My day started in the office working on this web site.
After I was done at home, I was down at the Cove at 8:15 AM. Two major things are going on. First, we are replacing the grease trap in Barnacle Billy's, our original restaurant. I want to make it better than it was before with it lower, made of plastic and set up with a ready hose so it makes the periodic cleaning easier and more efficient. By the end of the day, the project still wasn't completed. Close, but no cigar. Second, we are replacing the furnace in Barnacle Billy's, Etc. The old furnace is huge, forty years old and very inefficient. I had been planning to do this for a few years but never really saw the financial opportunity until last winter. Other projects have always come first until this last winter. It means taking out the old furnace piece by piece and then getting the new one in place via crane. By 5:00 PM today most of the furnace had been removed. It's quite a project. I observed these projects but, mostly, stayed out of the way and let them work.
Mostly, I was in the office there. We had a manager's meeting to go over the pricing of the new merchandize we have brought in: caps, winter hats, quarter zip pull overs; all embroidered stuff. I also had to make some decisions on our uniforms. And there were a million other little things.
By 10:45 AM, I was headed over to the boat. I was having the boat moved to Kittery Point Yacht Yard to get launched tomorrow. As I was approaching the barn, Independant Boat Haulers was already coming down the road hauling the Bunny Clark. Captain Ian Keniston, Captain Micah Tower and Anthony Palumbo had already taken down the bow cover, cleaned around the barn and helped Independant get the trailer in place to move the boat. I was just as happy not to be there while this was going on. Independant is very professional, the best, but I worry. Nor do I like to follow the boat down the road. I did it once in 1984. Never again.
With the boat gone, I talked with Ian, Micah and Anthony about the game plan, took a call about a deck hand position that didn't work out and wasted some time so I would arrive at Kittery Point Yacht Yard behind the Bunny Clark's arrival. The timing was perfect. Meanwhile, Ian, Micah and Anthony headed back to the house to get boating supplies for the launch tomorrow. I talked over some stuff with the yard manager, Chris, and got straightened out with Independant. Then I proceeded to wait for the life raft delivery that was due in at 1:00 PM.
The liferaft (Liferaft Services, York, Maine) and Ian & Company arrived at KPYY at 1:30 PM. I left after going over the game plan with Ian and after helping remove the liferaft from the truck. After I left, they used the yard's crane to put the liferaft aboard, put the antennas up and load all the boating equipment (some of the boating equipment). I never found out when they were finished. I had some running around to do, which I did (new batteries, new Coast Pilot, charts, etc.). The rest of the day I spent working in the office at home. I did stop by the Cove to see how much had been accomplished while I was gone. The grease trap should be finished tomorrow. I was done for the day at 6:00 PM.
I spent the morning running around collecting items for the boat and fielding calls with both the restaurants and the Bunny Clark in mind. I had to pick up a few things from Jackson's Marine. I also checked with Ian Keniston, Micah Tower and Anthony Palumbo, all three of whom were getting the Bunny Clark ready for launching. By 10:30 AM, all four of us were making preparations for launching the Bunny Clark. By 11:30 AM, the Bunny Clark was on the trailer ready to be launched. The digital image below was one I took with my iPhone of the Bunny Clark rolling down the launching ramp at KPYY.
Other than that glitch, everything else ran smoothly with no oil, water or air leaks. By 12:30 PM, we were all dining at the Sunrise Grill for lunch, a after launch lunch tradition I have hosted for years. I don't want to change the luck now! I always have the chili, which is very good. But I always feel bad an hour later. That's just what happens with me and chili!
Ian Keniston and Anthony Palumbo went back to the Bunny Clark. Micah and I left from there to go back home. I had had three tons of pellets for our pellet stove delivered while I was gone this morning. Micah and I moved them all into storage. That along with a restaurant meeting and numerous phone calls, by 6:00 PM I was done for the day.
Today was one hectic day. It started off, as it usually does, at the desk here at home editing this page. By 8:00 AM, I was working at the Cove, feverishly trying to get two things completed before heading off to the Bunny Clark at KPYY. I arrived at the boat a bit after 9:00 AM, on the phone the whole way there. I seemed to be on the phone all day long, actually. I met Ian Keniston and Anthony Palumbo at the Bunny Clark. There were many things that had to be completed, not the least of which was doing a full run-down on the safety features, a preliminary topside inspection before tomorrow's U. S. Coast Guard inspection. Other things included a detailed look at the engine, setting up oil sop pads under it and getting the toilet to function properly.
The work on the Bunny Clark took us until noon. And, during the time there, I was on the phone continuously. Thank God for mobile phones. Ian and Anthony left shortly after noon. I was still on the boat and on the phone for ten more minutes. I started to walk up the dock and met Ian walking back down the dock towards me. He couldn't get his truck started because he was so low on fuel with the way his truck was parked (nose down), the pickup on the tank was sucking air. So I drove him down the street to fill up a jerry can in order for him to go home. He only put in a couple of gallons. That did the trick.
I had some running around to do for a half hour. After that, I drove to Perkins Cove and spent my time there until 4:30 PM. I spent my time ordering product for Friday's opening, going over different items with the crew and going over menu pricing on everything from beer and wine to salads and lobster. This time of year is tricky on lobster prices. They are so high now that you have to be careful how much you order, not to price them too high and, yet, price them high enough so that you can make something on them before the prices drop back down. This is a volatile time of year for lobster prices.
I had to meet with a surveyor at 4:30 PM to go over my mother's land. An adjacent property had been purchased, sub-divided with houses built. One of those pieces was taking some of my mother's property. So I had to find out how much and if it was significant enough to talk to the new property owner about. The whole project took about two hours. I called it a day after that.
