement passed the muster of the Council except for separating party/charter vessels from the recreational angler. I think most Council members saw this as an attempt by the for-hire fleet to split the sub-ACL (total cod & haddock yearly allotment given to the recreational angler in general). It was also a bit confusing, the Council didn't have a lot of time and I think they thought that pursuing this avenue would take too much time. Those aren't good reasons but I don't think the Council members knew how to take this motion and didn't have time enough to digest it.
The thing that most concerns me is that John Bullard, the Regional Administrator of our local National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Gloucester, Massachusetts, had concerns that these motions wouldn't cut it. And this is the reason. He thinks that qualitatively these motions don't scientifically cut effort on the cod population enough to allow us a bag limit of haddock. In other words, the more we stay on the fishing grounds catching haddock, the more likely it is that we will catch cod. And cod the recreational angler catches will be counted against the small sub-ACL we have been given. And we might exceed it. And we can't exceed the cod sub-ACL. Our argument is that because the recreational is going to have a much reduced effort (less passengers, less trips, less incentive to go fishing for groundfish) we won't be on the fishing grounds as long anyway. We also feel that gear modifications will also do the trick - which I believe they will. But the NMFS argues that there are no proven studies on cod with the use of the circle hooks, nor has it been peer reviewed. So NMFS feels it will be accepting these motions in good faith. And good faith doesn't cut it with them. They want a guarantee. They want proof. And they want statistics and models to prove it. Of course, the bottom line, to me, is that the recreational angler didn't create the problem (anyone with any fishing common sense knows this) and the recreational angler with all the restrictions in the world won't bring the cod population back. That alone should be reason enough to give the recreational angler a four to six haddock bag limit and the benefit of the doubt. My take, of course.
So, essentially, the Council rubber stamped the motions produced by the RAP and sent them on to NMFS for approval. If the NMFS accepts them as ideas that will produce less fishing on cod, less catching of cod and less killing of cod then I think we will have a four (or more) haddock bag limit with a minimum size of seventeen inches. If the NMFS does not feel that these ideas go far enough to limit the take of cod then we could see any number of new restrictions which could include: changes in the fishing season, very little or no possession of haddock or, even, a restriction in the areas we can fish.
The good news is that, regardless of the regulations, I will still have a fishing vessel with a brand new engine and bank payments. This reminds me of that joke about the first lobsterman to win the lottery in Maine. The Portland Press Herald immediately sent a reporter up to Eastport, where the fisherman lived, to get an in-person interview. The first question the man was asked was; "What are you going to do with all your money?" His reply; "I'm just gonna keep fishin' til it's all gone!"
I spent until 9:00 AM working at Bunny Clark Central, getting ready for the first day of bookings, finishing my daily report, answering emails and on the phone. By 9:15 AM, I was down in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc working on restaurant stuff. I finished there at 12:30 PM. I had a quick lunch at home and then spent until 4:15 PM working on the Guestletter. I left my work half way through figuring out the fisherman of the Bunny Clark year. At 4:15 PM, I headed out to start shoveling snow. I finished that at 6:15 PM.
Except for some minor shoveling of snow, I stayed at the desk and worked on the Guestletter all day. I had completed all my research by noon. After lunch I started setting up the Guestletter for the Internet.
Deb spent the afternoon getting the reservation book ready for the first day of reservations.
Deb got up at 11:30 PM last night to get ready for the phone to ring at midnight. I forgot to shut off the phone upstairs so I didn't sleep after the first ring. At 12:30 AM, I decided to get up, make myself a coffee and ask Deb if she wanted me to take over. I did so at 1:00 AM. The phone was busy with call waiting when Deb had the phone for the first hour. After that it slowed down quite a bit. It was definitely slower than last year. But it wasn't bad. Deb got up again at 6:00 AM and took over by 6:30 AM. The rest of the day reservations came and went. Around noon we had a good bunch of reservations come all at the same time. Reservations came in at a normal pace until the first period of the Super Bowl. After that the phone stayed quiet - as it should.
As for my place in the work day, I was dead tired by 8:30 AM and could not concentrate on the Guestletter that I was trying to work on. Actually, I was felt I might have been doing more harm than good. So I backed away from that project and took a nap. I fell dead asleep until 12:30 PM! So I guess I was more tired than I thought I was.
