At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 47°F, the sky was crystal clear, there was not enough wind to discern a wind direction and the visibility over the ocean seemed excellent.
When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to see so little wind. The wind prediction from the National Weather Service had fifteen knots of wind, at least, for the ride out. Instead, we had about five knots of southwest wind for almost the whole ride out. At most we had ten knots just as we were getting to the fishing grounds. The sky was clear, the visibility was excellent and the air temperature quickly rose to 55°F before we were even half way there.
On the grounds, the wind hauled out of the south southwest as soon as we got there. During the day the winds picked up to fifteen and twenty knots. Seas were chops of three to four feet. The air temperature reached a high of 62°F, very warm for this time of year with a wind like we had today.. The visibility decreased to twenty and fifteen miles near the end of the trip in a developing haze. The sky was mostly sunny with some high thin cirrus clouds. The tide (current) was crazy but not particularly strong. The surface water temperature reached a high of 57.2°F. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 67°F (with a low of 39°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 74°F with a low of 52°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 76°F (with a low of 32°F).
The fishing conditions were not the best for anchoring as the current and the wind seemed to be playing games with me all morning and part of the early afternoon. Drifting was okay to start but a little too fast during the day. The seas were big enough to bother neophytes but not today's crew. We also had dogfish but not enough nor were they big enough to be too much of a hassle. So I would say that the conditions were good, the catching was good as were the landings, no better than that. Most legal fish landed were pollock. Legal landings also included a cusk, five redfish and two butter mullet. Released fish included fifteen cod from 5 pounds to 26 pounds, thirty-one dogfish and fifteen haddock. We spent most of the day on anchor. Every angler used jigs and cod flies. No one used bait.
Fred Kunz (NH) was high hook with the most legal fish. It didn't start out like that was going to be the case as Karl (ME) and son, Matt (NH), Day had the jump on Fred right from the beginning. Fred held his own after the first couple of stops, might have had the largest fish at one point (lost it on the way to the surface) and made up the difference in quantity on one spot. Matt & Karl were second hook, one or the other. Fred tied for the second largest fish with Karl Day, both winning the boat pool for the second largest fish. Both anglers had pollock of exactly 19.5 pounds. Fred also caught a 12 pound pollock and a pollock of 11.5 pounds. Some of Karl's other fish included an 11 pound pollock and an 11.5 pound pollock. Some of Matt's better fish included a 14.25 pound pollock, a 13 pound pollock and a 10.5 pound pollock.
Andrew Gaudio (MD) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 26 pound cod. This is the largest cod he has ever caught and it's the fourth largest cod caught on the Bunny Clark this season so far. I took a picture of Andrew holding his cod before releasing it. That digital image appears on the left in this entry. Some of Andrew's other good fish included an 18 pound pollock and an 11 pound pollock. And I wouldn't be surprised if Andrew was close in fish count with, what I consider, the top three or even close to high hook. He caught fish continuously all day. The only person who counts fish is Fred. People with superior math skills tend to do this sort of thing! To be so gifted!
Other Angler Highlights: Bill Wallace (ME) caught a 17.75 pound pollock, his largest fish. He also caught a 15 pound wolffish. This is the Bunny Clark's third largest wolffish of the season so far. I also took a picture of Bill trying to hold his wolffish before releasing it back to the ocean alive. That digital image appears on the right. Richard Gipp (NY) caught a 19 pound pollock, his largest fish. Justin Canney (ME) took his first deep sea fishing trip today. And he was a quick study, using his equipment as if he was an old hand at it. He was the only angler not to catch a fish of 10 pounds or better. For this and the fact that he caught the most dogfish, he landed the hard luck award t-shirt. I had to give it to someone!
Bill Wallace did me a solid today by donating $20.00 to help me with my fund raising in cancer research. He sponsored me in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a cycling event I have participated in for eleven years now, funding the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. I've generated almost $290,000.00 in donations since I first started riding this event. Bill and many others have helped throughout this whole time period. Thanks so much, Bill! Very much appreciated!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 57°F, the sky was mostly overcast with the occasional star showing through, the wind was blowing out of the west at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good. By sunrise, the sky was almost completely clear. The sky remained so all day. The wind blew out of the west for a while and then hauled out of the northwest and blew about ten knots or less. We really didn't have any noticeable wind in Perkins Cove most of the day. The air temperature got up as high as 68°F, that I saw. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 70°F (with a low of 45°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 71°F with a low of 58°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 70°F (with a low of 45°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the northwest at five to fifteen knots. Seas were chops of one to two feet. The air temperature reached a high of 65°F (amazing for late October). The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The tide (current) was moderate. The sky was clear and sunny. The surface water temperature reached a high of 58°F.
The fishing conditions were very good. They could have been excellent except for the dogfish. Catching was excellent with landings (the dogfish again) just below excellent. Most legal fish landed were pollock, particularly on the last spot of the day. The average pollock size was up a bit as well, making it a little more fun. Legal landings also included forty-five mackerel, one cusk and one white hake. Released fish included twenty cod over 5 pounds, twenty-four haddock, a barndoor skate and seventy-five dogfish. Drifting was the method. Everyone used jigs and cod flies.
Terry Colby (ME) had a hell of a day. He was high hook with the most legal fish and he caught the second largest fish of the trip, a 16 pound pollock. It was the best fishing trip of his life (note to self: check out sheet for the Guestletter). Some of Terry's other good fish included a pollock that weighed 11.5 pounds and a 10 pound pollock. Tom Staples (PA) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 20 pound barndoor skate. This is the first barndoor skate that Tom has ever seen. It's the Bunny Clark's fifth of the year to date and tied for the fourth largest this year so far. Captain Ian took a picture of Tom holding his fish just before releasing it back alive. This digital image appears on the left. Tom also caught an 11 pound pollock and a pollock that weighed 10.5 pounds. The third largest fish was a 15 pound pollock caught by Rachael Seitz (PA). This is the largest pollock that she has ever caught. And it's probably the largest fish she has ever caught as well. She certainly has the talent to do better in the future.
Other Angler Highlights: Neil Feldman (PA) landed an 11 pound pollock, his largest fish. Jake Ashley (NY) caught a 12 pound pollock, his best. Sue Utterstrom (ME) hooked a dogfish in the vent. When the dogfish was hauled over the side, it had also, as they sometimes do, bit his own tail. Another angler saw this and noted it out loud. "Oh", she said; "He bit his own tail to take it's mind off the pain of being hooked in the ass!".
And then there was Tim Rozan (ME) who brought his daughter out fishing with him today. He landed the hard luck award for losing a jig with the rod and reel attached! [Ian's comment on the situation] Tim had his line over the side and attempted to put his rod in a holder as he helped his daughter with a fish. Tim, unknowingly, missed the rod holder, paying the greater part of his attention on his daughter. When he turned his full attention on his daughter his rod & reel flipped over the side so quickly he had no time to respond. Of course, his gear went right to bottom. They tried to fish the rod out with other equipment, to no avail. Tim told Ian later; "Losing a rod & reel?", "What are you going to do [in a situation like that]?", "At least my daughter had a good time." Ah, the vagaries of fishing! One often hopes that if there is a change out there, the outcome is a good one. After all it was Tim who caught two halibut in one day this year on an offshore trip. His biggest one on that trip was 68 pounds. Sometimes change is good! Not today.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 53°F, the sky was mostly clear, the wind was blowing out of the west at seven or eight knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good. Ashore, the wind blew out of the northwest at ten knots or less in the morning. By afternoon, the wind was blowing out of the south. But it never really blew hard enough to move much of a flag. By late afternoon/evening, there was really no wind at all. The ocean along the shore was calm. In fact, the ocean adjacent to the shore was devoid of any wave action. You could have taken a skiff right up next to the rocks with no worries. The air temperature rose to summer-like levels. I saw 75°F for a high in Perkins Cove. But it could have been higher than that at one point, higher still inland. The sky was mostly clear and sunny. The visibility was very good, at least. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 70°F (with a low of 42°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 78°F with a low of 52°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 79°F (with a low of 37°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the southwest at five to eight knots. Seas were chops of a foot or more. The air temperature reached a high of 60°F. The visibility ranged to well over fifteen miles. The tide (current) was moderate. The sky was clear and sunny. The surface water temperature reached a high of 57.7°F.
The fishing conditions couldn't have been too much better, probably too calm, as the bite wasn't what it could have been. The catching was good. Landings were fair. Legal landings included thirty-seven pollock and one white hake. Released fish included twelve cod from 5 pounds to 11 pounds, nineteen haddock and seventeen dogfish. They anchored and drift fished. Cod flies caught the most fish overall but those who used the jig/fly combination were high hook or close to it.