I worked at the office here at the house starting at 3:30 AM. I left the house at 7:30 AM with Micah Tower, headed to Kittery Point Yacht Yard. We met Anthony Palumbo and Ian Keniston there.
At 8:30 AM, CWO Daniel Kinville walked down to the Bunny Clark to do our annual topside inspection. As usual, he was very thorough; I would have been disappointed if he weren't. I try to keep the boat free of any fishing gear until the inspection is over. I feel that it makes it easier for him and quicker for us to go through the process. The inspection took about two hours, maybe more. Everything was checked including high water alarms, lights, fire prevention engine shut off, all documents, drug testing program, life preservers, bilge pumps and much more. I always get my money's worth with Dan. [We have to pay $300.00 for the USCG inspection.] After everything was checked at the float, I took the boat out to complete a man overboard drill. Dan directed the process. Once that was completed we had passed inspection. This was the first year that we have passed both the winter hull inspection and the topside inspection without a single reason for the Coast Guard inspector to come back for a re-visit and make sure the tagged item was completed to their satisfaction. This year, during the winter, we really had nothing that needed to be fixed on the Bunny Clark that concerned the Coast Guard. And that, right there, was the key to a flawless double inspection. Usually there is something of concern that needs to be addressed, at least for the hull inspection. And that something is always something we address in the winter upkeep.
By taking the boat into the Piscataqua River for a spin, I got a feeling for the weather and decided to take her across to Perkins Cove. It's so much easier to work on the boat when she is in Perkins cove. Anthony Palumbo went with me. And, actually, Anthony took her across while I went through all the systems to make sure everything was fine. This included the appropriate amount of salt water passing through the engine, all temperatures and pressures, checking for any kind water, oil or gas leak and looking for water leaks in general. I had one small water leak, from the spray, on the canopy top and another salt water leak coming from the trunk house under the companionway hatch tank. These will be addressed tomorrow when the weather is warmer and there is less wind. Below is a shot of Anthony at the wheel and a last look at the Portsmouth/Kittery area from sea.
I spent the morning getting ready for the opening of Barnacle Billy's restaurant. Actually, I was also checking on Ian Keniston and Anthony Palumbo as they were working on fixing the two leaks I found when bringing the boat from Kittery yesterday. It was a good day to do that.
I tried to get to the restaurant before we opened but there were too many last minute things (like getting our waste service people to take the garbage before opening - which didn't happen) to do before I had to go home and "suit up". I did make it down before noon. From noon until 9:45 PM, with an hour break to go home for dinner, I worked at the restaurant, greeting old customers and talking to those I so look forward to seeing again. It was a flawless opening. I brought on a new line of clothing that my sister, Meg, liked and ended up hawking to our patrons. Actually, it was really nice to have Meg there. But, before she was done, she had sold over half of the quarter zip embroidered tops that I had ordered! I guess that's a good thing. It was a very good night.
My son, Micah, drove to Portland today to pick up oil and filters for the Bunny Clark. He also had to pick up fish boxes and some other things at Hamilton Marine. That took all morning and part of the afternoon.
Ian Keniston and Anthony Palumbo took the forward hatch tank off the trunk house off the Bunny Clark, cleaned and re-bedded it. They also took apart the area where the canopy was leaking and re-bedded that. The rest of their day we spent getting the Bunny Clark set up for fishing.
It seemed like a long day.
I received a very generous anonymous donation of $1,000.00 for my cancer project, riding with the Pan-Mass Challenge. I'm hoping that this is going to be a good year for donations. I'm really excited about the researcher who I am sponsoring, Dr. Kate Janeway, with her work with genetics. This donation will go a long way in helping fight the good fight. Thanks so very much!
I spent the whole day at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. The deck was full today with a bright sun and temperatures out of the wind that would rival a summer day. It was beautiful. And it was very busy today, as I'm sure it was everywhere in town. I went home for a quick dinner before going back and ending my day there at 9:30 PM.
Sunday morning is the time that I take to meet up with the crew of the Maine Coast Cycling Club. I ride my bicycle to Kennebunkport, meet the riders, complete the ride they have planned for the day and ride home. Normally, it's not a problem. But I haven't been riding much. I was really dragging the last fifteen miles, enough so that one of the riders, John Jerrim, offered me his wheel for the whole ride to the center of Ogunquit. So all the way back I was just behind John, drafting off his rear wheel. Without him, I'm sure I would have had leg cramps. By next weekend I should be in riding shape enough to do the same thing without issue. We'll see.
Of course, I spent the day at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. It was another great day, brought on by the best weather we have ever seen on an opening weekend. We were busy all day and a little bit into the night. The last hour was very slow, typical of a Sunday night. The weekend was a good start. Hopefully, we will have some better weather this season. Last year's spring was colder than normal. We shall see.
All Bunny Clark stuff was on hold today.
I spent the early part of the day at Bunny Clark Central. After 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM, I spent at Barnacle Billy's. Most of the time was spent in the office on the phone. But some of it was discussing the business with all our managers. It was a day of re-evaluating how the first weekend went and how to improve things.
At 1:30 PM, I drove down to Plum Island, Massachusetts to talk with Liz and Martha at Surfland and to pick up six new rods I had ordered from them. I also picked up some swivels. But the most interesting/fun part (aside from talking to Liz and Martha) was seeing their three Maine Coon cats.
Once I got back home, the rest of the day was spent organizing. I was done by 6:30 PM.