After a later lunch than I wanted during which I watched the Capitols/Blues hockey game, I worked on getting the house, yard, boat and restaurants ready for the impending snow storm tomorrow. I skulled out to the Petrel and went aboard her to make sure things were okay there. And I did tighten up a storm stern line that I usually run loose during good weather - just in case.
I made an attempt to watch the Super Bowl, getting through the first two periods in the process. I ended up going to bed after that. I am not much of a football fan. But I do like the Patriots and that whole organization, a class act for sure. I enjoyed all of what I watched. But I was tired and I tend to jinx the teams I watch. So I wasn't thinking of me but all the Pats fans who want to see a win and put the rubber stamp on Brady being the best NHL quarterback in history. If I had watched that game and they had lost I never would have forgiven myself.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute got a special gift from my sister, Meg, today as well. She donated $2,000.00 to help me with my cancer fund raising with the Pan-Mass Challenge. She had a special reason for doing so: "In loving memory of my dear friend Guy Woodward, who leaves behind the love of his life, his wife Candy, his children and grandchildren. This world will be a lot less bright without him in it!!" Guy was also a good friend of mine and worked at our restaurants as well. I must say, the especially generous donation and the kind words (and the fact that it was my sister) brought a tear to my eye. Thank you, Meg, for allowing me the privilege of being your conduit to such a wonderful organization. And thanks for doing so much to help those with cancer and for cancer victims in the future.
I woke up a midnight and checked my iPhone to see who had won the Super Bowl. And I was surprised to see that the Pats had won. Surprised because it seems that Seattle had pulled victory out of the jaws of defeat too many times to think otherwise. Plus, they have a great defense. So, after I went back to bed and got up at 4:00 AM, I spent part of the morning just watching TV to see how the whole game played out. Sometimes I think I get more enjoyment out of that than I do living and dying with every move during a game. Tom Brady was at Barnacle Billy's restaurant in 2006. My brother, Court (an avid football fan), talked with him for quite a bit during the time he was there. I was on the Bunny Clark running a fishing trip on that day. Court told me that Brady was a super guy. And my brother is a good judge of character (and characters). So I was glad for him, myself and New England that Brady won the Super Bowl with the Patriots. Sports fans have been gifted in New England for quite a while now.
I spent a significant amount of time running back and forth to the Cove during the day. And I spent about two hours shoveling snow. The rest of the time was spent working in the Guestletter.
After putting a new edition up on this site, I started right in on the shoveling. I would say that I put about three and a half hours of steady shoveling in. I did very little down in the Cove except for my skiff and some of my friends skiffs that hadn't been shoveled yet. I was going to skull out to the Petrel to shovel her out as well but the time ran out. And we are getting more snow shortly so I might as well wait for more.
I spent an hour and a half at Barnacle Billy's, Etc, mostly in the office. But I also went over a couple of inspection items that needed to be addressed with our carpenter, Jack Ladderbush. They are now involved replacing windows there. I have one more year on my window replacing project and it will be done.
After lunch I emersed myself in the Bunny Clark Guestletter, getting in a few more paragraphs and adopting a theme that will carry through it. I hate to stop and start this project. But one good thing that comes out of this is that I get a slightly different perspective every time I start again. Usually, the first half hour is spent rewriting previous paragraphs!
I gave up the Guestletter at 4:30 PM. I spent a while carrying bags of pellets into the house. After that I suited up and went for a 4+ mile run on Ogunquit Beach with our dog Gill. I had been doing shorter distances at a little over a 7 minute pace (3 miles, usually). With the dog off the leash Gill would get distracted and stray to the point where I couldn't see him. So we stayed hooked up for most of the run and I slowed the pace to 8 minutes. I'm not comfortable at 7 minutes anyway and I tend to get hurt. My upper body (breathing included) is very much is shape (from the bike) which makes me feel I can run faster than I really am able. I end up pulling some muscle or other. This has been happening all to frequently over the last few years. It's not like the bike where I can kill myself with very few after effects.
At 6:00 PM, I attended a selectman's meeting in Town. Barnacle Billy's, Inc.'s liquor and entertainment licenses were up for renewal. A representative from the company has to be there to field questions someone might have. So if there isn't a representative there they won't issue a renewal. All went well. The select board voted unanimously to renew our licenses. I was done in a little more than a half hour. We have a very good town manager. It was worth being there just to hear his report before we got to the license renewals.