Rumer has it that Nick Moore (ME) was high hook. He was fishing on the bow with a jig stick and the jig/fly combination. Bob Gosselin (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, an 11 pound cod. The second largest fish was a 10 pound cod caught by Sam Merriam (ME). Jen Foss (ME) caught the third largest fish, an 8.5 pound pollock.
Seth Merriam (ME) caught an 8 pound pollock, one of the bigger fish of the trip. Sarah Lamontagne (ME) landed the hard luck award for getting into the most tangles!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 52°F, the sky was mostly clear, the wind was very light from the northeast and the visibility over the ocean was very good, at least. Ashore, the wind blew out of the northeast at light speeds, five to eight knots, most of the morning. Later morning saw northeast winds at ten to fifteen knots. This lasted through the afternoon but started dying out in the later part. By 6:00 PM, there was very little wind from the northeast. Later, the wind dropped out altogether. The sky gave us a beautiful sunrise with red, orange and pink colors through striated horizontal clouds. But that was as clear as the sky would get. By 8:00 AM, the sky was overcast. The sky remained overcast all day. The air temperature was held back from rising by the northeast wind off the water and blowing on shore. I think the highest air temperature that I saw was 60°F. The visibility remained very good, at least. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 62°F (with a low of 45°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 66°F with a low of 54°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 74°F (with a low of 42°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the northeast at five to ten knots. Seas were chops of one to two feet. The air temperature reached a high of 60°F. The tide (current) was moderate to strong. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The sky was a mix of sun and clouds. The surface water temperature reached a high of 58°F.
The fishing conditions were good, at best. This mainly because of the largest number of unwanted dogfish that were caught and the strong current. The catching was excellent, if you included the dogfish. Landings were very good. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Legal landings also included a redfish, fifty or so mackerel and a whiting. Released fish included over a hundred and twenty dogfish, thirty haddock and twenty-two cod from 5 to almost 10 pounds. Drifting was the only boating method employed. No one used bait today (imagine how many more dogfish they could have caught if they did). Only jigs and cod flies were used.
Shawn Rosenberger (PA), back fishing with us after a couple years of absence, was high hook today. To Ian it looked like he was his normal great fishing self! Shawn's largest fish was a 13.5 pound pollock, the third largest fish of the trip. Red Tybor (NY) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 14.25 pound pollock. The second largest fish was a pollock of 14 pounds caught by Doug Caputo (MA). Doug also caught an 11.5 pound pollock.
Other Angler Highlights: Buzz Leonard (ME) was the first angler to catch a fish worth weighing. That fish was a 12 pound pollock. He went on to catch a slightly larger pollock weighing 12.5 pounds. Steve Doccanfuso (ME) landed a 10 pound pollock, his largest fish. Mark Doody (CT) who is a great fisherman and proves it every time he goes fishing with us, landed the hard luck award for losing a jig. Ian thought it appropriate that he give Mark something as today was his birthday! Happy birthday, Mark. Maybe we will see you more often next season?
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 54°F, the sky was overcast, there was no wind and the visibility over the ocean was very good. The sky cleared after sunrise, was clear going through most of the morning and overcast starting around noon. The sky remained overcast for part of the early afternoon when the fog rolled in for the rest of the day. It remained foggy for the rest of the day and on into the night. We had no wind all day. On the ocean, the wavelets showed a southerly direction when there were wavelets. The air temperature was cool with a high, viewed by me, of only 58°F (at 2:00 PM - it was probably warmer earlier). The visibility dropped to good and then poor in fog after noon. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 62°F (with a low of 51°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 64°F with a low of 54°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 66°F (with a low of 53°F).
On the fishing grounds, there was very little wind. Ian recorded a southwest wind of five knots. The air temperature reached a high of 58°F. They ran into the fog as soon as they got to the fishing grounds. It remained foggy all day. The visibility ranged from a half mile to five miles. The sky was partly sunny in the morning and overcast for the rest of the day. The tide was light to moderate. The surface water temperature reached a high of 58°F.
The fishing conditions were excellent for humans sailing on the high seas. The ocean was calm, there were few dogfish, the air temperature was mild and the current was light. The catching was very good. Landings were good. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Pollock are, obviously, the target species. Legal landings also included a white hake, two redfish, a butter mullet, a monkfish and two mackerel. Released fish included twelve cod over 5 pounds, five dogfish and twenty-one haddock. Drifting was the method. Only jigs and cod flies were used. No bait fishing was even attempted.
Cindy Tybor (NY) was the fisherman of the day. She tied for high hook with Shawn Rosenberger (PA) and she won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 12 pound pollock. She also caught the third largest fish, a 10 pound pollock. Deanna Cupka (PA) caught the second largest fish, a 10.25 pound monkfish (goosefish). This is her first monk and the Bunny Clark's third largest monkfish of the fishing season so far.
Other Angler Highlights: John Ford (PA) landed the hard luck award for being the angler with the least number of legal fish. Ian was scraping the can to find an excuse to give out the hard luck award t-shirt, obviously!
Also, Jared set up a rod for himself so that when it was slow he could take a cast. We are all fishermen at heart. He was reeling up to put his rod away when a tuna took the jig. He fought that fish for forty-five minutes. In the last five minutes or so he hooked into a piece of float rope/trap warp somewhere floating off the bottom and broke the tuna off right in the main line. Now whether the warp broke the line, a dogfish was responsible or it was just a weak spot, we will never know. But the fish was landable and Jared was gaining to the point where they thought they would see it just around the time that the line broke. Such is the life of a fisherman. Such a tease!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 59°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was blowing out of the southeast at almost fifteen knots and the visibility over the ocean was good. Around sunrise, I could see clear sky to the east. But this didn't last. The sky stayed overcast for the rest of the day. Although we did have a patch of blue sky overhead, briefly, near noon. We had some very light rain an hour before sunrise but you had to look for the drops on the ground to tell that the rain had been there. It wasn't much and seemed to end before it even started. I don't believe we had another drop of rain for the rest of the day. The roads were dry all day with plenty of fallen leaves on the grounds. There will be many more leaves on the ground tomorrow with all the wind that is coming.
The wind started to pick up as soon as sunrise. By 8:00 AM, the wind was out of the south at twenty knots. The wind remained out of the south at twenty knots for the rest of the day. At night the wind increased. Rain was intermittent after 10:00 PM. The highest air temperature that I saw was 67°F. But it certainly could have been warmer. It was a very comfortable day, temperature wise. The visibility deteriorated as the day progressed. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 64°F (with a low of 57°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 75°F with a low of 62°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 76°F (with a low of 60°F).
I worked in the office here at home and then at the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. At 8:15 AM, I jumped on my cyclocross bike (it's like a road bike with wider tires) and got in about forty-two miles. For the rest of the day I worked at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. It wasn't the busiest day but it wasn't bad. And even though I was not able to go fishing today, I got a lot of work completed that I wouldn't have had a chance to do until Friday, which wouldn't have been really that good. It's end of year stuff. And our fiscal year ends on November 1 at the restaurants. And I did complete all the year end stuff today.
Tomorrow will be another lay day for the Bunny Clark.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was an unusually warm 63°F, the sky was overcast, it was raining, the wind was blowing out of the south at twenty knots with higher gusts and the visibility over the ocean was fair in precipitation and haze. The wind blew out of the south at twenty knots, more or less, through the morning and into the afternoon. By 4:00 PM, the wind had backed off and had hauled more southwest. The wind continued to drop through the evening. It rained all day. At 2:00 AM, this morning, it rained harder than any other time during the day. From about 3:00 AM on, there was a steady rain by never a hard rain. It times it would stop briefly only to start again. It rained on into the night. The air temperature was the highest at 4:00 AM with a reading of 64°F. I never saw the mercury climb any higher than that all day. The visibility remained fair in the precipitation, fog and haze. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 65°F (with a low of 62°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 66°F with a low of 62°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 70°F (with a low of 62°F).
I spent a very similar day ashore today as I did yesterday. The only thing I did extra was to provision the boat for sailing tomorrow.
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 57°F, the sky was overcast, the relentless light rain was still with us, there was no wind to write about and the visibility over the ocean was fair to poor in fog, haze and precipitation.
It was foggy going down the channel out of Perkins Cove to the outer cove. It was raining hard enough that the radar image of the coast was broken up. It was easier then to follow the track plotter until I got a visual of the reflective material off the can buoys. After we got a mile or so outside, the slop that we found close to shore was gone. The seas were large but so far apart that I was able to travel at full cruise. The wind was missing, the air temperature was mild and the fog vanished once we got to the ten mile mark.
