Breezy and Nice

Everyone was saying it. “What a NICE day!” It was sunny with low humidity and 70° above water. But, the flags around the edge of Gloucester Harbor along the boulevard were snapping with the brisk south wind at 8 AM. We were definitely going North today.

We had a full boat with Linda and Myanna, Peter and Brenna, Patrick Scalli and Laurent Dubois. Brenna was going to be working on her scuba skills with The Captain on her way to being a certified diver. Linda and Myanna were going to be looking for lobsters. Patrick and Laurent were on their own. I thought we’d do well at The Restaurant at Folly Cove for the first dive.

The water was very cold at 51° at 30 feet. It wasn’t very clear, for all that. The thermocline was visible at about 12 feet. Veronica and Peter Kelsey went to the rock wall for scenic viewing. There were lots of little perch coming and going from its nooks. Peter saw a sea raven that was docile enough to be handled.  Brenna and Fred sank to about 25 feet to do doffing and donning and mask clearing. It was cold work.

We saw a father and two little kids in one piece wet suits on a surf board paddling around the area. They had come out of the house next to The Lobster Pool restaurant right in front of us. They were thrilled to have him dive down for crabs and bring them up for their viewing pleasure. The oldest child was spralled over the board, crosswise, and had his mask in the water to watch. The littler one, a girl, was wearing a mask as well. Both had to have the mask straps short for a water-tight fit and had long earlocks of extra mask strap hanging down the sides of their heads. What a great way to get used to the ocean and what’s down there to see.

We also saw Bonnie Sylvester Gavelis and her niece paddling their kayaks across the cove. They waved and declared they had no food when questioned by Peter Donahue, in The Captain’s stead.

The second dive was just around the corner at the base of what used to be a motel. It’s now been sold as private homesteads and converted to many one-family dwellings. This time Laurent said it was 48 at 50 feet. I’m sure that was because the tide was coming in and there was a stiff off shore breeze.

I got in to see if there was anything to video, but didn’t find any shot worth the effort. It was frickin’ freezin’. The water near shore was clear and warmer that at depth. I played in the shallows with the waves breaking over some rocks. Looking up from underneath the breaking surf was fun. I could pick out bubbles and little wavelets from the under side and it looked sparkly. Beautiful light too.

As we packed up for the ride home, the back end of the boat was swathed in song. Linda and Fred were doing medleys of old songs that they both knew all the words to. It sounded like an Irish pub from where I was sitting.

On our way back, the wind had freshened to about 15-20 knots. There were whitecaps along the Lanesville shore. As we put-putted our way down the Annisquam, we saw Captain Fran Linnehan’s Down Under and Captain Fran Marcoux’s Daybreaker bringing their afternoon charters north too.

As he had on the way up, when we got to Thurston’s Point, Fred called to Patrick Scalli’s mother, Mary Scalli, on the hailer. He loves to do that. She came to the window to wave back at us.

The channel was narrowed as we went under the A. Piatt Andrew bridge by a large sailboat that had run aground on the Lynn Colletti Memorial sandbar. They were pretty well wedged and we saw their waterline was about 6 inches above the real water’s surface. The Coast Guard were nearby but it seemed they’d agreed not to do anything drastic, given the tide had already turned.

The Captain docked the boat to applause all around.

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