Weirs in the Way

It started out calm but built to breezy from the ESE.

We had Paul S., Alan Hicks, and Laurent in addition to Peter, Pat and Me.  The Captain dictated terms.

We made it under the Blynman Cut bridge with only sitting down room on the flying bridge.  I should say, Peter made it through.  I couldn’t watch.  There was no portion of the car chassis in the mud flat leading to the bridge, so I knew that my rule of thumb said we couldn’t make it with the bridge down.  But we did.  I mean Peter did.

The ride down the coast towards Manchester was really nice.  I sat on the bow and contemplated nature.

We had expected to make Egg Rock the dive site because our movie this season features it.  We hoped.  But not today.  A fish weir was in the way.  Turns out there was one off Kettle Island too.  These were our go-to dive sites for an ESE wind and they were undiveable due to the net strung between floats and floating flags.  Local people tend these traps and they work hard to do it:

Working the Weir

Catching Mackerel the Hard Way

See this Good Morning Gloucester blog entry for more pictures.

The next best site was the wreck of the USF New Hampshire.  We anchored just off the black line in the rock at the end of Graves Island.  The divers were quick into the water and we waited for condition reports.  Turns out it was murky and 50 degrees.  A large piece of the wreck was right under the boat.  That is new.

As the wind picked up and the tide rose, we became more tightly anchored to the sandy bottom.  Then the boat lifted even more.  I had already gone rowing in my new inflatable to get closer to the divers who were on the wreckage off the edge of the island.  Passing boaters were gunning by their bubbles too closely.  I needed a flag over their heads.  The new boat rows fine, but going into the wind and against the incoming tide used muscles that hadn’t been in play all winter.  But I didn’t break off the oar locks like I did on the last inflatable.

We decided to skip the second dive as the day turned colder.  Wind off the 55 degree surface water makes even a bright sunny day seem harsh.

Instead, we all decided to have lunch at The Cupboard at Stage Fort Park.  Eating in the bright sun, surrounded by head-high privet hedge meant our body temperatures rose to supremely comfortable and nap ready by the end of the feast.  Well done cheeseburgers and fries and Cokes felt summer-ish and satisfying.

Good choices with nice people.



One Response to “Weirs in the Way”

  1. "V" Says:

    The wind was horrible on saturday AND freezing! it felt like fall rather than summer.

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