At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 53°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was very light out of the south and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. I was told that the high temperature in Perkins Cove today was 67°F - pretty good for so late in October!
We had to punch through two to three foot seas (chops) on our way to the fishing grounds. I cut the cruising speed back a little bit just to make it a more comfortable ride. Winds were about fifteen knots from the south. And it had been blowing a bit since the day before. On the grounds, the wind had dropped to about six or seven knots with a one to two foot (mostly left over) chop. We had light southerly winds for most of the day with a sea in chops of a foot or two. The southerly wind picked up velocity after noon. Wind speeds ranged from fifteen to almost twenty knots. This wind, too, back off a bit for the ride home. Seas were two to three feet when the wind was the strongest. The sky alternated between mostly sunny skies to overcast skies. From time to time we got a light rain shower. But this wasn' t even enough to make one feel like they needed to don oil gear. Except for the periods of rain, the visibility ranged from fifteen to twenty miles in some haze. The air temperature was mild with a high reading in the shake of 58°F. The tide was light to moderate. The surface water temperature reached a high of 52.8°F. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 65°F (with a low of 52°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 73°F with a low of 52°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 69°F (with a low of 50°F).
Except for the first three spots where we caught a total of one fish, the fishing was very good - if you included mackerel and sub-legal pollock. I don't think the Bunny Clark has ever seen so many mackerel landed on an offshore trip. And we caught sub-legal pollock everywhere we went. I was unable to count the number of sub-legal pollock we released. There were just too many. Most legal groundfish landed were pollock, by far. Legal landings also included four cusk, two white hake, sixteen good sized whiting and two monkfish. Released fish included thirty or more mackerel, a redfish, four dogfish, twenty-three haddock (mostly too small), six market cod to 6 pounds, one small porbeagle shark, one torpedo ray and one big porbeagle shark or bluefin. We anchored and drift fished. Everyone used jig sticks, jigs and cod flies.
Either Dana "Thumbs" Decormier (NH) or his son, Jack Decormier (NH), was high hook with the most legal fish. They were the only two fishing in the bow. Dana won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 27.25 Maine state trophy pollock. This is the Bunny Clark's second largest pollock of the fishing season to date, only the third trophy pollock that we have landed this season and Dana's largest pollock ever. Also, Dana caught this fish as part of a double keeper catch that also included a 9 pound pollock, both fish caught on the same line at the same time! This double is the third largest double keeper catch that has been landed on the Bunny Clark this season so far. Dana's second largest fish was a 17 pound pollock. He also caught quite a few pollock that I didn't weigh in the 10 pound range. And he lost the largest fish of the day, a big porbeagle shark or a bluefin tuna, when the fish started taking line and Dana exerted a little more pressure than needed with the thumbs! In all fairness to Dana, though, it also looked like the fish took the fly and chaffed off the end of the fly loop. But in the spirit of the abuse so generously ladled out to regular anglers on the Bunny Clark, I think "Thumbs" has a nice ring to it! Don't you? Jack's four best fish included a double that included two pollock of exactly 13 pounds each and two pollock of 11 pounds each caught singly. Both Jack and Thumbs also caught a pile of mackerel and four good sized whiting to 2 pounds.
Buddha Hayes (MA) won his second boat pool in a row in two trips for the largest fish of the trip, a 60 pound (electric) torpedo ray. This is the first torpedo ray that has been landed on the Bunny Clark this season. It's also the third largest torpedo ray that has ever been landed on the Bunny Clark. If you aren't careful the torpedo ray can give you a heck of an electric shock if this fish hasn't discharged before landing it. Thankfully, I was the only one to get a shock from it today. I was sliding it out the tuna door back into the ocean thinking that my thin rubber gloves would save me. The gloves didn't save me but the fish must have been pretty well discharged by that time because it wasn't that strong. It did surprise me, though. I took picture of Buddha holding this ray by the tail strap just before releasing it alive. This digital image appears on the right. Buddha's largest pollock weighed 14 pounds.
The third largest fish was a 27 pound porbeagle shark caught by George Berne (MA). This was his first trip deep sea fishing. So much was new to him. He caught the shark late in the day. I thought it was a pollock as he caught it on the bottom. When the fish came up, the line angled out away from the boat on the surface. This also made me think it was a big pollock floating up until I saw the dorsal and tail fin stick out of the water! We ended up getting the fish aboard, took a quick picture and weighed it before letting it go. George had hooked this shark right in the corner of the jaw with one of the new single hook Lavjigs that Fish-On Tackle has been making for me. So it was easy to get the hook out and release it back into the ocean. I took a picture of George, his shark and the new Lavjig used to catch it. This digital image appears on the left. Again, like yesterday, the shark had a sore mouth but I'm sure the fish will survive. George landed the hard luck award t-shirt for getting the most tangled lines!
Other Angler Highlights: Chuck Lennon (MA) caught the first good double of the day. His double included a 13 pound pollock and a 12 pound pollock. Jon "Griff" Griffin (MA) caught a 3 pound Maine state trophy whiting. This is the third trophy whiting of the Bunny Clark fishing season. It's been many years since we have landed three trophy whiting in one season. Griff's fish is the third largest whiting caught on the Bunny Clark this season to date. Some of Griff's other good fish included a 16 pound pollock and a 13.5 pound pollock. Herman Guyton (PA) caught the second best double keeper catch of the trip. His double included a 21.25 pound pollock and a 7 pound pollock. Gus Carter (PA) caught a 17 pound pollock and a 12 pound pollock, his two biggest fish. Ray Westermann (MA) landed a 12 pound pollock, his biggest fish of the trip. Ted Harris (PA) released the biggest haddock of the trip. It probably weighed 4 pounds. His two largest fish of the day included an 11.5 pound pollock and a 13.5 pound pollock. Jay Webster (MA), on his first trip aboard the Bunny Clark, caught a 10 pound pollock, his biggest fish. Wobby Barnes (MA), veteran of many Bunny Clark fishing trips, also caught a 10 pound pollock as his largest fish.
Buddha Hayes gave me another $25.00 donation supporting me in my cancer fund raising efforts with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Thank you a second time, Buddha. I certainly appreciate that support!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 49°F, the sky was clear with a bright Venus, Jupiter and Mars in an equidistant line over the eastern horizon, the wind was blowing out of the west at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. By 9:00 AM, the air temperature had dropped to 43°F, the sky was overcast and the wind had hauled out of the northwest at twenty knots. The wind continued to haul clockwise to the north and then northeast by late afternoon. By late morning, the sky had cleared. The air temperature was cool with a high of about 50°F sometime during the day in Ogunquit. The air temperature was in the mid 50°F after midnight this morning. The sky was clear with some clouds and sun. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 54°F (with a low of 35°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 59°F with a low of 40°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 53°F (with a low of 27°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the north at fifteen to twenty knots with higher gusts. Seas were two to four feet to begin and three to five feet in the afternoon, chops all. The sky was overcast in the morning, clear after noon. The air temperature ranged from 46°F to 50°F in the shade. The tide (current) was moderate. The visibility was excellent. The surface water temperature reached a high of 52.5°F.
The fishing was good overall, much like yesterday but with more pollock and no mackerel or whiting. The pollock were smaller in general and there were less sub-legal pollock as well. Most legal fish landed were pollock. Legal landings included two monkfish and two squirrel hake. Released fish included one porbeagle shark, nine market cod (7 or 8 pounds the biggest), six haddock (mostly small) and one sculpin. Anchoring was the boating method. Jigs and cod flies caught the most fish.
Ray Westermann (MA) was high hook with the most legal fish. His largest fish was a 15 pound pollock caught as a double keeper catch with another pollock of 8 pounds, both fish caught on the same line at the same time. The 15 pound pollock tied for the second largest fish of the trip. Bruce Goldschmitt (MA) tied with Ray, also catching a pollock of 15 pounds. Some of Ray's other good fish included a 10 pound pollock, a 14.5 pound pollock and a 12 pound pollock.
Henry O'Shaughnessy (MA) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 29 pound sub-legal porbeagle shark. The shark was foul hooked in the pectoral fin. Ian was able to grab the fin and swing it aboard. Ian didn't take a picture of the shark as Henry and friends had cameras. Once that was done, the shark was released alive with hardly a wound to show for it. Henry's biggest pollock weighed 14 pounds. He also caught one that Ian weighed in at 12 pounds.