After working on this site until a little after 7:00 AM, I went back to the Guestletter. I have only been able to spend about three or four hours a day on it. This seems like a lot from an outsiders perspective. But it really isn't when you consider that I'm writing it in HTML and trying to build a fairly unique Internet presentation. I'm probably about a third of the way through it with the hardest part behind me. I hope to get it behind me by the 10th of February. We'll see how it goes.
I spent an hour or so down at Barnacle Billy's restaurant, checking on the carpentry work and working in the office.
After lunch, I had to bring my truck over to my dealership in Portsmouth, Coast GMC, and drop it off. They have been very good to me over the years there. When York Corner Body Shop replaced the right side of the bed after being T-boned in Newington, the Line-X barrier protector wasn't replaced. All that was missing was the top rail. I like it there because I don't have to worry about scratching the rail to bare metal when throwing traps in the back or whatever. The dealership was going to take care of that for me. So I left the truck there, got picked up by my wife, Deb, and got forced into shopping at Trader Joe's.
Once back home I continued with the Guestletter. I quit about 4:00 PM so I could go for a bike ride and get some exercise in.
Also, with the reservations we have been getting the number one question we have been getting is: "Can we keep cod this season?" The answer is no, unless, by some miracle they change things. I don't think they will. First of all, the New England Fishery Management Council (that body who advises the National Marine Fisheries Service) won't go that route. This is because we are managed with a percentage of cod that we share with the commercial fishermen. There is such a small quantity of cod available - that the government will give us (called an ACL) - that just the recreational discards of cod alone (when you consider a 30% mortality rate for caught & released cod) might put us over the limit the recreational angler is allowed. And because the recreational angler was fortunate enough to not be included in the rolling commercial groundfish closed areas it is thought that recreational fishermen will have greater access to cod. And, quite frankly, the commercial fisherman, would like to have a larger percentage of the ACL. Right now the recreational angler has one third of the total while the commercial fisherman has two thirds.
The other question is: "Can we keep haddock?" The answer is yes, but not until at least May 1, 2015. The framework action that the National Marine Fisheries Service is trying to approve (it's actually a Council framework action, number 53) will allow us haddock and is expected to be in place by May 1st or the beginning of the Federal fiscal fishing year. If by some quirk the NMFS can't get this done by May 1, we won't be able to keep haddock until May 12. This is because we are now under the rules of an interim six month emergency action that started on November 12, 2014. The framework action supersedes the interim action as long as NMFS gets it in place on time. How many haddock will the angler get? The true answer is: I don't know. But I truly do believe that if the NMFS is thinking logically we will have a bag limit of four haddock with a minimum size limit of seventeen inches (17"). If the population of haddock is so high right now how come we don't get a larger bag limit? Because NMFS is under the impression that if we are allowed to stay on the grounds and catch haddock it will give us more of a chance to catch cod. Cod is the driver because the cod stocks are in such bad shape. What NMFS doesn't understand is that when we target haddock we don't catch many cod, our business has been cut back because we aren't able to keep cod so there won't be as many boats out there, if we can't keep cod we are not going to trying to find cod areas and we don't nearly have the impact on the cod stocks that the NMFS thinks we have.
I hope I explained this in a way that will allow you understand the upcoming fishing regulations as it relates to cod and haddock. All the other species are under the same regulations they have been for the last few years.
After editing this site and uploading it to the server, I called Ian Keniston at the Bunny Clark. They had a list of supplies they needed (#8 bonding wire, elbows, a pump, etc). So I got the list, compared prices, found the best ones at Hamilton Marine, Portland, Maine (knowing I could bring the items back if I needed to) and got the truck ready to drive up in the snow. I started out at 9:30 AM but got caught in stopped traffic in for at least a half hour before I could get on Route 95 (turnpike). There had been a crash before the Wells exit and trailer trucks and cars were being re-routed to Route 1 around it. I was in the middle of it. I finally got to Portland on roads with snow that were actually better than expected without much traffic (once I got to Route 95). I picked up the order and headed back.
By the time I got back to the Bunny Clark, it was 12:30 PM. Times flies for me. We discussed a few things. And then it was time to head back. I had stopped on the turnpike to get a Whopper from Burger King. So I had eaten lunch. But, because I ate where I did, I was aware of it for the rest of the day. At 2:30 PM, I started shoveling snow. The house, a bit of the restaurant and the Petrel took me exactly two hours. And I can tell you that I'm getting better at this! I called it quits for the day after the shoveling.
