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The New England Fishery Management Council received input from both its Recreational Advisory Panel and Groundfish Committee before voting. GARFO [the regional office of the National Marine Fisheries Service under NOAA, in Gloucester, Massachusetts] will consider the Council's recommendation, but NOAA Fisheries will make the final decision. The new fishing year begins on May 1, 2021. Here is the Council's status quo request:
Gulf of Maine Cod:
Gulf of Maine Haddock:
Recreational fishing measures - bag limits, minimum sizes, and seasons - are determined annually by NOAA Fisheries in consultation with the Council in order for catch to achieve but not exceed each stock's sub-annual catch limit (sub-ACL). The proposed 2021 recreational sub-ACL for Gulf of Maine cod is 193 metric tons (mt). For Gulf of Maine haddock, it's 5,295 mt.
The regulations above are the same regulations we had in fiscal fishing year 2020. The 2020 fiscal year will end on April 30, 2021.
Without the distractions I get during the week, I finished my morning web routine and watched an EPL game (Leicester vs Liverpool) on NBC starting at 7:30 AM. When the game was finished a couple hours later, I started on the Guestletter again. I worked all day on this until I was finished. By 5:00 PM, I had completed the first draft of all the writing. I still have half the digital images to place. And I need to edit it and space everything. So there's at least a days worth of work to do. But the hard part is done.
I broke up the day with an hour walk around town with Deb and dog (Gill) during the afternoon. Once that was done I dove back into the Guestletter.
Other than my morning routine, I did very little work today. I did very little on finishing up the Guestletter, which I had planned to do. The only thing I did do was to make a list of all the things that I would do tomorrow.
Another thing I did, not work related, was to go for a walk/run on the beach with our border collie, Gill. I hadn't run since January 14th. Before that date I had put more time into running than I probably should have as I tweaked my left abductor muscle, an old injury I recognized by the feel. And when I get that feeling, I know to stop running. In the past, it has lead to problems. So I managed to keep it down on speed today. I had no choice anyway; my legs overall didn't feel good enough but to just run a slow pace. And the routine was the same, albeit, with a shorter distance overall. In other words, Gill on a leash for the first 1.25 miles, off the leash while I ran another quarter mile ahead and then running back to the start. On the way back, I caught up with Gill just a little ways away. He ran/trotted back with me. When he would get behind, I would turn around, run back to him, encourage the dog and then get back on track to keep running to the start. We only made one stop on the way back. This was after I had completed three miles running, figuring that was good for the first run. We ran into a couple with a dog that looked very much like Gill but was more of a border collie mix than a true border collie. This dog was much thinner and faster than Gill. The couple were throwing a Frisbee to their dog. Gill was trying to join but was not nearly fast enough to keep up. So Gill wasn't much involved. We spent little time there anyway. We finished the distance walking and then did a leashed walk around the beach parking lot (without seeing the dog lady in her white truck), got in the truck and drove home. Below is a shot of Gill on the beach at the end of the run.
Seeing as today was a Federal holiday and the weather was much better than I expected, I decided to go on a much needed bike ride after I got all my morning work out of the way. I left the house at 9:00 AM and got back before noon, just as it was starting to sleet. For two miles on the way home it was a bit scary. But I took it easy and didn't dump the bike. I was going to do more than 40 miles but, riding up back, was colder and my gloves weren't warm enough so I made my way back to the coast. It was a good thing I did. Had I gone the 60 miles I wanted to go I would have had to call for a ride home. The sleet on the coast was manageable. The sleet inland would have prevented me from riding an inch further.
Once home, I had lunch and worked on the Guestletter, completing it by 8:00 PM. I need to proof it. But, other than that, it is completed.
Right after I got done posting this update, I started proofing the Guestletter. I found it wordy; not as good as I would have liked it to be. Some of it isn't wordy as I write about stats. I got done with that at about 10:30 AM. I worked until noon trying to get my mother an appointment with another doctor, a specialist, referred to by her primary care physician. I went back and forth with this for about an hour. I was also trying to coordinate all this with my sisters.
After lunch I had to secure some storage units for our restaurant supplies. If we do open both restaurants this year we won't need as many tables and chairs with the social distancing requirements. And this also might help opening things up at our original restaurant.
I had a meeting with our fuel guys after that. I'm removing the old 1000 gallon propane tank and replacing it with a new one. I was trying to coordinate at time that was beneficial for us all.
Once I got home, I worked on a design sketch for the new engine room fire suppression system. I had made a PDF of the old documents in 1986 when I was trying to get approval for a Halon system in the Bunny Clark. A problem arose when the dimensions from the old design clashed with the new measurements for cubic feet. So this essentially meant that Ian Keniston and I had to go over it again to make sure we had it exactly right. In the old plans the engine room looked different with fuel tanks and a different placement of battery boxes, hydraulic tanks and head holding tank. So a new design sketch had to be made anyway. So with the exact measurements taken with Ian and a different engine room layout, I produced a different design. I completed all this by 5:00 PM, made another PDF out of it and sent it, via email, to our inspector. I want to get this approved fairly quickly as I need to order the system. Right now I don't know exactly what tank size to order.