Other Angler Highlights: Chris Roy (NH) caught a pollock of 12.5 pounds, his largest fish. Ed Dwyer (NH) caught a 14 pound pollock. John Russell (ME) landed a 13 pound pollock, his largest fish. Ken Boyer (NH) landed an 11 pound pollock. Bob Barber (MA) caught the fourth largest fish, a 14.5 pound pollock. Cory Fahey (ME) landed a pollock of 11 pounds, his largest fish of the trip. Jon Griffin (MA) landed the largest of the two monkfish caught today. Griff's monk weighed 6 pounds, a tie for the sixth largest monkfish caught on the Bunny Clark this season to date. Travis Legendre (NH) landed the hard luck award for the way the motion of the ocean treated his equilibrium while anchored.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 33°F, the sky was clear with a bright Venus, Jupiter and Mars getting closer together over the eastern horizon, the wind was blowing out of the northeast at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The wind blew out of the northeast up to fifteen knots for the first couple hours of the morning and then started to back off. By noon, there was hardly any wind at all. The wind remained light for the rest of the day, not even lifting a flag. So much for a windy day prediction. The air temperature was cool all day, warming ever so slightly into the night. I saw a high of 46°F during the day in Ogunquit. By sunrise, the sky had become overcast. The sky remained overcast for the day. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 47°F (with a low of 29°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 49°F with a low of 38°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 45°F (with a low of 22°F).
After much office work for both the Bunny Clark and Barnacle Billy's restaurant, I spend the day at both restaurants talking to tables and making sure things went smoothly on this, our last Saturday of being open at Barnacle Billy's original. I ended up getting home at 9:30 PM.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was surprisingly mild 49°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was blowing out of the south at twenty knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good. It started to rain just after 6:00 AM. It rained periodically until about 9:30 AM, when it stopped for good. We had no rain for the rest of th day. The sky remained overcast until 2:30 PM, partly sunny until 4:00 PM and mostly clear after that. The wind continued strong out of the south with wind gusts to twenty-five knots at 7:00 AM. Winds diminished during the morning. By noon, the wind was light from the southwest. In fact, all afternoon there very little wind. Before sunset, the wind hauled out of the northwest. The air temperature was mild all day with a high temperature of 62°F in Perkins Cove. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 62°F (with a low of 45°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 63°F with a low of 48°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 62°F (with a low of 42°F).
Depite the rainy weather in the morning, it was busy in Perkins Cove. It was the last day of Ogunquitfest weekend with activities, particularly the high heel race, in Perkins Cove. It was also the closing day at Barnacle Billy's. All afternoon and evening I shook hands and said goodbye to many of our regular patrons who I have come to know and enjoy over the summer. Summers are way too short. It was fun and sad at the same time.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 38°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the south at twenty knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good. By sunrise, the wind had dropped to zero (velocity). Fifteen minutes later, the wind was blowing lightly out of the northwest. This wind picked up speed to fifteen knots but then dropped to just about nothing after noon. We had no wind ashore for the rest of the day. And it couldn't have been too bad offshore as a few of the lobstermen (who left before sunrise) were still out at sunset. The sky was mostly sunny all day. The visibility was excellent. The air temperature reached a high of at least 55°F. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 54°F (with a low of 35°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 52°F with a low of 43°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 55°F (with a low of 31°F).
I spent the day organizing cleanup, in the Bunny Clark office, working on a big repair project (for the winter) at Barnacle Billy's, working at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. (restaurant) and punching in orders there. While at "Etc.", I worked the floor, said goodbye to customers who won't be back this year and surrounded myself with best wait staff we have probably ever had. It was a busy day that went way too quickly. I never did get chance to jump on the bike even though I was up working at 3:30 AM in the hopes of doing so. At the end of the season there is just too much to do!
I left the restaurant at 5:00 PM to get ready for the marathon fishing trip tomorrow. Gill, my dog, and I spent an hour working on the Bunny Clark, loading gear, checking the engine and going back home. From there, Gill and I ran back down to the Cove to retrieve the Bunny Clark truck and bring her home.
I received a very nice donation of $30.00 supporting me in my quest for a cancer free world through a cycling event I have been completing the last nine years called the Pan-Mass Challenge. This donation came from Michael & Kerry Mithen (MA), wonderful people and regular patrons of Barnacle Billy's. Thank you both very much for your donation. I do so appreciate you thinking of me with this!
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 31°F, the sky was clear, there was no wind and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. Ashore in Ogunquit, there was very little wind but it was cool all day, the high temperature somewhere around 53°F. It was sunny most of the day.
We had a light chop all the way to the fishing grounds. Winds were ten knots or more out of the northeast. On the grounds, the wind blew out of the northeast at ten knots to start but quickly diminished. Seas were chops of a foot or more at most. The wind kept hauling out of a different direction as the day progressed, always clockwise and never more than ten knots. The wind would always die before changing direction. At the end of the day the wind was blowing out of the southwest at five knots or so with a very light chop. We carried this wind direction and wind speed all the way back to Perkins Cove. Basically, it was calm all day. The air temperature was on the cool side of mild with a range of 45°F to 52°F. The tide (current) was light to moderate. The sky was mostly sunny, cloudless for most of the morning. The visibility ranged to about thirty nautical miles. The surface water temperature reached a high of 52.0°F. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 52°F (with a low of 28°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 54°F with a low of 38°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 53°F (with a low of 23°F).
The fishing was fair to good overall. The size of the fish was very good, on average but the bite was just fair overall. The morning was just a pick, we couldn't buy a fish from late morning until the early afternoon and the late afternoon was good fishing. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Legal landings also included fifteen white hake, four whiting, a mackerel and three squirrel hake. Released fish included three haddock, one market cod and one dogfish. We drift fished all day. Every angler used a jig stick with a jig and a cod fly (or two) above the jig.
I believe that Paul Pearson (NH) was high hook with the most legal fish. However, there were a few, like Larry Kabat (NH), who were right behind him. Paul won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 23 pound white hake. I took an iPhone picture of Paul with his fish. This digital image appears on the left. Paul also caught the third largest fish, a 21.25 pound pollock. His big pollock and bigger hake are the largest of each species that Paul has ever caught. Most of his good fish were pollock including the best double keeper catch of the trip. His double included a 14.75 pound pollock and a 13.5 pound pollock, both fish caught on the same line at the same time! Some of his other good fish included a 13 pound pollock, a 10.25 pound white hake, a 16 pound pollock, a 17 pound pollock, a 12.5 pound pollock and a 12 pound pollock. It was a good day to be Paul Pearson!
Larry Kabat won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 24 pound white hake. Some of his other good fish included two pollock of 13 pounds each, two pollock of 15 pounds each, a 17 pound pollock, a 16 pound white hake, a 12 pound pollock and a 14.5 pound pollock.
Other Angler Highlights: Fred Kunz caught the fourth largest fish, a 21 pound white hake. Some of his other good fish included two pollock of 13 pounds each, a 12 pound pollock, a 12.5 pound pollock, a 12.5 pound white hake, an 18 pound pollock and an 18.5 pound white hake. Fred was, by far, the most productive fisherman in the last hour of the day. Quentin Tonelli (ME) landed the fifth largest fish, a 20.5 pound pollock. Quentin also caught two pollock of 15 pounds each, a 14 pound white hake, two pollock of 13 pounds each and a 14.25 pound white hake. Bryan Locke (ME) landed a 16.5 pound pollock, his largest fish. He also caught a 13.25 pound white hake, an 11 pound pollock, a 14 pound pollock, a 14 pound white hake and a 13.5 pound pollock. He also landed the hard luck award for losing two jigs! I fished for a bit and only caught two pollock of decent size, a 17 pounder and a 12 pounder. Most of the time I was working the deck or weighing fish.
Larry Kabat did me a solid today by donating $50.00 to my Pan-Mass Challenge cycling cancer fund raiser today. Thank you so much, Larry. I appreciate the support and your patronage on the Bunny Clark.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 33°F, the sky was overcast, there was no wind and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The wind was the salient feature of the day. Light from the northeast at 7:00 AM, it hauled into the east and east southeast by mid-afternoon to over twenty knots. Twenty knots sustained was the rule until 9:00 PM when the wind hauled out of the southeast. From then on, the rain came down, the wind had hauled out of the southeast and the velocity of this wind had increased to thirty knots sustained. The wind and rain battered the windows here at the house through the night and into the early morning. The high temperature in Ogunquit was about 53°F during the day. It was 48°F by 6:00 PM. But I'm sure the temperature rose as this sub-tropical system moved into our region. The visibility ranged down to poor when rain showed up around 2:00 PM. We had light rain through the night until the heavy stuff arrived late. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 59°F (with a low of 29°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 65°F with a low of 42°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 59°F (with a low of 27°F).