The day started like all others. At 9:30 AM, I chaired a managers meeting at Barnacle Billy's to go over returning employees and award them the positions they wanted. These individual decisions were made by the managers of each of the two restaurants depending on where the employee worked. A couple of them work at both places. And a few will work at Barnacle Billy's (original) before they switch over to Barnacle Billy's, Etc. a month (or so) later when that restaurant opens. I basically rubber stamped every decision that was made. The management staff here is a wonderful bunch and make it really easy for me to make decisions. No one person can do it all. And if I come across as doing a great job (God forbid), it's because of their good work. Needless to say, it was a fruitful meeting.
Deb had prepared a sandwich for me that I had placed in the truck for my next move. And this move was to Dave's Boat Shop (the "Barn"). I ate the sandwich on the ride, the twenty-five minutes it takes to get there. I met Dave there, along with Ian & Jared. We talked for a bit and then Dave and I headed for Wakefield, Massachusetts to Power Products. One of the Volvo engines, like the one I am getting, had arrived there the day before. I wanted to have Dave and I look at the engine together so we could better know what to change before our engine arrived. Bruce Woodfin, the salesman, met us at Power Products. I would say that we went over the engine for about an hour and a half. It was a very good experience, we were treated very well and I was much more comfortable with Dave there.
After dropping Dave off and going home, I commandeered my wife into taking me to our car dealership where my finished truck was waiting to be picked up. I ended up back home at 5:30 PM.
From 2:30 AM until 9:00 AM, I spent reading (a novel), watching movies (HBO) and finishing this entry. From 9:00 AM until just shy of 2:30 PM, I worked (writing and editing) on the Guestletter. From there, Deb & I hitched a ride with Hez & Jo Haseltine to Amsbury, Massachusetts to celebrate my grand nephew's birthday. My sister, Meg, was there with the best lobsterman I know, Mike Remkiewicz. And it was hosted at Bryant & Abby Mitchell's house. The lucky boy was six year old Landon. His younger brother, Wyatt, was there. Wyatt was born with cystic fibrosis (CF) which kept him in Children's Hospital, Boston, for the first few weeks of his life. He's two and a half and doing well. But this is the honeymoon phase of the disease. At five years old he may be faced with new challenges. I'm praying that they are slight. Anyway, it was a fun time with a wonderful part of my family. We were back home by 5:30 PM.
Last week I took the dog, Gill, to the barn with me to talk over a few things with Jared Keniston and Ian Keniston. Normally I don't let the dog in the barn because he tends to be a biological tack cloth and picks up all the paint dust (on his white hair) from sanded surfaces around the boat. And there are plenty of those - getting less every day. It can take quite a lot of time to clean him up. But the scene seemed safe enough. After my conversation with Jared & Ian, Gill and I jumped in the truck and headed back. I looked at the dog and figured that he had done pretty well, just a few green paint dust spots that I could easily clean up before Deb got to see him. I needed to talk to the harbor master, Fred Mayo, because I needed to know his ideas on breaking ice and tying on storm lines. So I stopped in the Cove. During the conversation he looked down at Gill and asked what happened to his whiskers. Indeed, the whiskers were gone, with one stray one curled up at the end. In fact, some of his hair was missing too. Then I realized: the salamander in the barn. Gill must have poked his head around the hot end when I was talking with Ian & Jared and looked in at the hot cherry red part. It would only have taken a second to get the results, burning his whiskers off. But I never heard a yelp or a bark. So I told Fred not to breath a word to Deb. But that didn't matter. After I got to the house, I went up to the office. Meanwhile, my son showed up at the house and asked Deb; "What happened to Gill's whiskers?" Needless to say, we didn't get through the barn experience un-tainted this time either. And this was harder to explain than the paint dust.
I spent all day in the house. I did jump in the truck and take a spin around the Cove just to make sure things were okay. But there was no call to do so and I didn't find anything even remotely wrong.
What I did do, except for watching the St.Louis/Chicago NHL game, was work on the Guestletter all day. I worked a solid six hours on it before giving up. I can only sit at the computer for so long. At the end of the Guestletter session I had been on the computer for nine hours. And, no, I didn't watch the Bruins game but two minutes. They haven't had good luck with Montréal this year and I hate to watch my team lose. Doesn't help with sleeping. Plus, the game keeps me up past my bed time!