On the grounds, we had no wind to start. But the seas were swells ranging from eight to twelve feet as measured on the sounding machine. We were there fifteen minutes when the wind struck from the east. It blew up to fifteen knots almost immediately, settled in at about twelve knots and then died out to about ten knots an hour later. The wind hauled out of the east southeast after that and blew five to ten knots for the rest of the day. Seas were one foot chops over the large swells. The swells stayed with us all day. The air temperature reached a high of 60°F. There was a light continuous rain all morning, stopping at 1:00 PM. The sky was overcast all day except for a brief peek at the sun around 1:30 PM. We never saw the rain again but we never saw the sun again either. The visibility ranged from three to ten miles. The tide (current) was moderate. The surface water temperature reached a high of 57.2°F. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 60°F (with a low of 47°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 62°F with a low of 49°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 59°F (with a low of 45°F).
The fishing conditions were tough with the big swells in trying to maintain a certain distance off the bottom with your terminal gear. The drift was a little too fast, so that restricted us a bit as well. But, overall, the conditions were good. And the swells were so far apart, you hardly noticed them. The catching was good and landings were good as well. Most legal fish landed were pollock. In fact, we were pretty much done with the pollock by 9:00 AM. The rest of the day we spent experimenting. We did catch more pollock later on but the only other species landed were thirteen white hake and one redfish. In fact, we didn't catch a single fish that we had to release today. No sub-legal fish of any kind. We saw not a single dogfish, cusk, whiting, haddock, cunner, halibut, barndoor skate or cod (legal or sub-legal). So every fish that we caught today, except for two pollock that I released, we kept. There were only six fish caught of 10 pounds or better. We had our best fishing on anchor. Only jigs and cod flies were used.
I fished a couple of key times today. On my second drop I hooked a small bluefin tuna. I thought it was a pollock and brought it about seventy-five feet off the bottom. Was I surprised when it screamed straight back to bottom again. There were a few times when it headed straight back to the boat where I couldn't reel fast enough to take up the slack line. It never dropped the hook, though. I finally parted it off. It broke in the main line. Part of me wanted to land that fish and part of me felt that I shouldn't have been fishing anyway and fooling around with the fish was starting to take away fishing time for the anglers aboard. I am very uncomfortable when fighting a good fish on a trip where patrons have paid to go fishing. At any rate, I have caught plenty of bluefins in my lifetime. I didn't need another.
Shawn Rosenberger (PA) was the fisherman of the day. He was high hook with the most legal fish. And he won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish and won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish. His two fish were a 17 pound pollock and a 16 pound white hake. He also caught a hake that weighed 11 pounds. Oddly enough, I caught the third largest fish, a 13.75 pound white hake. I also caught the fourth largest fish, a 12.5 pound white hake.
Other Angler Highlights: Deanna Cupka (PA) was the only other angler to catch a fish of 10 pounds or better. Her's was a white hake, a 10 pounder. She also landed the hard luck award for getting a touch of the mal de mer. Just a touch.
Deb McDonnell (MA) donated $50.00 in sponsorship of my cancer ride with the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 292 mile charity cycling event that started at 5:30 AM on Saturday, August 5, 2017 and ended at 11:00 AM on Sunday, August 6, 2017. She helps me so often in this project that I thought she had already donated to the cause. In fact, she had not. It wouldn't have even happened had we not struck up a conversation about how much bike riding I had done this fall. At that time she informed me, with a surprised look on her face, that she had not donated this season yet and had meant to do so many times. This is important to her as she lost her husband to cancer. Thanks so much, Deborah. I appreciate your support so much!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 45°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the west at almost twenty knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good, at least.
Ashore, the wind blew hard out of the west. Wind speeds over twenty knots lasted into mid morning. By 10:00 AM, the wind had backed off enough to show a lack of teeth in the velocity and that it was going to die down. By 1:00 PM, we had barely ten knots of west southwest wind. By 5:00 PM, the wind had hauled out of the southwest and was blowing about five knots. The sky was clear with a bright sun all day, definitely a day for sunglasses. The air temperature rose to a value of at least 60°F. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 60°F (with a low of 40°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 62°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 62°F (with a low of 36°F). On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the west at twenty to fifteen and fifteen to ten. Seas started at four to seven feet in chops to two to four foot chops. The air temperature reached a high of 54°F. The tide (current) was moderate. The visibility was excellent, over twenty miles. The sky was clear and sunny. The surface water temperature reached a high of 56°F.
The fishing conditions were fair, mostly because of the ocean surface water conditions. The chops made it hard to do anything correctly with regard to fishing and technique. The catching was good as were the landings. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Legal landings also included a redfish, a monkfish and a butter mullet. Released fish included sixteen haddock, twenty-eight dogfish and fifteen cod from 5 pounds to 11.5 pounds. They anchored and drift fished. Only jigs and cod flies were used.
Mike Kruszyna (MA) was the fisherman of the day. He was high hook with the most legal fish and he won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 13 pound pollock. He also caught a 9 pound pollock early in the game, which Ian weighed just in case there were no bigger fish caught later. That turned out not to be the case. Don Robichaud (NH) caught (and released) an 11.5 pound cod, the second largest fish of the trip. There was a tie for the third largest fish at 11 pounds each. Both were pollock. One was caught by Tim Rozan (ME) and the other was caught by Kevin Attanasio (MD). Tim also caught a 9 pound pollock. Kevin landed a 6 pound monkfish. The monkfish ties with two other anglers this year for the fifth largest monkfish caught on the Bunny Clark this season so far. Kevin also landed the hard luck award for being the best and most vocal hurler of the trip. There were several!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 39°F, the sky was crystal clear, there was no wind to write about and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. Ashore, there was no wind until about 10:00 AM. The ocean along the shore was flat calm for most of the morning. The wind came up out of the south for the later part of the morning. It never did blow very hard. Near the end of the afternoon there were white caps as the wind had breezed up to ten knots with higher gusts. The sky was cloudless for the morning. High cirrus clouds moved in during the afternoon making the lighting much softer than it was in the morning. I never saw the air temperature go above 60°F in Perkins Cove. York & Portsmouth both reported highs of 64°F. The air had a cool edge to it all day. In fact, at 7:00 AM, the air temperature had dropped to 37°F. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 60°F (with a low of 35°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 67°F with a low of 46°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 67°F (with a low of 35°F).
It was a calm ride all the way to the fishing grounds. On the grounds, the wind started to breeze up from the south. Wind speeds were eight to ten knots with higher gusts. Seas ranged from one to two feet. The air temperature reached a high of 60°F. The tide (current) was moderate. The visibility ranged to over fifteen miles. The sky was clear and sunny. The surface water temperature reached a high of 56°F.
The fishing conditions were very good to excellent. The surface sea state was fairly smooth, the current wasn't strong, there were few dogfish and the weather conditions overall were great. The catching was very good to excellent. Landings were very good. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Legal landings also included thirty-seven mackerel and four whiting. Released fish included nine cod from 7 to 13 pounds, eleven haddock and ten dogfish. Drifting was the method. Everyone used jigs and cod flies.
I never did ask who might have been high hook. Jared didn't volunteer that information either. John Russell (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 16 pound pollock. He also caught a 12.5 pound pollock, his second largest fish. The second largest fish of the trip was a 15 pound pollock caught by Alan Franchot (VT). Alan too caught a slightly smaller pollock of 12 pounds. Howard Lombard (ME) caught the third and fourth largest fish of the trip. They were a 13 pound cod and a 13 pound pollock.
Other Angler Highlights: Steve Tassey (NH) caught a 12 pound cod, his largest fish. But he could have had a larger one. On the first stop, he hooked into what Jared thought was a significant shark. It took him so much by surprise that he squealed. He lost the fish, whatever it was, after a few minutes. The debate went on later as to what type of squeal he made. Was it a Jamie Lee Curtis scream or the squeal of a little school girl? They all decided it was the squeal of a little schoolgirl! Angie Jacobs (VT) caught a 10 pound cod, her largest. She also landed the hard luck award. The crew believes she over-celebrated her anniversary last night which put her in a vulnerable position!
I received a very generous $250.00 donation from Howie & Barbara Goldenfarb (ME) sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising ride (cycling event) with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. The ride has lone since been over. But cancer never sleeps and neither does my fund raising stop. In fact, I become a little more active generating donations after the fishing/restaurant season is over. I stop taking donations for this season on December 30, 2017. I start again for the next season on January 1, 2018. Thank you so much, Howie & Barbara. I very much appreciate the support!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 55°F, the sky was overcast, there was no wind to write about and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. After sunrise, the wind started to blow from the southeast. Ten knots or more, at that time. It blew ten to almost fifteen knots for the morning. After noon, the wind hauled out of the east. By 3:00 PM, the wind ranged from fifteen to twenty knots right out of the east. I was in bed, expecting a very early rise, by 8:30 PM. The air temperature was mild all day. I saw a reading of 60°F. But I heard the air temperature warmed up to 62°F at one point in Perkins Cove. The sky was overcast all day. But we never saw a drip of rain until the dark of the evening, maybe 7:00 PM? The visibility was good for most of the day. We had no fog even though it was predicted. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 62°F (with a low of 56°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 61°F with a low of 56°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 63°F (with a low of 56°F).
