I spent the whole morning and part of the afternoon working in preparation for the rest of the month, all organizational stuff. Tomorrow will be the beginning of getting ready for the new fishing season and restaurant season including meetings scheduling, finishing the Guestletter, putting the Bunny Clark fishing schedule up, going over the restaurant plans and gearing up in general.
Other than the above, I didn't do much today. I did watch the first period of the Winter Classic with the Boston Bruins vs the Chicago Blackhawks. I never did run with Gill; the wind put the screws to that move. He doesn't like the wind on the beach when it's that strong.
My day was a whirlwind of activity, all at one office or another, a lot on the phone. Everybody was available today. I was able to order supplies from marine companies for working on the Bunny Clark, set up inspections for the near future (fire, hull, liquor, fuel, etc.), set up meetings (2019 schedule, managers, insurance, work order, etc) and check off many items on a list I had been making for the last two weeks. Some of these items I could have addressed earlier. But, for most, this was a long vacation time and a family time. Part of me doesn't want to disturb those who have been so loyal to me over the year. The other part of me knows that I can wait. And I have plenty to do that needs to get done without involving the outside world. So today I made contact. From now on it will be a balancing act between meetings, getting the Guestletter completed, our J1 students for 2019 in a row, completing the reservation book, redesigning the new PMC web page, putting up the schedule, attending with fishery management meetings and issues and working with the bank and the day to day with email s and the like. I don't particularly like the winter because I have to organize every day rather than enjoy a day to day schedule which remains constant. Such is my life in the winter. The good part is that I can take a break when I want, to some degree.
I finished my day at 5:30 PM with not a scrid of exercise, time with the dog or even being outside for more than five minutes. And it was a beautiful day in Maine.
I started work at 4:00 AM and didn't stop (except for a run on the beach) until I had lunch at 3:00 PM. There was a lot of running around in the morning. I had to drive to Wells to pick up some supplies, to York to pick up paint supplies that didn't come in, to the Bunny Clark to confer with my son, Micah, and Ian Keniston (and to also pick up fire extinguishers for a fire inspection tomorrow), to the dentist to have a retainer fitted for a pulled tooth last week, to Navtronics to pick up an EPIRB, to the bank, to the town office and to Rite Aid to pick up a blood pressure monitor. I worked in the office at home here until 7:00 AM and then worked here again until 2:00 PM. I had a meeting at Barnacle Billy's restaurant at 2:00 PM. Then I had office work until I quit for the day . Busy work.
At 1:00 PM, I could take a break. There was very little wind and the tide was out far enough to give Gill and I good access to run on Ogunquit Beach. The last time we made an attempt to run was on December 28, 2018, last year. We only got a quarter of a mile that day before Gill put on the brakes and we headed back. It was windy from the south that day with rain. Today's run was a totally different story. The sky was cloudless, there was hardly any wind, there were few people on the beach, the air temperature was above freezing and there were only a couple distractions (dogs) at the time we went. Gill was a happy dog. He ran with me on leash for a mile and a quarter and then alongside me without the leash on the way back, a typical good run for us. He got caught behind a couple of times (dogs) on the way back but, when called, he came along. I did have to run back to greet him when I ran out of beach. But he had no problem with a sub-nine minute pace up and a faster pace back. Below are a couple of pictures I took with my iPhone as we were running on the way back.
Today was another day like yesterday. I spent the early part of the morning working in the office, editing this site. At 7:30 AM, Ian Keniston and Micah Tower joined Deb and I to go over the schedule for this coming fishing season. That took about an hour and a half. But, when done, we had outlined the whole season. From there I had to go to the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. There I had some printing I had to do related to the Bunny Clark. But I also had some work that I had to do towards putting the new oil furnace in Barnacle Billy's, Etc. So that took a while. At 10:30 AM, I met Mike from Interstate Fire. He went over all the fire equipment on both the Bunny Clark and our lobster boat, the Petrel. By the time all that was completed and I had brought the fire equipment back to the Petrel and the Bunny Clark, it was 1:00 PM. After a quick lunch, I had some running around to do in the truck. That took until 3:30 PM. From that time on, I worked on the computer updating this site. I was done by 6:00 PM.
