At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was 36°F, the sky was mostly cloudy, the wind was blowing out of the west at fourteen knots sustained and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The wind continued to blow out of the west or west northwest but not as strong as it blew in the morning. In fact, by noon, the ocean along the shore was flat glassy calm. Later in the afternoon, the wind hauled out of the southwest at ten knots. The sky was clear all day. The highest air temperature that I saw in Perkins Cove was 52°F. The visibility was excellent. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 55°F with a low of 41°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 52°F (with a low of 24°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 50°F (with a low of 33°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the northwest at ten to five knots, hauled out of the west at five knots and then hauled out of the southwest at five to ten knots. Seas were chops of two feet that dropped to calm and then turned to one foot chops before the ride back to Perkins Cove. The high air temperature under the canopy top was 53°F. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The tide ranged from light to moderate. The sky was sunny all day. The surface water temperature reached a high of 52°F.
The fishing conditions were nearly excellent, the catching was very good and landings were good. Most legal fish landed were haddock, by far. The haddock cull was five to one or for every six haddock caught five were of legal size. Legal landings also included twenty-three pollock, six redfish, nine cusk and twenty-five squirrel hake. Released fish included almost as many squirrel hake, four cod of 5 pounds or more, three dogfish, a couple small pollock and five or six small cod. Drifting was the method. All terminal gear worked well but bait was best for haddock and the jig/fly combination was best for the pollock. Who knew?
I never did ask Ian as to whom was high hook. Marty Buskey (NY) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 13 pound pollock. He also caught the second largest fish of the trip, a 10.5 pound pollock. His third largest fish was an 8 pound pollock, a tie for the fourth largest fish of the trip. It was a good day to be Marty! The third largest fish was a 10 pound pollock caught by Manny LaCroix (QC). He also landed the largest haddock of the trip at 3.5 pounds. Wonderful individual that he is, he offered me some haddock when I met the boat at the dock. He caught a pile of them and could have been high hook for all I know. Those Canadians can be very sneaky.
Buzz Leonard (ME) caught the largest cusk at 7 pounds. His largest fish was an 8 pound cod, the largest cod of the trip. He caught twelve legal haddock. No one had any hard luck today.
Marty & Elise Buskey (NY) donated another $30.00 sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge. I'm not going to even try to tell you how many times they have donated this year. It's got to be over $200.00. Regardless, I do so appreciate their support this season. And this being the last trip for Marty, I want to thank them so much for all the thoughtfulness and support they have given me this year. All the best to you and Elise. I certainly hope to see you, Marty, next season!
At 3:00 AM EST the air temperature was 44°F, the sky was mostly cloudy, the wind was blowing out of the south at eight knots (more than that offshore) and the visibility over the ocean was excellent.
I was surprised to see more stars than clouds when we headed down the channel toward the open ocean. At home, the sky had been mostly cloudy. We had partly cloudy skies on the way out but not all the way out. About ten miles from our destination it started to drizzle with light rain. It was a slower ride out as well with the four to seven foot short seas we experienced the whole way. The air temperature was 51°F the whole way. The visibility was good, at least.
On the fishing grounds, the ocean gave us four to eight foot sharp seas. They weren't chops as much as they were left over chops from a stronger wind further out or earlier on. But they were uncomfortable. In fact, I took a wave over the back of my head without oil gear on. I had oil skins but no top. So the water soaked my head, the back of my neck and rolled down my back under the oil bibs and down my backside to the back of my legs. I had to change some of my clothes. I just let my pants dry out on their own. The drizzle/rain stopped about an hour into the trip. But the seas remained for most of the morning. Wind speeds were up to twenty knots in gusts out of the south southwest. This wind backed off until we had about ten knots at noon. The seas dropped accordingly. It started to rain at noon and on into the afternoon, heavy at times. The air temperature reached a high of 54°F in the shade. The sky was mostly overcast for the whole trip with some clear patches around 10:00 AM. The visibility ranged from a half mile to fifteen miles in the mix of rain and haze.. The tide (current) was moderate to light. The surface water temperature reached a high of 51.7°F.
The ride back to Perkins Cove featured intermittent rain showers so hard that we needed the radar, mild temperatures and no wind. The rain cleared for the last few dark miles. During that time and for a half hour before, the ocean was flat calm with not a breath of wind.
Ashore, these were the air temperatures in selected New England cities: In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 58°F with a low of 45°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 53°F (with a low of 42°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 55°F (with a low of 48°F).
The fishing conditions were very good, even considering the larger than normal seas. This was because we didn't have much for tide and there were no dogfish, to speak of. The catching was good to very good. Landings were good at best. There was really no bite today. We didn't stay long on any one spot. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. There were very few pollock over 6 pounds. Legal landings also included thirty-nine haddock, one redfish, ten cusk, seven white hake and a monkfish. Released fish included two dogfish, four cod of 5 pounds or more, twenty-one small cod, twenty-five sub-legal haddock, seventeen small pollock and two red hake. We drift fished most of the day but we also anchored. All terminal gear worked equally fair to good.