The day started like every other Sunday this summer. I got all the desk work done at home and at the office at Barnacle Billy's restaurant, left on the bike at 7:00 AM and got my seventy miles in, started work again at Barnacle Billy's by noon and had the first set of orders done by 1:30 PM, along with all the other things I do at the restaurant.
At 3:30 PM, I left the restaurant, called Micah, my son, to ask if he could help and started preparing the boats for the impending storm. I decided to put the Bunny Clark on a mooring instead of leaving it on the dock. I didn't know what to expect with this forecast so I decided to prepare for the worst. After the boats were in place, we ran storm lines. We were finished with that by 5:00 PM. I went home, got changed back into my restaurant garb and headed back to work. I left there at 8:00 PM so I could get to bed early in case I had to get up early.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 58°F, the sky was overcast, it was raining, the wind was blowing a sustained forty knots and the visibility over the ocean was poor. It must have been blowing harder than I thought between 3:00 and 4:00 AM because the power went out around 4:00 AM. Our generator came on at the house but neither of our two restaurants have generators. Or, at least, neither have generators large enough to support the whole system at either building. The wind continued blowing in the forty knot range, more or less, until around 8:00 AM, when the wind just died. All the flags went limp, the air temperature was around 60°F and the sky started to clear in the eastern horizon. A half hour later the sky was mostly clear. The wind started to blow from the west. Two hours later, the wind was blowing out of the west at over thirty knots with gusts to forty knots. The waves had a magnificent showing along the rocks bordering the Marginal Way, a walkway from the Cove almost to the beach. I don't know how big they were but fifteen feet might not be an exaggeration. As they crashed up on the rocks, the westerly wind was blowing the tops right off them in the sun. This wind died down later in the day but no less than twenty knots. The sky was mostly clear with some clouds marching through, some big enough to be gray and to cover the sky before moving on. We had a light spritz of rain from one such cloud system. But that didn't hardly last. The air temperature was mild all morning and went as high as 63°F. After noon, the air temperature started to drop. By 2:00 PM, it was already 58°F. The air temperature kept dropping as the sun got closer to the horizon. It was 51°F by 6:00 PM. The visibility went from poor to nearly excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 63°F (with a low of 46°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 65°F with a low of 51°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 64°F (with a low of 41°F).
The salient feature of the day was the loss of power in Perkins Cove and my neighborhood. The generator kicked on slightly after 4:00 AM and remained on for the rest of the day and into the night. The restaurants lost power and never regained it during the day. When it first went off, I drove down to the Cove. Danny Neumann and I took all the lobsters out of the tanks and put them in crates so they wouldn't suffocate in water that would become stagnant over time. The lobsters will use up the oxygen in stagnant water and die over time. From there Danny and I waited for the rest of the crew to show up. Which they did. After noon, when we realized that the power was not going to be restored today, we started getting generators down to the restaurants so we could power up the refrigeration units in both buildings. Our concerns were all the perishables that we would use when we did get power and we could open. These were things like the ice cream, butter, pies, etc. etc.
After noon, too, it was obvious that we were not going to be able to open the restaurants for business. So we put the sign in the window. The lobsters, most in crates, were taken, with the help of Todd Hubbard, to his bait cooler so we could keep them alive until we could get them back in the water again. We did the same with most of the clams we sell as steamers. It was quite a process and it took five of us to organize and move things around until I was satisfied that everything was in the right place. From then on, one of us stood a vigil to tend the generators and keep an eye on things. Chuck MacDonald stayed until 10:00 PM when Danny Neumann showed up to spend the rest of the night there.
Hopefully, the power will be restored tomorrow and we can get back to business.
I received another generous $100.00 donation from Rich & Donna McGuinness (GA), sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising ride with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. They sent a check in the mail. In the letter, they mentioned how they wanted to help me get closer to my goal. My goal has always been $30,000.00. I have only crested that figure once in the eleven years of collecting donations. Of course, holding three jobs makes it hard to spend enough time to do this. So I rely on good people like Rich & Donna, the Internet, talking to my restaurant customers and the orientation speech on the Bunny Clark. Thank you so very much, Rich & Donna, for your help and support. I very much appreciate this!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 47°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the west southwest at fifteen knots or more and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The sky remained mostly clear all day. Near the end of the afternoon, a swarth of dark clouds approached from the west, threatening to give us some rain. But that never happened. A half hour later, the sky was mostly clear again. The sky was very clear through the night. The air temperature rose to a value of 58°F, the highest air temperature that I saw today. The wind blew out of the west as high as twenty knots in the morning. By afternoon, it had backed off a bit but was still blowing a steady twelve to fifteen knots. The wind died down during the evening. The visibility today was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 57°F (with a low of 42°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 58°F with a low of 46°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 56°F (with a low of 33°F).
I spent another day of waiting around, wondering when the restaurants would have electrical power restored. Most of the day was spent planning for opening, Barnacle Billy's, Etc., tomorrow. By noon, we had had enough knowledge to know that we would have power restored today but not enough knowledge to know exactly when . At one time, we had information from a utility crew that power should be restored by 1:30 PM. That time came and went without even the flicker of a light bulb. Power was finally restored by 6:00 PM.
From 6:30 PM on, the troops had been called back and were working on putting the restaurant back together. Refrigeration systems were unplugged from generators, lobster tanks were refilled, chilled and airated, generators were shut down and product was moved around to be more accessible when we needed to prep tomorrow morning. Plans were made for getting lobsters back into tanks and all the other things we could have done tonight were put on hold until tomorrow. It's amazing how tired you get while waiting for something to happen without prior knowledge as to when!
Between waiting around, I still had storm lines tied off on the two boats I own. So during the lean times today where I knew I wouldn't be missed, I got in the skiff and gathered storm lines together and brought them home. I had our border collie, Gill, with me the whole time. Below is a shot of us cruising the Cove picking up storm lines. Gill no longer hangs over the bow after the incident, where he thought a piece of ice would support him, during the winter!
Captain Ian Keniston and Anthonly Palumbo ran the extreme day trip today.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 36°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the west ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. Ashore, we had very little wind all day. The ocean along the shore was flat calm. The clear skies gave way to overcast skies later in the morning and through the afternoon. The highest air temperature reading that I saw was 52°F. It might have been warmer but there was no wind so maybe it just felt that way. The visibility was excellent. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 53°F (with a low of 30°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 53°F (with a low of 41°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 51°F (with a low of 28°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind was variable in direction with a velocity of less than five knots. The ocean was calm all day. The high air temperature for the day was 52°F. The tide (current) was moderate. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The sky was overcast for the duration. The surface water temperature reached a high of 55°F, a high surface water temperature for November.
The fishing conditions were nearly excellent, except for the dogfish. There were quite a few today. However, the weather was perfect and there wasn't much tide. The catching was nearly excellent. Landings were very good indeed. Most legal fish landed were pollock. [I can't tell you how many times I have written that same exact statement this season.] Legal landings also included eight haddock, four redfish, one white hake, forty-eight mackerel and one whiting. Released fish included nine cod over five pounds, sixty-three dogfish and twenty-four sub-legal haddock. Drifting was the boating method. Everyone used jigs and flies. They avoided using bait because of the dogfish numbers.
I never did find out who was high hook. And Ian didn't volunteer this information. Ron Hamel (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 17 pound cod. The second largest fish was a 16 pound pollock caught by Marty Buskey (NY). He also caught the best double keeper catch of the day. His double included a 10 pound pollock and an 8.5 pound pollock, both fish caught on the same line at the same time. David Smith (ME) caught the third largest fish, a 12 pound pollock.
Other Angler Highlights: Jim Greene (ME) caught an 11 pound pollock, his largest fish. Bryan Salter (ME) also caught an 11 pound pollock. He also landed the hard luck award for losing three jigs!
Marty & Elise Buskey just keep on donating to my cancer fund raising ride with the Pan-Mass Challenge. Today's donation was $25.00. And I believe they have donated $25.00 three other times. It's very kind of them. And that kind of support goes a long way to cementing my resolve to keep on with this project. I don't think I would stop doing it at this point anyway. But it does make me feel like I'm on the right track with people like Marty & Elise behind me. Thank you very much. I can't tell you how humbled I feel with this continuous donation. You don't have to do this. And I would never expect it. But the fact that you do does wonders for me!
As for me, being ashore, I spent the day doing my part in getting Barnacle Billy's, Etc. restaurant ready to open. We got the lobsters back, threw out a bunch of product that wasn't perfect and went on to the next item until I was done. I was back in my whites by noon, at opening time. The rest of the day was spent greeting customers, doing orders and planning for my departure (on the Bunny Clark) tomorrow. I am very much looking forward to tomorrow. But I'm not happy that it's the last trip.