I spent the day at Barnacle Billy's restaurants, mostly in the office.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 60°F, the sky was overcast, a light rain was falling, the wind was blowing out of the south at twenty to twenty-five knots and the visibility over the ocean was good in precipitation. It rained periodically, a light rain mostly, until around 10:30 AM, when it stopped altogether. The sky was mostly cloudy until noon. After noon, the sun came out, the clouds cleared away and the air temperature rose. By 2:00 PM, the air temperature was 73°F. It was a beautiful summer day but it looked like fall with the leaves everywhere on the road and the trees having lost their fall luster. The wind continued to blow out of the south up to twenty knots for most of the morning. This wind died by early afternoon and then hauled out of the west. The westerly wind had no teeth, however. And by sunset, the flags were limp. The seas breaking on the shore were at least ten feet. That made for great viewing on the Marginal Way in Ogunquit. After the morning, the visibility was excellent. At midnight, the wind blew almost thirty knots from the west. But this must have been a front coming through. An hour later, the wind had dropped to fifteen knots. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 73°F (with a low of 53°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 75°F with a low of 57°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 76°F (with a low of 50°F).
In the early morning, this morning, the rain came down in sheets, covering the street drains and, subsequently, flooding Barnacle Billy's (original). I was awake and thought of calling Danny Neumann, working at the restaurant, cleaning. This was at 2:00 AM. My thoughts were that I would be bothering him. I thought he would check to make sure the rain water didn't get into the restaurant. It wouldn't normally be so bad. But this time of year, the leaves clog the street drains. The water can't leave the road through the three drains in front of the restaurant. The result brings water into the restaurant and fills the dining room floor, bringing dirt and leaves with it. Well, Danny wasn't watching the road. And I shouldn't have assumed that he would know. Today he was rushing the cleaning so he could take his wife to the doctor's at 7:00 AM. The result, of course, was described a few sentences back. The chairs and the tables were sitting in a small pond in the dining room complete with leaves and dirt. There probably wasn't enough water to go over the soles of a Hoka running shoe. But there was certainly enough to get your toes wet if you were wearing flip flops!
I got a text from Danny at 5:00 AM. I was sitting at the desk at home working on this report when I heard the news. Danny was a bit flustered when I got there. But I told him that he uses water to clean the floor periodically, it's fresh water so the casters on the chairs won't be hurt and using the wet vac, as he was doing at the time I arrived, would take care of it. He was fine after I left. His wife went alone to the doctor's. And another lesson was learned, both by me and Danny. I will try not to assume again.
The rest of the day went fairly well. A lot of year end financial stuff had to be completed. I've been working on that all week anyway. Only a few more days and all will be complete. I worked on that, did my normal restaurant meet/greet and all the other duties associated with my life at Barnacle Billy's. Later, (7:00 PM) Deb and I had our last meal at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. The restaurant closes on Sunday night.
Today's trip was canceled yesterday. We had no requests for reservations and the weather forecast wasn't conducive to making any either.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 48°F, the sky was clear with plenty of stars and an almost full moon lighting the landscape, the wind was blowing out of the west at twenty to twenty-five knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The wind blew out of the northwest most of the day. Wind speeds reached thirty knots. And I was just as happy to be ashore. It was cool all day with air temperature readings in the mid 50°s for a high. I never did get a look at the thermometer today. The sky was clear. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 58°F (with a low of 31°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 61°F with a low of 42°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 56°F (with a low of 33°F).
My morning was consumed with completing boat and restaurant projects. I had to stay at the restaurant until 8:30 AM to take calls from vendors and keep the building open. I was the only one there. No one was coming in at our next door restaurant so it was all me. Afterward, I went to pick up a radar that had been repaired in York, Maine. I had an insurance meeting at 10:30 AM. When the meeting was over, I installed the repaired radar - all worked fine. I was back in the restaurant shortly after noon. I was done for the day by 8:30 PM.
The Boston Bruins looked good tonight. I didn't stay up to watch the whole game.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 31°F, the sky was clear with Mars, Jupiter and Venus hanging over the eastern horizon, there was no wind and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The day turned out to be a beautiful sunny day of fall flavor. Winds were light out of the southwest all morning, ten knots at most. After noon, the wind hauled out of the south and increased gradually. By 2:30 PM, the southerly wind was blowing about ten knots and white caps were showing up on the ocean. There was a little more wind after sunset. The sky was sunny for most of the day. Clouds started creeping in around 4:00 PM. By sunset, the sky was overcast. The sky remained overcast for the rest of the evening. The air temperature never made it much higher than 53°F. In fact, that might have been the highest it got in Ogunquit. The visibility remained excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 51°F (with a low of 27°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 52°F with a low of 38°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 55°F (with a low of 26°F).
Today was very much a routine day with no much out of the ordinary. I worked in both the Bunny Clark office and the office at Barnacle Billy's. I worked in the restaurant from around noon until 8:30 PM. I was in bed by 9:00 PM. Not very much to tell.
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was 45°F, the sky was overcast, it was raining lightly and had been raining for a good part of the early morning, the wind was blowing out of the southwest at twelve knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good despite the precipitation. It continued to rain lightly until 7:30 AM, when it stopped, pretty much, for good. We still had overcast skies all morning. And it was damp, drizzly and humid so it felt like it was still lightly raining even close to 10:00 AM. By noon, you could see that the clouds were breaking up. By 4:00 PM, the sky was cloudless overhead but out to sea, to the east, there were still some clouds on the horizon. The sky remained clear into the night. The wind on the shore blew out of the south at fifteen knots or more most of the day. By 3:00 PM, the wind was backing way off. There was very little wind by 5:00 PM. The visibility remained very good to excellent. The air temperature got up as high as 57°F. I never looked at a thermometer to find the air temperature any higher. But, at one time, it felt like the air temperature was 60°F at least. It could have been! The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 58°F (with a low of 44°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 62°F with a low of 48°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 61°F (with a low of 41°F).
On the fishing grounds, Captain Ian reported winds out of the south southwest at fifteen knots or more to start and dropping to five knots near the end of the fishing. Seas were chops of two to four feet. The tide (current) was strong. The air temperature remained at 54°F. The sky was overcast most of the day, clearing on the ride in. The visibility was excellent, over twenty miles. The surface water temperature reached a high of 52°F.
The fishing was good to very good overall. They had one excellent bite on pollock and one very good bite on haddock. The catching was steady all day long. Most legal fish landed were haddock followed closely by pollock. Legal landings also included one butter mullet and three mackerel. Released fish included six sub-legal haddock, a few sub-legal pollock, eleven dogfish and fourteen small market sized cod. They drift fished and anchored depending on the spot. All terminal gear worked well. Bait caught the most haddock (and dogfish) while jigs and cod flies caught the most pollock.
Ray Clark (VT) was high hook with the most legal fish. Included in his catch were two pollock of 14 pounds each, an 11 pound pollock, an 18.5 pound pollock and a 16 pound pollock. The 18.5 pound pollock was the second largest fish of the trip. The 16 pound pollock tied for the third largest fish with three other anglers. David Sapiel (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 21.5 pound pollock. He caught this as a double keeper catch with another pollock of 13 pounds, both fish caught on the same line at the same time! This is the Bunny Clark's sixth largest double keeper catch of the season to date! And this was David's first time deep sea fishing! There were three other anglers who tied for the third largest fish with a 16 pound pollock. Those anglers included Lewis Hazelwood (MA), Randy Clark (VT) and Kevin Albert (ME). Lewis caught his 16 pound pollock as a double with another pollock of 10 pounds. Lewis also caught a 15 pound pollock.
Other Angler Highlights: Darric Hammond (ME) caught three really good doubles. His doubles included an 11 pound pollock with a 13.5 pound pollock, a 12 pound pollock with an 8 pound pollock and a 15.5 pound pollock with a 13 pound pollock. Ted Cote (ME) landed the first pollock big enough to weigh, an 11 pound pollock. He also caught a 10 pound pollock. Tim Rozan (ME) boated an 11.5 pound pollock, the largest pollock of his that Ian weighed. Steve Watson (ME) caught a 12 pound pollock and a 15.5 pound pollock, his two biggest fish. Darrell Lyford (ME) landed the hard luck award for getting the most tangled lines. Oh, he caught a few fish too!
Tim Rozan & Lewis Hazelwood donated $50.00 to help me in my cancer fund raising drive with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. They have passed me many donations this season. I haven't added them all up but it has to be over $200.00. Thank you so very much for your support and sponsorship. You have been very thoughtful and kind to those cancer patients who need it the most!
