Book a Trip on Line
Today was more of the same. After my work at the desk, I held a meeting down at Barnacle Billy's restaurant with guest speaker Geoff Hill, who is part of an equity firm that controls at least 2500 restaurants across the U.S. and holds a seat on the National Restaurant Association board. He has been establishing takeout systems in many of his restaurants. So he told us of the problems we could face, what to expect, the importance of establishing a systematic, consistent health plan and some of the tricks he has found helpful. He was very interesting and helpful. I so appreciated his assistance.
At 9:15 AM, I broke to get to the Bunny Clark that was being hauled out of the barn this morning. Independant Boat Haulers showed up after 10:00 AM. Within fifteen minutes they had the boat out of the Barn and on the road. Below is a shot of the boat just being hauled from the Barn on to the road. We were on the hard at Kittery Point Yacht Yard by 11:00 AM. Both Ian Keniston, David Pease and I worked on this.
Except for various discussions on starting the fishing and the restaurants via email, text, WhatsApp and phone, I took the day off after posting this update.
I spent the morning, after posting this update, riding my bike with seven other fully quarantined cyclists for a total of sixty-eight miles. Except for a walk with Deb and dog (Gill), I spent the rest of the day at the desk answering emails, making phone calls and making notes for the manic Monday that will be tomorrow. We have much to do tomorrow to start the week, both at the Bunny Clark and the restaurant. I got done at 7:00 PM.
I got direction from the State of Maine today on party/charter fishing operations. The State has grouped all those recreational fishing operations under the title of "Fishing Guides". The rules under the category state that you can only have "ten passengers" on the vessel at any one time regardless of the number of crew aboard. This is a little better than the ten person total rule. I guess they feel that the crew can distance themselves appropriately and will take precautions even if they have to limit passengers to do so. Certainly small charter boats can't take more than six anglers anyway. And small guided operations only go with two or three here in Maine. During the fishing trip, all anglers (and crew) have to wear face coverings. The crew have to also wear surgical gloves. The Bunny Clark is large enough to make the ten passenger limit viable under most circumstances. Heavy weather may make us drop the passenger count. The state also requires that everyone follow the Maine CDC guidelines along with the safety procedures I just mentioned like social distancing, etc.
There is also the out of state quarantine rule that states that if you come into our state, you have to quarantine for fourteen days before you are allowed to go out. On Friday our governor said that anyone from out of state would be able to come to Maine and shop for groceries and forgo the fourteen day quarantine rule. So I don't know where this puts anglers who are coming out of state and fishing for part of the day offshore. No hotels or motels are open here so it's not like anglers will be doing any walking around the state. Right now the out of state quarantine rule is not being enforced. This may be something for the future, particularly if the crisis flares up in Maine. Or the state may relax this rule if the number of Covid-19 cases go down. At any rate, the rules and data change daily. So it's best to stay vigilante on the daily progress in this arena.
After the update posting, I went to the Cove for a quick meeting with the crew at Barnacle Billy's. A little guidance. Then it was off to Kittery Point Yacht Yard to get the Bunny Clark in the water and the raw water pump changed out. KPYY had already launched the Bunny Clark when I showed up at 8:40 AM. Ian Keniston was already there putting things together. We worked together until Skip Dunning showed up from Power Products. He had the new raw water pump and all the gaskets to go with it.
The raw water pump is something I could have changed myself. However, it would have taken me three times as long. Plus, being a Tier 3 engine, there are three computers that talk back to each other within the engine system. Invariably, something always goes wrong when I launch the boat in the spring. So it was nice to have Skip there doing a diagnostic test on the engine before he left. Plus, he checked the whole engine out, certainly making me feel more comfortable that we were all set to go. Today was the only launching we had involving the new engine where something didn't need to be adjusted (except for what I had planned to fix.
While Skip was working on the engine, Ian and I were putting up the radar mast and getting everything mounted and tested. Skip was done before noon. Ian and I were finished at about 1:30 PM. From there I went back to Barancle Billy's without having lunch and worked there until about 3:45 PM. After a late lunch, it was back answering emails and working on the computer.
Below is a shot of Skip and his diagnostics computer after all the engine work was completed. The other shot is just a picture of the engine and engine room with the hatch open.
After updating this part of my web site, I was down at the restaurants meeting with the managers. At 8:30 AM, Lieutenant Matthew Buttrick from the Ogunquit PD met with us to go over the CDC protocols, the town decisions on health safety & regulations, guidelines about opening takeout at Barnacle Billy's and what the O. Police Department expects out of us to run a clean consistent operation. It was a very helpful meeting. Plus, he was able to provide signage and tape to mark off six foot increments on the ground for people standing in line at the takeout. Also, I was unsure how we would run the paid parking lot across from Barnacle Billy's, Etc. Lt. Buttrick told me that he would appreciate it if we limited parking to twenty minutes, not allow people to eat or drink (alcoholic beverages) in their car and maintain social distancing within the parking lot. The idea is to make people in vehicles comfortable with an easy place to park and wait but to move people along so that we can maintain the regulations that the town has developed to keep people safe and run a salient business. His direction was just what I needed to continue with future planning on this very different restaurant landscape.
The rest of the day was spent designing the new menu, finish the pricing, give direction to all who are setting all this up. Meet with our paper supplier about new takeout food containers we will need to complete the takeout process, talk to vendors about orders, make refinements, consider the new employees roles, adjust our takeout and curbside service, put up signage and plan for tomorrow. I spent a lot of time in the office. I also put the new menu up on the Barnacle Billy's site.