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 52°F, the sky was overcast, there had been a hint of a light rain, the wind was out of the south at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was good.
We had a light rain at the dock for an hour or so before we headed to the fishing grounds. As soon as we left the gate behind, the rain stopped. We never had another drop of rain for the rest of the day. The ride out was okay. Wind speeds were ten knots or more out of the east southeast. Seas were chops of a couple of feet. Maybe a little more than that. We were able to cruise at thirteen knots until the last five or six miles. The wind was stronger at that time and the seas were three to four feet. We had to back off to about ten knots. But, by that time, we were almost there. The air temperature was 57°F all the way to the fishing grounds.
On the grounds, the wind blew out of the southeast at fifteen to twenty knots. Seas were chops of three to five feet. And that was the most wind we say all day, the wind we had in the first hour. After that the wind settled in to twelve to fifteen knots. No more than that. Seas were about three feet, more or, mostly, less. The wind hauled out of the south later in the day. This wind carried the same velocity and sea state. We carried ten to fifteen knots of southerly wind all the way home. The air temperature reached a high of 58°F. The sky was partly sunny/partly cloudy, a mix. The visibility ranged from ten to fifteen miles in haze. The tide (current) was strong from the first moment that we started to fish until the last fish was hauled aboard. The surface water temperature reached a high of 53.2°F. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 59°F (with a low of 52°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 71°F (with a low of 52°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 65°F (with a low of 46°F).
The fishing conditions were tough with the current and the sea conditions. The current created more tangles than I expected to see. It even drove one of the anglers to the bunk, never to be seen with a rod in his hand again! In fact, we never saw him again until we got back to the dock! The catching was very good. Landings were good, at best. Most good sized fish landed were cod, by far. Legal pollock came in second. On our best haddock spot the market cod were so thick and aggressive that you couldn't catch a haddock before a cod would take the hook. There were many double cod catches, some of our biggest doubles of the year! Legal landings also included forty-two haddock, one redfish, two cusk, two white hake, a whiting and five butter mullet. Released fish included twenty-four sub-legal haddock, five dogfish and too many market cod to count - seriously! We drift fished, used the sea anchor and anchored. Drifting caught the most fish. Jigs caught the most fish today.
I couldn't tell you who was high hook. If you included cod, I would consider Fred Kunz (NH) or Charlie Harris (MA). But I can't tell you for sure. Charlie was high hook out of the five anglers fishing on the bow. Of anglers fishing in the cockpit, only Fred counted his fish. Steve Linn (PA), Jonathan "Griff" Griffin (MA), Mark Randis (PA) and Ray Westermann (MA) also caught a lot of fish and were in contention, for sure. Fred won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 23.5 pound pollock. This is a tie for the Bunny Clark's fifth largest pollock of the fishing season. I took a picture with Fred holding the largest pollock he has caught in over six years. It's also the third pollock that Fred has caught off the Bunny Clark this year over 20 pounds! This digital image appears on the left with Griff in the background. Fred caught some nice market cod over 10 pounds that I never did weigh. But his big pollock was the only pollock that he caught over 10 pounds. Dick Taylor (MA) won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 22.5 pound cod. Dick caught this cod as part of a double with another cod of 7 pounds, both fish caught on the same line at the same time! This double ties for the Bunny Clark's seventh largest double of the 2017 fishing season and the 22.5 pound cod is the sixth largest cod of the 2017 Bunny Clark season . Some of his other good fish included a 10.5 pound pollock, an 11 pound pollock and a 17 pound cod. Charlie Harris (MA) won the boat pool for the third largest fish with the third largest fish, a 21 pound cod. This 21 pound cod ties Bill Murphy's (MA) 21 pound cod (caught in June) for our ninth largest cod of the season. It's also Charlie's largest ever cod. Charlie went on to catch too many cod over 10 pounds to weigh. Some of his that I did weigh included a 14 pounder and a 13.5 pounder. His largest pollock weighed 13 pounds.
Other Angler Highlights: Some of Griff's good fish included a 13.25 pound pollock, a 14 pound cod and a 15 pound cod. Tom Miller (NH) led the boat pool for a couple hours with a 19 pound pollock, his largest fish of the trip. Two other fish of his that I weighed included an 11 pound pollock and a 10 pound cod. Andrei Bescitnii (NH) caught a 10.5 pound pollock. He caught a couple of cod that were bigger but I did not weigh them. The biggest thing that Dana Decormier (NH) caught was the sea anchor. That's a first. We have never had anyone hook the actual chute before. I knew it would happen eventually. But Dana gets first honors! Dana's largest fish was a 14.25 pound pollock. Some of his other fish included a 13.25 pound pollock and a double that included a 12.5 pound pollock and an 11 pound pollock. Dave Harris (MA) and Frank Noble (ME) ended up tangling with each other. But that was nothing compared to another tangle that Dave got into. Do I need to say any more? I'm sure Frank caught some cod over 10 pounds but they were released before they could be weighed. I could say the same for Dave & Dana, all of whom were fishing on the bow. Ray Westermann landed a 17.5 pound pollock, his largest fish. Some of his other good fish included a 12.5 pound pollock and a 14 pound pollock. Steve Linn landed an 18.75 pound pollock, his best fish. Some of his cod weighed 12 pounds and 11 pounds. Max Macias (MA) released a 13 pound cod that he caught. I believe it was his largest fish today. The only fish I weighed for Buzz Leonard (ME) was a 10 pound cod. But Buzz, too, released a few really good sized cod.
Speaking (or writing) for myself, it's an honor to have so many talented anglers aboard for the last trip. It means a lot to me. And it also means that I will get the best out of any spot I choose to try. And we did!
I received two donations sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 192 mile charity cycling event that started at 5:30 AM on Saturday, August 5, 2017 and ended at 11:00 AM on Sunday, August 6, 2017. The charity's target is cancer. The institute it supports is Dana-Farber in Boston, Massachusetts. The fund raising arm is the Jimmy Fund. I have been cycling in this event for eleven years and have raised around $280,000.00, mostly for cancer research. Cancer never sleeps just like my fund raising. I will be taking donations until the end of December. Today's donors and donation amounts were as follows: The Decormier Family for $50.00 and a very generous $500.00 donation from Mark & Gail Randis (PA) In Memory of John Glick. Thank you all so very much for your support and for believing in this as much as I do. I certainly appreciate the help. And I am humbled by your generosity.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was a much warmer than normal 57°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was out of the west southwest at five or six knots and the visibility over the ocean was good. The sky cleared up by sunrise, a beautiful sunrise. The sky wasn't perfectly clear. It was more a mix of sun and clouds. Twice during the day we had the lightest kind of rain, not even enough to put a hat on. Much later in the afternoon we did get a steady rain. All this from passing clouds in an otherwise fairly clear sky. The air temperature was the salient feature of the day. It climbed to a high of at least 71°F in Ogunquit. The wind blew out of the south yet again today. Wind speeds of fifteen knots were the highest. Mostly the wind blew ten knots. The visibility was good or maybe better than that in haze. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 70°F (with a low of 44°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 75°F (with a low of 51°F). Today's high temperature in Boston was only a degree lower than the record high set on this date in 1990. Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 71°F (with a low of 45°F).
I spent the whole morning working at the desk doing the things I do after our last trip, closing out the season. I, of course, spent some time in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. as well. By noon, I was back at Barnacle Billy's, Etc., working the floor, going over year end items with those who need to know, working orders, checking on product, etc., etc. I ran home for an hour nap. When I came back, I met a tech who was going over a glitch in our video surveillance system. That was completed in an hour or so. Orders were next. I left the restaurant at 8:00 PM. It wasn't very busy but it was better than I thought it would be.
Ian Keniston worked on the Bunny Clark for part of the day. He started late, went to lunch and then came back to finish up. Mostly he was cleaning.
Jared Keniston, his brother and long time Bunny Clark captain/employee, has taken a managerial position with the Ogunquit Playhouse. He will not be working with us on the Bunny Clark anymore, unless I can get him back on a part time basis. So I am looking for another deck hand. Anthony Palumbo, our new deck hand from this season, will be taking Jared's place in the deck hand part of things. Anthony will be my number one. I will need another swing deck hand for next season. I am looking!