We will be sailing on the Bunny Clark on Thursday, our first trip. So far we have three anglers signed up for the trip. We are going anyway. So if you are interested...... I'm very much looking forward to the fishing and working the boat for the day. The weather looks good for our first trip. Be there or be square!
My morning was consumed with Bunny Clark stuff, getting ready for the start of the season on Thursday. There was much to do. And I never did complete it all, depending on tomorrow to complete the last minute checks. And that will include getting the engine room and engine squared away and making sure everything that we need is ready for the marathon opener.
After lunch, I rode my bicycle through the mist and the rain to Dover, New Hampshire to pick up my car. Within the first five miles I was soaked. It was cold, wet and I had to clear my glasses every few miles. The car had been there for almost two months getting checked out and fixing a nagging problem that has perplexed us all for about three years. So they needed time to get things figured out. Time I didn't have previously. The car is an '87. So much has to be dredged up from the past to solve the main problem - which turned out to be a few things. But, now, I believe everything is solved. Aside from my riding shoes slipping off the clutch on the ride home, the car responded perfectly.
Once home, I went to get the car inspected. The rest of the day was spent on Bunny Clark stuff. I finished about 6:00 PM.
For the trip tomorrow, the sky will be mostly sunny. Air temperatures on the coast will be in the low to mid 50°s. The wind will be light from the northwest, dying out later in the day and becoming west to southwest. The northwest wind may not even reach out to the fishing grounds. This time of year, with the surface water as cold as it is (40°F), this happens more often than not - not so in the fall. Seas could be as high as two to three feet in the morning. But I believe that will be mostly in left over swells if they are that large. Chops will be less than two feet. I can't believe we will have seas of a foot by the afternoon. Probably less. So a good weather day is expected. Now all I have to do is find the fish!
I spent the whole day working on getting the Bunny Clark ready for fishing. From 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM, Micah Tower helped me work on getting the oil in the engine changed and all the other engine work I needed to do, filters and the like. After lunch, it was all me. I finished at 6:30 PM.
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 30°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the west at 10 knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent.
It was cold at the dock this morning. Twenty-eight degrees at 3:30 AM, according to Captain Ian. So it was a clear, crisp morning. So crisp, in fact, that Donna Moran (NY) texted me earlier to say that she was down at the boat, had signed the book for a fishing position but had decided that she wasn't going. And it was true. By the time I arrived at the Bunny Clark, there was a very thoughtful gift on the console from Donna but no Donna! She told me that she wasn't prepared for weather this cold so she decided to complete the five hour trip back home. I told her that I had everything she might need to stay warm. But she, apparently, had already made up her mind. So my day wasn't quite as good as it could have been had Donna been aboard for me to abuse. Next time.
The ride down the channel and out the gate was easy, clear and calm. The ride to the fishing grounds was similar. The wind was out of the northwest at about fifteen knots. Halfway to the fishing grounds, seas were making up. We were sailing right to leeward. The Bunny Clark isn"t the best vessel when steering in a following sea. But the seas were, at most, three feet. So it wasn't bad. The visibility was excellent, the sky was clear and the air temperature was cool. I don't have my thermometer on the boat yet so I can't give you the exact air temperature.
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the northwest most of the day.. When we started, the northwest wind was about fifteen knots with seas in chops of two to three feet. There might have been a queer one every once and a while but, really, nothing much over three feet. By noon the northwest wind had dropped to eight and ten knots with a one foot chop. The wind hauled out of the west by 2:00 PM. We carried ten knots, or less, of westerly wind all the way back to Perkins Cove. The surface water temperature started at just over 38°F but reached a high of 39.4°F by the end of the day. The sky was clear, the visibility was excellent and the hands required gloves all day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 52°F with a low of 35°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 52°F (with a low of 26°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 53°F (with a low of 27°F).
The fishing conditions were very good. The current was never very strong, the seas were no problem. The catching was mostly fair, sometimes good. Landings were fair. Most legal fish landed were redfish, by far. Legal landings also included three cusk and two small legal sized pollock. Released fish included twenty-four haddock, twenty very small cod and Fred's 5.75 pound cod. Plus, there were seven sculpins and three sea ravens caught (and released) as well. We drift fished most of the day. I anchored three times. Jigs and cod flies were the only terminal gear used.
If you considered all fish caught, Fred Kunz (NH) was high hook. If you considered legal fish, including redfish, John Baker (ME) was very close to the same number of fish. Fred's largest fish was a 5.75 pound cod, the only cod caught today that was over twenty-four inches. With this fish, Fred won the boat pool for the second largest fish of the trip. The closest other cod caught today weighed, maybe, 4 pounds. Fred also caught the largest haddock at 4 pounds, our largest haddock of the season so far. I took a picture of Fred with his haddock before releasing it. This digital image appears in this entry upper left.
Tim Rozan (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 9.5 pound cusk. He also caught the third largest fish, a 5 pound cusk. Frank Noble (ME) won the hard luck award for not being able to hold any food down! Ouch! To his credit, Frank fished for most of the day.
