Archive for August, 2011

Irene Good Night

August 27, 2011

Rough Seas Ahead

You-know-who is on her way up the coast.

The Marina asked us to tie up tight.

We’re going nowhere until next week.

This photo by Marty Luster is from the blog, Good Morning Gloucester.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011, by Veronica Atlantis

August 21, 2011

Check out Veronica’s take on the day.

A Mixed Bag of Weather

August 21, 2011

It started foggy.  The weatherman said, “Be prepared.  Keep an eye to the sky.”  A cold front was predicted to arrive with thunderstorms, wind and rain.  We had Linda and Myanna with newcomer Alex.  They would be happy with clear, calm, warm water, they said.  Sure, no problem.

Because the wind was from the south and predicted to get stronger, we went up the Annisquam River to the restaurant at Folly Cove for the first dive.  Crew was Veronica Atlantis, Pat Walsh and Peter Donahue.  The Captain kept us honest and I drove the boat.

I set the anchor in about 25 feet of water just off the rocks at the southwest edge of the cove.  The tide was going out and the wind helped us drag a little bit.  It was not an issue, though, because Pete moved the hook to a good spot once he got into the water.

Alex and Fred were going to try video as a team.  That worked well enough that we have some new footage for this year’s movie, we think.

The water was cloudy but warm in the low 60s.  It got clear and cold on the bottom as the tide turned.

We looked for a flat spot for the second dive inside Folly, but advancing divers would be in the way.  I chose to go outside to the area just down from Seaside Cemetery, near Tide Rock.  There were folks swimming between those rocks and the shore as we anchored in about 35 feet of water.  The breeze was shifty and the sky was clouding up, but we donned our gear quickly.  I was buddying with Alex this time.

I got to see the cloudy, golden water first hand on this dive.  It wasn’t really murky, just filled with material that glowed with a yellow hue.  Alex proved to have a steady hand and was able to interpret my sign language directions for shots well.  He was diving with just a backpack and a steel 70, thanks to the ministrations of The Captain.

Everyone  had their eyes open for dog fish, but we didn’t find any.  Pete and Linda were buddies and I understand there was cunner feeding, cunner catching by hand, flounder-with-no-holes-catching, and poker-on-nose-balancing involved.  At least no fish were harmed in the course of this dive.  All of them lived to swim another day.

Peter’s computer registered 68 degrees in over 35 feet of water.

As we pulled anchor for home, I could see thunderclouds building in the south.  On the way down the river, I was right in front of the Gloucester Harbormaster’s orange inflatable.  No speeding to the marina permitted.  It started to blow hard and rain just as we cleared the railroad bridge on the final leg.  Peter navigated into the slip in the cold, driving rain with the rest of us huddled under cover.  Just as he began the maneuver to back into the slip, the sun came out and the wind stopped.  Oh well, he was soaked anyway and the sun felt good.

It was a flatish ramp for schlepping gear back to the cars.  WooHoo.

Fun day overall.

Two New, Old Places

August 20, 2011

We had non-lobsterers today, so I could pick somewhere scenic and clear for videography.  Kevin and Linsley Mordasky, Pat and Karen Hatcher and Richard Brandolini are such mellow customers that they are happy just to get wet.  We always have fun when they’re aboard and today was no different.  We decided to go places we haven’t been to in a long time.

The Captain wanted to go to Mitchell Rock, a dive site near the bluff just outside Pigeon Cove in Rockport.  It’s at the base of a dropoff with a white gazebo where we sometimes see weddings take place.  The property is part of a bed and breakfast place called the Yankee Clipper Inn.

This area has huge boulders and a large swim-through up in the shallows that intrigued Kevin and Linsley.  We often see large striped bass here too.  The real rock is further off shore, but that’s what we call the place.

Peter found that he could tap his lobster poker on the rocks and cunner would converge from everywhere.  He said he’d never seen that before.  I joined him in the water later and he was able to reproduce the  “all hands on deck” response right on queue for the camera.

The water was clear with about 15-20 feet of visibility and warm at 63 degrees at 30 feet.

For the second dive, we meandered down the coast to Smiling Fish Cove, just north of Granite Pier.  This site has a large rock in the corner, facing northeast, that looks happy to see us.  It was a little deeper but still 63 degrees at 40 feet.  Kevin and others saw a large striped bass that weighed 50 pounds, according to him.  Hum.

We faced into the freshening breeze and enjoyed the late August sun.

Good times.

 

Veronica’s Take on the Day (8/14/2011)

August 15, 2011

Read her blog entry here.

8/14/2011 Has a Substitute Trip Reporter – Bill Low

August 14, 2011

I had to work on Sunday, so Bill Low supplied the trip report.  We had George and his son, Bill Low and Alan Hicks aboard, along with Pete, Pat, and Veronica as crew:

The USS New Hampshire was a nice surprise, instead of going to the wreck Alan and I put our efforts together to look for some lobsters, with no luck. They were out there all right but too small or too large.  We saw a red hake.  Visibility was 10 to 15 feet the water temperature around 57 degrees at 30 feet.
 
