Book a Trip on Line
(On-line reservations will be available starting on Feb 2, 2020.)
The focus for today was cleaning up my Pan-Mass Challenge web site for 2019, thanking individuals who's mobile phone numbers I retain and getting all the figures set and finalized. I basically took the day off, except for that, my day being centered around the Leicester City/Newcastle United English Premier League football game. I watched the game at a friend's house in Kennebunkport, riding my bike up there and back. Afterward, I took Gill for a three mile run on Ogunquit Beach.
And so ends the 2019 edition of the Pan-Mass Challenge. I want to thank all of you who have supported me in this project. As I mentioned, this years donation total was the largest I have ever been able to generate. Without you, of course, I would be nothing. I appreciate you making me look good in the eyes of the Pan-Mass Challenge organizers. I will be starting the 2020 phase in the next couple of days with my Pan-Mass Challenge web site altered to reflect the new year of fund raising. My sister, Meg, has already donated $2,000.00 toward this new season. She likes to be the first to donate every year. So she writes a check and gives it to me a week in advance to make sure. She is usually my biggest donor every year as well. So thank you, Meg. I think it's too much money to give me but it is for a great cause and I appreciate it more than you know! Onward and upward. Here's to hoping huge strides will be made in cancer research in the coming year because of our efforts! Thank you all, again, for a wonderful fund raising season.
This was really the first working day of the winter for me. I had a lot to do. But the first thing I had to do was be at a doctor's office in Portsmouth by 8:00 AM. My GP wanted to have a test done just in case, an age related potential problem.
I was home by 9:30 AM. The rest of the day until 7:00 PM I spent at the desk, on the phone, on the computer, texting, emailing and working into every facet of my winter work load. This is the most stressful time of the year for me. I have to think about who I will have as a deck hand, write up the new schedule, work out the way we are going to do reservations this year, write up the work order for the Bunny Clark, order materials, write the Guestletter, renew permits, etc. etc. etc. The list just goes on. And it's not like all this goes along flawlessly. I should have gotten out of the house to do something today but I did not.
Most of the day was spent working on this web site. At 8:00 AM, Captain Ian Keniston, Deb and I sat down and decided the schedule and rates for the upcoming season. That took a little over an hour. By noon, I had the new schedule and rates posted on this site. The rest of the afternoon was spent working on my 2020 Pan-Mass Challenge web site, the Bunny Clark work order for this winter season and the Guestletter. I was done by 7:00 PM.
I did take a break to run with Gill, our dog, on Ogunquit Beach at sunset. Two days ago we did the same thing and ran the same distance, 3.5 miles. Two days ago I felt light as a feather and Gill ran, tethered, the full mile and a half before putting the breaks on. I felt good, Gill stayed on pace, albeit, slower than I run on my own. All was good. He even stayed within sight the whole run back off the leash. This time when I started to run, I felt like I had just finished a marathon. I was heavy and plodding. And Gill did not want to keep up, even at the slower pace I was running. There weren't as many dogs but the dogs that were there were spread out and seemed much more interesting to Gill. We had frequent stops on the way up. Three times I had to coax him to keep going. This consisted of talking to the dog, pulling on the leash and then, in desperation, pushing him from behind. Reluctantly, he kept going. But before he would start again he would give me that look, as if to say; "Really, Tim?" At the seventh house he refused to go any further. Try as I might, I could not get him to go. So I let him off his leash and continued up the beach on my own, plodding along. I never lose sight of him. So I ran for a bit and then turned to go back. He was plopped down in the sand waiting, looking at me coming with his ears cocked and stock still, as if waiting for a herd of sheep. He kept up for the ride back. but I was also a half minute slower per mile than normal. And when I stopped, I was sore. Funny, you never know how you are going to feel when you start. Granted, riding the bike has something to do with the way I run. But older age tells on you in ways you never even think about when you are young. Below is a shot of Gill and I before we started running and before I realized I was going to feel so sluggish. In other words, the picture was taken when I had high hopes of a run like we had on Wednesday.