I finished my update after a few morning chores. By 9:00 AM, I was headed to the dentist's to get the recently root canaled crown filled. There was a temporary filling of softer material there for a week just in case I had problems. I hadn't. In fact, I never had any pain through the whole two plus week period. From there I came home and continued working on the Guestletter through lunch. At 1:00 PM, I got a call from Jackie Ladderbush, our carpenter (the carpenter, the man) down at Barnacle Billy's, Etc., telling me there was a problem with the furnace. Sure enough it was off, a pipe to the expansion tank had frozen and burst and the building was getting cold. I made a few calls, was able to get someone down there and got my brother, Court, down there as well. Once things were underway, my brother agreed to stay down there while I went back home to start shoveling snow. And shovel I did. For two hours. And that was about the same time that the furnace started running again (thank God!). That would have been a mess. We had to get a plumber down there as well as the oil people but damage was limited to the furnace room area. I'll have to keep a better eye on it in the future. I normally check it out every morning but hadn't been doing so because the carpenters had been down there. And they did notice it. Had I been checking it we would have caught it in plenty of time. I did an hour more of shoveling before calling it quits at 5:30 PM.
I started this report earlier than normal because I knew I was going to have a busy day today. By 7:00 AM, I was shoveling out the skiff so I could get out to the Petrel (our lobster boat). Once there, I shoveled her out and took off the four fire extinguishers that needed to be inspected. I went ashore, tied up the skiff, brought the extinguishers to the warmth of Barnacle Billy's, Etc and then drove to the Bunny Clark. I had a parts conversation with Dave and my crew and picked up the Bunny Clark's fire extinguishing system. Those extinguishers were brought to Barnacle Billy's as well. I completed some desk work at the restaurant while I waited for the inspector (Dan) from Interstate Fire to meet me. That happened at about 11:30 AM. It took about a half hour to inspect, weigh and fill (for one extinguisher) the bottles.
After Dan left, I met Richie Jeffers so we could go over the lounge tiled floor behind the bar at Etc. Initially, I was going to do just part of the floor (water has been leaking into the base under the tiles) but after talking to Richie I decided to do it all and get it out of the way so we wouldn't have to be addressing it again next winter. Jack Ladderbush, then, wanted to get right to it. So I called the electrician to take the dishwasher out (it was hard wired) and contacted the plumber to remove the sink and some of the plumbing. Nothing is ever easy.
Lunch and shoveling was next. I shoveled snow for about two hours. From there I had to drop the newly inspected extinguishers off at the Bunny Clark. Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston had just painted the deck and smell of toluene was thick in the air. So I dropped off the extinguishers at the threshold. From there I went to Papa Wheelies to drop off my cyclocross bike. This is a yearly thing where I have the bottom bracket bearing changed and everything checked and replaced as needed. From there I went back to Etc to get the fire extinguishers for the Petrel so I could put them back aboard in place (taking the dog in the skiff is always fun for him). And then it was home to do a little more shoveling of snow. I still have about an hour's worth to do. But I'm saving that for tomorrow during a break with the Guestletter.
I received a very generous $200.00 donation from Richard Payeur & Elinor Kostanski (FL) sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising cycling event with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Richard & Elinor have generously supported me in this event since I started in 2007. Thank you both so very much. I do so appreciate the help!
I spent the whole day running back and forth between Barnacle Billy's, Etc. restaurant and the home (Bunny Clark) office. I was trying to get the Guestletter done but kept having to go to the restaurant to open doors or check bills or consummate an advertising deal or, or, or. It seemed never ending. I did get a solid three hours in during the afternoon. And I got more done than expected in the morning. I stopped working a little before 5:00 PM.
I stayed inside working on the Guestletter most of the day, finishing the initial draft by 5:30 PM. Finally! I took a break and completed an hour of shoveling around the house and at my sister, Cathy's, house. And I had to check on things at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. a couple of times. But most of the day I was sitting at the desk, drinking too much coffee and letting everything else go in favor of the Guestletter.
And we have another storm coming up the coast for the weekend. If the same pattern persists, the wind will be mostly out of the north. And that is pretty much what it seems to me with air temperatures below 0°F. If we get over a foot of snow in this one it will be a true blizzard. And we may see the snow banks around here at historical highs. For a winter it hasn't been particularly snowy since we had none in November, December and half of January. But, at this rate, these storms are making up for lost time.