At 1:00 PM, Captain Ian Keniston and Captain Micah Tower (my son) met at Kittery Point Yacht Yard to work on the sounding machine and bring the Bunny Clark from Kittery to Perkins Cove. They solved the sounding machine problem in about a half hour. By 3:00 PM, the Bunny Clark was back in Perkins Cove tied to the float off the Barnacle Billy's dock. Ian dislocated his shoulder over a week ago. This affected his right arm - he can't really use it. He had just had the cast removed from his left arm after he broke his wrist and elbow when the dislocation occurred. He will be having an MRI later in order to discern what he needs to do to get his right arm better. So Micah steered the boat from Kittery to Perkins Cove. He did a perfect job coming in the Cove. And I expected that. But, when it's your son, the pride factor comes into play and, well, you know.
Below are a couple of pictures showing Micah steering the Bunny Clark into the Cove and bringing the BC to the float with Ian on the stern ready to tie dock lines. I'm glad the boat is closer to home. Afterward, I took both Ian and Micah back to Kittery to retrieve their trucks.
Another day, another meeting at 8:00 AM at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. I worked all morning there, mostly in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. My plan was to clean up the barnbilly.com web site. But I never got to it in the morning. I was too busy with the preparations for opening for takeout on Friday. Before noon, I went back home for a quick bite. From there I drove the Bunny Clark truck to Coast GMC in Portsmouth to get the truck serviced. It needed an oil change, a recall fix, tire rotation and some work in the cab. That took two hours. After that, I worked in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. focusing on the Barnacle Billys web site, finally. The goal was to write in the "Journal" to explain how we were going to manage the new takeout system.
Ian Keniston and Micah Tower met at 1:00 PM, picked up the life raft at Life Raft Services in York and installed that on the Bunny Clark. They worked until around 5:00 PM to get the Bunny Clark ready for Coast Guard inspection on Monday.
It's been a busy time since I decided to open Barnacle Billy's for takeout and my decision to launch the Bunny Clark as a fishing service. Both businesses are not going to do well, financially, under the current Covid restrictions. But I have to find out what we can do. I am excited about it. For both businesses, I'm in uncharted waters. Sometimes this makes it hard to sleep at night. Other times I'm encouraged by the verve seen in the crew to establish a new restaurant idea. Ian too is excited about the fishing season - as I am. But, with Ian, the chance that he might be unavailable at some point because of the potential of shoulder surgery, looms large. I have other options that I'm looking at. But Ian's loss would be huge. We shall see. Did I mention that sometimes I find it hard to sleep at night?
My day was spent at Barnacle Billy's restaurant, getting everything ramped up for opening day of takeout starting tomorrow at 11:00 AM. I spent a lot of time in the office. I also spent a lot of time working on how to best keep everybody safe within a restaurant setting (the employees) and procedures for taking care of our patrons. A big part of this was bringing into the restaurant easy to apply sanitary disinfectants for cleaning food surfaces and stronger ones to use elsewhere in the restaurant. Along with this were procedural plans for operation, packaging of products to go and a test run with our fried food section (at Barnacle Billy's, Etc.) with a local family who are professionally knowledgable with this stuff as it relates in real time to national food chains.
I was done by 8:00 PM.
Today we opened Barnacle Billy's restaurant for takeout only. I wondered what my father would have thought of all this. It was very hectic. I spent the morning putting on the finishing touches of a very different start to our restaurant season. Thanks to Allison Hill, who gave me a platform to write something I could place in every fried food/lobster bag, I wrote an introductory letter that also explained how to eat some of our takeout items. With Allison's help, I was able to write this up and print copies in an hour. I finally got out of the restaurant to go home to take a shower at 10:45 AM, fifteen minutes before we opened.
The historic first order was a pound and a half lobster, a bowl of chowder, two blueberry pies (made yesterday morning by our baker, Heather Betz) and a rum punch. It was much busier than I thought it would be. I was very pleased with the result. It wasn't as busy as it would have been had everything been normal. But we didn't have as many employees, we didn't have to use the dish room very often (so we didn't have much trash) and we were able to keep the restaurant much cleaner. It was certainly strange being in a face mask and surgical gloves all day. It's hard for the patrons to see you smile with a mask. But a mask does help if you forgot to brush your teeth. Don't say it, Bob LaPage!
After I faxed the orders, I was one of the last two people to leave the building at 9:00 PM.
I received three donations today sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising drive with the Pan-Mass Challenge, an event that has been canceled. Of course, cancer doesn't take a break and neither does my fund raising to fight it. One donation was $500.00, the money Deb and I put in to take part in the PMC event. The money could have been given back but I turned it around for a donation. Of course, I never took Deb's input in that decision! I also got a very nice $100.00 donation from Kathy Hessefort Roy (NH). Kathy has been donating to my fund raiser since I first started in 2007! Also, Dawn Beckwith & Sally (I never have asked her last name - they are such wonderful people) gave a generous $60.00 when I saw them at the restaurant today. It was a wonderful greeting to me, as if to say: "Hey, everything will get back to normal. You just wait and see!" Thank you all for being so thoughtful. I really appreciate you support and kindness!
I spent another whole day at the restaurant after editing this site. The takeout business is certainly not the cure-all to getting back in business or sustaining the future of Barnacle Billy's. But it will help cash flow and move us forward along with the stimulus money we received. Today's business was not as much as it was yesterday. But the weather was not good. It could have been worse had the wind been out of the northeast with the associated rain you expect with that kind of wind. It was cold today, it was windy and the snow swirling around in the morning was not conducive to being outside.
Our business model is working out better than I thought, though. Captain Ian Keniston called to ask how to do it. My advice was to call so that they would have the order ready when he drove down. Jen, our cashier taking the orders, tells you how long the meal is going to take to prepare. And her times have been very accurate. Ian drove down, parked briefly in the lot and Tyler, one of our runners, brought his meal right to him before he had even stopped the vehicle. I haven't asked Ian how the meal was. But he would have called me if there had been a problem. So far, we have had a few minor problems: a burger went out without the patty and we missed a garlic bread with an order. All the feedback I have received has been very positive. We can still streamline the process. I had to change the phone greeting this morning so that a person calling could go directly to Jen at the cashier station - rather than wait on the phone for a number choice. And there are a few other things that could be done to speed up the process. But, all in all, the system is smooth. The only thing missing is having Rich & Donna McGuinness up here behind a rum punch (or two)!