My assessment of the first trip was this: We didn't see the haddock like we did last season on the first trip. They weren't the ubiquitous species found on every piece of bottom we fished. In fact, many places we fished had no haddock. I saw a lot more fish on the sounding machine than we caught. The fish were not biting very well today. But the water is very cold, the coldest surface water temperatures I have seen for many years. We don't get the bigger fish in the colder water, we don't see the pollock early in the colder water (the case today) and the bite is not always the best. We could have had a better bite if the wind had been out of a different direction. So, in short, it looks like a slow start to the season with the low water temperature the major factor. One of the best years we ever saw started out like this. And it is fishing. So you never know. I'm excited, for sure!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 33°F, the sky was clear, there was no wind and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. Ashore, the sky was overcast all day. The air temperature reached over 47°F but I never thought I saw the highest air temperature today. To me, the air temperature seemed cooler than normal. We saw very little wind in the morning, the ocean along the shore was flat calm. By noon, the wind was established out of the south. The southerly wind increased as the afternoon started. Wind speeds were ten knots by the time the Bunny Clark got back to the dock. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 58°F with a low of 41°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 50°F (with a low of 27°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 47°F (with a low of 30°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind was very light, the ocean calm. The wind picked up from the southwest and blew up to ten knots by the end of the trip. The sky was overcast all day, the ocean went from calm to chops of one to two feet, the tide was moderate and the air temperature was cool to mild. The surface water temperature reached a high of 39.5°F.
The fishing was very good. The catching was good for redfish, much better than yesterday. But everything else was similar without any pollock. Legal landings included four cusk. Released fish included a handful of small cod, twelve haddock and one cod over 5 pounds. They anchored and drift fished. All terminal gear was used. Cod flies caught the most fish.
Ian couldn't tell me who was high hook. Mike Shubelka (NH) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 6.5 pound cod. He also caught the third largest fish, a 5 pound cusk. Don Robichaud (NH) caught the second largest fish, a 6 pound cusk.
Other Angler Highlights: Alycin Vitko (NH) caught a 4 pound cusk. Greeny (NH) landed the hard luck award t-shirt for losing a jig.
I heard that, south of our fishing grounds, the haddock and cod have showed up and anglers are doing well. For many years this has been a sign that we will see fish in the near future on our fishing grounds.
I spent the day at the restaurant and finished the night there as well. We had a modest crowd that didn't match the business we had last year on the same day. It was nice to be back in the swing of things and seeing the Bunny Clark out and working.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was a mild 43°F, the sky was overcast, it was drizzling light rain, the wind was light out of the southwest and the visibility over the ocean seemed good but was suspect and might actually have been fair in haze. The rain kept up for most of the morning, a light drizzle being the salient feature. The rain stopped by later morning. By noon, the sky was almost clear. The sky remained clear for the rest of the day. The wind was light out of the southwest with, maybe, a ten knot breeze at most. The air temperature soared to 73°F. The light on shore breeze was just enough to keep the air temperature from going any higher. The visibility was very good, at least, all day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 75°F with a low of 57°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 75°F (with a low of 42°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 73°F (with a low of 43°F).
I spent the day at the restaurant, there most of the morning with items in the office that I needed to work on. I hosted a cocktail staff meeting at 10:30 AM. And I continued to stay, leaving only to go home to have dinner and come back again. I left at 9:30 PM.
I was able to get Micah Tower down on the boat to take the windows apart (that were leaking on Thursday's trip), re-bed everything and put them back together. I hate to say it but he was quicker and more efficient than I would have been. They looked very good after he was finished.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was a mild 53°F, the sky was mostly overcast with a thin canopy of clouds, the wind was light out of the west and the visibility over the ocean was very good at least. The wind was light all day, mainly from the east. This kept the air temperature down to 60°F for a high in Perkins Cove, with the wind off the cold surface water. The sky went from clear to overcast to clear to a smurry sun (as my father would have called it). The overcast was never heavy. And, almost always, you could tell exactly where the sun was. The visibility was very good to excellent. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 67°F with a low of 49°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 66°F (with a low of 37°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 58°F (with a low of 43°F).
Sunday morning is the time I take for myself to ride seventy miles on the bike. I can't always do this as duty sometimes calls. But Sunday is a good day because most businesses have it off and it has become a scheduled time off for me. For a few years now. So I rode up to meet the Maine Coast Cycling Club's ride, completed the ride and rode home. That set me up for a great day at Barnacle Billy's restaurant.
Today was another fairly busy day and certainly busy enough to make the time fly by. My day ended at 9:30 PM. Not a soul came in the restaurant after 8:00 PM.
I received a generous $100.00 donation from Brett & Mindy MacNutt (MA) sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising ride with the Pan-Mass Challenge. Brett & Mindy are annual donors to the cause, my cause specifically. Thank you so much, both of you, for you unselfish support and kindness. I very much appreciate it!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 40°F, the sky was overcast with a light rain falling, the wind was blowing out of the east at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was fair to good in precipitation and haze. We had periods of heavy rain in the morning mixed with light rain. The air temperature hovered around 45°F for most of the morning. The rain let up after noon. The sky cleared and it was sunny as well. By 3:00 PM, the air temperature had hit the 60°F mark. It was gorgeous weather for two hours. By 3:30 PM, the sky was overcast and starting to rain. It rained until around 6:00 PM and stopped, seemingly, for the night. I never really paid attention after that. The visibility was good or better than that without the rain, maybe less so with the rain. The wind was light and variable all day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 70°F with a low of 45°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 61°F (with a low of 39°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 64°F (with a low of 42°F).
We had a bit of a breather today with the business. The business was good, particularly better than it was on this day last year. And I'm talking about the restaurant here. It would have been a busy day on the boat today as well had the NWS taken a couple days off before today. I had more office work to do today. So I was busy anyway. This is usually the day where I leave the restaurant at 5:30 PM, check on the boat and go home to get ready for tomorrow's marathon trip. But we had no trip. So I stayed at the restaurant until 6:30 PM and went home for a later dinner afterward.