After finishing here on this "blog" and doing a complete proof on the Guestletter, I headed down to Barnacle Billy's, Etc. There I met Stu Dunn, our bar manager. We had to take up all the tiles behind the bar in the lounge to get at the water damage underneath. In so doing we had to take everything apart. I wanted to talk to Stu about improving the bar so that when we put shelving & sinks back in it would be more efficient back there. I worked down there from 10:00 AM until 12:30 PM.
Knowing the tide was perfect for running on the beach, it was cold and windy (but sunny), I hadn't eaten yet and the thought that I might not get a chance to run unless I went now, got Gill (our 14 month old border collie) and I prepared for it. Except for being cold and windy, it was perfect running right near the water. It was icy closer to the dunes. And Gill stayed with me the whole time. There was not another person there for the whole three mile run. So no distractions for the dog and no dead skates or birds either. I was back for lunch at 1:30 PM.
After lunch I worked on the Guestletter until I got it to the point where I could print it and present it to my proofers (Deb, my mother, Jared & Ian). I was done by 5:30 PM.
I started my day by shoveling, after I completed the fishing update and an hour core stuff. Knowing that it was going to be cold all week, I saved an hour of shoveling near the house for today. I've been too busy during the week when vendors and advertisers are trying to take all my time while I'm trying to get other things done. Luckily they go to sleep on the weekends.
I wanted to move my old Porsche out of the garage. That didn't happen. The battery was dead as a smelt. So in the process of digging my charger out of the corner of the garage where I keep it, I noticed my freezer had shit the bed. 1000 pounds of clams at almost $2/pound were ruined. So I hooked up the charger to the battery after I disconnected the leads and got that going. Afterward, I got a bunch of fish boxes out and started loading them up with spent clams. Each box must have weighed 140 pounds. But, with Deb's help, we levered them into the Bunny Clark truck. The B.C. truck has a longer bed than my black one. Then off to the transfer station. I was sorry to see all those clams go. Now I have to either fix the freezer or replace it. It would be hard to replace and holds exactly 3400 pounds of clams with every space utilized. If the dimensions of a new one are even slightly different, I could lose space for 6 or 700 pounds. Anyway, enough of that. I'm going to wait a while before I do that. I've got some research to do.
By 11:00 AM, the clams were dumped, the battery was still charging and I had to check on the restaurants and tie storm lines on the boats. The restaurants were fine. The Cove was loaded with one inch ice plates that didn't find their way out of the Cove after the harbor master broke ice at daylight. So it was tough getting the one storm line I needed to tie off the bow, out to the Petrel. My dog, Gill, was right with me. He stays so close to me in the stern that sometimes I hit him in the head with the oar while I am skulling. My son, Micah, and Alec Levine were also getting in a skiff to tie storm lines off Mike Parenteau's lobster boat, the Eileen K, just shortly afterward. Micah took this picture, below, from the float off the town dock with his iPhone.
I ended up tying the boats off. Kenneth offered to finish my jobs so I could get the dog in but it wasn't going to take me much longer anyway. And I wanted to cement the feelings into the dog so he wouldn't do it again. To Gill, who has never been in the ocean before, I'm sure he thought he could walk on the ice over to Micah. Well, now he knows. When we got back to the truck, I had to sacrifice one of the dry passenger seats to the dog who curled up immediately on the ride home. I got him out of the truck and spent a while detailing the drying of the dog before I would let him in the house.
After lunch, I took the pellet stove apart and detailed that as well. Once I got it going again, I brought Gill over to lie in front of it. He wanted nothing to do with it. Next, I worked on the Porsche, hooking the battery cables up and starting the car. I let it run for about a half hour. From there I went down to the Cove, did a little work in the office and washed all the fish boxes in the Kitchen. I wanted to get that clam juice smell off of them. I set them up to dry and pick up later tomorrow. I got home just in time to jump in the truck (3:20 PM) to drive to the movie theater to see American Sniper with Deb. When we came out, 5:45 PM, there was two inches of snow on the truck.
I spent the day shoveling: the boat, the skiff, the yard and the restaurants. I came up with a grand total of five and a half hours of shoveling. And that's about all I did.
