Category Archives: Working Boats

WIP “The Intruder”

This is a work in progress of the Boat The Intruder in Lanes Cove. I’m using a photo I took a few years ago.
Oil on Panel.


The Gloucester Fleet

The Gloucester Fleet

“Midnight Sun”


Gloucester Schooner Festival 2010

Here are a few shots from the Gloucester Schooner Festival in 2010.

Can’t wait for Summer



Cannibal Rat Ghost Ship Adrift

o-RAT-570What happens to a rat-infested abandoned ship? The rats eat each other. The last rat standing eats itself. Or so they say.

LYUBOV_ORLOVA__1897491aI’m sure you have read about the Lyubov Orlova, which over a year ago was abandoned in Newfoundland because of a dispute over debts. On its tow to a salvage yard in the Dominican Republic, the ship broke free and became adrift. At first it was thought to be heading towards the British Isles however, it is now widely believed to have sunk. The most recent reports suggest that rats cannot live more than five days without water.

This story had me thinking about rats in general and rats along Gloucester’s waterfront, which in turn led to thinking about one of the many reasons why I love cats.

B_Image_4344The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), also known as the brown rat, sewer rat, common rat, and myriad other terms of non-endearment, is native to northern China. The species found its way to Eastern Europe by the early eighteenth century. By the year 1800, they occurred in every European country. First sightings of  R. norvegicus in the New World were reported in the 1770′s as ship stowaways.


During the Middle Ages cats were reviled and killed en masse. In the few regions where cats were not killed there were far less fatalities from the pandemic Black Death, which killed roughly half the population of Europe. Had this fear of cats not existed, populations of the Black Rat (Rattus rattus) would have been minimized, lessening the spread of plague infected fleas, carried by rats.

Rats are one of the world’s most successful mammals, second only to humans. They live everywhere except Antarctica.

Rattus_norvegicusRattus norvegicus

All images courtesy google image search.

BG Brown Summed Up What Was Going To Happen In The Fishing Industry In Gloucester 4 Years Ago

This was filmed in 2010 and it’s only gotten worse. What he predicted back in 2010 is about 10 times worse 4 years later.
As I type this a fisherman just left my office. He is 52 years old and has fished his whole life. He is a stern man meaning he has no stake in what the owner of the boat may receive when he sells out his commercial fishing permits. He has only seen it get worse and worse and was telling me he has absolutely no idea what he could do for a living since all he knows is fishing.  It’s sad and it is despicable what they did when they instituted Catch Shares and privatized the ocean and fish. Before Catch Shares there were hundreds of small boats with stern men who could go out and catch 800 lbs of cod under the “Days at Sea” program. They could fish every day and because there was an 800 pound limit there were no 20-40,000 lb trips of fish on the auction to decimate the price. What was on the Fish Auction for fish was made up of lots of small boats 800 lb trips of quality day boat fish.  So you had hundreds of boats with hundreds of captains and hundreds more of stern men making a good living while barely impacting the fish stocks. Boats were being repaired, boats were buying fuel, families were being fed.  Now we have probably 80% less.
Just years later the hyper-consolidation of Catch Shares which we all knew was the inevitable result when you privatize a natural resource has decimated our fleet and the number of fishermen left standing while they most have either sold out or are trying to.

Back in 2009 I started to collect the stories and add them to a thread on Cape Ann Online as sort of a journal and record for those who might have said they didn’t see this coming. There are three pages of articles from fishermen and about how it was and has decimated our working port and independent fishermen.

Click here for the list of articles (3 pages worth)

The Gloucester Fleet

The Gloucester Fleet


Gloucester Fishing Throwback- 1983 Jose and Half a Hippie Gillnetting Aboard The Rumors

Photos from Tuffy

USCGC Escanaba Fall 2013 D7 Patrol Video Out Of Boston

USCGC Escanaba Fall 2013 D7 Patrol

Matt Bohannan writes-
We used a few GoPro’s to gather dozens of hours of video over our 6 week patrol sped it up to take 6 minutes! Directed by SN Bohannan, produced by BM3 Humphrey.