I heard from Captain Phil Eastman (Eastman's Docks, the party boat fleet out of Seabrook, New Hampshire), who was kind enough to call me after I was home. He said that the haddock fishing was very good today, everyone on all the boats limiting out on haddock numbers. They are a very good company, very good to their customers and a good business. It's always good to talk to Phil. And it's good to know what's going on.
I received a generous on-line donation today sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge, an 192 mile cycling event that will take place August 3rd this year. The money raised goes to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to fight cancer. The donation was an $100.00 "egift" through the PMC site from Adam Matthews (ME). Thanks so much, Adam. I do so appreciate your support!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 38°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the west at twenty-five knots with higher gusts and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The salient weather feature of the day was the wind. It blew a sustained thirty knots with higher gusts out of the west or west northwest starting about mid morning. After noon, the wind direction was out of the northwest. But it blew as hard or harder going into the afternoon. The wind started to abate after sunset. The ocean along the shore was feather white with white caps marching off shore. The sky was nearly cloudless all day. The air temperature got up as high as 53°F in Perkins Cove. The visibility was excellent. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 61°F with a low of 43°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 55°F (with a low of 35°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 50°F (with a low of 35°F).
Again, it was a day at Barnacle Billy's. And that's not a bad thing! And, again, it was busier than I had anticipated it would be. We didn't run out of product or anything. It wasn't that busy. But we had surprisingly good business. It really shouldn't have surprised me because most schools in the area are out for the week. I spent a fair amount of time in the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. And I went around to tables to talk to many people; most were faces I have seen before. It was a good restaurant day.
My day started early but I took a break at 4:00 PM, got back at 6:00 PM and left at 8:30 PM, for the night.
The Bunny Clark will be sailing tomorrow, Thursday and beyond. Pray for good weather!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 36°F, the sky was crystal clear, the wind was blowing out of the west at ten knots tops and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. By 6:30 AM, the air temperature was 34°F. The temperature started to rise shortly afterward. The sky was cloudless today. The wind was light from the west northwest, hauling out of the southwest in the afternoon. The wind in the afternoon was light. The visibility was excellent. The highest air temperature that I saw today was 55°F. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 60°F with a low of 45°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 61°F (with a low of 26°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 59°F (with a low of 33°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the northwest at ten knots at first, died out and then hauled out of the south at five knots. They started the day with a one to two foot chop but ended with a calm sea. The surface water temperature reached a high of 41°F. The visibility was excellent, twenty-five plus miles. The sky was clear. The tide (current) was light.
The fishing was good to very good. Most legal fish landed were haddock, by far. They didn't capture the bag limit. But it was close. The haddock were small, the largest, maybe, 3 pounds. Legal landings also included three pollock and one redfish. Released fish included fifteen small haddock, two wolffish and five cod over 5 pounds. They drift fished all day. Bait worked the best, by far.
Richard Morrell (ME) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 7 pound cod. This fish, of course, was released. Sean Sheahan (NH) caught the second largest and third largest fish of the trip. They included a 6 pound cod and a 5.75 pound cod.
Other Angler Highlights: Ten year old Corbin Rusiecki (ME) caught the first legal haddock of the Bunny Clark fishing season today, a 2 pound fish. Captain Ian took a picture of Corbin with his fish. This digital image appears on the right. Jeff Larson (NH) caught a double that included two cod of 5 pounds each, both caught on the same line at the same time. Someone, I think, won the hard luck award but I never found out who that was.
It was another good day at the restaurant. The weather is everything!
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 38°F, the sky was crystal clear, the wind was light out of the southwest and the visibility over the ocean was excellent.
The sky was clear with a bright, almost, full moon over head. Going down the channel, headed to the fishing grounds, was completed with very good visibility. It was great to be able to see every rock and buoy with the moon lighting up everything in our path. We had a light southwest on the way to the fishing grounds. Seas were chops of a foot. It was a very comfortable ride.
On the fishing grounds, the wind was light out of the southwest. The ocean was calm. The sky was fairly clear to start. At sunrise, clouds started to remove the blue from the sky. By mid morning, the sky was overcast. Sometime after, the wind hauled out of the south and started to air on. By the time the fishing was over, the wind was blowing fifteen knots or more with a three foot chop, out of the south. It rained for a half hour around noon and never rained again until we got back to Perkins Cove. The air temperature held at a steady 43°F for the whole time we were there. I had gloves on all day. The visibility was just shy of twenty-five miles. The surface water temperature reached a high of 39.6°F. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 63°F with a low of 43°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 50°F (with a low of 29°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 47°F (with a low of 30°F).
The fishing was very good with no current to speak of, calm seas for most of the day and very few tangles. We had variable success on the catching. We had one very excellent spot, two very good spots, some spots where we picked away at the fish and a couple of very slow spots where we spent little time there. In the end, we had a very good catch. Most legal fish landed and caught were haddock, by far. We had very few haddock over 3 pounds. In fact, we had only five. Most haddock landed were between seventeen and eighteen inches long. The boat bag limit was easily attained. The haddock cull was 50/50; for every two haddock caught, one haddock was legal to keep. Legal landings also included three pollock, the largest being 4 pounds. Released fish included five sub-legal pollock, thirteen cod over 5 pounds, fifty-five small cod, five wolffish and a bunch of longhorn sculpins. We drift fished and anchored. Bait caught the most fish.