Except for driving to a friend's house to watch an English FA Cup (soccer) game between Leicester City & Wigan Athletic at noon (until 2:30 PM), I spent my day renovating my Pan-Mass Challenge site to accommodate the new year. I worked until 6:00 PM on it, not quite finishing it. I will continue on it tomorrow morning and, hopefully, have it up before noon.
I didn't anything today but work on Pan-Mass Challenge stuff. I updated my Pan-Mass Challenge for the 2020 donation season, I signed up for my fourteenth Pan-Mass ride and I cleaned up all the loose areas so I could put the 2019 fund raising season behind me.
I was going to go for a bike ride at 2:00 PM thinking I would have clear unfrozen roads. I got suited up, got on the bike, got about a half mile from the house, ran into a patch of ice on a corner, didn't go down and decided that discretion might be the better part of getting through the day without spending part of it at the York Hospital ER.
I got some good news about fishing on the grounds where the Bunny Clark fishes. The Eastman Docks fishing fleet are catching quite a few pollock, including some in the larger sizes, and quite a few haddock, limiting out in a lot of cases. And the haddock have been as big as 10 pounds. If you want to go fishing right now, I would say that these are the boats to fish on. I would go myself if I had time. They are sailing through the week.
And I received my second donation sponsoring me in this years Pan-Mass Challenge two days ago. The donation was in the form of an "eGift" off the PMC site for $120.00 from Joe & Paula Amato (NH). Joe & Paula have been sponsoring me for many years. They don't usually send me a donation this early in the season - but I will take it! Thank you both so much for your support, generosity and thoughtfulness. You know I appreciate it! But there are others who may never know you who will appreciate it even more!
I spent the early part of the morning working at the desk. By 8:15 AM, I was in Exeter, New Hampshire putting in a slider (rear window) in the back of my truck. This had broken during the middle of December and my appointment to replace it was today. Afterward, I went Portsmouth to start the process of getting a new mobile phone. Mine is about four years old and dying. It took over an hour to complete the process. Afterward, they didn't have a phone with enough memory available there. So I had to have the phone ordered. The phase was picking up supplies. This took me until about 1:00 PM or lunch. The rest of the day was spent home at the desk. Not a very interesting day to write about.
I spent my whole day scheduling and completing the work order for the Bunny Clark. We always have about seventy-five items that need to be addressed before we can launch her again in the spring. Some of the items are cosmetic; they appear in the work order every year. Some items are repairs. Still other items are new ideas, electronics and systems. I'm never really satisfied with the way we left the boat in the fall. The Bunny Clark gets well used. Things break. Things get old. Things need to get replaced. Ian Keniston takes the lead on this with Dave Pease working on the more technical aspects. They are, of course, invaluable to me.
It amazes me how much time it takes to organize work, schedule appointments and set up dates to get things done. When I look back on what I did today I think; "I should have been able to get more done!" But it really takes time. The fact that I have to re-learn this every winter season is disconcerting. Maybe I'm just in denial. But it just confirms in my mind that the time when both restaurants are open and the Bunny Clark is running are the best times. I like being in the routine.
I spent the morning until 9:30 AM, working in both offices, at the Cove (Barnacle Billy's, Etc.) and at home. I had a meeting at the Cove at 9:00 AM, which didn't take long. I headed to Portsmouth afterward to pick up supplies, get a new cell phone and to stop at the Bunny Clark to work on a few things. I got back home at 2:00 PM, where I spent the rest of the day at the desk.
We had a fox in the yard this morning. I was able to get pretty close to take a picture. This digital image appears below. We have a lot of foxes next to our house. There have been two litters of "pups" in the last two years. I don't pay enough attention to it to know more than that. I don't know as I have ever seen the fox shown below.
I had a completely filled day today mostly centered on Bunny Clark upkeep and repairs. At 8:00 AM, I had a meeting with David Pease and Ian Keniston at the Bunny Clark concerning the work order, detailing specific parts that needed to be done and then highlighting the areas that I would like to see finished if there was time. The more major of the projects centered around a new dual fuel filter system, replacing the old one that I have had in there since the 1980s, replacing the windows, revamping our automatic engine shut down system, rebedding the trunk house hatch in a better way and addressing minor leaks (water, oil & air) around the boat. What I call "more major" are not all that major. And the research I completed after our meeting solved two problems right off the bat.