Fred Kunz (NH) was high hook for the most legal fish with Paul Pearson (NH) hot on his heels. Fred's largest fish... Wait a minute? Fred didn't catch any fish big enough to weigh. He lost a few fish that would have been big enough. But I didn't see any fish of his over 5 pounds. He did bring a cusk to the surface that was 8 to 10 pounds but it dropped off his hook and swam to bottom - something that never happens with cusk. And he did lose a hake that was most certainly over 10 pounds. Paul landed an 8 pound white hake and a 9.5 pound pollock, his two biggest fish.
Ron Hamel (ME) caught the largest fish of the trip, a 29.5 pound Maine state trophy white hake. He was in the boat pool but his fish got sawed off by a crossing line down too far to see. Five minutes later Dave Harris (MA) spotted a big hake floating on the surface about five boat lengths away. Since we weren't catching anything anyway, I had everyone reel up so I could retrieve this fish. Come to find out it had Ron's fly wedged into the corner of the mouth. I couldn't give Ron the pool because he never brought his fish to gaff. This was Ron's best fish of the trip. I took a picture of Ron holding his big hake. This digital image appears on the left. This is the largest hake that Ron has ever caught.
Tim Rozan (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the second largest fish, a 14 pound white hake. His largest cod weighed 8 pounds, his second largest fish today. Adam LeBarron (MA) won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the third largest fish a 12 pound white hake. He also caught a cod that weighed 7.5 pounds. The fourth and fifth largest fish included an 11 pound pollock and an 11.25 pound white hake, both fish caught by Dave Smith (ME). Dave, however, did not enter the boat pool for the third largest fish. So Dave Harris won the boat pool for the third largest fish with the sixth largest fish, a 10 pound pollock, the third fish caught on the boat today. Dave also caught an 8 pound pollock and a 7 pound pollock today.
Other Angler Highlights: Adam Towle (NH) caught a 6.25 pound pollock early in the trip. That ended up being his largest fish of the trip. He was feeling a bit under the weather, which is unusual for him. But, to his credit, he was fine by the end of the day. Charlie Harris (MA) caught the largest cod of the trip at 9 pounds.
I received only one donation sponsoring me in my cancer project with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. The lone donor was Adam LeBarron for $25.00. Thanks so much, Adam. Very much appreciated!
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was 37°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the west at fifteen knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The wind continued to blow out of the west at fifteen to twenty knots with higher gust but hauled more northwest after noon. The northwest wind blew about twenty knots as well but died out after sunset. It was a quiet night for wind. The sky was clear all day. The visibility was excellent. The highest air temperature that I saw was 51°F. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 56°F with a low of 42°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 50°F (with a low of 26°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 51°F (with a low of 32°F).
There were many different things going on around Perkins Cove for me today. All of it centered around the restaurants and the boat. Skip Dunning came down from Portland (Power Products) to do the yearly valve adjustment and take a look at the intercooler. I also had him put in a new starter, a spare that I have had since the engine was new. It's been five years since we even looked at the starter so I didn't want that to be the focus of a trip termination in the future. I also completed a lot of year end stuff here at the office before the work day began. And I paid attention to future restaurant projects with quite a few phone calls. My work day was done by 4:00 PM.
Ian Keniston showed up at the Bunny Clark by 8:00 AM. When Skip was working on the engine (and I was looking on), Ian was down in the cabin cleaning up and sorting materials to be moved back home. When I got more involved with the restaurant later in the morning, Ian took my place helping Skip. By 2:00 PM, we all were doing sea trials with Skip on the computer looking at every engine detail to see if there was anything that I needed to be aware of. There was nothing. This Volvo Penta D13-700 has been the best engine that I have ever had in the Bunny Clark.
My daughter, Halley, and her fiancé, Nick Bianco, showed up to start on getting ready for their wedding on Sunday. My focus this week will be on the speech I have to make at the reception. But, where I will be giving Barancle Billy's, Etc. to my daughter for this event, I will also be involved in the decisions that are needed for my wife, Deb, to do all the work getting the place ready. Also, today, I oversaw the construction of the dance floor in the lower dining room. This floor will help in the storing of furniture after the wedding and for most of the tables and chairs from the outside portions of Barnacle Billy's (original). Tomorrow, Deb, Halley & Nick will be decorating down there. There will be many family events every night leading up to the big day.