At 3:00 AM EST the air temperature was 47°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the west at fifteen knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. Ashore, I heard that the air temperature got up to 65°F and most of the morning and afternoon showed light winds and a calm ocean. The sky was sunny and clear all day. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 64°F (with a low of 47°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 64°F with a low of 51°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 65°F (with a low of 32°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the west up to fifteen knots (or slightly more) with seas of two to three feet in chops. The ride out was not uncomfortable. As the day progressed, the wind hauled from westerly to northwest. The northwest wind blew about fifteen knots for about an hour then started to die around 10:00 AM. By noon, the wind was still blowing out of the northwest but it was very light. By 1:00 PM, we had very little wind and calm seas with a left over small chop roll. I never did look at the thermometer but I can tell you that the air temperature was mild. The sky was clear and sunny all day. The visibility was excellent. The tide (current) went from fairly strong to light. The surface water temperature reached a high of 52.5°F after struggling out of a low of 51.3°F early in the morning.
The fishing was very good overall. The bite was excellent in the morning and fair to good in the afternoon. But since there was much more morning than afternoon, I put the day's success in the "very good" category. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. For pollock, we saw the largest average size of any previous trip this season. In fact, I weighed very few fish under 14 pounds just because there were too many of them to keep up with. Because of this some of the anglers didn't get all the credit they deserved for numbers of fish over 10 pounds. Legal landings also included fifty haddock, five good sized redfish, two cusk, twenty or so mackerel, one monkfish, seven whiting, two squirrel hake and one blackback flounder. Released fish included nineteen small market cod to 7 or 8 pounds, sixty-eight haddock of sub-legal or small legal size, ten dogfish, a sculpin, an undetermined number of sub-legal pollock and a whiting and some mackerel. Most of the day was spent drifting but we did anchor twice. All terminal gear worked well.
There is no way I could officially know who was high hook but both Ian, Jared and I felt that it was Captain Bill Wagner (NH). Bill is best known as the Captain and former owner of the Lady Patricia, one of the premiere deep sea fishing party boats in our area. Today he caught our largest triple keeper catch of the season. Actually, it is the only triple keeper catch of the Bunny Clark fishing season that I know of. His catch included a 13.5 pound pollock, a 16 pound pollock and a 17 pound pollock, all three fish caught on the same line at the same time! And, yes, in all fairness, he was using two cod flies above a jig. So it's a rig that most anglers would not be using on the Bunny Clark anyway. But, still, some anglers do and this was the first and last big triple of the season. Some of his other good fish included a 19 pound pollock, a 16 pound pollock, a 16.5 pound pollock, a 3 or 4 pound monkfish (estimate - he released it) and a double that included a 17 pound pollock and a 10 pound pollock. Bill also caught a lot of haddock, most released alive, including some legal ones.
Cliff Kruger (MA) caught the largest fish of the trip, a 24 pound pollock. This is a tie for the fifth largest pollock of the 2015 Bunny Clark fishing season. And it's also Cliff's largest pollock ever. Cliff did not enter the boat pool. Some of his other good fish included a 14.25 pound pollock, a 15.5 pound pollock and a double keeper catch that included a 14 pound pollock and a 12 pound pollock. Gene Specyalski (NH) won the boat for the largest fish with the second largest fish, a 22.5 pound pollock. This is the eleventh largest pollock of the Bunny Clark fishing season. Tony Palumbo (MA) and Steve Conway (NH) shared the boat pool for the second and third largest fish of the trip with two fish that tied for the third largest fish of the trip. Both Tony and Steve caught a 20.5 pound pollock each. Steve caught his as a double with another pollock of 13 pounds. This comes in as the seventh largest double keeper catch of the Bunny Clark fishing season for 2015. He also caught a double that included a 14 pound pollock and a 12.25 pound pollock and another pollock that weighed 15 pounds. Tony caught a double that included an 18.5 pound pollock and a 7 pound pollock, his most significant double of the day. He caught a lot of pollock. Some of the other fish of Tony's that I weighed included a 16.25 pound pollock, a 12 pound pollock, a 16.5 pound pollock and a 13 pound pollock.
Other Angler Highlights: Dean Batel (ME) caught the first fish that I could weigh, a 16 pound pollock. His largest fish of the trip was an 18.5 pound pollock. Jim Feeney (MA) caught quite a few fish. I only weighed three of them. They included a 14 pound pollock, a 14.75 pound pollock and a 15 pound pollock. Larry Kabat (NH) caught a 13 pound pollock. His largest fish of the trip was a pollock that weighed 20 pounds. Jerry Dorval (MA) landed a 19.25 pound pollock, his largest fish. Some of his other good fish included a 15.25 pound pollock and two pollock of 13 pounds each. Dave Harris (MA) caught a 19 pound pollock, his largest fish of the trip. I believe he had a bigger fish on but ended up breaking the line at the dropper loop, losing both jig and fly in the process long before the fish (or two fish) were lifted off the bottom. He did catch the 19 pound pollock as part of a double keeper catch with another pollock of 7 pounds. Some of Dave's other good fish included a 17.75 pound pollock, a 15 pound pollock and an 18 pound pollock. Charlie Harris (MA) caught the most 9 pound pollock of the trip, mostly where everyone else was catching the bigger ones! He did manage to get a couple good ones including a 16 pound pollock, his biggest, and a 12.25 pound pollock.
Al Andrejcak (ME) caught a 13 pound pollock. I believe this was his biggest but I could be wrong. Don Johnson (MA) caught a 13.5 pound pollock and a 15 pound pollock. He too might have caught bigger fish that I didn't weigh. He caught quite a few haddock. Steve Brown (ME) also did well on the haddock. It's his specialty as long as he doesn't drop his rod overboard! His best catch of the day was a double that included a 16 pound pollock and a 17 pound pollock. This is a tie for the ninth largest double keeper catch of the Bunny Clark fishing season. Todd Morrison (ME) landed a 16 pound pollock, his largest fish. Jay Arsenault (NH) landed a 14.5 pound pollock. I'm sure he caught other fish around that size range or slightly bigger that I could have weighed and didn't. But he did win the hardest luck of the day award for excessive tangling and for being the most vocal about that situation!
I received three donations supporting my cancer fund raising efforts with the Jimmy Fund through the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Jim Feeney donated $50.00, Don Johnson gave $20.00 and Chris Porter (MA) who donated a very generous $2,000.00 in honor of his friend and business partner, Conrad Wojtkowski (MA), who is fighting the disease as I write this. Thank you all so very much for your support. I am reminded, by Jay Arsenault, that I may not know as much as I should about fighting cancer (this is my take out of an interesting discussion we had on the way in tonight) but, for all my research, it's the best I know how to do right now and certainly the best medical center in the country to put your money.
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was 39°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the east at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. By 7:00 AM, there was no wind and the ocean was calm. For the last half of the morning the wind blew out southwest at almost ten knots at it's peak velocity. By noon, the wind had started to drop again. There was no wind by sunset. The ocean was calm all day. The air temperature rose at a steady rate. By 9:00 AM, it was already 47°F. Between 1:00 and 2:00 PM, the air temperature was 70°F. I don't believe it got any higher than that. The visibility was excellent. The sky remained mostly clear and sunny all day. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 64°F (with a low of 35°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 73°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 73°F (with a low of 31°F).
I got up early and worked at the desk here at home until 8:00 AM. I spent an hour more down at the restaurants touching base with the cleanup crew and the drivers and shakers. Actually, it's a mellow crew down there right now.
Once I was satisfied all was going in the right direction, I went home, got suited up, jumped on the bike and rode to Kennebunkport to ride with Jonathan Cartwright and friends for 50 miles round trip. Jonathan is a great rider. I started riding with him a couple of years ago. He's faster than I am, always. But not too fast. Close. I remind myself that Jonathan is also sixteen years younger than I am. He was the head chef at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport for years. Now he is working as a consultant in Vancouver, BC. He came back east for a few days and was heading back out west tomorrow. This was my last chance to ride with him. And I just wanted to take a short season's end break.
I spent the afternoon at the desk at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. After 4:00 PM, I ran three slow miles with good friend, John Mixon. I like running with John. He's a sensible runner who knows his limits. I, on the other hand, don't. If I had decided to run by myself this evening, I would have pushed it too much and been crippled up for the next two weeks. This was a good run and I felt great afterward.
After dinner I watched the Bruins handle the Dallas Stars in the first period and then went to bed thinking that the Bruins had this one in the bag. Not so. I checked the scores in bed later only to find out that they had lost in regulation! So much for chicken dinner.