The rest of the work concerns the cosmetic aspect of getting the boat ready. The painting, the bright work, cleaning the engine room, looking for chaffing, electrolysis and barrier coating rusted areas in the engine room and lazarette. This is the normal stuff we do every winter. I always get a kick out of the patrons who come down for the first few trips of the season. Several people always remark; "Hey, the boat looks brand new this year!" Answer: it looks like that every spring.
So the rest of my day was spent tying up loose ends, Bunny Clark winter research, answering emails and re-writing the work order to bring back to the boat tomorrow. I was done by 6:00 PM. I was glad to get this day out of the way.
I did watch a little of the Bruins game but not enough of it to keep me up past 8:30 PM.
I worked at the desk until I had to go for a doctor's exam in Portsmouth at 9:00 AM. This was a follow up exam after some initial concerns from two previous visits. Those concerns were nullified today. Most of the rest of the morning was spent picking up supplies and visiting the Bunny Clark. At 11:00 AM, one of the managers and I had a meeting at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. with a tech who is helping set up a new phone system at the two restaurants. Not only will this save us a lot of money but we will able to have an answering machine. The first priority of this machine will be to alert patrons to the fact that we do not take reservations. Ninty percent of the calls in the summer are calls for dinner reservations. There are many other helpful features of this system. We were done by 1:00 PM.
The rest of the day was spent in the office and, later, on the road bike.
Today was a day off centered around the Leicester City/Southampton Premier League football game. I rode my bike to meet a bunch of cyclists who, after the ride, were to gather at one rider's house where we were all going to sit around the TV, hoping that Leicester would win. After the game, I rode home on my bike alone. The morning ride was very wet. I was soaked when we arrived at our TV destination. Thankfully, our host had radiant heating in the floor near the garage where I took my clothes off. By laying all the riding clothes on the floor, they were dry before it was time to head back. And our host provided me with a clean pair of shorts to wear during the game. It was a disappointing game and another wet ride home. However, it was also 65°F. I was, of course, way over-dressed but I managed to get most of the extra gear off and stowed in such a way that I could keep riding. It didn't matter how wet I got then with the air temperature being so high.
I did a small amount of prep work for tomorrow's work day after I had some lunch.
I spent all morning working at the desk here at home. Most of the day was spent on the Guestletter. I wrote the first two paragraphs, which always seems like a milestone. I worked on this until 1:00 PM. I took the rest of the day off after that.
My day started at the office and ended at the office. I left the house before 8:00 AM to check on a dentist appointment that I didn't have. From there I went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to put together a new fuel filter system for the Bunny Clark. The system is a more modern version of the same Racor system I have in there now. This new system has alarms for water detection that I don't have in the present system. Also, parts of the old system were wearing out in several areas. After I gathered all the materials, I drove to the Bunny Clark where I loaded all this stuff into the shop so we could install this later in the winter.
From there I went to office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. where I had about forty-five minutes of work to do there. I finalized a date with my sister, Cathy, for the fire inspection of both restaurants next week. The rest of the day was spent in the home office where I worked on the Guestletter.
I'm redesigning the Guestletter so that it isn't so long as it has been in the past. I'm leaving out things that I used to keep as reference points for me which should drop it back quite a bit. These items are still available in past Guestletters that I keep on line. I will, therefore, be able to reference statements by looking back at those. The part of the Guestletter where I abuse my patrons will remain. I hope to have it completed by the beginning of next week. We shall see.
Assuming the Guestletter is completed just after the weekend, it will not include the new regulation proposals put forth by the Recreational Advisory Panel meeting on January 21st. Having said that, I can't believe there will be any proposals that will negatively effect our upcoming regulations. At worst, I believe we will have the same regulations for the 2020 fishing season as we did last season. The new fiscal fishing year starts on May 1, 2020. So our regulations, by law, will stay the same until that date or until the new regulations are approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
I stopped working at 5:00 PM.