The second dive was at Saddle rock, that’s the location where the pictures were taken; visibility was about the same but the temperature was around 63 degrees at 20 feet; that made the dive a bit more enjoyable even though it was interesting as is. A number of big boulders and little valleys to swim through. Alan and I didn’t get to the name sake Saddle rock for the opening that Peter mentioned but a good entertaining dive any way. Any dive were I can get my hands and head wet are fine with me .  With a dry suit that’s all I want wet!
 

Here are the pictures Bill took:

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The Newest Advanced Diver in the World

August 13, 2011

We had Tom and Catie Childress as well as Bill Low and Joe Finkhouse with us today.  Pat and Pete were crew.  The Captain terrorized the locals while I drove the boat.

Catie was going to finish her Advanced Open Water class with Pete on this, her last dive trip before leaving for college, and we needed calm, clear water for her benefit.   The northwest side of Kettle Island proved to be the best choice.  The water was in the low 60s at 25 feet.  Visibility was good on the bottom and miserable 1/2 way down the anchor line.  Maybe the high tide brought clear, cold water into the area.  I tried using a malfunctioning Aquarius regulator to diagnose what was wrong with it for Pete and Fred.  Turns out it just bubbled slightly from the second stage, no matter whether I was inhaling or not.

We saw Arnie Petiglio (sp?) and Jack Munro in Arnie’s yellow boat as they relaxed between dives on the USF New Hampshire.  They proudly showed their treasure – two spikes.  They are lucky/smart/determined and find lots of them.  We’ve been promised one for The Boston Scuba Show next February to give to Jerry Shine.

The second dive was on the deeper face of the west side of Kettle.  I followed Catie and Pete down to check on the anchor and bounced around at 65 feet while they repositioned it for easy lifting.

There was a current moving across the face of the rock and it was going out to sea.  Don’t remember seeing that before.

Joe reported lots of prey animals on the bottom, but we didn’t get any.  But then again he had reported walrus and whale sharks at the first site too.  Maybe it was all just too good to be true.

We finished with a picture of Catie and her card for posterity.

I’ll post it if it arrives in my email.

Good luck at SUNY Oneonta, kiddo.

Beautiful Saturday Photos by Kerry and Linda Hurd

August 8, 2011

The trip up the river was clear and warm.  Divers were happy to have good weather.

 

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These pictures were taken by Linda or Kerry Hurd.

Sunday, August 7th

August 7, 2011

 

No diving due to torrential rain.

68 Degrees at 25 Feet

August 6, 2011

WooHoo!  The warm water is back.

We took folk to the north side of the island today.  Pat and Maggie, Linda and Kerry Hurd and Dianne Kelleher were on board along with Pete, The Captain, and me.  We wanted to get somewhere calm and clear for the newbie, Maggie.  At 14, she’s taller than her aunt, Pat Walsh.  She was going to be buddies with Pete today for her first ocean diving experience.

We were aiming for Mitchell and Dodge rocks off Rockport’s coast, but when we came around Halibut Point, the wind freshened, the waves picked up and the temperature dropped 10 degrees.  The Captain called for a haul about and we returned to Lanesville Shores, just off shore from the cemeteries called Locust Grove and Seaside.  This area is also very close to Tide Rock.

As we descended, I noticed that the visibility wasn’t very good, but that the water was super warm.  Maybe that’s the price we have to pay for comfort – visibility less than 15 feet at 25 feet.  It’s a good trade, as far as I’m concerned.  I found an abandoned lobster trap with a very patient decorator crab aboard.  This one was covered in yellowish sponge and seemed as interested in me as I was in him/her.

Kerry had the longest dive and was videoing too.  And I think I heard him say that his drysuit leaks a little.  Just shows to go ya, the conditions were super.

Maggie and Peter terrorized the locals and had great, good fun.

For the second dive, I moved us to the little cove in front of the Lobster Pool Restaurant.  It was a little deeper here – 32 feet.  The water was about the same on the surface, but with the tide coming in, the bottom was considerable colder.  It was fun to watch the cold water roll into the cove, pushing tumbleweeds of red sea growth ahead of its currents.  I even noticed small lobsters venturing out of their lairs into the moving water as if to say, “Ah-h-h!”  Maybe the 68 degree water is their equivalent of our 100 degree day.

We saw a teenager jump from the flying bridge with the encouragement of all of us oldsters.  She flew.

I cooled off in my Sun Shower with warm, fresh water.  Once my tee shirt is soaked, I can drive the boat back to the marina even though it means heading directly into the lowering sun.

There’ll be photos of the episode soon.

Great day with wonderful friends.