As is normal, I finished my work at the desk here by 6:00 AM, which included editing this site, and left the house on my bike to spend the morning with some of the Maine Coast Cycling Club riders out of Kennebunk and surrounding areas. There were six of us in total, all of whom have been working from home and quarantined. I ended up with sixty-six miles and got home by 10:30 AM. I spend a half hour with my mother after that before spending the rest of my day working at Barnacle Billy's restaurant.
I spent my time at work between the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. and Barnacle Billy's. Most of my time was spent in the office.
At 5:00 PM, I noticed that the Bunny Clark, that was tied stern-to, slipped a fender and was allowing a corner of the float to chaff the starboard corner of the name on the stern. In adjusting the stern lines, my glasses, that were just hooked in the "V" of my shirt, fell overboard and into the Cove. I didn't actually see them go. But I suspect that was the case. I, hopefully, will find them tomorrow? This was just before I decided to move the Bunny Clark on the face of the float. And that action was just before I found out that former employees were ordering food during the busiest time of the day and getting help's prices! The glasses are expensive, as glasses are today. And a policy change was in order after finding out late in the third day of being open!
The day ended with me treating Deb to a takeout of lobsters and steamers from the restaurant for a Mother's Day meal.
I received a $25.00 donation from Steve Guilmet (MA) yesterday sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a cancer fund raising event that I have been involved in since 2007. And Steve has supported me every year since I started. Thanks so much, Steve. I hope all is well with you and that everyone in your family is safe and healthy. I so appreciate your help in this.
I spent most of the early part of the morning editing this site, meeting with the managers at Barnacle Billy's and getting ready for U. S. Coast Guard inspection.
I met Ian Keniston at the Bunny Clark at 8:00 AM. Shortly after that, I called our USCG inspector, CW0 Daniel Kinville, to ask if he could come down a half hour later. This because I had to dive in the Cove to see if I could find my eye glasses that fell off my neck yesterday while addressing the stern lines of the Bunny Clark. Our inspection okayed my request which meant that I had an hour to get the job done, take a quick hot shower and get back to the Cove. I ran home to get an old survival suit that I use for Cove dives and a mask. When I got back, Ian had rigged a line with 32 pounds of sinkers so I could pull myself to bottom. It took me four tries to finally find my glasses. I almost didn't do that fourth dive as I thought I had covered everywhere. The visibility on the bottom was about two feet, with all the run-off going into the Cove from recent rains. I was very much relieved to find the glasses on the last dive. I didn't know for sure that I had dropped them overboard as I didn't hear them go or notice they were gone until fifteen minutes later. But after I had checked everywhere I had been, the bottom of the Cove was my conclusion.
The inspection began shortly after 9:30 AM. Mr. Kinville was really good and very thorough, which I really love and respect. It certainly wouldn't mean as much if it were a half assed inspection and we passed it. But the thing I enjoyed most about the inspection was the inspector addressing the man overboard situation, fires at sea, crossing bars and all the other emergencies that could happen at sea. But the part I liked the most was that he was directing all these questions to Kyle Redfearn, our new deck hand, who was also there at the inspection. Coming from the inspector, these questions had much more meaning that they would have had I initiated the discussion. Daniel was very good about this. He knew that this was Kyle's first time on the Bunny Clark. And it was a perfect intro for him. The inspection went very well, one of the best we have ever had on the Bunny Clark. No issues, no problems and no lost time for repairs.
After the inspector was gone, I sat down with Captain Ian and Kyle to go over the emergency check list that we address once every month. I went over all the things the inspector had addressed plus some other things specific to the Bunny Clark. I spent a good long time at this. Afterward, I gave Kyle a copy of the check list to bring home. He was instructed to take the list and write up a plan for every item so this could all be discussed again. I need to know that he is starting to get what we are after as to controlling an emergency situation in a harsh environment at sea. The rest of the day, Kyle and Ian worked on getting the Bunny Clark ready for fishing. Kyle has a lot to learn and Ian is a very good teacher.
I spent the rest of the day running around doing Bunny Clark stuff on my own while Ian and Kyle did the same. Occasionally our paths crossed during the afternoon. Part of my day was spent getting the Bunny Clark truck ready. Another part was a few meetings with the crew at Barnacle Billy's. Ninty percent was the Bunny Clark. I ended my day at 5:00 PM.
After my morning routine here at home editing this site and going over the plan for today, I spent the rest of my time at the restaurant. I had orders I had to complete and a small meeting I had to attend with the managers at Barnacle Billy's.
Before 6:00 PM, I also had a meeting with our carpenter about re-coating the fiberglass deck at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. That only lasted about a half hour.
Captain Ian Keniston and I went over the game plan yesterday as to Ian's work day today. He was going to grab Kyle Redfearn, our new deck hand, and get the Bunny Clark ready to sail for fishing. Included in this was teaching Kyle procedural items, rod & reel placement, knots, etc etc. Tomorrow I will be most involved with the Bunny Clark items.
I received a generous $125.00 donation from Bob Audler (IN) sponsoring me in this year's Pan-Mass Challenge, a cancer cycling event that will not be physically taking place but will take place virtually. Bob is a rider himself and was going be involved in the Tour de Cure charity ride later this season. That ride raises money for the American Diabetes Association. Thank you, Bob, for your support and thoughtfulness. I very much appreciate this.
I spent the day getting the Bunny Clark ready for Friday's extreme day fishing trip and working at Barnacle Billy's to get ready for tomorrow's opening. The restaurant will be open tomorrow for takeout at 11:00 AM.
