Archive for October, 2009

We’re Done

October 31, 2009

for the season.

Cleaned the boat out and readied it for being hauled out on Monday.

Sad.

Oh, well.  We’re off to the Bahamas and Small Hope Bay Lodge for a busman’s holiday.

Yeah.

No Diving Due to O.R.G. Benefit

October 25, 2009

The sun was out and the rain gone, but we were committed to going to Jonathan Bird’s presentation in Lexington today.  The Oceanic Research Group deserves your support.  Today is their benefit event.

Yet Again

October 24, 2009

No diving due to weather.

Sheesh.

No Diving Due to Weather – Oct 17 and 18th

October 18, 2009

Both days were too windy and bumpy to go out.

Saturday had intermittent sun and no rain, but previous days had produced mountainous waves from the northeast.

Today is windy and rainy and the waves are building.

Best of the Three Day Weekend

October 12, 2009

Calm.  Clear.  Windless.  Cloudless (almost).

Fog-less and rain-less, too.

Oh, and degree-less.  That means it was cold.  42 degrees in the Honda Civic Hybrid as we woke up for the look/see and drive-around Cape Ann, searching for a good place to take the crowd that were coming up from Rhode Island today.  Deb Greenhalgh, Fred Ward and three friends were raring to go and picked the wreck of the USF New Hampshire for the first dive when I told them we could go practically anywhere they wanted.  The three unknowns were Bobby, Mary and Clayton – all good and experienced divers, it turns out.

I anchored on a mirror, using Cape Ann Divers’ red and white striped mooring to make it easy.  I was wearing three layers and heavy socks, so standing in the sun warmed me up a lot.  Fred wore a hooded sweatshirt from The Sunken Ship on Nantucket and our friend, Phi Osley.  On top of that was his trusty denim jacket.  Bobby made the dive with a 3 mil suit and five finger gloves.  The water was 50 degrees and with about 15 feet of visibility.  There was treasure at the end of the dive and everyone was ready to go somewhere pretty.

I chose the easterly side of Egg Rock because it was protected from the sea breeze that had kicked up.  This time I dropped the anchor near the long notch running the length of that side of the island in about 25 feet of water.  Deb and Fred were doing videography and photography, respectively.  Mary and Clayton were going to be swimming hard to get and stay warm.  Bobby had a dry pair of lobster claw mitts from our bottomless Bag o’ Mitts because the only part of him that was really cold were his hands.  He praised the three-fingered design and vowed he’d have a similar pair for his next trip up north.  It would probably help to have remembered his 7 mil suit too.

Visibility was better here at the rock at 15-20 feet.  Mary reported that an urchin barren stretched along the notch and kept it open for viewing.  She and Clayton had traversed almost the whole length of the dive site by the time they were done.  The Captain and I tucked into the chicken noodle soup that Deb had brought and Peter had cooked.  There were oatmeal raisin and chocolate fudge cookies in there somewhere too.  Just holding the cup of hot soup helped a lot.  I think the wetsuit divers can attest to that.

The drive home was easy and we were able to tag along behind Seaya as he went through the Blynman cut bridge at full throttle even though the tide was with us.  Sheesh!

We tidied up the boat after three days of fun and took off for a short work week.

Only four more charter days until the boat goes up into the yard for the winter.

Darn.

Somewhat Better

October 11, 2009

Still bumpy, but not as windy.  To start.

We only had Bill Low and Vio, a beginner scuba student, today, with Pete and Pat as crew.  The Captain maintained order at all costs.

We tried to get out of the harbor, but the wind said, “Oh, no you don’t!”  Turned around and settled in Old House Cove.  It was 52 degrees in 20 feet of water.  Visibility was 10 feet or so.  Pete and Vio snorkeled for a while before donning scuba gear.  This is a great site for that because there are rocky shallows that can be interesting terrain for a student.

We saw some passing boats, but, happily, they generated not too much wake and surge.  There were gaggles of some different kinds of ducks (eiders, I think) and small terns dived for crackers and Chex Mix.  They had yellow-tinged legs and danced on and just above the wavelets as they pecked at the handouts.

As the wind picked up, I wanted to find a calmer anchorage for the second dive.  The eastern side of the harbor looked better than where we were, so we upped anchor and scooted over to the shelter of the museum named Beauport.  There was a mooring with a whip antenna sitting empty right in front of the structure.  Pat took a picture with her phone:

Beauport Museum taken from the mooring out front

Beauport Museum taken from the mooring out front

Pete and Vio continued with scuba skills and Bill Low went back in even though he had a ripped cuff in his dry suit.  He is a determined diver, that’s for sure.  He saw two Northern Pipefish, we think.   There were also lots of skates and sea ravens, as well as bottles.  We speculated that this was a place where wealthy imbibers bobbed at anchor and then tossed their empties overboard.  Of course, the fact that the bottles are mostly for milk made the scenario more specific because they must have been drinking White Russians.