I ended the day by going over to our best friend's house on Moody Beach. The Haseltines (Hez & Jo) were hosting a "Moules & Frites Night" (mussels & French fries) for Deb, Halley, Nick and I. Jo has been the seamstress involved in all the clothing that the wedding party is going to wear including Halley's dress and all the suits. It was a really fun and casual evening. And the mussels were something to die for. Both Hez & Jo could be professional chefs if they so desired. I think I would put them up against anyone.
Meg had the lead on my mother's care today (and most days, lately). I wasn't able to visit even once today. I will see her early tomorrow. Meg keeps in touch with me (and/or Deb) throughout the day when over with our mother. Meg has been very helpful in balancing the care while also allowing me to continue with the work. My sister, Cathy, is also involved but not as much with me in mind as Meg. But, then, Meg does spend the most time. And I think that most times Cathy assumes (correctly) that Meg is in communication with me.
My day was spent running around checking on the boat, my mother, making sure the water issues at the restaurant, with the cold weather coming, were addressed and fending off vendors and answering emails. I made the mistake of honoring my appointment with Coast GMC in Portsmouth by driving over there and waiting to get my truck serviced without even thinking that it might take more than an hour to complete. I was still waiting after three hours. This put me way behind on the items I had wanted to finish today including my wedding reception speech. But, in my life, what's new?
I spent all day working on my daughter's wedding. The main thrust was writing the "Father of the Bride Speech", which I started yesterday but didn't finish until this afternoon. When I was done it was a first draft kind of thing. I'm not really happy with it yet.
The rest of the day was spent with planning activities, the rehearsal at St. Peter's Church in Cape Neddick and the rehearsal dinner. Everyone went to "That Place", a local bar and eatery afterward. I did not. I dropped Deb off while I went home to bed. This day took a lot out of me. And I certainly wanted to feel good on the big day tomorrow. I limited myself to one beer midway through the rehearsal dinner and I went right to bed when I went home. On some Sunday's I have ridden on my bike for a hundred miles and gone right into work at Barnacle Billy's restaurant, enjoying dinner after work with my wife and haven't felt as tired as I did after today with zero time on the bike.
I received a generous $100.00 donation from Don & Lisa Johnson (MA) sponsoring me in this year's cancer project called the Pan-Mass Challenge. The event itself was over Sunday night on the first weekend of August. In fact, it has been tradition for Don & Lisa to meet me at the finish line in Provincetown. But cancer never sleeps and my fund raising efforts continue until December 31, 2019. Most of my donors over the years are aware of this. I want to thank Don & Lisa for being so extra special on this front and, of course, for today's donation. Their involvement means so very much to me and their support is through the roof. Much appreciated!
The whole day centered around my daughter, Halley's, wedding. I met the groom and groomsmen in the morning where we relaxed, first, and then got dressed. Then we went to a location where there were over an hour of photographs (digital images) taken. From there we went to the church where I walked my daughter down the aisle, vows were exchanged between bride and groom and various pieces were read before Nick & Halley became Mr. & Mrs. Bianco. From there we went to the reception at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. where the wedding party was introduced. I gave the "Father of the Bride" speech, completed the father/daughter dance and then partied to one of the best local bands I have ever heard at a wedding. We also had the traditional cutting of the cake, got to meet new friends and cement closer relationships with those I have known through Halley's growing up. It was a very good, and special, time.
I didn't cry a drop for the whole day. Yes, there were times where I had to hold back the tears. But not a single one was shed. I will let you in on a secret, though. I read the speech to three different people before I read it in public. All three times I sobbed like a baby at different parts. But when the time came to give it live, something in me said that I have to get this thing done in a professional manner. And I did. I truly believe that people listening to the speech and their positive reaction got me through it unhindered. Everyone there this evening was so special. The support was much appreciated. Here are three of the best digital images of the day.
This is a shot of yours truly, walking Halley down the aisle towards the big moment.
This was the wonderfully crafted wedding cake. By the way, everything seen on this cake was edible. Maybe I had a little too much to drink, but, up close, the clams looked so real I thought eating them would be more like sea food than sugar!
Except for the desk work in the early part of the morning and a seventy-one mile bike ride to Biddeford and back, I did nothing but pick up some of the pieces from yesterday's event. We took Mr. & Mrs. Bianco and our two friends from St. Barth, Christian & Mary Aubin, out to dinner before going to bed early.
I thought I was coming down with a flu. This morning confirmed that feeling. But it wasn't bad enough to keep me from working.
I was at the desk from the time I got up this morning until 8:00 AM rolled around and I could start calling people/businesses. The first physical thing I did today (besides the core stuff I do every morning) was to take my wife's car to York Autobody to assess the damage she did to her SUV when she backed into a tree. I stopped at my dentist's to check out a dying tooth that I found needed a root canal (Wednesday). In the meantime, between the tooth and the flu, I wasn't feeling my best. I rounded out the morning with a meeting with our insurance agent representing Barnacle Billy's, Inc. with new coverage details. Afterward, I worked in that office for a while. During the meeting my daughter and new son-in-law headed back to their home in New Jersey. Their honeymoon starts tomorrow.