After a quick morning update, I made a few calls, rounding up individuals to deal with the extra snow in places we normally don't have to worry about. I had a few emails to initiate. Then I worked on the Guestletter which I ended up completing the final proof in the afternoon and posting it a little later. I was glad to have that finished. The rest of the day was spent running around, making sure things were progressing at the restaurant and working off a check list I made yesterday. I finished what I wanted to do by 5:00 PM.
The day was spent running around doing engine things. Many calls were made back and forth with Power Products in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Most of the concern was establishing a two alternator system as I had with the other engine. The new engine is set up for it but you have to buy a kit in order to do so. But that's better than making up your own brackets as we did with the previous engine. The question was; could I used my alternators off the old engine. After many back and forths, it was determined that I couldn't. But carrying on with the engine, I solved shaft coupling problems, hydraulic pump challenges and engine mounting challenges. It was a full morning of that. I traveled to the Bunny Clark to meet with Dave Pease, Ian and Jared along with the mornings journey.
The afternoon was filled with busy work stuff: putting in another Penn order, changing day sheets, inventory sheets, emergency check lists and dealing with the old broken freezer. At 2:30 PM, I drove over to Ocean Graphics to get the new LFT stickers made (I'm working around a star pattern this year and replacing the cod found on every previous sticker with another species.), the new PMC shirts designed (the color picked - emergency green), the new Tackle Breakers shirts (color picked - a new shade of darker green) and signs made (things for the restaurants). Ocean Graphics also does all the lettering on the Bunny Clark which will have to be done again this year. But we are launching a little later than normal so I wasn't pushing it at this time.
I also spent some time at the restaurant working on advertising and printing.
I was done by about 5:15 PM.
I worked in the office at the house from 5:00 until 9:00 AM. From the house, I went to the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. I worked there until about lunch time. After running home, I made myself some sandwiches and drove to Portsmouth to pick up the new fuel lines that had been made up for me. From there I drove to the Bunny Clark to drop the fuel lines off. I talked with Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston about other items while I was at the boat. They had just finished painting with Awlgrip and were outside clearing snow around the barn until the fumes cleared out a bit more.
On the way back to Barnacle Billy's, I stopped to pick up an electrical plug. A couple weeks ago I couldn't get the sound out of the computer in the office. Come to find out, Gill, our dog, had chewed the plug end off the power cord to the computer speakers. I was probably concentrating on something else while the dog was bored to death waiting for me. [Now, when Gill knows I'm going into the office, he will get out of the truck but he won't cross the street. He will just give me that blank stare no matter how hard I call his name.] It wasn't something very important so I kept forgetting about it when going by the hardware store. Until now. In the process of putting a new plug on, I crossed the wires in the plug itself. So when I plugged the speakers in again, I blew a breaker. Do you think I could find the breaker switch for that part of the office? I looked around for an hour. Finally, I called Chuck MacDonald and, together, we sleuthed it out. The reason I couldn't find the breaker (out of the six panels we have in the building) was because the company that put in the Point of Sale system had used a double breaker that had been used for something else and then marked it in pencil where I couldn't see it. Chuck had remembered something about changing breakers. And that was the main reason we found it. But we did. And now I know. Let's see if I can remember it! Something tells me I won't forget. That little episode took me until 5:00 PM. I can't blame Gill for that one.
I rolled out of bed at 3:30 AM, took care of business, my business, and walked downstairs to the sound of the sump pump droning on. And on. I had my suspicions. And they were confirmed after I got down into the cellar and took things apart. The water line leading out of the house (for the sump pump) was frozen somewhere along. Of all the years we have been living here this has never happened. And it's not good. This because even if we clear the line it will freeze again. The reason is that the ground is frozen which won't allow water to creep into the basement - it runs into the basement in the spring, like a small stream. With very little water running into the basement there is very little time that the pump runs. When it doesn't run under these conditions, with the heavy snow pack, it gives the pipe a chance to freeze. And freeze it did. I worked on it for most of the morning but never solved the problem. It looks like I will have to run another line from a temporary pump until it's warm enough to address. I can't do anything about it until tomorrow.
In the meantime, I elicited my son (Micah), Thacher Parenteau, Alec Levine and Sam Robichaud's help to shovel roofs and clear a path closest to the house where the sump pump is located. For two guys it took an hour to shovel a path close to the pump. In the meantime, I shoveled an area where the sump water exits. I could not find the end of the pipe, for whatever reason. Once those two things were accomplished, the guys shoveled the roof of the garage (it's flat), the roof over the work shop, the roof near the kitchen, the yard, the bulkhead to the cellar and around the generator. I wanted to make sure that if we had rain the house wouldn't come down around our ears. As it is, there are ice dams on all edges of the roof except the eastern side.