My day centered around working on the Guestletter, the longest project I make for myself every winter. I also had a fire inspection on both boats that I had to attend to. Along with that we had a project with a floor drain going on at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. as well as working on getting ready for the fire inspection at both restaurants slated for Wednesday next week.
Normally, this time of year, we let things go at the restaurants that are better addressed in March, just before we open. For example, things like batteries in emergency exit signs/lights that need to be changed aren't completed until then. The problem with this is that they don't pass inspection. Likewise, neither does the building. So we get approved pending. It's an in-town thing. So the fire department trusts us to compete all these things. But this also means that I have to check with them again when all is completed. So this year I'm trying to stay ahead of the game and get this all done before inspection so we can be done with everything as soon as the inspection is over.
We do have a couple of electrical issues that can only be solved by a licensed electrician. I made some calls to arrange to get those things addressed before the week is out.
After I reached a saturation point on the Guestletter, I went for a run with Gill, our border collie, on Ogunquit beach. I have been avoiding running because last time I had some soreness in my left groin. I'm sensitive about that area because I developed a condition there some years ago from over training for triathlons. So I stopped for a week. It was better today so I thought I would give it a try. I didn't feel it at all running 3.5 miles at a 9:00 minute pace. In fact, I felt light on my feet, wanting to push harder. My mind told me no! I'm glad I listened to myself. The wind was out of the east which Gill does not like but the wind wasn't hard enough to prevent us from running together. He balked three times on the leash on the way up. But I was able to convince him that it was in his best interest to continue. So he did. He's always happiest on the way back when I take him off his leash. I put a cylume light on him since it was well after sunset when we finished. These are expired lights that we use on our life preservers (PFD's) on the Bunny Clark. They expire after three years but are fully functional for years afterward. It seems a waste as they are used once and then discarded. Who knows what kind of chemicals are in these tubes. I was surprised how far away I could see Gill with this light attached to him. The lights glow green. I can't imagine they would be as visible on a human in the rough waters of the Atlantic at night. Below is a shot I took with my phone of Gill with said light.
Today was too nice to stay inside. But stay inside I did. The whole day was spent working on the Guestletter. But I need to qualify that. I did have to make a couple of trips to the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. And I did have someone come down to look at a floor drain area (at the restaurant) that needs to be re-tiled. And I went back and forth on emails as well. But I am at the half way mark on the physical part of the Guestletter and about a third of the way time wise.
I stopped working at 3:00 PM so I could jump on the bike for forty miles. This is probably the last chance I will have to ride outside for a few days with the bad weather predictions and the colder than normal temperatures expected. Tomorrow will be raining or snowing all day so I will spend most of my day tomorrow on the Guestletter.
Everything today revolved around the Guestletter. It was a milestone day. It always is when I finish figuring out who the FY-'19 (fisherman of the year) is. It took some time this year because the top two anglers were too close, within twelve points of each other. The old rule, and still remains the rule, was that if they are within thirty points of each other, I take the trips where the two fished together at the same time and double the points each one attained on those days. By comparing the extra points, I can get a differential that could change the results. But it did not change anything this time. The angler who was ahead gained two extra points after all that was completed. It took me about four hours to figure the whole thing out from start to finish. I love doing it because I relive a lot of the trips that I was on. The two anglers in question were on some of my favorite trips last year.
At noon, I got a call from the electrician who said he had some extra time to fix some overhead lighting in the kitchen of Barnacle Billy's, Etc. and replace an emergency light in the lobby. So I ran down there to let him in and help (watch) as much as I could. That took about an hour. I was also in the phone for a total of an hour working on different future projects.
I gave up at 5:30 PM. Having done no exercising I decided to go for a run. Normally, I would take Gill, our dog. But it was too dark. And I thought I might lose him if I ran on the beach. Plus, I know he wouldn't have wanted to go with the wind so strong out of the north, running right into it for the first mile and a half. And it was a good thing I didn't bring him. Not only was the wind a problem but the sand was so soft that it was hard even walking on the beach. I got about a quarter of a mile up the beach and turned around. I ended up continuing to run but going around town instead for a total of 3.6 miles at an 8:00 minute pace. I was very comfortable which is always a danger sign for me. Whenever I have felt too comfortable, I always try to run harder and end up pulling something, a calf muscle, hamstring, you name it. It's hell getting old!