Tomorrow, I will be running the trip as captain while Captain Ian Keniston will be mainly focusing on teaching Kyle Redfearn how we want to see the fish filleted and how to clean the boat in the quickest, most effective manner. Kyle has worked on party fishing boats before. But he has never been the main man on deck. This position gives him much more responsibility as he becomes the captains eyes, ears and right hand man.
The fourteen day quarantine is still in effect and will be for some time. I'm not sure when that will be relaxed. I do know that there are so many out of state cars going through our roads or in town, particularly from Massachusetts, that I can't imagine how you could control this unless you put a road block up on the Maine border. And that is not going to happen. No one is checking to see if you have been in quarantine and the police don't have the manpower to enforce it. Also, there is no law that says that the state will be checking IDs for out of state entrants. We are having problems getting enough anglers to fish on the Bunny Clark. We are experiencing cancellations daily. This isn't because of the quarantine. It's because none of the hotels or motels can open until at least June 1. This is very problematic for us. Deb is worried about making it through this pandemic lock-down. She certainly has reasons to feel that way. I believe that we will find some way to make it through. Easier said than done. Time will tell.
I spent the day running around trying to get the Bunny Clark ready for our first trip tomorrow and get my part of the restaurant duties completed before we opened at 11:00 AM this morning. I had no time for anything else. At 4:00 PM, I said goodbye to everyone at the restaurant and worked on getting the Bunny Clark provisioned for tomorrow's trip. There is always a little extra to do when I am the captain.
I received a generous $100.00 donation from Steve LaPlante (CT) today sponsoring me in my quest for a cancer free world with the Pan-Mass Challenge. Steve has donated and promoted donations of support for me since I started doing this in 2007. He has also been at the starting line on the first Saturday in August at 5:00 AM every year to wish me well since I first rode in the event and every year after. He is a mountain of support, a wonderful person and one of the best fisherman I have ever had on the Bunny Clark. He is also an extremely lucky bastard, which puts him a little higher than most. And I appreciate everything he does for me! Thank you so much Steve. The game wouldn't be the same without you!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 52°F, the sky was mostly overcast, the wind was blowing lightly out of the south and the visibility over the ocean was excellent.
We had light southwest wind on the ride to the fishing grounds. There was only a very light chop and no spray for those sitting on the stern. We carried these conditions all the way to the grounds. On the grounds, the wind blew out of the southwest for a an hour or so at ten knots with a one foot chop. This wind died out and backed out of the south. But we hardly had any velocity with the wind shift. Five or six knots, maybe. The ocean had a light chop. We had a wind shift again, out of the southeast, at 2:00 PM. We carried southeast winds of about eight knots all the way home. With the southeast wind came the fog. During the day, the sky was clear. In fact, it was sunny all day. The air temperature reached a high of 58°F on the fishing grounds. The visibility started out as excellent, changed to very good by noon and, of course, poor in the fog. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 74°F with a low of 51°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 78°F (with a low of 52°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 59°F (with a low of 48°F).
The fishing and catching was excellent overall. We caught fish consistently all day long. We caught the bag limit of haddock by 1:00 PM. Most legal fish landed were haddock, by far. The average size was bigger than I would have expected. By 10:00 AM, we had raised the minimum size to eighteen inches, fork length because we were boating too many. That really didn't work as well as I thought it might. And I was wary that the bite would shut off. Legal landings also included four cusk, one redfish, a mackerel, a cunner and one butter mullet. Drifting was the method. All terminal gear worked well.
Joel Meunier was high hook with the most legal fish. No one was close. His haddock also had the largest average size. Some of the haddock I weighed from him were 4 pounds, 4 pounds and 4.75 pounds. Peter Melendy won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 9 pound wolffish. His second largest fish was a 4.5 pound cusk. There was a tie for the second largest fish. Erick Thomas caught a 6 pound cod, the largest cod of the trip, and Stephen Melendy caught a six pound cusk to tie with Erick. Stephen's largest haddock weighed 4 pounds. Erick also tied for the largest haddock of the day with one that weighed 5 pounds. Ryan McCarthy also caught a haddock that I know was 5 pounds but I didn't weigh it. We were releasing all our haddock at the time and I didn't want to waste more time by keeping it out of the water too long. I did take a picture of Ryan holding his nice haddock just before he released it alive. This digital image appears on the left. We had caught the bag limit almost an hour earlier. Maybe Ryan will catch this fish again when it's 8 pounds!
Other Angler Highlights: Ron Neil, who until this day I had only known from a picture Ian took of Ron holding up the only Jenson's skate that has ever been caught on the Bunny Clark, caught a 4 pound haddock, his largest haddock of the trip. He had a problem losing a lot of haddock today. Not realizing this until he told me at the end of the day, I believe his rod was just too stiff. I don't think the problem was the angler. He certainly didn't have a problem hooking them. Ray Westermann also caught a 4 pound haddock, as his largest fish. Mike McCary landed the hard luck award for catching the least number of legal fish - and probably the most sub-legal fish!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 50°F, the sky was mostly overcast, there was no wind, the ocean was flat calm along the shore and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The day was beautiful along the shore with light variable winds to start, easterly winds to ten knots later and slightly stronger east winds (twelve knots) in the afternoon. The sky was clear and sunny all day. The visibility was excellent. The highest air temperature that I saw was 66°F. It was t-shirt weather ashore until the wind off the water cooled it down just a little near the end of the day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 68°F with a low of 49°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 67°F (with a low of 49°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 67°F (with a low of 48°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the west at light speeds in the morning and east northeast winds of five knots or so in the afternoon. The Bunny Clark was back at the dock by the time the wind started to freshen in the afternoon. The ocean's surface was calm with a long two foot rolling sea swell. There was fog in the morning with a quarter mile of visibility or less. The visibility cleared after noon. The tidal current was moderate. The surface water temperature reached a high of 47°F. The high air temperature on the fishing grounds was 54°F, under the canopy top.