I had planned to attend Ogunquit's Select Board meeting but forgot totally about it until it was over. I'll have to find out tomorrow what went on.
After posting this page, I went back to working on the Guestletter, with the help of Deb. By mid morning it was up and posted.
Our U. S. Coast Guard inspector, Matthew White approved my engine plans for an automatic fire suppression system in the Bunny Clark at about the same time as I finished posting the Guestletter. So I followed up with Interstate Fire Protection and ordered the system that had been discussed with both Interstate and the Coast Guard. Interstate has always been very good to me over the years. Very easy to work with.
This was followed by work I had to do with Ogunquit's Harbor Committee. And, actually, I went back and forth on this for the rest of the day. We have a Zoom meeting at 2:00 PM on Friday.
During lunch, I drove to Ocean Graphics so I could start working on the design of the "largest fish of the trip" sticker, the tackle breaker shirts and the new PMC shirt. Both shirts are going to be a type of green. I'm just not exactly sure what shade yet. I have been working with Kevin Barnard since the Bunny Clark was launched on signs and Bunny Clark merchandize.
I had some stuff I had to help my mother with for a while, after my visit with Kevin.
From there I went to the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. where I had to print off the Bunny Clark "day sheets" and stocking order check lists for the coming season. This usually only takes and hour. It took longer today. Don't ask!
I was done by 5:30 PM.
I received a $25.00 donation from Harry Moore (MA) sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Harry has been donating to my cancer fund raising for a few years now. Thank you so very much, Harry. Very much appreciated!
After posting this daily update in the life and times of the Bunny Clark and yours truly, I finished cleaning up the site as a whole and putting in the Guestletter links corresponding to the new Guestletter that I had uploaded yesterday.
During the morning I was told that my sister, Cathy, had secured an appointment for our mother this afternoon to see a doctor about a minor physical ailment that needed to be addressed. So I helped coordinate that effort along with printing out documents for my sisters and my mother's care givers to fill out before arrival at 3:00 PM. I found out later that the doctor's visit was very successful. Cathy took her over there along with one of the care givers to help.
I had a meeting with our (Barnacle Billy's restaurant) carpenter, Jayson Lessard, later in the morning. That lasted probably about forty-five minutes. Throughout the day I concentrated on the Harbor Committee meeting coming up tomorrow and writing letters asking for donations for the Pan-Mass Challenge. It didn't seem like I spent much time getting things accomplished but all my time was used up on items I would have to take time for anyway. I stopped working at 5:15 PM.
After the morning routine, I spent most of the rest of the day at the computer. I finished up a lot of letter writing and printing. I also got prepared to chair a Harbor Committee meeting.
The Harbor Committee meeting started at 2:00 PM, a Zoom meeting. The focus of the meeting was transient docking, dedicating two outer floats for fueling only and highlighting some of the items in the Town's Watercraft Ordinance. The meeting was two hours long. We did discuss the bridge and it's viability for the summer. But we didn't learn much more than we did at the last meeting.
After the meeting I went over and picked up a 17 pound lobster that a friend of mine had mounted on a plaque and wanted to give to me. He's moving out of his house to another location and couldn't keep the lobster. I am planning on hanging it at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. We already have a 25 pound lobster on a plaque at our original restaurant. We shall see.
I received a generous $250.00 donation from Mark Girard (CA/NH) sponsoring me in my cancer research fund raising with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. He made his donation through the PMC site as an "eGift". Mark has been supporting me for years, since the beginning. Thanks so much, Mark. Very thoughtful, generous and unselfish. All the best to you! And I hope to see you this fishing season.
After working on this website update, I took the whole day off. My daughter, Halley, and her husband, Nick, were on vacation from New Jersey, where Nick works in finanace and Halley is a nurse at a local hospital.
At 8:00 AM, the four of us jumped in the truck and headed for Harris Farm, Dayton, Maine to go cross country skiing. Deb it tentative and it isn't her favorite sport. But I give her credit. She went anyway. I raced all through high school and college and then after college out west with a base in Sun Valley, Idaho. So, for me, it was very much fun and brought back lots of memories. Nick had never done this before and really liked it. For only getting as close to skiing as the basketball court, he was excellent. Halley, for her part, looked exactly (right on form) as she did when she was growing up and we used to ski together. The four of us did about two miles. Then Deb stayed behind and the three of us did another four miles. I had a balance issue as I hadn't been on skis for at least ten years. Whenever I tried to get into a rhythm down the track, I would lose my balance and fall. There were some good moments. But those good moments of form were momentary, where my best moments of the day were certainly with the family. Below are a few pictures. I chose only the best I could find. I left out the falls.
After posting the update, I worked on writing up the minutes for the Harbor Committee meeting that we had on Friday. This took me about two hours of the three that I worked on it. I was distracted a bit by the EPL game of Leicester/Aston Villa. Once done, I sent it to the various members of the Committee for approval. After I made these corrections, I had lunch. Tomorrow, I will send the minutes to the Town Office to be archived.