Taras Melnik (NJ) was high hook with the most legal fish. He caught the most haddock by far. Serghei Rojco (NH) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 9 pound wolffish. He also caught the third largest fish, an 8 pound cod, the largest cod of the day. His largest haddock weighed 3.25 pounds, the third largest haddock caught on the Bunny Clark this season so far. Serghei also caught a 6 pound cod. Bob Mayer (ME) won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, an 8.5 pound wolffish. And, actually, Ray Westermann (MA) caught a wolffish that might have been bigger. We would have known for sure if I had gaffed it. But it's illegal to keep wolffish and I didn't want to gaff it and, potentially, kill it. When I went to lift the fish out of the water, the piece of skin the hook was hooked into parted with the fish dropping in the water. Ray did catch a lot of haddock.
Other Angler Highlights: Bill Devon (VT) caught a 4 pound haddock, a tie for the largest haddock of the season so far. His largest fish was a 4.5 pound cod. Wobbie Barnes (MA) caught a 6.5 pound cod, his largest fish. He also landed the hard luck award as most of his haddock were sub-legal and he was tangled more than anyone else today!
Herbert & Elizabeth Usilton, Jr. donated a generous $100.00 to help with my cancer research fund raising with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. This was a nice surprise when we got back to the dock today. They had left the check for me at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. Thank you so much! I very much appreciate the support.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 41°F, the sky was crystal clear, there was no wind and the visibility over the ocean was poor in black thick fog. The wind was very light and the visibility foggy along the shore until about 9:00 AM. From that time on, the fog cleared somewhat, the wind picked up out of the south and the visibility over the ocean was good, at best. By 10:00 AM, the southerly wind was blowing fifteen knots. Afterward, southerly wind speeds were nearer twenty knots. But no more than that. The sky was mostly cloudy with no rain and a peek at the sun now and then. The air temperature reached the 70°F mark in Perkins Cove, at least. I might have gone higher had the wind not been on shore. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 77°F with a low of 63°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 80°F (with a low of 43°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 71°F (with a low of 43°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the south southwest at fifteen to twenty knots with higher gusts. Seas were three to five feet to start and four to seven feet near the end of the trip. It was a bit choppy. The sky was overcast for the entire day. The visibility ranged from two to four miles in fog. The tide (current) was moderate. The air temperature reached a high of 50°F, mild for once. The surface water temperature reached a high of 40°F, very cold for this time of year.
The fishing conditions were not good. It was too choppy for half the boat. Those half were sea sick. Despite this, the catching was very good, excellent for two anglers. Most legal fish landed were haddock, by far. The haddock were still on the small side, averaging eighteen to nineteen inches caliper fork length. However, there were only thirty-two sub-legal haddock released, a far better cull than on the marathon trip yesterday. And they had three haddock that weighed 4 pounds each. So almost every fish caught was big enough to keep. Legal landings also included two pollock. Released fish included over one hundred cod. Only twenty-two of those cod were 5 pounds or more in weight. Three wolffish were also released. They anchored on three different spots for the trip. Everyone used bait. Bait, definitely, was best.
Guy Hesketh (CT) was high hook with, by far, the most legal haddock and the most fish, period. He caught the second largest fish of the trip, an 8 pound wolffish. He caught one of the 4 pound haddock caught today, giving him a tie with four other anglers this season for the largest haddock of the Bunny Clark fishing year so far. Some of his other fish included a 5.25 pound cod, a 5.5 pound cod and a 6 pound cod. It was a good day to be a Hesketh! Jim Koplar (CT), Guy's dory mate, was right behind Guy in second hook. Jim's largest fish was a 6 pound wolffish. Jim's cat and Guy's largest cod tied for the third largest fish of the trip.
Charlie Muzzey (NH) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, an 8.5 pound cod.
Other Angler Highlights: David Robiteille (NH) was another anglers with a 4 pound haddock. His largest fish was a 5.5 pound cod. Buzzy Patten (NH) was the third angler with a 4 pound haddock. Nick Fisher (PA) was the designated high hurler of the trip. For this he was awarded the hardest luck of the trip t-shirt.
I received an anonymous $10.00 donation sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising drive with the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Thank you sooo much! Every little bit helps! And every penny raised goes to cancer research, not a penny going to administrative costs!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 56°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was blowing out of the south southwest at fifteen knots and the visibility over the ocean was good as far as I could tell. At sunrise, you could tell that there was a fog bank a couple of miles off shore. By 7:00 AM, the air temperature had reached 58°F. By 9:00 AM, it was 61°F. That was the highest air temperature that I saw today. At 1:30 PM, the fog bank rolled in and camped out along the shore. It was foggy for the rest of the day. The wind blew out of the south at fifteen knots, more or less, all day. By 5:00 PM, the wind had picked up a skosch. At that time it was 54°F. The sky was overcast all day. It rained occasionally and was misting all morning. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 74°F with a low of 59°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 72°F (with a low of 63°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 58°F (with a low of 52°F).
It was a rougher ride to the fishing grounds, than yesterday's start, as it had blown harder during the night. The seas were smaller than they were at the end of yesterday's trip. Almost everyone was sea sick by the time they did get to the fishing grounds. Seas started dropping further as the day progressed. Seas averaged two to four feet in chop/swells. Wind speeds ranged from five to fifteen knots. Anglers became healthier as the day rolled on. The visibility ranged from a quarter of a mile to much less in fog all day. The air temperature reached a high of 50°F. The sky was overcast. The tide (current) was strong. The surface water temperature reached a high of 41°F.