Here are other posts on Good Morning Gloucester featuring the USCGC Escanaba-

Cmdr. Edward Westfall of Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba Discusses the towing of the Michael and Kristen

Posted on December 19, 2009 by 

Cmdr. Edward Westfall, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba, discusses the towing of disabled Gloucester, Mass.-based lobster boat, Michael and Kristen, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009. The master of the 77-foot lobster boat called for help at about 3:30 …Continue reading →

USCG Pic Of The Cutter Escanaba Tilted Way Over as It Approaches The Michael and Kristen

Posted on December 18, 2009 by 

Thanks to Universal Hub for the link- Here is The USCG website report- BOSTON — The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba is continuing to tow the Gloucester-based lobster boat that was disabled Wednesday with five people aboard more than 200 miles southeast of …Continue reading →

Grace Marie Being Towed By Coast Guarg 178 Miles

Posted on June 10, 2010 by 

Paul Frontiero photo BOSTON – The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba is towing the fishing vessel Grace Marie to Provincetown and plans to arrive around 6 p.m., today. The Grace Marie, a 65-foot Gloucester-based fishing vessel, was reported to be adrift … Continue reading →

It’s Been far Too Long-Chickity Check Bowsprite- A New York Harbor Sketchbook

Posted on April 10, 2010 by 

It’s been far too long since I’ve visited buddy Christina’s Bowsprite- A New York Harbor Sketchbook I love her illustrations and stories and I suspect if you dig GMG you will love her blog too. I’ve been encouraging Christina to … Continue reading →

Emailing tweet from: USCGNewEngland (USCGNewEngland)

Posted on December 21, 2009 by 

USCGNewEngland: CG News (#uscg): Dec. 21, 2009: Video – Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba transits through Cape Cod Bay during snowstorm Original Tweet: Sent via TweetDeck (

“Displaced By Fishing War” by Sean Horgan

Excellent article in the Gloucester Daily Times, written by Sean Horgan, published December 12, 2013.

“Joe Orlando still wakes up in the night, when the wind is whistling, and wonders if he should go down to the Gloucester House and make sure the Padre Pio’s lines are secure.

There still are days when the longtime Gloucester fisherman, as if lured by something invisible and irresistible, finds himself heading toward the dock to check on his boat.

“I say to myself, ‘What am I doing’?” Orlando said.

He is doing what he’s done for the past 30 years, what he’s done since he bought the 65-foot steel fishing boat in 1983 in partnership with his sister Angela Sanfilippo and her husband John.

There’s only problem: Orlando no longer owns the Padre Pio.”

Read the full article here:

Displaced by Fishing War: Gloucesterman haunted by urge to go to sea and loss of vessel

Padre Pio ©Kim Smith 2012Beautiful Padre Pio, Gloucester

More posts on GMG about the Padre Pio:


Game Over. It’s A Sad Day For Gloucester

The Gloucester Fleet

The “Stanley Thomas”


Video: Beautiful Blue Lobster

Beautiful Blue Lobster Landed at Captain Joe and Sons by Captain Dave Jewell of the Lady J, October 11, 2013.

Dave Jewell lands a blue lobster, Joey drives the forklift, and shows us how to tell the difference between a male and female lobster–set to a trio of Bruce Springsteen songs from the Seeger Sessions–just another day at Captain Joe and Sons!

In order of appearance ~

Joey Ciaramitaro
Frankie Ciaramitaro
Captain Dave Jewell

For information about the Lady J fishing charters visit their website at Lady J Fishing Charters.

~ Songs ~

American Land
Bruce Springsteen

Pay Me My Money Down
Bruce Springsteen

Working On A Dream
Bruce Springsteen

American Lobster, Homarus americanusSee GMG links to posts about the beautiful blue lobster:

Blue Lobster Landed At Captain Joe and Sons

Come Down To Captain Joe and Sons Through The Weekend To Take Your Picture With The Blue Lobster

The Working Waterfront

The Working Waterfront


Fish on Fridays

The Fish on Fridays series is a collaboration between Gloucester photographers Kathy Chapman and Marty Luster. Look for various aspects of Gloucester’s centuries-old fishing industry highlighted here on Fridays.

This week Marty visited with Richard Arnold, the last captain of the gill netter Phyllis A. now undergoing an extensive restoration at Gloucester Marine Railways.

 Phyllis A was built by Richard’s father in Kennebunkport, Maine in 1925. Richard skippered her from 1972 until the boat and he both retired in 2000. The boat is named for Richard’s sister, who, at age 4, helped christen the vessel.

Here, compressed into a few minutes, is the shared story of Phyllis A and Captain Richard Arnold.



Video © Marty Luster 2013

Color photo © Kathy Chapman 2013

Image of Phyllis A. at Arnold’s Wharf ©Fredrik D Bodin 2013

Thanks to the Phyllis A. Marine Association for the use of their archival photos
and to SaveCapeAnn for footage of Phyllis A at sea.

Fish on Fridays

The Fish on Fridays series is a collaboration between Gloucester photographers Kathy Chapman and Marty Luster. Look for various aspects of Gloucester’s centuries-old fishing industry highlighted here on Fridays.

Peter Parisi replaces rotten boards on his recent acquisition of the 42 foot stern trawler Francesca & Carlo at the Gloucester Marine Railways. He plans on launching her next week in search of whiting and herring.





Photos © Kathy Chapman 2013

Working The Harbor

Working The Harbor

IMG_2665 (2)

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