Silvery Sides

There were clouds of fish behind Kettle Island.  We had Jim Castelli, Bill Low, and LD with Pete as crew on Father’s Day.  The Captain directed traffic and I drove the boat.  It was going to be blowing from the southwest today, but not very strongly.  Since we only had regulars, we decided to travel south from the marina, out into Gloucester Harbor, and then southwest down to Kettle Island.

We set the anchor in about 50 feet of water and put out lots of scope so we drifted into the lee of the island somewhat.  As I descended to about 30 feet, I noticed a school of small cunner coming and going under the boat.  Periodically, one would turn its side to the surface and flash silver in the gloomy green water.  Spawning activity?

The water here was clearer than it had been yesterday on the north side of the island.  I found LD in full on hunting mode – half his body under rocks.  I never saw Bill at all.  But I did pass through many other groups of fish of varying sizes and shapes.  All were lefting and righting along the shore of Kettle.  Some were tiny baitfish and up in the shallows.  Others were striped bass following the little guys.  At mid-water, I encountered little pollack and some tautog.

As I swam over boulders and up ravines, I found a too big lobster who seemed to be willing to come out to be videoed:


I set the camera down and backed away.  It advanced to the lens, cradled it between its to massive claws and looked into the port intently.  Maybe he saw himself?  After a moment, it let go and slowly retreated back into its cave.

The water was in the upper 50s, so I was able to drain my little bomb of a tank without getting too cold.  Visibility varied from 10 to 15 feet on the bottom.  The very bottom was the coldest and the clearest, but also the darkest.  There was still lots of material floating in the water column.

On our way back to the slip, we passed under the Blynman Cut bridge with inches to spare.  The bridge tender had said there was 12 feet of clearance in the middle, and we only need 9 1/2 feet to get through it.  Nevertheless, I had to duck and crouch to avoid being decapitated by the girders.  What excitement!

Of course, the sun came out as we tied up at J dock.


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