The day ended in fine fashion with Pete buying everyone lunch at The Gull.

Good fun.

Quirky Weather Update

October 10, 2009

OK.  I understand.  It’s October 10th.  What can you expect?

We had Pete, Pat, and Joe Finkhouse today and morning showers left over from Friday’s downpours.  It wasn’t foggy.  It wasn’t windy.  The bumps were manageable.  It was the vis that was sucky.

We headed out to Old House Cove for the first dive.  The breeze had picked up and the tide was just starting to come in.  Pete and Joe were exploring and hunting.  The Captain was roaming the stern and coiling line.

The sun was hidden by scudding clouds after about 15 minutes at anchor in about 25 feet of water.  I had on my windbreaker and two shirts.  Plus socks in my Crocs.  Pat had the hood of her windbreaker lashed down tight.  It was getting colder because of the wind.

The divers reported vis between 5 and 10 feet with a water temp of 54 degrees.

We decided to try another site with hopes of clearer water.  The wreck of the Charles Storer is in about 20 feet off Dolliver’s Neck in the outer harbor.  Joe had never been there and was game to try since it would probably be the last dive of his season.

Pat took a picture of the land bearings with her phone:

Land Bearings on Dollivers Neck for the Charles Storer

The highest point of rock has two vertical lines running down it towards the water.  That marks the spot of the wreck about 50 feet off shore.

There is a large winch and wreckage around it these days.  Less to see of the wreck than ever.  The vis was about the same and the temperature was still 54 as the tide was rising.

We had quite a time getting back into the slip as the wind had picked up too.  Pat pulled and I pushed and we managed to dock without any dings.

More to come tomorrow.

Foggy Sunday Morning

October 4, 2009

Well, at least it wasn’t raining and blowing.  Now it was still and foggy.  Too foggy to go anywhere.  We rode around the island and found fog thick at Plum Cove as well as in Gloucester Harbor.  The weather folk predicted it would clear by the afternoon but we had a whole passel of people who wanted to dive.

So we decided to pick our way out into Gloucester Harbor as the tide was rising and find somewhere safe for a single dive.  It would be free today because we couldn’t actually get anywhere decent to take paying customers and the four people who had come all the way up from Connecticut were regular customers making their last trip with us for the season.  They just wanted to get wet.

We loaded Fred’s two daughters, their husbands, Linsley and Kevin Mordasky, Pat and Karen Hatcher and Bill Low with crew members Veronica, Pat, and Pete.  It gave the term, a full boat, a whole new meaning.  The non-divers tried to stay out of the divers’ way and vice versa, but it was tight.

Diane, Fred, and Elizabeth - Dad with Two Daughters

Diane, Fred, and Elizabeth - Dad with Two Daughters

As we waited for the Blynman Bridge to open for us, I could see little streamers of current coming through it into the river.  The tide was coming in still.  That might mean that we could go across the harbor to the far side and Black Bess rocks.  Maybe the surge and waves from yesterday wouldn’t have stirred it up too much over there.

We anchored between the mooring area of the Eastern Point Yacht Club and the rocks in about 20 feet of water.  The visibility varied all over the place from 5 feet to 15 feet, depending on your trajectory from the anchor line.  There were Rhodes 19 one design sailboats nearby jockeying for the start of a race and we could hear the announcer for the bicycle motocross tournament bellowing from across the harbor at Stage Fort Park.

Patricia Walsh Leans Down from the Flying Bridge to Talk with The Captain

Patricia Walsh Leans Down from the Flying Bridge to Talk with The Captain

The fog lifted after about 1/2 hour and we could see blue sky overhead in places.  Then the clouds filled that spot in.  I could see sun breaking through against the rocks at Norman’s Woe just outside the harbor as well as the surging waves breaking there.

As the divers returned, they reported warm water in the high 50s and some even caught lobsters.  Peter reported seeing scallops as well.

Captain Fred Calhoun and Linsley Mordasky on Easy Diver

Captain Fred Calhoun and Linsley Mordasky on Easy Diver

Photos are by Diane Neas.  Thanks, Sam

The ramp was totally flat as we schlepped the gear up it, but the sun didn’t stay around very long.

We ended in The Gull restaurant for a family lunch, with Pete and Pat too.

Saturday, October 3rd = Rain + Wind

October 3, 2009

Not a good day to take people out for a dive, so we cancelled the trip.