The fishing, catching and landings were excellent. Almost every legal fish, but three was a haddock. The bag limit was reached before the end of the day despite changing the minimum size to over eighteen inches fork length from the beginning of the fishing. The haddock cull, therefore, was about 50/50, kept to released haddock. Technically, probably three quarters of all the haddock caught were of legal size. Fish landed also included two cunners and one mackerel. They drift fished for the trip. All terminal gear worked well.
Dan Killay was probably high hook with the most legal fish. He, more than anyone, didn't keep many or any fish smaller than nineteen inches fork. He fished in the bow with a small jig all day, never moving to bait. Good man, that Dan! Certainly a man after my own heart! Chris Prague won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 6 pound haddock. This is the largest haddock he has ever caught. It's also the Bunny Clark's largest haddock of the season so far. It was the last legal fish brought over the rail today. Captain Ian took a picture of Chris holding his good sized haddock. This digital image appears on the right. Peter Grant caught the second largest fish of the trip, a 5.5 pound haddock. The third largest fish of the trip were several haddock that weighed 4 pounds. Mel Williams caught two haddock of 4 pounds each. Dave Pineo caught a 4 pound haddock. Peter Allaire also caught a 4 pound haddock.
Other Angler Highlights: Kathy Toomey landed the hard luck award for being the sole hurler of the trip.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 48°F, the sky was mostly overcast, there was almost no wind out of the south, the ocean was calm along the shore and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The wind blew out of the south all day. The velocity was no more than ten knots (mostly less than five knots) all morning. By 1:00 PM, the southerly wind was blowing fifteen knots, up to almost twenty knots in gusts by 3:00 PM. The sky was nearly clear by sunrise. The sky remained mostly clear and sunny all day. The highest air temperature that I saw was 64°F. The visibility was excellent. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 63°F with a low of 49°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 71°F (with a low of 46°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 63°F (with a low of 47°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the southwest at barely five knots to start. Later in the morning the southwest wind increased to ten knots and then fifteen knots, later in the afternoon. The sky was a mix of sun and clouds. The highest air temperature they saw was 54°F under the canopy top. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The sea state was calm to start, ending with a two foot chop. The surface water temperature reached a high of 48°F.
The fishing was a duplicate of yesterday but with the haddock average size larger than any trip this season so far. Every fish caught today was a haddock except for one cunner and two mackerel. There was no accurate count of sub-legal haddock today because they weren't keeping haddock under nineteen inches fork length. The boat's bag limit was caught before they left the fishing grounds. Dan Killay hooked a large fish, probably a porbeagle shark, on the last stop right on the bottom. It acted more like a shark and the monofilament leader was chaffed as a shark would do. But they never got a look at the fish. They drift fished all day. The drift was fast near the end. All terminal gear worked about the same.
I never did ask Ian who was high hook. It could have been Dan Killay again but we had a lot of great anglers on the boat today including our former deck hand from last season, Anthony Palumbo. Jeff Brown won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 7 pound Maine state trophy haddock. This is the largest haddock that Jeff has ever caught. It's also the Bunny Clark's largest haddock of the fishing season so far and our only state trophy fish. Captain Ian took a picture of Jeff holding his prize. This digital image appears on the left. The second largest fish was a 5.25 pound haddock, caught by Dan Killay. Troy Boyd caught the third largest fish, a 4.5 pound haddock.
Other Angler Highlights: Jeff Larson caught a 4.25 pound haddock and a 4 pound haddock, his two biggest fish. Tim Rozan caught two haddock of 4 pounds each. Sandy Canon caught a 4 pound haddock. Jon Russell also caught a 4 pound haddock. Anthony Palumbo boated a 4.25 pound haddock. Dan Killay landed the hard luck award t-shirt for losing his cap and the largest fish of the trip.
I have still not heard a peep from Kyle Redfearn. Did I really scare him that much on the first trip? How would I know if we don't communicate? A mystery, for sure.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 54°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was very light out of the north, the ocean was calm along the shore and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The salient weather feature today was the light wind and overcast skies. All morning we had a blanket of clouds covering the sky. By 1:00 PM, the skies clear. By 3:00 PM, the sky was cloudless. The wind blew lightly out of the north in the morning, came more northeast by noon and then hauled out of the southeast later in the afternoon. There was no wind after sunset.The ocean along the shore was calm all day. Wind speeds were never more than five to seven knots. The visibility was excellent. The highest air temperature along the shore was 58°F in Perkins Cove. On a bicycle ride further inland it was decidedly warmer than it was along the coastal areas. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 58°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 71°F (with a low of 46°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 65°F (with a low of 44°F).
It was manic Monday again today, like so many in a row this spring. We are getting ready for the next phase of reopening the economy in southern Maine. Today we had a meeting of the minds at the restaurant to determine how we were going to do this. On June 1, we can start serving patrons in the different areas of our restaurant. To do so, there are state parameters that have to be met in order to keep everyone safe, both employees and customers. We met for two hours to discuss all this. It was a great meeting.
In the meantime I have a bait freezer that is going south. After today's refrigeration minders were through, I have to make a decision whether to try to get through the summer with a freezer that won't keep things colder than 10°F or to invest in a commercial unit like the one I have or get a couple throw-away chest freezers. At the moment, I'm getting prices on all this.
The satellite phone is not working on the Bunny Clark. I do have another one for the Petrel that I can use, if it comes to that. So I ran around today trying to find out what was wrong with the one I have aboard the Bunny Clark. It tries to acquire a signal, so I know the antenna is working. Regardless, I left it with my navigation gurus at Navtronics overnight to see if they could find a solution.