I had a million items to complete and cross off the list today. The end of a season does this to me. I'm never prepared for the end. Mostly I was trying to get to Portsmouth by 7:00 AM to get my blood work done for my annual physical due on November 7th. I had enough things to do that much was on my mind. That's the excuse I'm sticking with for now. So I never finished as early as I wanted to. That meant that I didn't get to Portsmouth as early as I wanted either. In the meantime, my phone died at about 6:00 AM. So I got to Portsmouth almost an hour late, sat in the waiting room only to find out that I had neglected to bring my paperwork. And, no, they wouldn't let Deb take a picture of the paperwork and send it to my phone. So I jumped in the car to drive back with the thought of a hour wasted in my mind. Of course, Deb tried calling me to tell me she would meet me half way with the paperwork. But with the other phone I have this thing I downloaded with the operating system update that won't accept calls or texts while driving (I thought it was a good idea at the time). So I never got the message until I got home where I was further aggravated with the knowledge that I just wasted another half hour by not receiving the call! I was also a little wound up because I had been fasting since 7:00 PM the previous night. You can't eat anything until the blood work is completed while fasting but you can drink black coffee, which I had been doing all morning. So I was a bundle of nervous energy when I finally walked into the lab after 9:00 AM. I was very conscious of remaining calm lest I get kicked out again!
The rest of the day was much the same. I found a clogged furnace vent the other day. So I had called our chimney sweep to clean it out. They were supposed to be here between noon and 2:00 PM. But when I got home they were parked in the middle of the driveway. I had planned other things for that time. So that plan was gone. And I would have been to work at Barnacle Billy's on time had the scooter started. But that didn't happen. I worked on that for too long and finally decided to walk to work. I would have driven the truck down there but our man was on the roof working on the vent and his truck was blocking my path with the truck. I didn't feel like disturbing him from his work.
At the restaurant, I finally settled down enough to enjoy the routine. Yes, I still had about two hours worth of desk work to do there. But I mixed that up with going around to tables in the dining room, discussing product relating to orders for only one more day of business and many other management issues. So with the trials and tribulations of the day and the fact that I started at 3:00 AM. I decided to leave at 4:00 PM to go home for a nap. It was a very slow period at the restaurant at that time anyway. And I know Greg Veprek would have approved!
I got back to work after over an hour and a half of absence with my newly charged phone, only to find out that I had about ten pertinent (and timely) messages. At that point I didn't care. The rest of the night went very well. Since we are only open tomorrow, the night was like old home week with many regular customers, all of whom I was really glad to see. Sadly, the McGuinnesses were not there. Although, I really didn't expect them to make a surprise flight from Atlanta, Georgia. But you never know!
I had enough work completed in the office and at home that I was able to do the Maine Coast Cycling Club ride today. It was only the second time this week I was able to get on the bike. Between the storm, power outage, running around trying to keep product safe and the extra work entailed in the process, I didn't have much time for myself. It felt good to be back on the bike. We had a mixed group of riders today. This was good as the pace was slower and more enjoyable. And I didn't feel so beat up at the end of the 70 mile ride as I normally do before noon on most Sundays.
Business was slower than normal at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. Most of our patrons were our regular patrons in for a last meal before the season ends at 9:00 PM. It was fun to see them. But it was also sad that this was the last day. But all went well. And, as far as I could tell, everyone had a great meal. And that included Deb and I who ate with Paul "Hez" Haseltine and his wife, Johanna, an hour before the closing bell. As usual, the wait service was impeccable and the food excellent. We left a little before 9:00 PM after shaking hands with our number one at Etc, Chuck MacDonald. I very much appreciate his support during the season.
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was a balmy 58°F, the sky was overcast, there was no wind along the shore and the visibility over the ocean was fair to poor in fog looking southeast and fair to good looking along the shore to Kennebunkport. In sheltered Perkins Cove there was some wind from the south. Offshore a bit, the wind blew out of the south at fifteen to twenty knots for most of the morning backing around to southwest ten knots or better in the afternoon. We had a little rain during the early part of the morning, drying out for the rest of the morning and then a steady rain around 1:00 PM. This rain tapered a bit but continued on into the night. The air temperature warmed to summer like conditions. The highest air temperature I saw was 67°F. I fear the shock of seasonable temperatures coming up! The sky remained overcast all day and into the night. The visibility was good, at best, all day. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 62°F (with a low of 44°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 64°F (with a low of 50°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 64°F (with a low of 43°F).
Today was spent running around, cleaning up, managing the work profile for the week, bringing materials to get repaired and moving product around. Different vendors came to take product back during the day. The rest will finish up taking product tomorrow. I spent part of the morning getting lobster crates, loading the lobsters by size into the crates and taking them to Bay Haven Lobster Company. Once there, I weighed them and put them in the tanks, leaving a note as to how many pounds of each size were returned. I also had a couple of clam/lobster tanks that I wanted to have duplicated at Don's Sheet Metal in Biddeford. This I did mid afternoon. I spent some time in the office making a few book keeping decisions, answering emails, editing the Barnacle Billy's web site and confirming our future opening and closing dates for both restaurants. I had a couple informal meetings here and there. The last of it was spent with Matt Pedersen, our man in charge at Barnacle Billy's. With Matt we talking over cleanup details and work we needed done on the ice maker.
Ian Keniston did all the work on the Bunny Clark today except for an hour of cleaning and engine maintenance by yours truly in the morning. I spent a half hour with Ian going over future projects and lining up someone to help him with the work to be done tomorrow. I was also lucky enough to be able to schedule Skip Dunning from Power Products to come down tomorrow morning to do a diagnostic check on the engine and adjust the valves. I had forgotten about it until Ian mentioned it!
So I spent all day running around hoping to get a bike ride in at the end. Rain or no, it was still 64°F at 4:30 PM so I was ready to ride. That is, I was until Deb told me about a few things wrong with her vehicle. So instead of riding my bike, I spent the rest of the afternoon and part of the night with Deb and her vehicle in Portsmouth. It never ends!
I worked at the desk for most of the morning and then had to drive to a doctor's appointment at 9:00 AM.
After a bit of shopping in Portsmouth, I met the Bunny Clark at the dock. Skip Dunning from Power Products had just finished with a diagnostic check of the engine, a valve adjustment (only two were slightly off) and a check of the coolant pipe we had replaced in the spring (with electrolysis problems). Everything checked out perfectly. According to the diagnostic/history check, we using the engine in the manner with which it was designed. The coolant pipe problem was an anomaly where it was isolated from the engine and made from bronze. The new pipe, replaced during the early spring, is made of a much more noble metal. At the time of replacement, Skip made a connection from the pipe to the rest of the engine, which is electrically linked. This might also have helped eliminate the problem.
As soon as I arrived, Skip was ready for sea trials. With his computer still plugged into the engine, we ran for a couple of miles outside the Cove. All the loads on the engine at every RPM was perfect, the engine ran fine and all the engine senders and gauges were working normally, as they should. I took a quick picture of Skip looking at the computer read-outs as we were leaving the outer cove. This digital image appears below.
It was noon by the time I left the Bunny Clark. I went home for lunch and worked on PMC deposits (that I had collected & acknowledged - but hadn't deposited) as I ate. That took me the better part of an hour. And it also gave me a total for my cancer fund collecting for the year. At a total this year of $24,431.00, I have generated $283,025.77 in donations to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since I started with the PMC in 2007! Not too bad for a rookie. Of course, most of the thanks goes to those who donate. And I, too, am one! I would like to raise another 2 or $3,000 this year before I close everything out. We shall see.
The rest of the day was spent going back and forth with the cleanup at both Barnacle Billy's restaurants. I ended my working day at 5:00 PM.
I did a lot of running around today, registering vehicles, working at the restaurants, checking up on the Bunny Clark stuff, on the phone, bringing the Barnacle Billy's sign for repair and working in both offices. There was really nothing I did today that would warrant writing about it. Nothing much of interest.
I met three other Maine Coast Cycling Club members at Sanford Airport at 5:45 PM to do a thirty mile ride in the cold of the night. I can't say I was really used to riding at night in the cold. Thankfully, I took a twelve mile ride around Ogunquit when the air temperature was just above freezing so I could decide what to wear. It's been so long since we had cooler weather, I couldn't remember exactly what I needed as the air temperature dropped. Layers are important but the hands and feet are the most important. Turns out I was just on the edge of being too cold which means no perspiration! Below is a digital image of the other three riding down Wire Road just outside of Sanford.
I floated through the day in a funk. This happens at the end of the season. Before I started riding the bike, I used to get into a depression for about a month where some days were okay and, on other days, I didn't know what to do with myself, couldn't sleep and could only focus on the upcoming fishing season - months away. It seemed, today, that I was doing everything in slow motion. It seemed to take longer to get anything done. And the things I did do had three to five chapters before I was finished, like a book you thought you had to finish but fought to stay awake reading it! And the day never seemed to end. At noon, I thought it was 1:30 PM, at 1:00 PM I thought it was 3:00 PM. It didn't help that we just went into Eastern Standard Time. On top of this, just as I would get into something, I was called to the restaurant to address something else. Finally, at 4:00 PM, I just gave up, grabbed a beer and sat down before the pellet stove and read a book.
