Gully Cove and Straitsmouth Island

When we woke, it was raining. Today wasn’t supposed to be as nice as yesterday. Oh, well. It would still be better than shoveling snow or taking out the garbage.

Our customers were Mike Russo, Joe Finkhouse, and Laurent Dubois. Pat, Pete and I were the crew along with The Captain who remained calm and vigilant. Since the wind was dusting up from the southwest, I decided we’d go north to look for standup water for Mike, who was a referral from NAUI Instructor Mike Lane (now of the British Virgin Islands) for his open water work.

I chose Gully Cove because Lynn Colletti and I had used its little beach for other beginner students back in the day. Well, the beach is very eroded and rocky now. Mike and I stopped our snorkel swim short of the bouldery edge of it and stood on a hip deep flat-ish rock. Everyone else was scuba-ing happily in the clear, warm water of the cove. The visibility was easily 20 feet and it was in the high 50s on the bottom at 30 feet.  Mike was doing great on his skills, so we had a chance to sight-see on the way back to the boat underwater. On his first open water scuba dive, he saw lots of crabs, a skate, a small lobster, and a black sea bass.  I was towing the inflatable with our dive flag on it and the going was getting tough as we went deeper. Its painter wasn’t long enough to give me any scope as we swam deeper. Luckily, we were only anchored in 30 feet and I could manage that pretty well.

Our second site was a small inlet on the north side of Straitsmouth Island, a.k.a. Fat Girl Cove. It’s the last place I ever wore a two piece bathing suit, but The Captain now explains that Rockport sends its FGs to the house on the island for R&R. What a BSer he is!

The water was cooler here but the visibility in the shallows was still very good at about 15-20 feet. I found the biggest lobster I’ve ever seen and managed to gently pull him/her out from under a rock. There were no eggs and no tail notch. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that my hand couldn’t reach across the back of its carapace. Pretend you’re stretching to make an octave on the piano. This lobster’s back was wider. Place your open hand down on your thigh and reach across it. This lobster’s back was wider. It took both hands to hold it firmly. I really couldn’t believe it was as strong as it was when I felt it writhe to be free of my clutches. My arms were jerked around in the water by the flipping power in its tail. I was relieved to get it back into its hole without any injuries to either of us. Where’s that videographer when you need him?

Although it got dark as the afternoon wore on, the water was calm and the boat was lying comfortably at anchor. We were buzzed three times by a gnat of a Rockport lobsterman, but no one was hurt. We reported him to the Harbormaster, the Coast Guard, and the Rockport Chief of Police. If it ever happens again, I’ll be sure to video him and use it as evidence for the prosecution.

There was hardly anyone else out today, but we saw Captain Fran Marcoux’s Daybreaker coming north as we motored south along the Lanesville side of the cape back to the marina.

It was a good day with weather that was better than we had expected.

Not a bad way to end the weekend.

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