The fishing conditions were better than yesterday but not perfect, by any means. However, the catching was excellent, the best haddock day, by far, for landings, catch rate and size for a period of fishing time much shorter than any trip this season. On any longer trip, the bag limit would have been caught with much more fishing time to spend. In fact, before half the fishing trip was over, the minimum size limit was moved up to eighteen inches so the bag limit wouldn't be caught early. Most legal fish landed were haddock. Not many other species were caught today. The haddock cull was three to one, for every four haddock caught, three were legal. They had quite a few haddock in the 3 pound range. Legal landings also included two pollock, two redfish and two cusk. Released fish included four cod from 5 to 9 pounds, very few smaller cod and one wolffish. They started the day with a long drift but ended up anchoring a couple of times. Everyone used bait.
It was impossible to tell who was high hook. Everyone who fished caught a haddock as soon as the hook got in range. It was a very busy day. Big Jim Emerson (NH) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 9 pound cod. This is the first cod that Big Jim had ever caught. The second largest fish was a 6 pound haddock caught by Billy O'Neill (ME). This is the largest haddock that has been caught on the Bunny Clark this season to date. Captain Ian took a picture of Billy with his good sized haddock. This digital image appears on the left. Standing along side Billy, in the picture, is his daughter, Bobbie Jo Cote (ME).
Other Angler Highlights: Jacquelynne Rivers (ME) landed the hard luck award for being "terrified" with the sea state and visibility and, really, the whole experience. She did get over it. But the experience was something very new to her. From what Ian said, I believe she thought she was going to die.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 51°F, the sky was overcast, it wasn't raining but it looked like it had been, the wind was blowing out of the south at fifteen knots and the visibility over the ocean was suspect. The day opened up with black thick fog along the shore. The coastal area of Ogunquit remained in fog for the first part of the daylight morning, disappeared to hang off shore and then back again for the afternoon. The sky was overcast all day with periods of light rain throughout. We even saw a bit of sun for a few seconds. The day was mild with air temperatures hanging in the 50°'s and a high temperature right around 60°F. The wind was light out of the south all day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 70°F with a low of 55°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 70°F (with a low of 51°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 59°F (with a low of 45°F).
The weather certainly played a part in today's business or lack of business. Easter is a funny day like that. If you have good weather, it is busy in Ogunquit, Perkins Cove specifically. Without the weather or with bad weather there tend to be a lot less people around. Of course, it didn't help that the National Weather Service was predicting torrential rains and flooding for this weekend five days in advance.
So I spent the day at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. I was there early in the morning, took off to get soaked riding my bike with the crew (Maine Coast Cycling Club) out of Kennebunkport and then spent the rest of the afternoon and into the night at Barnacle Billy's. The patrons were exceptional today. All good people to begin with, it seemed that they were extra happy today. Maybe it was because there was plenty of room in the dining room today!
It is frustrating to not be taking the Bunny Clark out on a daily basis. We have more haddock around on the fishing grounds than many years in the past. The weather, I am sure, is a huge factor in reservation bookings. Still, knowing the haddock status, if it were me, I would be there. It's very exciting having that many haddock on the grounds. Tuesday's trip, my trip, has not a soul on it. So, it looks like we will not be sailing that day as well. The weather services for that day are predicting northeast winds of fifteen to twenty knots with higher gusts inshore with four to six foot seas and twenty to thirty knots of northeast wind with six to eight foot seas offshore. Not the best day, for sure. So I can understand why we don't have customers for that day. But it is my day. And I do prefer to be on the ocean on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday look like great weather days to be on the water fishing. If you want to catch a lot of haddock, Wednesday and Thursday would be great days to do it. We have plenty of room on both days.
All Boston teams won today including the Bruins who were facing elimination in the Stanley Cup playoffs if they didn't. Fortunately, they did win so they live to skate another day. It could be anybody's game when Toronto meets the Bruins at the Boston Garden on Tuesday night's game. Fingers crossed!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 44°F, the sky was overcast, the wind was blowing lightly out of the northeast and the visibility over the ocean was poor in fog. The wind was light out of the northeast all morning. It was also foggy all morning, afternoon and night. The wind blew more out of the east than northeast after noon. Wind speeds picked up to about ten knots or more. But not much more. The sky was overcast all morning and afternoon. It started to rain around 4:30 PM. It never really stopped raining but increased in intensity as the night came on. Perkins Cove never saw the air temperature go much over 55°F, if it ever did go that high. The visibility was poor in fog all day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 58°F with a low of 49°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 72°F (with a low of 47°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 60°F (with a low of 44°F).
My morning until 7:30 AM was my normal morning that included working on more core exercises for forty-five minutes, checking the weather, answering emails and writing this update.
At 8:00 AM, Deb and I had a meeting with a company representative for almost two hours about starting an on-line credit card reservation service for the Bunny Clark. By having this, individuals can book a reservation at any time during the day from their phone or computer. We agreed to the deal. Now we have to go through the process of getting it set up. It would take a week of concentrated effort. Maybe two weeks if we back off some. This is a hard time of year to find time for anything extra.
The rest of the day was spent working at Barnacle Billy's restaurant. Again, the weather was not conducive to good business. It was slow, to put it bluntly. But it wasn't dead. But, on the flip side, I completed a lot of office work I wouldn't have been able to do had it been busy. So it was a fair trade-off. I was done for the day at 6:00 PM, taking my normal night off as if I had to get ready for a fishing trip the next day.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 45°F, the sky was overcast, it was drizzling/light rain, the wind was blowing out of the north northeast at almost twenty knots and the visibility over the ocean was fair to good - I could see Boon Island light nine miles over the ocean nine miles away. It rained and drizzled for a couple hours and then stopped. The sky remained overcast all morning and into the afternoon. We saw some blue sky at 4:00 PM but there were still some clouds. A partly sunny sky ended the daylight hours only to start clouding up again after sunset. The wind backed off after 5:00 AM giving us northeast winds of fifteen knots or less for the rest of the day. It wasn't nearly as strong was predicted. And the seas along the shore gave us a good visual of this. The visibility was good, at least, all day. The air temperature hung out in the mid 40s most of the day, rising to 50°F later in the afternoon when the wind backed off. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 56°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 62°F (with a low of 42°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 52°F (with a low of 43°F).