After lunch, I took the rest of the afternoon and did a solo bike ride that took me around Wells, Kennebunk, Sanford, North & South Berwick, York and home. A little over fifty miles. It was a perfect day with zero clouds, light winds, temperatures around 30°F and dry roads. It was just cold enough so that the snow wasn't melting with water on the roads. Or, I should say, the puddles that did form were small enough to ride around when encountered.
I never left the house today. I worked on this report and the Harbor Committee minutes until 9:30 AM. I stayed at the desk for the rest of the day. There was a time when I thought I might break and go for a bike ride but something else kept coming up. By the time I could break away, I could see on the radar app that it was going to rain. So I never did leave the house.
Today was another day at Bunny Clark Central (the office). I spent some time putting up a new index page digital image on this website. And I did quite a bit of follow-up on some of the projects I had started. I did break away to try to settle a problem at the Town Office which I did not settle. I will have to continue on this tomorrow.
I was done with desk work after I had lunch between noon and 1:00 PM, so I jumped on the bicycle for the rest of the afternoon. It was nice to get out and ride with air temperatures in the lower 40s. The compromise, of course, was the wet roads. The lower end of my body was soaked by the time I got back.
Most of my day was, again, spent at the computer. And much of this time was spent on follow-up. I have been working on the new design for this year's PMC t-shirts (they are going to be mint green for 2021). We almost had that figured out today. I went back and forth with a new thing at the town office where equipment on commercial fishing boats is being taxed. We have never had this before in town. So I needed to find out where it originated and how to address it. I have a Zoom meeting for Barnacle Billy's restaurants tomorrow. So I did a bit of preparation for that. I had to contact individuals who wanted to reserve the function room at Barnacle Billy's. At this time we do not know how we will approach this as we don't know what direction the state will go with upcoming Covid regulations. I also had a pile of emails addressing the restaurants and the Bunny Clark.
After a while, I was done with the computer. I started studying for my Servsafe certificate that ran out a couple of days ago. In order to run a restaurant, by law, you have to have a Servsafe manager on the premises at all times. This to prevent food borne illness. It's a good thing, really, as being unaware of something that could make your customers sick would not be good for business and could be quite expensive. We have had to have this for at least fifteen years now. It hasn't changed the way we prepare food. But it has kept us aware of potential contamination issues and made us more aware of personal hygiene issues with respect to our employees. At any rate, the test seems to get more difficult every year. The first time I took the test I expected to ace it and was disappointed that I missed one question. The last time I took the test, I felt lucky to have passed it. The devil was certainly in the details on items that I could reference in a manual that they expected you to know off the top of your head.
I also cleaned my website up a bit.
Being sick of work, I did some exercise in the late afternoon, ending before dinner.
I devoted the whole morning to Barnacle Billy's restaurants. I prepared for a Zoom meeting with all the principles at 9:30 AM. The meeting lasted for an hour and a half. Starting dates (for getting Barnacle Billy's ready) were set, systems were talked about, we discussed employment, positions, emails, menu and many other things. It is very difficult to start thinking about what and how we are going to do all this in an abnormal Covid environment. We have potential groups we can't host because we don't know the future of Maine's regulations. We are not sure about outside sales of alcohol. We aren't even sure how we are going to stay open during the week in April. Some of this will be taken care of as we get closer. But much needs to be decided now. It's certainly a work in progress. But it is certainly unsettling looking at the future.
Afterward, I spent the rest of the day chasing down the items we talked about. Resolving some and working on others.
In the meantime, I received a very generous donation in the amount of $750.00 from Paul Kostopoulos (CT) sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge. A third of this money was given in memory of Gina Bracken, an old friend of Paul's who passed from the disease at fifty-seven years old, much too young. The other two-thirds was a donation outright from Paul. Paul has been so supportive and generous over the years. And excellent regular angler, he has sponsored me since I got involved in 2007. Thank you so much Paul for all the help you have given me and the organization over the years. It means so much and is so appreciated by all.
I spent most of the morning tying up loose ends and doing some follow up on projects that are just starting. I had a meeting with the harbor master at 8:00 AM or there abouts. I found out that he is retiring and plans to be done by June 1. That should give the town enough time to find a replacement. Hopefully, the Harbor Committee will be able to steer the town in the right direction.
I also spent some time running around town, going to see my mother and picking up some needed items. I spent the last few hours of the day working at the desk. I was done work by 3:00 PM.
I went on a late bike ride and took the picture below from the beach parking lot looking out over the Gulf of Maine at the full moon.
In the coming months I will be looking to employ a regular deck hand for the Bunny Clark this season. As most know, we weren't fully staffed with deck hands last year or the year before. Thankfully, some of our previous deck hands (including me for two trips) got us through the season last year. So if anyone is interested, I will be looking for at least one person as a mate for the Bunny Clark. The number to call is 207-646-2214.
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