I spent the day trying to get as much done as I could. There was a lot of book work in finalizing the year, loose ends at the end of the fishing season and many things that I had to get started for future projects going forward. It's not a fun time of year as every day I have to reorganize the to-do list. In the meantime it seems everyone wants a part of me. So the end result seems like two steps forward and one backward every day. But at least I feel like I'm moving forward. And the day is filled with decisions. One good thing is that almost everything is very familiar to me. The really good thing is that I am surrounded by a lot of good people in the restaurant and the Bunny Clark. I started work at 3:30 AM and finished, after lunch, around 4:00 PM.
There is a cycling ride that leaves Sanford Airport, Sanford, Maine at 5:45 PM every Wednesday night. The ride is put on by the Maine Coast Cycling Club of which I am a member in good standing. I don't have the opportunity to enjoy this ride until the fall. And tonight was a perfect night to do it. I usually ride up there on the bike, complete the ride and then ride back. Depending on the route and ambition, the round trip mileage can range from 55 miles to 80 miles or more. Tonight I completed 65 miles. There were six of us on the ride. I was on the tail end of the group when we headed out. Two miles in on the darkest part of the road I got a flat tire. I yelled to number five but John didn't hear me. Off they rode. So I stopped, hauled the rear tire off my bike and proceeded to change the tire in the dark with my bike light tucked under my chin. They came back for me when I was about a third of the way into the tube change. Everything went well and no further mishaps occurred. These things give you pause when you think of the various night time weather conditions you could get into in that same situation. Normally I ride tubular tires (on my other bike). I wouldn't want to change a glued-on tire in that same situation or in the rain. Like life, you can't be too prepared.
I have to have blood work done tomorrow in preparation for my annual physical on the 9th. My plan was to stop eating at 8:00 PM so I could fast for twelve hours before I have to go in for the lab work. So that's what I did. I was hungry but my desire to knock one more thing off the list was more powerful than my hunger. Such is the feeling at the end of every season.
Today was more of the same except that I had to have blood work in Portsmouth, New Hampshire after a morning at the desk. The blood work took place at 9:00 AM. I had been drinking black coffee and water all morning. I had a huge breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Portsmouth (my normal routine every year after lab work), picked up a few things and headed back to Ogunquit. I was back in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. by 11:00 AM. I worked until around 4:00 PM.
Captain Ian Keniston and Captain Jared Keniston have been working dismantling the Bunny Clark since we stopped fishing. Yesterday, they took everything off the canopy top (including the life raft), took the bench seats off, life preservers were washed, cleaned and dried and the boat was cleaned. Today they did more of the same. Our electronics inspection is due this year so we are getting ready for that at the beginning of next week. We plan to have the boat out of the water by the end of next week or the following week.
I received another donation from Joe Dressner (NY) today supporting me in my cancer fund raising drive with the Pan-Mass Challenge. This time Joe's contribution was $50.00 as an "egift" through the PMC site. Joe has supported me in this cycling event for many years now. Thank you very much, Joe. I appreciate your help very much - as do those who really count in all this.
I spent the morning running around getting things done. A different day, a different parcel of items to attack. Three items were most prevalent.
I had a dialog with Penn reels about parts. Some parts will not be available for the Penn 113H anymore. I wanted to make sure I could find substitute parts which, after two hours of searching and calling, I did. The Penn 113H has not been produced for five years now. A reel very much like it, the Penn 113H2, has taken it's place. Still made by the Penn Reel company, it looks exactly the same but is totally made in China and has "similar parts" only. It's a bit complicated but not so much that we can't get around it. Things certainly change.
I've been working on the new recreational fishing regulations for the 2016 fishing season in the Gulf of Maine. I spent over two hours on this today as well, another big item. Of concern to me today were recreational landings of groundfish by charter/part boats and private boats. The figures are very misleading and not correct. I was trying to dig into the reasons why. One stat was disturbing to me. Somehow they managed to come to a figure of 2200 cod landed by party boats between Maine and New Hampshire. Now I know all the party boats, captains and owners. No cod were able to be landed last year. I know these boats would not keep cod. And yet this figure comes from questioning anglers after they had left their respective fishing boats. To me this points to a problem with the interviewers. And this has been one of our big problems in the fishery management arena with the recreational sector. I had to make quite a few calls to figure out something I might present to the Recreational Advisory Panel at the November 17th meeting.
I had to register three vehicles. Registrations on all three were past due (one for over a year) and all the inspection stickers were invalid. This took me over two hours to complete mainly because the garage I take them to get inspected was a twenty-five minute round trip drive!
I was done for the day at 4:00 PM. But I had to make a few calls concerning a wedding reception that is taking place at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. tomorrow. At 5:00 PM, I jumped on the bike for a two hour ride around Mt. Agamenticus and York Beach. It was 70°F, average air temperature for the whole ride. Just like riding on a nice summer night albeit with a little more wind.
The morning started like almost every other one before it with desk work for the first two hours. The rest of the morning I finalized all my Pan-Mass Challenge stuff and mailed in the last deposit to this date. I also started getting set up to work on the upcoming Guestletter. I wrote the first three introductory paragraphs (to be edited later) and got set up to read through my years musings in order to present a factual dissertation. I spend a lot of time on this every year. And I do so in order to make a reference sheet that I can look back on in future seasons. Simply, I use it as a means of comparison from year to year.
At 3:00 PM, Deb and I dressed up and watched Matt Pedersen marry Kristen Breen on the dock overlooking the middle town floats. Afterward everyone retired to a reception held at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. Months earlier, Matt, one of the best managers we have ever had at Barnacle Billy's, came to me to tell me that he was getting married in the middle of October. I thought about and asked if he might move it up until we closed in November and I would give Barnacle Billy's, Etc. to him for the reception. He and Kristen agreed and really warmed up to idea. The Breen Family is huge, very well respected to a person and local. Barnacle Billy's, Etc. looked like a much different (wonderful) place than everyone is used to. And it was a very good time. Everybody had fun. It was controlled. No one got too rowdy. And I believe that Matt and Kristen really had a good time. Kristen's father, Peter, was one of my best friends growing up. And I see both Peter and his wife, Kerry, very frequently all summer. The party went on into the night but Deb and I left at 9:00 PM. Chuck MacDonald, the general manager at Etc was going to stay until the end and my brother, Court, was there too. So I didn't need to stay.
I had my first official day off today. This unless you want to call my weekend at the Pan-Mass Challenge a day or two off. But today I really was not obligated to do anything. So, as I have done on this day for the last three years, I completed a little over a hundred miles on my bike. I left at 7:05 AM, rode up to the Maine Coast Cycling Club's ride (in Kennebunkport), completed their thirty-two mile event and then took my time and rode out toward Sanford, North Berwick, South Berwick and home. I got back at 2:00 PM. I arrived just in time to see most of the Patriots' game over lunch. I got cleaned up, worked on the bike for a bit and then watched the first two periods of the Bruins' game over a sandwich. I was in bed around 7:00 PM.
A lot of small items going on today. Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston were back at the Bunny Clark, cleaning and taking things apart. I had a photo shoot at 6:45 AM where a professional photographer took various pictures of me for a Volvo publication that comes out later this year addressing their marine engines. I have had great luck with the new Volvo engine. They know that and are interested in promoting my enthusiasm and their engines. I was happy to help. I can tell you that I felt a little uncomfortable having this woman, Kindra Clineff, taking pictures of me for more than a half hour as all my fishing friends are walking around me getting ready to go to lobstering.
I had a my annual physical exam in Portsmouth, New Hampshire at 8:00 AM. I had no measurable physical problems that my GP could see. All the blood work was fine and my cholesterol was lower than ever. I've been working on that. From 10:00 until 11:00 AM, I was critiquing the clean-up at Barnacle Billy's restaurants and the idea of steam cleaning inside the building at Etc. The rest of the day I spent in the office working on a Penn Reel parts order, scheduling dates for various things during this week and starting on my captain's license renewal. I'm making up a new Penn Reel order sheet to make it easier for us (and them) to get the order together more quickly when we need parts. That took the most time today. That along with answering quite a few phone calls on a normal Monday of after season work related activities.
The other thing I spent a lot of time on was the repair work and the logistics of the repair work we are starting on the building and under the deck at Barnacle Billy's. We have a town culvert from the street that leads under our building that needs repair. The metal pipe that takes the water from the road is all but rusted away. I'm trying to get the town involved while all the repair work is being completed in the same area. I'm thinking the town may be able to utilize some of our people while also repairing something that is important to the integrity of the building/road during a strong storm.
The first thing I did after finishing this report was to go over the Peen Reel parts order and send it in as an attachment with an email. By early afternoon, I had a confirmation of the order with a detailed list of parts, prices and notes. One of the notes was that the frame for the Baja Special (Penn 113HN), our favorite jig stick & customer reel, was obsolete. After digging into this I found that the 113HN Baja was replaced by the US Senator 113N, the parts are interchangeable. The frame doesn't come in black as it did with the Baja, it comes in brushed aluminum. I ended up ordering a few.