Ian Keniston has been enjoying the help of my son, Micah, while winterizing the Bunny Clark. Today, Micah was lobstering so Ian worked alone. I think that Ian likes both. It's nice to have help but it's nice to not have to think about directing someone to do what you want to have done. The Bunny Clark is almost ready to be hauled out.
At the restaurants, my main focus was getting our security alarm system up and running. And there was a lot of planning for the rest of cleanup that I did today. I also jumped between offices all day. First at home then to the office at Etc., back home, etc. etc.
I did not a bit of exercising today. Not even a push-up.
I spent the early part of the morning working at both offices (home & the Cove). At 9:00 AM, I brought my truck to be serviced including an oil change. At the same time, I helped Deb close a deal where we traded her Yukon for a newer version of the same. I was back in Ogunquit before noon. For the rest of the day I was on the phone, at the restaurants and, generally, running around and planning for Monday.
We still have summer water at Barnacle Billy's. The building is not going to be winterized until Tuesday. So we turned the heat up in the restaurant and ran water through the night at various faucets and water outlets. I made sure all that was happening by 5:00 PM. I'm really not used to the cold yet.
I spent a fair amount of time looking over the materials that were presented to me from the New England Fishery Management Council's staff on the 2017 catch of cod and haddock. This to get ready for the Recreational Advisory Panel meeting on Tuesday. We caught more cod, generally this season. However, the party/charter sector caught less. Private vessels accounted for the most catch of cod. This, of course, is bad statistics gathering in NOAA's Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP, system. Generally, they do shore interviews with private boats, ask what they catch/caught (without any proof) and then extrapolate this information to other vessels they believe are also fishing that day. This has been the source of much frustration to me and others like me who have a stake in the fishery and are also involved in the fishery management scene. And to have to accept that data to make salient recreational rule changes is painful indeed!
Except for working on the Bunny Clark web site and getting the parking lot going, I spent most of the day completing domestic things. The highlight of the day was combining a bike ride to Portsmouth with bringing the title from Deb's old vehicle to the dealership where she traded it. That was a forty-seven mile round trip and a fairly cold ride.
After working on this computer and getting the parking lot attendants straightened out, I jumped on the bike and headed for my weekly Maine Coast Cycling Club ride in Kennebunkport, sixteen miles away. The day before I had thought, with the weather prediction, that it would be too cold to ride up. The prediction was for 17°F at 7:00 AM. Instead, it was 26°F, a world of difference. Unfortunately, too many people believe the local (and national) weather forecasters. So most of the cyclists who would have ridden today made other plans. I check the weather forecast, for sure. I just don't put much stock in the chance that they might be right. [I'm really in a mess aren't I; having to rely on the weather forecast for my two businesses and then hoping the Fishery Management Council will do the right thing?] So I wasn't surprised to find it just warm enough to make the trek to the Club ride. There were only two other cyclists there when I arrived at the Kennebunkport Bicycle Company property. And they were two good riders. It's nice riding with a group where all the riders are of equal ability. When you are on the front, it's challenging yet easy to sit in when you are behind the leader. At the end of the ride, I rode home. Normally, this being my first whole Sunday off since early April, I would try to make my ride a total of one hundred miles. But, today, the early ride in the cold sapped the energy out of me, making me less enthusiastic about adding more miles. So I had to be content with a metric century ride or exactly sixty-seven miles.
Except for working in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. for an hour in the evening, I took the rest of the day off and watched a movie over a late lunch.
The day was spent working on the Guestletter, getting ready for the Recreational Advisory Panel meeting tomorrow, taking life rafts off the two boats, going back and forth with the managers during the clean-up period today at Barnacle Billy's, working in both offices and making end of year decisions. I also had to figure out some electronics problems at Navtronics in York, Maine. I ended up driving down there for a meeting with Tim Greer. Along with emails, editing this site and monitoring the progress with the Bunny Clark, it was a full day. On top of all this, it was, indeed, Monday. And everyone, it seemed, wanted a piece of me via the phone.
In the morning, Ian Keniston and my son, Micah, worked on the Bunny Clark and Petrel.
Except for some early morning desk work, I spent the whole day at a Recreational Advisory Panel (RAP) meeting in Portland, Maine. Actually, I got there at 8:00 AM, so I could attend a port meeting for a "program review" on the New England Fishery Management Council. This was part of a series of meetings reviewing the way the Council does business including communication, stake holder representation, what the Council is doing right or wrong and how can the Council better serve all those involved in the fishery and the public. The meeting started at 8:30 AM and lasted until 10:00 AM. There were only six of us who attended the meeting so there was plenty of input from me and everyone else there, almost like a special private meeting.
The RAP meeting started at 10:00 AM and adjourned at around 5:00 PM, maybe later. It was, basically, a preliminary meeting for our January meeting where we will decide on the upcoming recreational fishing regulations. It was also a peek at what is coming "down the pike" for the 2018 fishing season. We are an advisory panel that advises the Groundfish Committee that advises the Council. So we can suggest recreational fishing regulations and make policy decisions as long as the Groundfish Committee and the Council "rubber stamps" our advice. Then, of course, all this has to be approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS or the Service).
It's important to note that we asked for certain parameters for adjusting the models that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will use to see if the regulations we decide will work in a sustainable fashion. This is important as it might give us more latitude when deciding what the new regulations will be.
A preliminary recreational groundfish landings report was produced for the meeting. They had landings data through the end of August. It showed that we were under the target allowable catch for haddock but over in the cod mortality. This through all user groups. We will see the landings figures for the full season in our January meeting.
For 2018, there will be an increase in the amount of haddock and cod that we can kill. That is the best way to describe it. It doesn't mean that we will be able to keep cod as the mortality rate in catching cod (without keeping them) is enough to take care of the total allowable catch. And it's really complicated because the private angler data shows that they are killing far more cod than we believe is true. And this is because data collectors don't have enough intercepts on the private angler. And when they do intercept a private boat, that catch figure is taken at the angler's word and that data is extrapolated to the other private boats that they couldn't meet at the dock, regardless of whether they caught fish or not - or even it they went groundfishing! So, it's complicated.
So for the deciding January RAP meeting, if we make the right decisions with the final data sheet, and the models we have chosen work out, we may be able to keep cod. It is unlikely that this will happen but it is a possibility. I am not an expert on this stuff, unfortunately. And I don't know how the models will show everything at this place and time. Nor does anyone else. The models have to be run. I believe in the science; that's not the problem. I do not believe in the data or the way it is collected. Data collection is the responsibility of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) program, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA - Department of Commerce, just like the Service is a division of NOAA.
Other parts of the meeting involved a consensus statement to leave the halibut the way it is with the recreational angler saying; "the halibut is a trophy fish which has no recreational allocation....that these fish not be taken away from the recreational fishery." There is a problem with too many commercial landings of the species. Enough so that if the total allowable catch is caught before the end of the season, it could shut down Federal commercial groundfish boats. We don't believe the recreational angler catches enough halibut to worry about. And indeed it is the fish of a lifetime for the angler who lands one.
We talked about Georges Bank cod. They are being overfished and overfishing is occurring. Something will have to be done. The Council wanted our take on it. But we are so unfamiliar with that fishery, no one had an opinion. I started to make a motion but was embarrassed to not be able to come up with a salient idea.
We sent a motion to the Groundfish Committee which will have the result of being able to have regulations in place before the fishing year in January. This so anglers know what they will be able to keep long before the season starts. We give up making the regulatory decisions ourselves. But, normally, all this is done for us. So, in the past, it has appeared that we came up with the solution when we were really told what we can and can't do by the Service.
We also talked about a limited access program for charter/party boats engaging in the fishery, a different way to manage our fishery in general and having a boat limit for regulated priority fish species along with a bag limit, party/charter boats being exempt. The idea behind the last item is to get the private boat catch down to reasonable levels.
That was the RAP meeting in a nutshell. I tried to explain it all in terms that you might better understand. I have bias but I try to be objective as I can be. And I am aware of trying to remain objective.
On a side note, I almost got into a multi-car pile up on the way back home from Portland. A car in front of me jacked on it's brakes. Thankfully, I was far enough behind that I didn't have to jack no mine, leaving just enough room for the car behind me to do the same. Swerving around the car in front (and sneaking between two cars in the other lane) helped me to avoid a big mess. I can tell you that my heart was beating hard enough to rival any beating heart during a long hill climb on my bike!
I met Ian Keniston at 6:30 AM. We got together at the Bunny Clark and started the engine, waiting for it to warm up. After 7:00 AM, I headed out of the Cove for the Piscataqua River and Kittery Point Yacht Yard. The digital image below shows Bald Head Cliff in Cape Neddick, Maine off the stern of the Bunny Clark. Crusing speed with the boat in this condition is 17.5 knots at the same rpm I cruise at 14+ knots with a full boat of passengers. Weight makes so much of a difference. At the same time, Ian drove to KPYY to meet me.