One of the items I worked on this afternoon was the schedule and rates. The rates haven't changed. All the fares will remain the same price. The schedule will remain in the same pattern as it has been for the last three years with one exception; we added an extreme day on Friday in July and August. This extreme day trip will take the place of a full day/half day that we used to offer on this day. Reservations start on Feburary 1, 2019 but they will start at 6:00 AM instead of the 5:00 AM start we had last year. Many similar trips will be offered on the same days we had last year but the dates, of course, will be different. To actually see the dates, go to the link on the index (home) page called "Season Schedule & Rates". I just put this new page up earlier this night. I am looking forward to a great 2019 fishing season.
I spent part of the morning running around and dropping items off. I was in Portsmouth for a while, this after editing this site. I needed to stop at the Bunny Clark. The afternoon was dedicated to getting the new Pan-Massachusetts Challenge site up and running. That was completed by 5:30 PM. It took five hours to complete. I haven't signed up for the event yet. But I am planning on doing so. I am considering joining a team that dedicates their donations to children's cancers. I want more information before I decide to go in that direction. A few years ago, I considered this but, in the end, felt the money was needed for research in general so that was the direction I went. New information has made me consider this again. If I make a change in direction I will let you know. I do know that solving childhood cancers helps solve adult cancers. This mostly because children respond more quickly to treatments. This leads to a quicker turnaround to try something else if one doesn't work. Stand by.
I was told today by our U.S. Coast Guard inspector that our drug testing program is being ramped up. As marijuana becomes legal, stateside, in the private sector, the Federal government is making it more strict as it relates to Coast Guard jurisdiction. As it stands now, employees on Coast Guard inspected vessels are drug tested (a urine examination) out of a common pool of the consortium you might belong to. There are about 5,000 individuals in the pool that we belong. The way it worked was, every quarter of the year, a quarter of those individuals were tested randomly. As of January 1, 2019, fifty percent of those in the pool will be tested every quarter. I see two problems with this. One, it makes it even harder to find deck hands. Two, we will be tested more frequently. This takes time and costs a significant amount of money. If I get called for testing, I have twenty-four hours to comply. In the past, I had to cancel a full boat of anglers one time as I couldn't find a captain to take the trip and there was no other time available to take the test. If one of my employees gets the call, I can wait for a month to tell that person to take a drug test. This is helpful because I can find a time that is free for that individual before I tell them. Once they are told, they have twenty-four hours to comply. So just another PIA to contend with. This is not going to help either the Feds or the companies that this new edict covers. It lacks much common sense, as it typical of most Federal "blanket laws". I feel sorry for those who are just starting out in the party/charter industry. I don't see how those who are just starting out could afford it.
I was able to take a break for a half hour and run on Ogunquit Beach with Gill. There was very little wind at the time and the rain had just stopped. There was no rain for the time that we were on the beach. There was also no wind to speak of. The wind was from the north so we ran into it on the way up and had it on our tail for the ride back. So Gill fought me on the leash on the way up. I thought; "One of those days where Gill will be stubborn." But, as usual, my expectations were unfounded. When I turned him loose, he followed behind, well behind, until I turned to head back. From then on, Gill ran at an 8:10 pace. This is a little fast for a guy who is just trying to get base miles until I can run an 8:10 on regular basis. That dog is getting in shape. The first digital image below is at the start of the run. The last is a shot while running back to the start. He is a happy dog. I don't know if he's happy because we are going back or just happy to be there!
I spent the morning in the office here, working on the computer, then a visit to my mother, a trip down to the Cove to get lobsters from Mike Parenteau and a little running around go-foring. I jumped on the bike for a ride through lunch and York Beach/Kittery before settling in for the rest of the day back home. I caught the end of the Ravens/Chargers game. It was the Ravens game to win or lose and, in my mind, really blew it.