We had FCC inspection today as well. Jeff Sawyer out of Portland, Maine has been doing our inspections for years. He's really good at it, is my age and I'm glad he's still at it. It took about an hour and a half. All the radios, antennas, EPIRB and were checked and a certificate issued. The Bunny Clark is good for another five years. Of course, the Coast Guard also checks this stuff at the annual topside inspection. But they don't get into the depth that this inspection takes. The USCG just wants to make sure everything works.
The rest of the day was much like every other day. To list all the items and all I did would be boring at best.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston got as far as they could get on the Bunny Clark today. After FCC inspection, almost all the electronics were taken down to be stored for the winter. We have Power Products coming down to the boat to look at the engine on Monday. Jared and Ian wanted to wait to clean the engine room at that time. Haul-out should be within a day or two of that.
Other than taking Deb to Portsmouth to drop off her vehicle for some work and then bringing her back later in the afternoon, my day was spent on the computer. Vessel document renewals, FCC station license renewal, employee meetings, bookwork at Barnacle Billy's, updating the Barnacle Billy's website, working on the deck repair at Barnacle Billy's, fishery management items, answering emails, setting up the Guestletter and finishing up with starting to fill out the paperwork for my captain's license renewal.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston worked on dismantling the boat reels today.
At 5:00 PM, I drove to Sanford Airport expecting to ride with a group cycling, the Maine Coast Cycling Club, something I try to do every Wednesday night. But it was raining and I was the only one there. I didn't feel like riding alone in the dark getting soaked a half an hour from home. So I drove back home, ate dinner and watched the Peguins/Canadiens hockey game on TV. In fact, watching TV was the closest I got to any athletic activity today.
My day was not that exciting, starting with my routine between 3:00 AM and 7:00 AM. By 7:30 AM, I was down at the office in Barnacle Billy's. I was holed up there until almost 4:00 PM. I took a break at 11:00 AM to go for a 3.7 mile jog with a friend of mine who couldn't run at any other time of the day. And it was just as well because it rained in the afternoon. I took lunch to the office and continued on. I'm trying to wrap up the end of the Barnacle Billy's season with specific employee plans for next season. I have two more employees to go. And I was working on finishing up filling out the paper work for my captain's license renewal.
The only good news I got today was that my new derailleur came in for my racing bike. I crashed my bike earlier and took the rear derailleur out on a rock. I love my Dura Ace (Shimano) and I was having a hard time finding one that fit a ten speed bike. All the new ones are eleven speed (I don't see the advantage of duplicating gear ratios). I've been riding my cyclocross bike for over two weeks. I love that CX bike but it's slower and doesn't do the hills as well.
The worst news today was hearing that the mid-water trawlers are raping the mackerel resource on Middlebank (Stellwagon Bank). And it's not just mid-water trawlers. They are pair trawling with small mesh in an area that is supposed to be protected for groundfish. So what else are they taking besides mackerel? You can well imagine. The sooner they eliminate the mid-water boats from the Gulf of Maine, the quicker will be the groundfish recovery.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston have been hired as carpenters to work for Atlantic Mechanical, the company that is going to be doing the repair work on the deck at Barnacle Billy's. They had their first meeting with Larry Paul, President of AM, today. I talked with Larry afterward. I'm looking forward to watching the progress. But I'm more looking forward to the finished product!
I spent the day in both offices today. I took a break at 8:00 AM to drive my truck to Portsmouth to get it serviced. I took my cyclocross bike so I could leave the truck and ride back. When I got back I continued work in the office at Barnacle Billy's and worked until a little after noon there. I was home for lunch at 12:30 PM while also picking up where I left off in the office here. After lunch, I was back down in the office at Billy's. At 3:00 PM I got a call that my racing bike was ready to ride. So I went down and picked that up. When I was driving back I got a call that said my truck was ready in Portsmouth. When I got home, I suited up in my riding clothes and rode down to get the truck. I was home again by 6:15 PM. That was my day.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston spent the day at Ian's house working on fishing reels, ours and theirs (customer reels).
Desk work took my Saturday morning away from me. At the same time, I was trying to coordinate opening up Barnacle Billy's paid parking lot. I wasn't very successful at either. The parking lot failed. By 1:00 PM, the attendant had left with only two cars for three hours of attending. And I was done with work by then too.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston worked on reels today. Penn parts showed up yesterday afternoon. So reel repairs are in full swing.
And I discovered something the other day that my dog (a border collie), Gill, absolutely loves. Dried salmon tails. I have a trick that I do with him with regular dog bones where I get on my hands and knees with the bone in my mouth (I know, this seems like the act of a child.). On all fours, I try to go along the floor with Gill trying to get the bone. Usually it ends up in a standoff with me hunkered down, arms crossed over my face, head down, ass up and backed in a corner with Gill barking at me about two inches from my covered face. Usually I conceed and he picks up the bone and trots off. With a salmon tail, it's like a whole new ball game. He will not give up. And I haven't been able to last more than thirty seconds before he drives his nose between my arms and grabs the salmon tail. He will stop and nothing to get that salmon tail, sometimes launching himself at me full force like a left tackle. The day I found the salmon tails at the pet store, I was looking for something different and ran across some dried chicken wings. Chicken bones, of course, are not very good for a dog. So I was reluctant to get them. I went to the sore attendant that day and asked if she would give her dog these dried chicken wings. The answer was the one I expected. No! So that's how I ended up with the salmon tails.
I took the day off again today, the second free Sunday in a row. Yes, I did ride my bike in the morning. But I took Gill for our first beach run of 2015-16 winter season this afternoon. Except for trying to get by a larger than normal greyhound where I almost had to carry him to get him moving forward, he stayed right beside me like the model jogger's pal. Every once and a while he would look up at me. When he did I assured him that he was a good boy. The pace certainly wasn't fast. About a 9:30 minute mile pace. But I have run slower and had a harder time of it with him. I let him go off his leash after the first mile left us by at the first house in Moody. He hung around smelling the seaweed and such as I continued running up the beach. I would turn and check to see where he was from time to time. He never got that far away. Then I turned around and headed back, jogging by him as I did. After a while he sprinted up beside me, I hooked him back on to his leash and had an uneventful jog back to the start. He seemed a happy dog.
I was invited to the Mixon's residence to watch the Patriots game and have dinner. Deb didn't want to go. It was a good time. And it was nice that the Pats won in the end. We still have a few die hard Giants fans in Maine. I was one of them before the Patriots came on the scene. I'm really not that hot on football. It's not my game. But it is fun to watch, particularly when your team has been as successful as they have been.
Today was busy. After my office work at the house, I headed down to the Cove to start the engine up and warm up the engine room. I had some warranty work to be done on the engine. Chris from Power Products in Portland was due down there at 9:00 AM. In the meantime, I also had to talk with harbor master about a couple of things, which I did. And I had to start the Petrel's engine so I could warm her up and bring her ashore to take off the EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon) and the life raft. Both had to be updated. At 8:30 AM, I had a meeting with Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston. Later, all three of us took the life raft off the Petrel. Chris showed up and changed out three idler pulleys off the engine of the Bunny Clark. In the process he changed out the engine belts. The design wasn't great on the pulleys, apparently, but they got me through. No emergency stop, certainly. After Chris left, Ian, Jared and I changed the engine oil and the transmission gear oil and all the filters included in the operation. This got us to the 11:00 AM mark. From there we started to get the boat ready for the trip to Kittery. At 11:30 AM, I left the dock in Perkins Cove with the Bunny Clark, alone, headed to Kittery Point Yacht Yard. This was the last the Bunny Clark would see Perkins Cove for 2015.
The trip across the bay was uneventful. It was during the time of the strongest wind. But, since it was blowing northwest, the ocean was fairly calm with a one to two foot chop. Lots of spray, though. It wasn't long before I decided to don the boots and oil skins. The salt water spray was hitting the starboard side curtain and running down the opening into the boat and too close to my sneakers to remain clothed as I was. An hour later I was pulling into the float at Kittery Point Yacht Yard. There I met Ian and Jared who proceeded to get the boat secured for the night. After talking to Chris Follensbee, the yard foreman, the three of us went to a late lunch.
Ian and Jared and I parted ways after lunch. They continued to work on reels and the parts order while I headed to Navtronics to replace the hydrostatic release mechanism on the EPIRB. From there it was the journey home to work on getting ready for the Recreational Advisory Panel meeting that will take place in Danvers, Massachusetts all day tomorrow.