I had to go home once. I worked at the Bunny Clark for a little while longer. Then Ian and I loaded the truck. I went home as did Ian.
I spent the rest of the day checking on the restaurant, etc.
At 5:00 PM, I drove up to Sanford Airport to meeting three riders from the Maine Coast Cycling Club to get a thirty mile night bicycle ride in. I was home by 8:30 PM.
My day was spent working on boat stuff, going back and forth to Navtronics, working at the restaurants, on the phone for all kinds of things, checking on the cleanup at the restaurants and working at the office here.
Ian and my son, Micah, went back to the Yard and took everything that needed to go home in two trucks. They also placed the newly repacked life raft canister on the top of the Petrel. Later, Dan Greer from Liferaft Services showed me how to put a new rachet system to hold the life raft in place in a more secure way than the way that I had it. He installed the strap while I watched!
One item I did key on today was a shaft/bearing problem I have with the Bunny Clark. For the third year in a row, we hauled the Bunny Clark out to find that we had outside stuffing box/cutlass bearing problems. This time the cutlass sleeve had worked it's way out of the stuffing box until the after part of the bronze tube was resting on the forward hub of the wheel (propeller). The only bearing surface that the shaft had was the little bit of the cutlass that was still in the stuffing box. Thankfully, the distance between the forward wheel hub and the end of the stuffing box is shorter than the cutlass sleeve! Otherwise, I would have had to haul the Bunny Clark before the end of the season and wait a week before launching again! Still it's a pain in the neck kind of job. Below is a shot of the wheel/cutlass sleeve and stuffing box.
I got up at 2:30 AM this morning as I wanted to get my core workout stuff in and run on the beach (which I did at 4:30 AM). I knew I would be too busy today to jump on the bike. I spent probably four hours total at the desk today between Barnacle Billy's and Bunny Clark stuff. The rest of the day I was on the phone setting up things for the future, running between here and there, working on updating an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), checking on restaurant work and working on the Bunny Clark web site. There wasn't a moment today where I stopped except for a half hour lunch break. I was done by 6:00 PM.
The one significant thing I did accomplish was securing a couple of my favorite people at Kittery Point Yacht Yard to pull the shaft of the Bunny Clark on Monday. Originally, we were supposed to haul the boat to it's winter storage/work facility at 8:00 AM that day. But I really wanted to get started on the shaft alignment problem early in case it turned into something that required more time in the future. You think you have the "whole winter" to get projects completed when, in reality, it can be a shorter time than you expect. I would be just as happy if it were some simple thing that was completed within two weeks. But, in my world, that rarely happens. And when you include a boat it's even more complicated!
I spent the early part of the morning editing this web page, getting the parking lot set up for the attendant and working on my road bike. At 8:30 AM, I jumped on the bike to ride to South Berwick where I met riders I only see on this day. It was the annual South Berwick Community Food Pantry Ride, to generate food and money for the less fortunate around Thanksgiving time. I believe that Tom McCullom is the lead guy for this small fund raiser. But Marc Jacobs is involved as are many others including Woody Mead, who I once rode the Pan-Mass Challenge with. I look forward to this ride every year. It's a great bunch of generous unselfish wonderful people, the course is challenging and the cookies afterward are the best in the United States!
When I got home, I checked with the parking lot attendant, locked the building up and called it a day. The rest of it I spent working on my cyclocross bike and reading a Jack Mars novel.
Normally I would ride with the Maine Coast Cycling Club on Sunday morning, leaving the house on my bike at 7:00 AM. Not today. I don't like to ride in the rain at this time of year. I don't ride in the rain unless it's at least 60°F. And there is no guarantee this time of year that air temperatures will remain mild. Also, with the wind warning out, riding becomes difficult on just two wheels. So, instead, I tried to catch up on the some of the things where I didn't have to rely on businesses being open to complete.
Later in the morning Gill (my border collie) and I went to secure a wheel puller from Dave's Barn where we keep the Bunny Clark during the winter. I also dropped off some fittings for the Barnacle Billy's sign that need to sand blast, barrier coated and painted. I also spent a couple of hours working on my answers to the New England Fishery Management Council program review (conducted by the Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum out of California). I mentioned this briefly on the entry of November 14, 2017. I wanted to get specific about some issues with the Council that could really help in the regulation process or understanding fishery management.
Knowing that I wouldn't have time for a bike ride today I decided to run three miles on Ogunquit Beach. Since it was so close to daylight I decided to take Gill, our border collie. I'm afraid that I could lose him if I took him well before dawn. That was the case two days ago when I decided to leave him home. But I tend to run too hard alone. Having Gill with me prevents me from pulling muscles I might hurt on my own. And Gill, today, made it the whole way up and back. But he did look a little tired after this run. See below. There were snow flurries during the run. You can see the patina of snow on the ground in the picture.
Tomorrow, the Bunny Clark gets hauled over the road to it's winter resting place where she will get, at the very least, some cosmetic improvements.
At 5:00 AM EST the air temperature was 35°F, the stars could be seen in a milky sky, the wind was blowing out of the southwest at almost twenty knots and the visibility over the ocean seemed very good. The air temperature dropped a bit before rising slowly during the morning. From before noon through the early afternoon, the air temperature seemed to soar until it reached a high of 58°F, the highest air temperature that I saw for the day. It was beautiful in Perkins Cove at 2:00 PM. The sky was mostly clear all day with a bright sun all day until sunset. The wind stayed out of the southwest at twenty knots or less all day, the harbinger of the warmer than normal air temperatures. The visibility remained very good all day. The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 52°F (with a low of 24°F). In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 59°F (with a low of 35°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 40°F (with a low of 31°F).
After the morning desk work, I headed over to Kittery Point Yacht Yard and the Bunny Clark. There I met Independant Boat Haulers with the trailer already under the Bunny Clark getting ready to move her. From there I drove to Dave's Barn, getting there before the Bunny Clark arrived. I don't like to drive behind the boat during transportation. For less than an hour we watched and made recommendations until the Bunny Clark was safe in the Barn. Both Ian Keniston and Dave Pease were there. We went over strategies for closing the boat in the Barn. Then I went home. I worked at the computer until lunch, ate lunch and then spent most of the rest of the afternoon moving the Petrel from the summer to the winter mooring, dropping the summer mooring and picking up the stern mooring behind the Petrel for a potential storm line. The buoys for each mooring are taken out at this time of year and the moorings are dropped to bottom so the ice breaker doesn't get the mooring lines in the propeller when breaking ice in the winter. So it was important, at this time, to grab the other mooring behind the winter mooring before I would have to spend time grappling for it before a storm in the dead of winter. I was done well before sunset.
With just enough light to see without lights, I jumped on the bike for some exercise before calling it a day.
After the morning routine, I ran three miles on the beach with Gill. He's doing a better job keeping up. The air temperature was mild, the tide was out, there were very few people and there was no rain or wind. So it was a nice time to be there. And Gill had few distractions (only two dogs) so he stayed within sight of me the whole time. And it's not like I lose sight of him at any time. But sometimes Gill will lag so far behind that it seems he's running on his own. If he runs into someone he will stop to play. And since I'm not near, it looks to that person that the dog is on his own. Many times I will turn around and start my run back, run past that particular person, who will say; "Is that your dog?" I always say "thank you for your concern". The run back finds Gill with me for a while, jumping around, sprinting up ahead and then falling back. The last three quarters of a mile he stays behind, with me looking back every once and a while to make sure he's headed in the right direction (sometimes I have to run back towards him). Below is a shot of Gill making the last few feet of the run.
I spent the whole morning today helping Deb get ready for hosting family, relatives and friends, twelve of us. This meant borrowing tables and chairs from Barnacle Billy's. But what it mostly entailed was working on two ice machines at Barnacle Billy's, Etc! The best one I could not get to work, despite calls to the best person in New England who is always on call for refrigeration problems, Bob Foley. He talked me through one of the systems that I did get working. That one isn't the way I want it to be. But we never could get the best one going. So I will see him down at the restaurant tomorrow. I did not want to drag him down here on Thanksgiving day, although he offered!
Deb, of course, did 99% of the work over three days (two turkeys, cleaning, shopping for food, cleaning, etc., etc.).
It was a very fun day from 2:00 PM on.
At this time, I am looking for a deck hand on the Bunny Clark for next season. It's what I call my "Swing Hand" position, a job requirement as a deck hand for four days a week, or six trips. Requirements for the position included a pre-employment drug test, enrollment in a random drug testing pool, a current CPR/AED/First Aid certificate, the capability of handling a rolling vessel on the ocean and a love of catering to people of all types and abilities. We have other requirements but those will be taught or self-taught before you take the position. If you are interested, you can call 207-646-2214.