I heard from Frank Blount (Francis Fleet, Point Judith, RI) that Les Eastman, Sr. passed. Checking the Eastman's Docks website I saw that he passed away on January 2nd. Les was an icon growing up in the fishery. He was a colorful guy with a strong personality. He started a wonderful fishing business and raised a great family. When I first started taking anglers deep sea fishing, he was also fishing at the time. He was an excellent fisherman. Of course, this has been carried on through his sons, who run the best deep sea fishing business in our area. They were well taught. The era of Les Eastman, Sr. saw fishing at it's finest. If we only knew then what we know now! All things must pass, it has been said. And I'm sorry that the world has lost a good man. But he will live on through his family, taking anglers fishing long into the future.
I worked on this site during the early part of the morning. At 7:45 AM, I headed over to the Bunny Clark where I met Dave Pease, Ian Keniston and Micah Tower. For over an hour we went over the work order for the Bunny Clark. Most of the work will be cosmetic in nature, as it mostly is anyway. But we have a high water panel we need to change out, a leaking hydraulic tank that needs to be addressed, the hauler motor also needs servicing or replacement, the forward Bomar hatch needs to be re-bedded and lots of other smaller items that need to be repaired or painted.
I had to get to Barnacle Billy's by 10:30 AM, to let John in from Garthwaite Oil inside to look at the furnace with another expert to check for asbestos. I don't believe there is asbestos in that building but they will find out for sure. At the same time I met with the artist (Robert Rasche) who hangs his paintings in the restaurant during the season. I love his work. We were talking about framing some of his earlier paintings and some other ideas. By 11:45 AM, I was back at home drawing up the new work order sheets as per our earlier meeting. I had these printed out by 12:30 PM.
After lunch, I had to run around getting an inspection sticker, paying bills at the town office, mailing letters, working in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. and ending up back at the home office to finish the day. I was done by 5:00 PM.
I had no time for a run with Gill today, I'm sorry to say. Nor did I get any exercise except for the core stuff I do every morning.
After desk work at the house, I drove down to the restaurants to open them for Bridges Electric. We had a list of electrical items that needed to be fixed, replaced or changed. Plus, I needed to revamp the emergency lighting before the fire inspection. For most of the day I worked on the Guestletter. Most of the morning was spent going from the office at home back down to Barnacle Billy's and back home again. In the end, Bridges ran out of the supplies and will come back tomorrow to finish up.
I took a break from work to visit my cardiologist. I have been having above normal blood pressure. It had been worrying me since my GP discovered it in early November. Since then I have been keeping track of it, along with exercise, diet and a heart rate monitor (which I live by anyway - to see if I'm "pushing it" too much.). I was worried about it the other day as I had a higher blood pressure reading than I had seen and wasn't feeling great at the same time. Turns out that I wasn't hydrated enough. And this happens when I drink too much coffee and forget about drinking water! It was a great appointment. He told me I was worrying too much and gave me tips on how to do better. He wanted to see me in four months. I've had a bit of extra stress lately. His words. My wife's words were that I was stressing too much over having a little bit of high blood pressure!
I was able to take Gill for a run on Ogunquit Beach in the snow before the tide came in.
Today was the kind of day I like in the winter. The whole day was scheduled for items I had to get completed before day's end and a meeting I had to attend.
After the couple of hours it takes every day to get all the Bunny Clark office stuff done. I had to meet the electricians down at the restaurants at 8:00 AM, which I did. They needed to finish up what they were doing.
At 8:30 AM, I had the fire inspection for both restaurants. We needed extra emergency lights under the new fire code and a few other things. Later in the day I addressed all those items to get the ball rolling toward completing what they wanted to see finalized.
By 10:15 AM, I chaired a full Barnacle Billy's manager's meeting. We do this around the first of the year every year. We go over some the new things I'm working on, voice problems, talk about the new J1 students we want, discuss returning employees and new employees and work out a game plan for getting commitments from returning employees. From here we will send out invitations to the employees for 2019 and then have a meeting to discuss placement later in the month. It was a very constructive meeting that was over at noon.
I spent an hour after that working on pressing emails (J1's, broadband rates at the restaurants, employee questions, etc.). I was done with emails by 1:00 PM.