I attended the Recreational Advisory Panel (RAP) meeting today in Danvers, Massachusetts. I hold a seat on the RAP, a diverse group of individuals representing many segments of the marine recreational fishery with a focus on groundfish. We try to improve the groundfish climate for marine recreational anglers both for the private angler and the for-hire fleet. As every new year begins we are presented with material from the Northeast Science Center (NEFSC, a part of NOAA) in order to make salient decisions on what we think the regulations should be in the future, both near and far. We advise the New England Fishery Management Council on recreational regulations through the Council's Groundfish Committee. The Groundfish Committee will be meeting in Rhode Island tomorrow. I have too much to do to attend that meeting, unfortunately.
This time the thrust was on the haddock and cod take for the next three years. The data had come back that the recreational angler didn't take as many cod and haddock as was previously thought. That and the haddock population was stronger than previously thought. In the end, we were able to increase the haddock season, increase the haddock take per angler and break the ban on cod possession for two months. This was presented as a series of motions that, hopefully, will make it through the Committee, on to the Council for their approval and on to the National Marine Fisheries Service regional office for their approval as well. The options we picked were more conservative than we could have picked but we felt that, according to Scott Steinback (a scientist from the NEFSC), the unknown factor is the increased angler participation with the larger haddock take. We don't want to go over our sub-ACL (the recreational quota of haddock for the season). Nor do we want to cut into the small quota of cod through discards. There were many motions that will be passed on to the Committee tomorrow. Most were house keeping motions. The most significant to you were these:
Motion 4: Sterrit/Swanson
The RAP recommends to the Groundfish Committee that the FY 2016 GOM haddock bag limit be 15 fish, with all seasons open (except in wave 2 - March/April - in which only Apr 15-30 would be open), and a 17 inch minimum size.
Rationale: The RAP reviewed viable options for GOM haddock that would allow for no limit on possession and project that under all scenarios the GOM haddock sub-ACL is not expected to be achieved. However, the RAP feels that placing a bag limit on GOM haddock would be important for the recreational fishery because it would allow for increased access to the stock, while reducing the likelihood of the sub-ACL being exceeded if fishing effort increases in FY 2016. The RAP reviewed the range of options provided to develop this option.
Motion 4 carried 6/5/0.
Other choices in the various models presented allowed for 20 haddock to unlimited haddock, both with a large potential of increased effort. Worse case, we could be back with the same regulations we had last year. And I certainly hope that is the last year we have such stringent regulations, particularly on haddock.
Motion 9: Gawne/Colby
To amend Motion 6 as the RAP recommends to the Groundfish Committee the FY 2016 GOM cod bag limit be one cod, with a size limit of 24 inches, and wave 4 (July - August) open.
Rationale: Keeping one cod in the summer is what recreational anglers think is important.
Motion to amend: 7/3/1
I made Motion 6. I wanted to open September through the end of December for one cod per angler per day. It has larger conservation benefits at a time when cod spawning is not occurring and when much less fishing is occurring. This motion passed but was revisited and replaced by Motion 9.
I ended up getting home at 6:00 PM.
My day was spent in the office (at both the restaurant and the home office - Bunny Clark stuff) and on the phone mostly. I did have an appointment at Occupational Health Services in Portsmouth at 8:30 AM, which I kept and drove to. There I went through the required physical that I needed to complete my captain's license renewal. I was done with that by 10:00 AM.
The original Barnacle Billy's restaurant had the water shut off today. I had no part in that. I saw them down there from my perch at the other restaurant but I never went down. I was afraid of not getting everything done if I went down to check. My brother, Court, was handling that.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston worked on reels all day. They took calls from me at three different times today.
I spent some time periodically during the day monitoring the progress at the Groundfish Committee meeting in Warwick, Rhode Island. All the motions that the RAP made (see yesterday's entry) passed except for the motion that dealt with the open months allowed to take one cod per person. So instead of Wave 4 (July & August), they started out by changing it back to Wave 5 & 6 (September through December). This was the original motion that I made yesterday that was revisited and changed to Wave 4. Some members of Groundfish Committee felt that opening up the cod take in July and August would put too much pressure on the fish where so many recreational anglers are fishing at that time of year. That was my feeling for crafting the motion I made. But the Groundfish Committee changed it yet again and took Wave 6 (November & December) out of the motion. In the end, the Committee voted to have Wave 5 become the month for keeping one cod per person on recreational vessels. The vote was three for, two against and all the rest of the members of the committee abstained. The abstentions showed that most of the Committee was reluctant to go against the motion brought forward by the RAP at yesterday's meeting. The beauty of going with Wave 5 means that there is a better chance of staying under the recreational cod quota (recreational sub-ACL), it keeps the recreational angler further away from bothering the larger spawning cod more readily available in the early two months and it might allow us more cod to take in following years. If the cod quota goes down the recreational angler should still be well inside it for landings. If the quota goes up it means we might be able to keep more cod in the future. Of course, not everyone sees the situation like I do. And, when these motions go to full Council in December, they could reverse the motion yet again. After it's all said and done, the National Marine Fisheries Service has to approve them before they become law by the beginning of the fiscal fishing year on May 1, 2016.
There is something else here that I should mention. I didn't mention this yesterday because I didn't have the figures or the conclusion to the problem. And a problem it was. It was stated in the data that 2200 cod were kept during the 2015 season. This was an extrapolation from angler surveys during the MRIP (the federal Marine Recreational Information Program) process. MRIP gathers data through surveys, telephone conversations with anglers, dock surveys questioning anglers and on board surveys while fishing is taking place on for-hire vessels (party & charter boats). Of course, the take of any cod was prohibited during the 2015 fiscal fishing year. In the data I found out that four party boats were found to have kept cod. Two of these boats were in Maine and two were from New Hampshire. Later in the day I found out that one of the Maine boats was the Bunny Clark! I was, of course, shocked. This information was given to me as a courtesy with the dates the data was collected and the number of anglers questioned along with the number of cod that were landed. Needless to say, on the ride home from the RAP meeting, I was on the phone to my wife putting a day of the week with the date so I could figure out who captained the boat, who was on as deck hand, the composition of the passengers (regulars or new anglers) and the number of anglers we might have taken on those dates. We don't keep illegal fish, particularly cod. And I would certainly defend any other party boat in Maine if they were accused as well. It's just not in our best interest in front of witnesses (our anglers). My investigation went on that night and during the day today. There were a total of 14 cod kept during three of our Bunny Clark trip dates with eight angler interviews. I found out that for 12 of those cod, the Maine Department of Marine Resources interviewers were aboard for those trips! So I called the Maine DMR. It turns out that for all the cod listed as kept, the cod were put in the "type 6" category on the questionnaire. In other words they were put in the "harvested" section of the questionnaire. The reason being the fish were thought to be dead when released. They should have been put in the "B2" section as discards. So the data was wrong and we didn't keep cod. In the end it was proven to MRIP, the scientists at the RAP and to most of the members of the RAP that not only were there not 2200 cod kept but also the Bunny Clark did not participate in a non-compliance issue that would have gone against us in the regulations. And it pointed out a huge flaw in the MRIP system. This actually gives the recreational angler more cod than we thought at the beginning of the RAP meeting yesterday. In fact, I found out that only two cod were known to have been kept in Maine last year. Both were on a private boat where the angler clearly had no idea that a no cod possession rule was in place for 2015.
Many anglers are frustrated with the MRIP program. Most of us feel that the data collected, the way it is collected and the interpretation of the data is flawed. I'm sure it's the best they can do for now. But improvements to the system need to happen if we are going to get a realistic view of what anglers catch. That's all I'm going to say about it now.
I spent quite a bit of time working at home today. By mid morning, I had to take both life rafts up to Portland to have then re-inspected. This is an annual thing I do every year at this time. At the same time I picked up some filters at Power Products and I stopped in at Hamilton Marine for fish totes they didn't have. I returned after noon. Finding that it was still overcast and that the radar showed rain at least two hours away, I decided to go for the first bike ride I have had in four days. That took two hours. thirty-two miles.
After my bike ride, I took our dog, Gill, on the beach for a three mile run. I had him on the leash for the first mile or less. Occasionally, I had to drag him along to that point. So I took the leash off and let him run free as I ran. He took off behind me for a while. And then, I looked down beside me, and he was right there trotting along, looking up at me and smiling (my interpretation) with his tongue lolling out. When I made the turn to run back he stayed beside me the whole run. Now that's a first. Was it because there were no other dogs on the beach? Or was he starting to learn something? It's probably the no dogs thing.