After I got done editing this report, I worked on the Guestletter for the rest of the morning. At noon, I drove to Canvasworks to have berth cushions made, the side curtains repaired and hangers made for them when they get reinstalled on the Bunny Clark. From there I drove to DSM Fabrication where two lobster cooker tanks and their covers had been repaired and were waiting to be picked up. From there I drove to Portland where, at Power Products, they had a starter waiting to be picked up. I had changed out the old one in the Bunny Clark last fall. I had replaced it with the spare. Now I needed a new spare. It had been there for three weeks but I was waiting for a time more convenient to pick it up, when I had other things to run for. From Portland, I drove to Sanford where they had a new baffle for my pellet stove. I had ordered it a couple of weeks ago but it had only arrived there yesterday. The baffle in the pellet stove we were using had cracked and needed to be replaced. I suppose I could have got another week out of it but that would have been it.
The rest of my working day was spent off loading the lobster tanks and working on the pellet stove.
I would have liked to have gone for a run on the beach with Gill. I left the house at noon without eating lunch. During my running around I hadn't found a convenient place to pick up something for lunch. So at the very end of the my journey, I stopped at a MacDonald's to grab two fish sandwiches and a medium fries. I knew it was wrong but I was hungry. What a mistake. I felt horrible for the rest of the day. So when 4:00 PM rolled around, a run with the dog was out of the question. Not only would I have revisited the fish sandwiches on the run. But my desire to run was gone. I felt bloated. I will not do that again any time soon. I fall for MacDonald's food a couple times a year. I admit, it tastes so good going down. But I always feel horrible afterward.
My day was spent working, again, on the Guestletter. Saturdays are great because no one is hounding me and I can concentrate on the work I have to get done. I had a few distractions as it's a big sports day and I was in contact with a few of our customers but I did get a lot done.
My work day ended at 4:00 PM when I took Gill out for a run on the beach. There really wasn't much wind at the time and the tide was well out so we had plenty of hard sand to run on. We covered 4.15 miles this time. And Gill was very active and seemed to enjoy himself.
Most of my day today was spent writing the Guestletter, which I finished at 5:45 PM. I still have to add digital images, fill in the tables, edit the content and check for misspellings. But, essentially, the hardest part is done. It's a labor of love. It takes a lot of time. But during this time, I get to relive all the last years experiences, formulate opinions on the state of the fishery, get a laugh out of the funny things that happened and it gives me a common sense look toward the future and all it's aspects. I've made it a bit shorter this year, taking out paragraphs that I used to carry forward and eliminating paragraphs I didn't think were that enjoyable to read for most. And I shortened others.
I took a break to watch the Leicester/Burnley Premier League game on NBC. That took two hours. As the game went on I had a four way comment sessions with three other viewers here and in England. My team, Leicester, lost despite my having a Leicester scarf on the whole game. I will not critique the game here. I don't know enough about English football and I'm sure no one who reads this missive is much interested in my soccer opinions.
After another hour and a half of writing (and, no, I did not watch the Bruins game - the outcome was exactly as I figured it would be), Gill and I took to the road to start shoveling out everywhere. I waited until this time because they hadn't even plowed the driveway yet. And I certainly didn't want to shovel areas I had already shoveled. The areas I shoveled included our house, around the restaurants at the Cove and on the deck at Barnacle Billy's, Etc.
In the process of cleaning up the snow, Gill was exploring. He wanders off at about the fifteen minute mark. He just disappears. So every ten or fifteen minutes I would have to take a break and round him up.
I had, hopefully, the last dentist appointment of the winter this morning at 8:00 AM. At 9:00 AM, I attended a CPR/First Aid/AED class with all the top Barnacle Billy's brass and Captain Ian Keniston. That lasted until around 2:00 PM. After a late lunch, I worked on the Guestletter until 5:30 PM. Other than taking Gill for a four mile run on the beach and answering a few emails about job positions at the restaurant, that was about all I did today.
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.
Book a Trip on Line
(On-line reservations will be available starting on Feb 2, 2020.)