The head (toilet) broke on the Bunny Clark on Saturday. It would flush but it wouldn't let water in. I figured I was going to have to take it apart. I was busy enough that I figured I would wait until after the weekend to deal with it. I never did look at it until today. I was expecting to unbolt it, take it out and have it all apart for a couple of day. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the lever you stand on was not connected properly to the shaft that opens the valve to let sea water in. The machine bolt from the lever to the shaft was loose so that the lever was disengaged from the shaft. The problem is that the machine bolt is so small, it takes a quarter inch or a six millimeter wrench to get on the head of the bolt. So there is no real leverage to put on it to tighten it properly. I ended up finding a longer wrench at a hardware store as well as a new machine bolt in my head repair parts box. This seemed to give me a better tighter connection. We shall see. I love easy fixes.
All throughout the day I was back and forth between the restaurant and the office at home. I probably spent two hours on the phone today. Checking on the restaurant periodically gave me an opportunity to imagine a better way to promote phase two of the restaurant reopening plan. Tomorrow will be much the same.
I did get a chance to get on the bike with about an hour of daylight left. I used this time to ride around York and up to the top of Mt. Agamenticus. Access road to the top of the mountain had been closed until today.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 43°F, the sky was clear, the wind was out of the northeast at more than ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. After 5:00 AM, the wind from the northeast increased dramatically. By sunrise, northeast wind speeds were twenty knots sustained with some gusts to twenty-five knots. By 10:00 AM, the same wind was back down to ten and fifteen knots. By 2:00 PM, the wind had dropped to just about nothing. A half hour later the wind had hauled out of the southeast. Wind speeds were very light. By 5:00 PM, the wind was very light out of the southwest. This remained the case into the night. The sky was clear all day, cloudless in the morning. The visibility was excellent. The highest air temperature that I saw was 55°F in Perkins Cove. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 55°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 66°F (with a low of 37°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 60°F (with a low of 40°F).
I spent the day working at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. I spent a fair amount of time in the office working on the Barnacle Billy's website. The SSL listing was dropped because of a missed payment. I have had problems with this internet provider on four different occasions, all accounting problems. This mainly because they can't get the account correct. They are based out of Colorado, whether that has anything to do with it. Some of what I tell them they don't seem to understand. Maybe I don't explain things correctly. At any rate, it took a few hours to correct. In the meantime I needed to edit that site, the security problem making it just that much more time consuming to do so.
There were the upcoming food orders to make and several other decisions I had finalize for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. I stopped working at 3:00 PM.
After dinner, I took our dog, Gill, for a walk around the neighborhood, ending in Perkins Cove to pick up the Bunny Clark truck. There was absolutely nary a living soul in Perkins Cove. No walkers, no parked cars and no cars driving through. I took a picture of this scene (see below) with Gill in the foreground. He was a sniffing dog this evening, more so than many times.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 39°F, the sky was cloudless, there was no wind, the surface water along the shore was calm and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. Ashore, the wind was light and variable in direction all day. The ocean along the shore was calm, a beautiful day if you were on Ogunquit Beach. The sky was cloudless all day. The visibility was very good, at least. The highest air temperature that I saw was 63°F. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 58°F with a low of 45°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 72°F (with a low of 35°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 63°F (with a low of 40°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind was light and variable in direction all day. The surface of the ocean was calm with an underlying two to three foot swell. The sky was clear and nearly cloudless for the trip. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The surface water temperature reached a high of 50°F, the warmest surface water of the season so far. The tide (current) was light. The highest air temperature Ian saw was 54°F.
The fishing, catching and landings were excellent. Most fish landed or released were haddock. The haddock cull was 60/40, legal to sub-legal fish. They set the minimum size to eighteen inches and still had an easy time of making the boat's bag limit. The fish were smaller than they have been overall. Legal landings also included seven cusk and three cunners. Released fish, besides the haddock, included one cod of 5 pounds and a small wolffish. Drifting was the method. Bait worked best.
A.J. Brown won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 5 pound cod. The second and third largest fish were both caught by Bill MacVeigh. The fish included a 4.5 pound wolffish and a 4.5 pound haddock, the largest haddock of the trip.
Other Angler Highlights: Si Heckel caught one of the bigger haddock at 3.5 pounds. Tony Martin caught the second largest haddock at 3.75 pounds. Mike Wooster landed the hard luck award for the most tangled lines.
Ray Washburn sponsored me with a very generous $250.00 donation for my cancer fund raising with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. A virtual ride is going off this year as the cycling event itself has been canceled due to CoVid-19. I'm not sure how it works or even if I will be able to take part. But that isn't important to me. After all, the ride itself is just a gift for all the fund raising I try to do. And, really, the true gift is the support I get from people like Ray Washburn, who believe as I do that putting money in good places is going to solve the cancer riddle. And I truly believe that the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is that place for us in New England. Thank you so much, Ray. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.
Today was my longest working day this year so far. It was taxing, on a number of fronts. The highlight of the day was building a financial business model for the restaurants to see if we can make it through the season and the winter to come back and do it again in 2021. Much depends on good decisions, luck and government regulations. What I got out of today's exercise was that this will be more of a challenging year than I expected. Had we known this was coming, I never would have engaged in as many repair projects as I did. But you know what they say about hindsight.
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 43°F, the sky was clear, the wind was light from the south and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. We had an easy trip to the fishing grounds. The wind was less than eight knots out of the southwest with a one foot chop over a two foot. We were headed right into it so it seemed windier than it really was. The air temperture started out at 43°F but warmed to 51°F by the time we arrived at our destination. The visibility was excellent. The sky was clear. Steering was simple.
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the southwest the whole trip. Light at first, the wind increased steadily until it was time to sail home. We had a ten to fifteen knot southwest wind by noon with chops of about two feet. By quitting time, the southwest wind was blowing at fifteen to twenty knots with seas of two to three feet. The sky was clear in the morning with encroaching high clouds in the afternoon. The sky never became overcast. The air temperature reached a high of 51°F in the shade. The visibility ranged to twenty-five miles. The tide (current) was moderate to light. The surface water temperature reached a high of 48.9°F.