I spent the morning at the desk here in the office and at the office in Barnacle Billy's, Etc. I finally got all my captain's license renewal papers in order, re-affixed renewal stickers on both EPIRBs and printed out spread sheets from last seasons fishing data to continue with the Guestletter. I have yet to dive into researching the Guestletter as I have so many year end things yet to do still.
At 9:30 AM, I met with the town manager, the highway department foreman and the harbor master to start the process to find out who is responsible for replacing the street drain culvert that passes underneath Barnacle Billy's restaurant. I've got a big project this winter repairing/replacing the structural members under the deck at Barnacle Billy's. We have been sistering members and reinforcing the supports under that deck for ten years. Part of the project involves replacing the culvert. The pipe has rotted away and has left a hole that is eating away at the existing concrete which supports part of the building. Every time we have water going down the street drains, erosion takes place as it passes through the building foundation. It is going to have to be fixed. But the question is; who's responsibility is it? I'm assuming that this will be a joint venture with the town and Barnacle Billy's, Inc. The two originally put in the street drains even though they are technically on Barnacle Billy's property. However, the town has the right of way through the property. So I just needed the guidance on this. The process has begun.
Reveiling a glitch in the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) program of recreational fishing data has produced a mini fire storm at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the authority for the National Marine Fisheries Service. I mentioned a couple of days ago that angler interviews found anglers keeping cod when, in fact, they were just putting a check mark next to the wrong item on a questionnaire. Now they are trying to find out how this effects the landings data. And it's a hole in the system that needs to be permanently fixed if the MRIP program is to stay afloat. As anglers who look at the data all the time, we feel that the MRIP data is pretty far off base and seriously flawed. It's frustrating. But no one knows how to make it better. Is something better than nothing? That's a good question. Anyway, I dealt with a few emails today on this subject matter.
I worked on business issues until 2:00 PM. The rest of the day involved home life.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston worked on reels today.
This was one of those mornings where I accomplished much between 4:00 AM and 8:00 AM. At that time of day on this day, it's the least bothersome time of the week. I drove down to Kittery to check on the Bunny Clark. Everything was fine. We will be hauling the Bunny Clark out of the water on Monday. At 9:00 AM I took off on my bicycle to do the annual South Berwick Community Food Pantry ride, leaving from South Berwick at 10:00 AM. By 2:00 PM I was back home after covering 67 miles.
After a shower, Deb and I went to Portsmouth with my father's business mobile phone. Since his death, no one had touched it. We tried to get my mother interested in texting or emails, etc. but she was not. Both my sister, Cathy, and I had had conversations about discontinuing the phone. But we didn't want to lose the unique calling number associated with it. So I (we) decided to turn it into a strictly business phone. My father was big on texting. Upon opening up the phone there were three text messages from our book keeper, Dawn Baston, my sister, Meg, and my wife, Deb. All with the message; "Are you home yet?". No one ever opened them; he had died before he could see the messages. He had been in the hospital for a few days. I was supposed to bring him back home. But the task had turned to my mother because I was leaving on the "Ultra Marathon" the night before he was to be released, during the next day. He passed away shortly after 3:00 PM, the time of the text messages.
So the rest of the afternoon into the evening I was setting up a new phone under the business with Barnacle Billy's. We were leaving Portsmouth at around 6:00 PM.
I don't bother Jared Keniston or Ian Keniston on the weekends. I assume they were working on reels today. But it wouldn't have mattered if they were or they weren't. At this time and position, they know what they need to do and how much time it takes to do it without me getting involved. And without me involved, it's one less hassle they have to deal with!
Sunday mornings are my time to ride bicycles with the Maine Coast Cycling Club of which I am a member. It's a great group of good riders. And it's a departure from my regular routine. I would have liked to have said that I spent the whole morning with them. But the cooler temperatures (the highest temperature on the ride was 35°F) and the rain made me cut the ride short. It was just as well because Walter Bohnenberger was to bring sinkers up from Long Island, New York at the time that I would have still been riding. As it was, I got back to the house at 10:20 AM, in time to see Walt and help in the transfer of sinkers from his car to the garage where they are kept. It was very good to see Walt. To me he hasn't changed a bit. He used to come up fishing with me quite often, "In the old days". I do miss those days. He used to fish with a jig and fly above the jig, allowing him to get two fish at once. At times when he had a good fight on his hands he would say; "Oh Lord, please let it be one [fish]!". I always laughed at that line.
Mondays are typically busy for me. This one was no different. I started working at the desk at 3:30 AM, finishing this report and getting a few items from Saturday's mail cleaned up. I met Jared Keniston and Ian Keniston at the house at 7:00 AM. I had spent some time looking for a few items we would need at the boat. I never did find a couple of tools we had misplaced when we launched last spring. The three of us headed to the Bunny Clark. Jared and Ian left in the Bunny Clark truck. I left in mine. I ended up arriving a half hour late as I had to replace the tool we needed before we could finish dismantling the boat completely.
We all had lunch together at the Sunrise Grill in Kittery. They have a wicked plate of chili nachos that Ian and I particularly favor.
From there I had to go to the bank to sign off on two lines of credit (one for the Bunny Clark and one for Barnacle Billy's) and to consummate the loan for the deck repairs at Barnacle Billy's. The rest of the afternoon I spent at home, putting Bunny Clark items to bed for the winter and working on orders. It seemed like a longer than normal day.
I spent all morning in one office or the other, on the phone, at the computer and coordinating outside operations basic to end of the year stuff. The life raft on the Petrel wouldn't pass inspection because the canopy on it was rotted. To fix it means waiting three months, which I can't do. Afterward, I still have a raft that is seventeen years old. Buying a new one would cost twice as much as the repair. But it would be new. I was also dealing with a couple Penn reel parts that we really need. The work order for the winter repair work on the Bunny Clark still needs to be completed. This I had planned to do today but never even got started on it. And I have a bunch of Barnacle Billy's items that need attention. Some of which I did complete today.
The late afternoon found me at the Cove working on the Petrel, our lobster boat. Of most importance was rigging up a winter storm line. When all the summer boats leave the Cove, I pick up another mooring line behind the Petrel, tie a weighed line to it and run it back to the stern of the Petrel. In case of a storm surge, I have it tied on the stern to pull tension on it at any time I need. This is done in lieu of running a line ashore. In a major storm, I would also run a line ashore. In most storms this would do. It was low tide when I started so it was easy to pick up an unused mooring to tie to. That used up the rest of the day.
After a fairly busy early morning, I jumped in the truck to head to Boston to the U.S. Coast Guard REC to pass in my captain's license renewal paperwork. I make a habit of going to the USCG station in Boston every five years. You can mail everything in but I like to have someone go over my renewal documents to make sure everything is in order. Yes, it's a hassle driving in to Boston. But it's more of a hassle if the license renewal is delayed because you forgot to do something. I was rolling out of Boston by 10:00 AM.
The next stop was to get a new phone. Mine has been dying. I didn't want to lose the phone with all my contacts before I got a new one. So I drove to my favorite Sprint store in Portsmouth and spent almost three hours there going through the process of transferring data.
The last stop of the day was going through life rafts and the motions of getting the newest and best for my application. I ended up ordering a Zodiac. They are still made in France while most of the others are made in China. That, the fabric they are made of and the workmanship sold me on that decision.
It was nice weather for Thanksgiving. I jumped on my bicycle to join a morning ride in Kennebunkport with the Maine Coast Cycling Club. Half way there I ran across five wild turkeys in a field by the road. Three of the birds were standing side by side, full tails fanned out like you might see on a Pilgrim postcard. I thought that appropriate on this day!
I spent the majority, vast majority, of my day in the office. I was mostly on the computer checking orders, working on my site and organizing for the future. I did take a break at noon to meet with Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston to go over the details of where to put lumber and steel for the repair work of the deck at Barnacle Billy's this winter. Most of the afternoon was spent cleaning, sorting and organizing. I did allow myself to get away on a 16 mile bicycle ride at 4:00 PM. I stopped work after that.
I was planning on joining Frank Blount (Francis Fleet out of Point Judith) at 8:00 AM down in Rhode Island for a group bicycling ride. I got up at 2:30 AM, filled water bottles, made breakfast, pumped tires, got my riding clothes together and decided not to go after looking at the weather radar. A high pressure front was supposed to move through but not until the rain came through first. And it looked like rain was going to strike down there at the time the ride started. I don't mind the rain in the summer. But riding in the rain, at 50°F, with a group who I don't know, in a foreign territory, possibly getting my ass kicked was a bit too much of a chance to take so far from Ogunquit. So I decided to stay home. Hopefully, another day.