My morning was spent on the Bunny Clark for forty-five minutes. The rest of the morning (until 1:00 PM) was spent at Barnacle Billy's restaurants.
I had a meeting with a few of the managers at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. at 11:00 AM. It was a meeting with Becky Linney, Dave Linney's wife. Dave passed away from a rare brain disorder this winter. I had told Becky that I would give her the Etc. building to use as a celebration of life to send Dave off properly. He would have wanted to have this event in Perkins Cove. Dave was a very good friend of mine. The Linney family is very close. So this was a meeting of logistics for the event that will take place in May to give Dave a proper fair well and allow his friends a closing of sorts. The meeting lasted a little over an hour.
I took the later part of the afternoon off, checked in at the restaurant at 6:30 PM and then went home for the night.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 42°F, the sky was overcast, it had been raining for most of the morning but was not raining now, the wind was blowing out of the south at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean seemed good at best. It started to rain again at 5:30 AM but stopped shortly afterward.
Ashore, it was foggy for the first half of the morning. It was so thick that driving down to Seabrook, New Hampshire was problematic for getting a clear view of anything. This lasted until 10:00 AM or so. The wind was light all morning from the south or southeast. The sky was overcast until 11:00 AM, when the sun came out. The sun stayed out with fairly clear skies until around 1:00 PM, when the overcast skies came back and the wind hauled out of the northeast. Wind speeds averaged about ten knots or so out of the northeast. The air temperature got up as high as 52°F but mostly it was around 47 to 50°F. The visibility was good in the afternoon. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high was 68°F with a low of 47°F). Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 61°F (with a low of ?°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 53°F (with a low of ?°F).
On the fishing grounds, The wind blew out of the southeast at ten knots to start, dropping to five knots, calm and then hauling out of the northeast at noon. Wind speeds out of the northeast increased from five to ten knots. The air temperature reached a high of 44°F. The visibility ranged from three quarters of a mile to a mile in fog. The seas were chops of a foot or less over deep two to three or four foot ocean swell. The sky was overcast most of the day with peeks at the sun around noon. The tide (current) was moderate. The surface water temperature reached a high of 42.2°F.
The fishing and catching was good to very good. Most legal fish landed were haddock by far. The haddock cull was three to one; for every four haddock caught, three were of legal size. They didn't keep many that were just under eighteen inches. Had they done so the bag limit would have been caught too quickly. By staying above the size limit, they were able to land more poundage. Legal landings also included a redfish, a cusk and a cunner. Released fish included the haddock, a few small cod and two cod of 5 pounds or better. They drift fished and anchored. Bait worked best.
Ian couldn't tell me who was high hook. Too many anglers did well. The fish in general weren't very big. So there were few names taken today. Tobey Hanscom (NH) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 6 pound cod. The second and third largest fish were both caught by Jack Young (PA). One was a 5 pound haddock, the second largest haddock of the Bunny Clark fishing season so far. The other, the second largest fish of the trip, was a 5.5 pound cod. Cheryl Hanscom (NH) landed the hard luck award for not aligning equilibrium with the motion of the ocean
I was doing great this morning until I realized that we had only one trip of bait clams left in the freezer! So who did I call right away? Phil Eastman, of course. And, true to form, he answered me right back. Of course, Phil is part of Eastman's Docks in Seabrook, New Hampshire. They have a fleet of deep sea fishing boats, a restaurant, a couple of tackle stores, bait sales, just about anything that has anything to do with the local ocean and ocean fare. Although, I didn't like to take the time to go down to Seabrook, I do like going there. Maybe it's just me but life at Eastman's Docks seems to take me back to my childhood when I was just Lobstering and tuna fishing. Life seemed so much simpler then. When I got there, Phil's brother, Ed, loaded me up with what I needed so I could get right back on the road. I've always liked them. A great family operation. And certainly much appreciated.
I received a very generous $500.00 donation from Mark & Maureen LaRocca (NY) sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising cycing event called the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Mark & Maureen are annual donors to the cause. And they have a personal interest in this as I do. Thank you so much, both of you. I do so appreciate the support and help!
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 40°F, the sky was clear with a half moon hanging above the horizon, there was no wind to speak of and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. More later.
We have many angler openings for future fishing trips. These trips with openings are as follows: Thursday's, marathon trip, April 25, has seven fishing spots available, Saturday's, full day trip, April 27, has twenty-six fishing spots available, Sunday's, extreme day trip, April 28, has seven fishing spots available, Monday's extreme day trip, April 29, is wide open with all twenty fishing spots available, Tuesday's marathon trip, April 30, is the same with all eighteen fishing spots available, Wednesday's extreme day trip, May 1, is wide open with all twenty fishing spots available, Thursday's marathon trip, May 2, has seventeen fishing spots available and Friday's extreme day trip, May 3, has ten fishing spots available. I don't need to tell you that the haddock fishing the last three trips has been very good to excellent.
I am tentatively looking for a deck hand for the 2019 fishing season. I have a person, who I really like, who is going to be auditioning for the position next month. If it works out, he will be our next deck hand. Until then, the option is still open, slightly, but I am hoping that Keith will work out and be our new hand.