Next I had to call one of my close friends who's husband died who wants to have a celebration of life, of sorts, at the restaurant. There were too many people involved to give her the function room on the second floor of Barnacle Billy's, Etc. So I offered her the whole restaurant during a three hour period in May when we aren't open to the public anyway. I just wanted to confirm a date with her. Later in the year we will work out the details. Now that she has decided on a date she can work on invitations and get some idea of how many will attend.
I was ready for lunch at 2:00 PM, which I took. After lunch I worked on paint supplies for the Bunny Clark. At 3:15 PM, I had to drive to the Bunny Clark, pick up some gallons of paint to be shipped back and bring them to a place of exchange for tomorrow morning. That was one thing I did. The rest was go-foring until 6:45 PM.
I started the day early working on this web site, closing out the year and rearranging things to get this section ready for the 2019 season. At 9:00 AM, I met our carpenter, Jack Ladderbush, down at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. where I went over repairs that I needed in order to comply with safety demands from the fire department. This required a meeting with the Town's code enforcement officer at the Ogunquit Town Office. I had three minor issues that needed to be resolved. In the meantime, I set up a time where the electricians could come in to add five more emergency lighting systems in the building at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. I was on the phone quite a lot before and after all this. And when I had a free moment here and there in the morning, I was trying to finish my web site stuff, which I completed before noon.
After lunch I worked on the Guestletter. I continued to work on the Guestletter until after 6:00 PM.
The day before yesterday, there was a hearing on filleting halibut at sea for recreational fishing vessels. As I stated in previous entries, the state law says that the halibut can't be filleted at sea, making it hard to distribute halibut fillets to others on the boat, keeping the halibut meat fresh to eat and putting a burden on the angler to fillet the, sometimes, big fish himself or herself when they get the fish home. Our marine commissioner was gracious enough to allow me to meet with him at the end of last year to discuss a proposal I had, to make it better for the recreational angler and the party/charter business in Maine. He accepted my proposal, brought it forward to our marine board and it ended up in a hearing. I was told by "Hurricane Mike" McKay that there was no opposition to the proposal at the hearing. Opponents can write-in their comments without attending the meeting. So this doesn't mean that the proposal will pass. But I was grateful for Mike's email. And it did give a positive nod to making things better for the recreational fisherman who catches a halibut at sea. Under the new proposal, the "rack" would still have to be saved, tagged and remain intact until reaching the dock. But if it goes through, it will be much easier to keep the fillets cold and the fish fillets as fresh as can be before getting them home to eat.
After working on the computer for two hours this morning, I had to open the restaurant to let in Bridges Electric to finish up on all the emergency lighting that needed to be installed at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. This year, our code enforcement officer wanted seven new lights installed. And, because of the location of installation, some of the wires needed conduit. From there I drove to the Bunny Clark to meet with Ian Keniston and Micah Tower to wait for the our U.S. Coast Guard inspector who was supposed to be there at 9:00 AM, which he was.
Today was the scheduled topside/hull inspection of the Bunny Clark. This has to be accomplished every two years. I wanted the inspection to take place just after we hauled out in November only because it would have made it easier for the inspector to get around the boat. Doing it now means, also, that he has to work around the sanding dust and mess that is made while trying to bring the boat back to the way I like to see the Bunny Clark in the spring. The inspection went fine. He found nothing of importance. We had one thru-hull sea cock that needs to be loosened enough so it's easy to close during an emergency. But that was about it. Nor did we have any major items on the work order this year that would have garnered his attention. It was probably the first time we have had a hull inspection that came out free and clear. There is always some item that is obvious that we are working on that attracts the inspector's attention. Not this time.
By 11:00 AM, I was in Portsmouth, New Hampshire working on getting office supplies and picking up some other minor things as well. I also had a quick lunch there, succumbing to MacDonld's for a Big Mac and fries. This can't be good for you. But I might go there, at most, three times a year. Once I got back home, I checked in with the electricians who were just finishing up. From there I went to the fire station to ask Chief Ed Smith and Shannon Bridges to confirm the work that we had completed at both restaurants and look at an area in Barnacle Billly's, Etc. where I needed their opinions. I closed up the restaurants by 4:00 PM.