I also had a financial meeting that took an hour an a half with my mother, in the middle of all the hoopla and shoveling. And I had some time in the office as I normally do. It was a day of stepping back. You know, two forward and one back. Lately, it has seemed like one forward and two back.
Mark & Maureen LaRocca (NY) gave a very generous donation of $500.00 to support my fund raising charge with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Mark & Maureen have always supported me generously every year since I started. They feel as strongly about this as I do. And I certainly appreciate their help. Thank you both so very much!
At 8:30 AM, our plumber, Fred Fornier, dropped off a spare sump pump with hose enough to run a new lead out a basement window and to the ground outside. Bob Forbes and company (Katherine?) showed up and worked on the broken bait freezer. A capacitor had gone, allowing the fan to run but stopping the condenser from functioning. This unit was built in 1968! We'll see how she functions when the new capacitor arrives. Meanwhile, Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston were taking parts and materials out of the house to bring back and install on the Bunny Clark. They are getting ahead of things to get more done before the new engine arrives. We also had a meeting on different subjects ranging from ordering supplies to reel parts.
At 9:45 AM, I was free to work with my brother, Court, Chuck MacDonald and Richie Jeffers about the flooring behind the lounge bar at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. That took a half hour. I worked in the office there until lunch. A good part of the time was spent on advertising. This included finding some of the best pictures my daughter, Halley, took of Barnacle Billy's in full functioning seasonal swing.
I worked primarily in the office on Bunny Clark stuff until 5:00 PM, ending with a long conversation with Ian Keniston. It seemed like another day of stepping back. But, in fact, I did get some good things accomplished.
My sister, Meg, sent me a link to something you might find a bit funny or odd. This video was filmed partly at Barnacle Billy's four years ago. You will note that the Ugly Anne was still working out of Perkins Cove when this was filmed: Maine Man Song
I spent the day organizing and running around. This after a slow start getting the update done. One thing I had to do was get the Bunny Clark truck looked at. The truck is a 2011 GMC. I've replaced the battery in it twice. Both times it was covered under warrantee. Both times they told me it was a fault battery cell. Now I'm having the same trouble again. I leave the truck for two days and can't start it. So I brought it over to the dealership today after explaining all this over the phone. I had a list of things I needed to get in Portsmouth so I combined the two. I like Saturdays because I don't get side tracked so much with people wanting something from me.
I received another nice donation from Bill Parsons (MA) sponsoring me in my quest for a cancer free world with the Pan-Mass Challenge. His donation was $100.00 via "egift" through the PMC web site. He also donated the end of last year for the 2014 season. Thank you, Bill. Very much appreciated.
After getting all the computer work done (this update & emails), I started on the snow. It was a perfect day for shoveling and clearing snow. With the above freezing temperatures, zero wind and warm sun, it was a time to get the snow cover off places to remove ice. Although I had over an hour of shoveling at the house first, I detailed the boat (Petrel) for an hour. After a couple of hours, I went back to the boat and was able to remove all the ice as well. I was done with the snow project by 12:30 PM.
After lunch I started on my sump pump at the house. A couple of trips to the hardware store and two hours of plumbing and carpentry work and I had a new sump pump in place. I had to take a basement window out, build an insulated box around the window and run an exit line through the box to the outside. Then I made a dedicated breaker switch to that pump so we could control it from inside the house (it's a pain in the neck to go to the basement through the outside bulkhead all the time).
My day was done by 5:00 PM.
Today was a mix of running around, organizing, phone calls, new engine stuff and typical Monday madness. By 8:30 AM, I was at the Bunny Clark in a meeting with Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston. I worked in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. from about 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM. After lunch we had a meeting with lawyers - routine stuff.
I went for a run on the beach at 5:30 PM. It was almost dark but plenty light enough to see the color on the houses I ran by in Moody. Gill, the faithful, was by my side. Except for a dog distraction at the onset, Gill (our border collie) ran close by my side most of the way. It was only 9°F but I dressed for it and was plenty warm enough. The sand was icy, though, as the receding tide had frozen before sinking into the sand.