The afternoon was spent running around town trying to get things done that I haven't been able to do because of work. Afterward, I showered so Deb & I could take our two best friends from St. Barth out to dinner. They flew all the way up here from St. Barth to attend the wedding. They are flying out of Boston tomorrow. But they aren't the furthest travelers. Halley has a friend who is teaching in Cambodia who flew twenty-four hours to attend the wedding and will take twenty-four hours to fly back to her position in Cambodia!
After finishing most of this report, I left to attend a Recreational Advisory Panel (RAP) meeting, held in Danvers, Massachusetts. The RAP advises the Groundfish Committee to the New England Fishery Management Council on salt water recreational fishing issues. Today we talked about allocation, what percentage of the groundfish stocks (as compared to the commercial effort) will the recreational fishing industry be allowed to take. This is up for review again. And, for now, it looks like the recreational allocation will be larger this time around. Some other good news that came out of the meeting was that recreational fishing effort was down this year through the month of August. And we are well under the sub-ACL we are allowed for cod and haddock. In other words, we didn't catch our total quota of cod and haddock. Indeed, out of the 220 metric tons of cod we are allowed, only 48 mt has been caught as of the end of August (and this includes discards). Granted, we still have the two weeks in September where we were allowed a cod a person, that haven't been added in. But, even if we doubled our take, which I doubt, we would still have plenty of room to play with without exceeding the total allowable catch. This could lead to us being able to keep more cod next season. There are many possibilities, none of which will be viewed or talked about until all the recreational landings have been exposed for 2019.
I arrived home somewhere around 5:00 PM. My flu symptoms were making me feel worse and my tooth wasn't doing the best. I ended up taking it easy for the rest of the night and going to bed early.
After getting up and writing this report, I decided to head back to bed. I wasn't running a temperature but I never did get much sleep after coughing for, what seemed, all night. I felt lousy. Plus, I was having a root canal done at 1:30 PM, so I wanted to make sure I was as healthy as I could be before sitting in the dentist's chair. So for the rest of the morning I stayed in bed reading/sleeping. At noon I had lunch and, afterward, headed to the dentist where he drilled down through the root of the problem tooth. This hole through the root needs to be left open for the next few days. I will go back on Monday to finish it.
For the rest of the day I was back to work on things that didn't require me to go outside. I didn't want to push it since this is the first time I have been sick this year. I'm sure the stress with the wedding, lack of sleep, the recent work load and shaking many hands at the wedding all contributed to giving me this bug. At any rate, my work day was done by 6:00 PM as I was planning to go to bed early.
These last two days of exceptionally cold weather have produced surface ice on Perkins Cove, the likes of which we don't normally see this early. In fact, it's been many years since I saw ice formed in Perkins Cove before mid November. Below is a shot of Perkins Cove that I took this morning at nearly low tide showing the ice on the banks of Perkins Cove, a scene more akin to a January setting than a time during mid-November. In this shot you can see the bow of the Bunny Clark on the right. You can also see the skim ice on the surface of Perkins Cove.
Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent on the phone, at the computer and on email. It's certainly that time of year again.
Today featured the running around stuff I did yesterday, similar stuff. But, also, there were quite a few things I needed to get done before the weekend. On top of that, I had to winterize the Petrel, our lobster boat. That entailed moving the boat to a different mooring, running an underwater storm line to another mooring that I could pick up in case of heavy weather, setting up the winterback and side curtains and making sure everything was in place for snow, etc. The tower is coming off, hopefully, on Tuesday.
Captain Ian Keniston worked on the Bunny Clark, cleaning and moving stuff out of the Cove.
The afternoon was set up around the desk work I needed to do and a few phone calls. At 3:15 PM, I jumped on the bike to get my first ride in this week.
After desk work, I took the morning off and went riding. After lunch, I spend a couple hours at the Cove, going over the boats, looking at the engines, setting up storm lines in anticipation of strong northeast winds and finished up with parking lot activities. Afterward I visited my mother who I haven't seen for a week because I didn't want to get her sick with my flu bug that I am trying to vanquish out of my body. I kept my distance and didn't touch anything.
Except for a couple hours of work in the morning, I took most of the day off. I managed to get sixty miles in on the bike, starting at 8:00 AM in 20°F air temperatures that warmed to 34°F when I had finished.
Also, Anthony Palumbo gave me his notice on the last day of the season. He is going into cabinet making on a full time basis next year. So he will not be available as a full time deck hand. So, as of right now, we will be in need of two deck hands, possibly one, a full time position and a part time position. Anyone taking the position needs to understand that a pre-employment drug test is required as well as being enrolled in a random drug testing program. You can call 207-646-2214 if you are interested.