After getting back from the Cove, I worked on the Guestletter until dinner. I was quick to bed afterward.
My day was spent in front of the computer at the home office working on the Guestletter, both researching facts and writing. The wheels of the Guestletter turn slowly. But it is fun to relive some of the adventures of the last fishing season.
I did take a break to take Gill for a run on the beach. With the two days of cold temperatures, the salt water has started to build an ice dam at the high tide line at the beach. So I was excited to see that [It doesn't take much these days!]. At a certain cold temperature the beach is hard on Gill's paws. My rule of thumb is "only above 20°F". I tested that rule today with a temperature value of 22°F to start. Gill was fine. He never likes the leash run up to the first house (1.2 miles) because, in the past, I had no real stopping point. And, I think, that he's afraid I might go the whole two and a half miles. But he dutifully went the whole way without balking. I have decided to limit the runs to three miles, to get him good and happy with that distance before I take him further. We had a record run for Gill today of 8:50 minutes to the first house. That's a loping gallop for Gill. He's always the happiest on the run back. No leash, a definite stopping point and a benevolent master! At this point I can pretty much count on him running an 8 minute mile or less. Good boy!
I am changing my donation structure with the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge this year. The money I raise is going to a doctor who is doing innovative genetic research with DNA sequencing in solving the cancer riddle. She has done some amazing work helping patients by going the genetic route as opposed to chemo-therapy. She only just started getting funding for her research two years ago. But, since then, her research is really catching fire. As a doctor she goes between Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber in Boston. So her research works with children and adults. I haven't fully committed to this yet. I will give you more details as I learn more.
I spent a few hours in the morning working on the Guestletter. It's certainly a labor of love. Some people like sports highlights, situations, players and past history. I like fish first, work second and sports last.
I also took some time to swim and to get a short bike ride in. My hands did freeze, though.
I worked on the Guestletter from 6:00 AM until 10:00 AM. From 10:05 AM until 3:00 PM, I spent with my mother. Her cognitive skills aren't what they were last year (for driving), so I took her to her GP, in Portsmouth, for her biyearly check up. From there I set up appointments for her and took her for blood work, took her home and got her straightened out with meds and the like. I get carried away in what I do in my daily routine. So I don't see my mother as often as I would like. This gave me a great opportunity to be with her and help at the same time.
I had a quick lunch. Then, believe it or not, I went shopping with Deb. We had Chinese, came home and went to bed. That was my day, as boring as it might be to read about it!
I spent some time on the Guestletter after working on this update. That lasted until 10:00 AM. But, surprisingly, I accomplished much. Home chores came after that. I got home in time to eat lunch at 1:00 PM. From there I had to drive to Dover to drop my car off for some repairs. I knew about these during the early part of the summer but I didn't have time to bring the car in at that time. I went over the problem with the head mechanic while I was there. I might have been there for twenty minutes. Deb was too busy to pick me up so I brought my bike and rode back home. I got back at 5:00 PM.
In the morning I took an hour off to take our dog, Gill, for a run on the beach. About two thirds of the way up the beach, we ran into a seal that had worked it's way up above the high tide line. As was the case last year, Gill wanted no part of that seal. In fact, there was woman there guarding it. We got into it a little bit with her telling me to back away. She gave me a certain distance that probably would have put me in five feet of water if I wanted to go around it. Of course, that didn't happen. She got on about it a little more when I started to run past. I had to go well around it because Gill was still on the leash and did not want to be near that seal. Still, the woman got on me about not caring about stranded seals, and the like. I just ignored her and kept running. Gill was back to normal when we realized I wasn't going to go back to our regular routine. We ended up running further than the normal three mile run, even extending it to two miles before the turn back. When we came by the seal again, a guy was there scooched down a few feet from the seal on his cell phone. I waved. He waved. Gill was off leash but way down close to the waters edge, always keeping a wary eye on that seal. We ran on to a very successful four mile end to the run.
I am presently looking for a deck hand for the 2019 fishing season. If anyone is interested in the position, you can give us a call at 207-646-2214.