Ashore, these were the air temperatures in selected New England cities: In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 77°F with a low of 45°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 83°F (with a low of 36°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 74°F (with a low of 46°F).
The fishing, catching and landings were excellent, yet again. It was a fish a cast all day long. From the very beginning I set the haddock minimum size to eighteen inches. Had we kept everything legal with no limits, the haddock cull would have been 80/20, legal to sub-legal haddock. As it was, with the higher limit, we had the boat limit of haddock with one hour to go in the fishing trip. Legal landings also included seventeen cusk, nine redfish, two whiting and a halibut. Released fish included half of the haddock caught, five wolffish, twelve cod over 5 pounds and a few small redfish, pollock and cunners. We drift fished all day. All terminal gear worked well.
I couldn't tell you who was high hook. It was one of three anglers including Bob Mayer, Ray Washburn and Eric Pysar. Bob's best three fish included an 8 pound wolffish, an 11.25 pound cusk and Maine state trophy haddock of 7.25 pounds. The cusk is the Bunny Clark's largest so far this season and was the second largest fish of the trip today. The haddock is the Bunny Clark's largest to date and our second trophy haddock of the fishing season. I took a picture of Bob holding his haddock in the wind. This digital image appears on the left. Ray's best fish were a 4 pound haddock and two cod of 7 pounds each. Eric caught a 4 pound haddock, his biggest of the day, and a 7 pound cod.
Dan Nye won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 47 pound halibut. This is the Bunny Clark's first halibut of the season. It's also Dan's first halibut ever. And he did deserve this fish. Foul hooked in the anal fin with a Lavjig that Dan was using, he played the fish slow and gentle while also keeping the rod bent all the time. The fish never made any long runs to bottom. It made a lot of short runs. And it probably took about fifteen minutes to bring it to gaff, my gaff. It was a very happy moment. I took a picture of Dan holding his prize. This digital image appears on the right. Some of Dan's other good fish included a 5 pound haddock, a 7 pound cod and an 8 pound wolffish.
The third largest fish was an 8.5 pound cusk caught by Bill Murphy.
Other Angler Highlights: Jim Jarvis caught a 5 pound haddock, a tie for the second largest haddock of the trip. Ny Nhath caught a 6 pound cod, his biggest fish. Ny also lost a porbeagle shark right next to the boat. That fish was probably 250 pounds. It would have been tough to land. I could have gaffed it but it was so green and the tail was so far under the water, I probably would have lost the gaff in an attempt to boat it. We had two encounters with porbeagles today. Steve Thompson caught a 7 pound wolffish, his biggest fish. Jim Boulger landed the hard luck award for being too tired to get into the action as much as all the other anglers today.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 55°F, the sky was cloudless, the wind was blowing out of the southwest at ten to twelve knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good to excellent. On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the southwest at ten knots for the ride to the fishing grounds and then breezed up to fifteen knots. Seas were two to three feet in chops all day. The wind dropped to about ten knots during the last hour of fishing. The wind appeared to be out of the south closer to Perkins Cove on the ride in. The air temperature reached a high of 56°F. The visibility was twenty miles or more in some haze. The sky was clear all day with much sun. The tide ranged from light to moderate to light. The surface water temperature reached a high of 49°F.
Ashore, these were the air temperatures in selected New England cities: In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 82°F with a low of 54°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 87°F (with a low of 43°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 85°F (with a low of 50°F).
First, I have to say that it was a pleasure to be the deck hand with Ian as captain. He does such a wonderful job. Plus, he was very respectful of me. And I really enjoyed myself. Although, his is a task master! Second, although my filleting has become faster, I still retain the two or three extra cuts I make, that I have always made, that slow me down in the process of getting things done. We caught the limit of haddock we could take. So we had plenty of fish, albeit, we only had ten anglers aboard. But it is so hard for me to go away from the way I have always cut fish. If we were to have caught more fish, I would have been too far behind with my method. It worked out today. I would have do it a little differently if I were to do this on a regular basis. Third, despite the fact that Ian is the best, I so wanted to take the wheel of my own boat and just look around. I knew, generally, where we were, but I never asked, specifically, where we were. Nor did I look at the electronics to find out. It's hard not being the captain on your own boat.
The fishing, the catching and landings were very good to excellent overall. Ian continued with the way we have been managing the fishing on our trips this season, so far. He raised the minimum haddock length to eighteen inches fork length which, in the end, yielded more pounds of fillets than if we had stayed with keeping every legal haddock that came over the rail. The haddock averaged a slightly smaller average size than they did yesterday. Almost every legal fish caught today was a haddock. Legal landings also included two redfish, two whiting and three cusk. Released fish included twenty or so small cod, two cod over five pounds, our first dogfish (thank you, Ray Washburn!), a pile of haddock, one porbeagle shark with four hundred yards of Spectra line (Thanks, Ronnie Hamel!), two herring and a couple small pollock. Drifting was the method. It was a perfect drift all day. All terminal gear worked well.
Either Marcelino Chua or Andy Watson was high hook today. Ian thought it was Marce. I thought it was Andy. From my perspective, I filleted a pile of number sixes, a combination of Andy's and Ronnie's fish combined. Andy caught the lion's share between the two. Marce was alone. So I was really hard to judge. Dean Wolf won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 6 pound cusk. The second largest fish was a 5.75 pound cod caught by Ray Washburn. Ray also caught a 5 pound cusk, the fourth largest fish. The third largest fish was also our biggest haddock of the day at 5.5 pounds. Richard Bronder caught that fish.
Other Angler Highlights: Andy Watson caught a 4 pound cod, the first fish to be weighed in the pool contest. His two biggest haddock, and he caught a lot of nice sized ones, included one of 3.75 pounds and one of 3.5 pounds. Dana Decormier landed the hard luck award for being the only one to hurl, getting the largest tangle of the day and for catching the least amount of fish. The man is a driver. Although he was sick, he never stopped fishing, he helped me get the boat ready to fish upon arrival at the grounds and he helped me cut bait all the way out. He caught the largest redfish of the year as well. It wasn't a trophy, as it was too thin to make 2 pounds. But it had the frame to be a trophy if it were a little more filled out.
When we got to the dock, my son, Micah, was there to help me clean the boat and put the Bunny Clark away for the night. It was nice of him to do this. It saved me an hour. When we started for home from the fishing grounds, I still had a half a tote of haddock to cut. So that and bagging fillets (with the speed at which I cut fish) put me behind just enough so that I left fillet buckets and three fish totes to clean on the dock. I took care of all those while Micah finished the rest.
I received a very welcome $50.00 donation from Dana & Laurie Decormier sponsoring me in my cancer research/cure project called the Pan-Mass Challenge. This is a cycling event that has been canceled for this year due to the CoVid crisis. The event is just the gift for us fund raisers. But the cancer fight still goes on. And so does the fund raising. Dana & Laurie have been helping me fight the good fight since I first took on this project in 2007. Thank you both so very much for your kindness and generosity!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 59°F, the sky was clear, there was no wind here at the house (the closest buoy report was giving very light southerly wind) and the visibility over the ocean was very good in a twinge of haze. By 5:30 AM, the wind struck out of the northeast, blowing over ten knots when it did. There was a gradual increase in velocity during the early part of the morning. By 10:00 AM, the northeast wind had increased to fifteen and twenty knots in gusts. Noon saw wind speeds increase again to twenty and twenty-five knots, where the northeast wind remained for the next three hours. By 4:00 PM, the wind had dropped to fifteen to twenty knots, less as the time progressed. By sunset, we had easterly winds of about ten knots. The sky was clear all day and the visibility was excellent. The highest air temperature that I was 66°F in the morning a mile inland. Along the shore, the wind was cool. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 72°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 74°F (with a low of 40°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 68°F (with a low of 43°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind had just started to blow up as soon as they got there. It was light enough to allow some drift fishing. But that didn't last all that long before they had to get on the anchor. Wind speeds there were about twenty knots or more at the height of it. Seas went from two feet in chops to four to six feet before it was time to head home. The air temperature reached a high of 54°F. The visibility was about ten miles in haze - kind of strange, I thought. The sky was a mix of sun and clouds. The tide was moderate. The surface water temperature reached a high of 49°F.
The fishing was very tough with the seas and wind. The catching and landings were just as good as it has been, excellent! Amost every fish caught was a haddock. The boats bag limit was attained again. The haddock cull was about 50/50, kept fish to released fish. The minimum size was, again, increased on this trip. Legal landings also included our first legal pollock and a mackerel. Released fish included a few small cod and pollock, one dogfish, one cod over 5 pounds and a porbeagle shark that was lost at gaff. Except for the one drift, they anchored all day. Only bait and flies were used today. No one used a jig.
Ian didn't tell me who was high hook. Rory Casey won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 5.25 pound haddock. The second largest fish and third largest fish were both caught by Ryan Lunny. they included a 5 pound cod and a 4.5 pound haddock.
Other Angler Highlights: John Lunny caught a haddock that weighed 3.25 pounds. Jon Mandani caught a 4 pound haddock and a 3.5 pound haddock. He also landed the hard luck award for losing a porbeagle shark alongside the boat.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 39°F, the sky was cloudless, 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 all morning. Wind speeds were over ten knots at times. After noon, the wind hauled more easterly until the late afternoon where it was almost southeast. Wind speeds dropped to five or six knots before sunset. The sky was clear all day. The visibility was excellent. The highest air temperature that I saw was 54°F with the wind blowing across the parking lot. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 54°F with a low of 44°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 68°F (with a low of 35°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 56°F (with a low of 37°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the east at ten knots. Seas were one to two feet in chops over a long rolling sea swell of two to three feet. The air temperature reached a high of 51°F in the shade. The visibility ranged to ten miles in haze. The sky was clear and sunny all day. The tide was moderate. The surface water temperature reached a high of 48°F.
The fishing was good, the catching was excellent as was the landings. Most legal fish landed and most fish landed were haddock, by far. The haddock average size was smaller than it has been today. But there were a few good sized ones mixed in. Eighteen inches was the minimum size to keep. The haddock cull was 50/50, kept fish to released fish. Legal landings also included nine cusk and one pollock. Released fish included a few small cod & pollock, the haddock, two cod over 5 pounds, a wolffish and three porbeagle sharks that were lost. Drifting was the method. All terminal gear worked well.
Joe Columbus was high hook with the most legal fish. He also became the fisherman of the day as he also won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 12 pound wolffish. This is the Bunny Clark's largest wolffish of the fishing season to date. Richard Morrell caught the second largest fish, a 10 pound cod, our largest cod of the season so far. Richard also caught the largest haddock of the trip at 6 pounds. The third largest fish was an 8 pound cusk caught by Dee Hoyt.
Other Angler Highlights: Dan Killay caught his large number of haddock with a jig. His two most notable fish included a 5.75 pound cusk and a 6.5 pound cusk. Eddie Jeter caught a 5.5 pound cod, his largest fish. Gabe Pearson boated a 4.25 pound haddock, his best fish. Jackie Paskal walked off the boat with a full bag of haddock fillets - note to Linda Paul! Dan Vitalis landed the hard luck award for attaining high hurler status. There were a couple sea sick anglers today.
Joe Columbus did me a solid today by donating $40.00 to my cancer fund raising project with the Pan-Mass Challenge. Joe donates frequently and has been one of my best donors for years. Thanks so much, Joe. Much appreciated and great to see you today!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 43°F, the sky was overcast, there was no wind to write about, the ocean along the shore was calm and the visibility over the ocean was good in haze. More later.
At this time we are looking for a new deck hand. If anyone is interested you can call 207-646-2214.
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