Monthly Archives: March 2009

Roller Derby Rules Explained From The Gem City Rollers

For any of you planning to head up to The Shriners Auditorium Saturday for The Roller Derby, here is an excellent video which explains how it all goes down.  (I particularly like the fighting demonstration around 2/3 of the way through)

For more info about this Saturdays Roller Derby click this text

Geno Mondello’s Dory Shop

I stopped by Geno’s Dory Shop at The Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center yesterday.  Geno is currently working on a 17 foot hand line dory which will be auctioned off to benefit the Gloucester International Dory Race Organization.  The money raised through the raffle will be used to build more dorys.  Last year there were four dories and by the end of this year there will be eight.  The sport is just taking off thanks to the likes of Jimmy Tarantino, Glen Harrington, Katherine Richmond, Skip Levielle, and Kirk Dombrowski along with many other volunteers..

Look for my three part video series with Geno starting tomorrow which talks about the origins of dory racing, different types of dorys and how they are built and other surprises.

Geno Mondello’s Dory Shop, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

GMG Q&A- Melissa Smith Abbott Part III

What is your favorite Pizza Joint in Gloucester?

First of all I have to say that we are very lucky here in Gloucester. There are so many good pizza places that there is something to suit any mood. You know one night you might be in the mood for Delaneys or Marias thin crust and on another night you might be yearning for Sebastians or Valentinos. So we have it really good here as far as the variety and quality of  all the Pizza places. Years ago there was a place in Gloucester called Ra-Joes on Main Street. It was exactly to the left of where the Halibut Point Restaurant is now. Ra-joes had 2 sides to it. One the right was a bar with booths and on the left was a dark restaurant with high tin ceilings and booths. about half way up the walls was a shelf with wine bottles spray painted black for decoration. There was a Chianti bottle with a candle on every table. The pizza was amazing and practically the same as Delaneys Pizza is now. I think a small pizza was like $1.50.and a large pizza was like $2.75.
Everyone used to go to the Strand Movie Theater which was located where the Liquor Locker’s walk in cooler is now and then for pizza at Ra-joes. In the early 70’s Earle Foote owned Ra-joes and that was at the time the 18 year old drinking age got ratified. You have to remember that this was during the Vietnam War and the big call of exasperation from a lot of young people was, “that they are old enough to get drafted and killed but they couldn’t have a drink”. All the kids started going to the bar next door and it got to be kind of a hang out. Unfortunately, the building ended up burning down and was rebuilt into a disco alled “Lil Earles” and later bought by Gorton’s.
But to get back to your question about the favorite Pizza Joint in Gloucester? I would have to say my own kitchen. I make the best thin crust Pizza I know of besides Delaneys. There is a trick to getting really crisp thin crust at home and I will share it with you. You must use a pizza stone or cast iron pizza pans that are heated in a 425 degree oven first. I will share my recipe with you because in this economy cooking at home is where it is at for many of us.

Melissa Smith Abbott’s Thin Crust Pizza
Pizza Dough
1/3 cup white wine – 2/3 cup warm water – 1 1/2 oz yeast – 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup – 1 tsp sea salt – 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil – 3 cups King Arthur Flour
Combine the wine, water, and yeast in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Add sweetner, salt and oil oil – stir. Add 1 cup flour and stir to make a wet paste. Add remaining flour and knead for several minutes. I use a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook but you can use a food processor or do it by hand with very good results. Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place. Divide Dough into 2 balls. Meanwhile heat up the oven and place your stone or cast iron pizza pans in the oven to heat up first. You can use a couple of cast iron frying pan in a pinch.

Using a little flour, a rolling pin, and your hands to create a thin crust the size of your pan. Use the rolling pin to get it nice and thin. Take out the hot pans from the oven and place the dough right on top and then quickly coat with sauce of your choice either homemade or canned in a thin layer. I use Prego (it doesn’t seem to have a lot of chemicals or fillers in it) with very good results if I have not made my own sauce from scratch. Then quickly sprinkled grated mozzarella and grated Parmesan on top of the sauce. I usually do one cheese pizza and then one with toppings. My favorite toppings are mushroom, red and green peppers, thinly sliced onion, sliced chicken or shrimp. I use whatever I have around. Quickly get first in oven and then repeat on 2nd pan or stone. Rotate the pizzas on the racks while cooking . They will only take about 10-12 minutes in this type of hot oven with preheated pans. If you have a very hot oven then you can turn down the
oven to 375 or 400 if the heat is making you nervous it will cook too fast. Experiment.

What is your favorite sub shop in Gloucester?

You can not beat Destinos. They serve the soup and salads with the sub and that is pretty amazing. I remember when Destino first opened up around 1960 or a little later. it was the cool hang out for the high school kids and believe it or not submarine sandwiches were a bit of a new thing. The place was originally across the street to the left of Our lady of Good Voyage Church where their parking lot is now. It was a little hole in the wall with a counter.  I know a lot of people like the sandwiches at Virgilios too.

Trawling (Dragging) Explained Aboard The F/V Pamet

Trawler Pamet, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

The following text is about the best explanation of how Dragging or “Trawling” works in layman’s terms that I’ve run across. It comes from Oregon State University and the credits to the writers will be included at the bottom of the post.  Read the explanation of trawling and then look at the pictures I took this morning with the titles of each thing they are talking about so you can visualize what they are saying. Even though this is from Oregon, our fishermen fish the same way only for different species.

A trawler is a vessel that drags a funnel-shaped net through water to harvest fish or shrimp. The net is wide at the mouth and tapers back to a narrow cod end that collects the catch. The average bottom trawl opening is 40 to 60 feet wide and 8 to 10 feet tall. Bottom trawlers usually tow their nets at 1 to 2 knots on or above the ocean floor. Fishermen might tow midwater trawls faster to catch faster-swimming schooling fish.
Trawlers have a large metal trawl door that is attached to each side, or wing, on the front of the net. The water hits the doors and the pressure of the water passing over the door spreads the net open. The doors are flat, oval, or slightly v-shaped. A steel cable extends from the door to a winch just behind the pilot house. Most large trawlers have square sterns with inclined ramps and are referred to as stern trawlers. The nets are hauled aboard up the inclined Boom Bottom ramp on the stern. Older trawlers without inclined ramps haul their nets over the sides using a haul line and a block on an overhead boom to bring in the cod end of the net.


Bottom trawlers tow the net along the ocean floor to catch fish that live on or just off the bottom. These fish include rockfish, cod, sablefish (black cod), ocean perch, flounder, and sole. Trawls can be designed to catch particular groups of fish. A large mesh net (4 1/2 inches to 5 inches) is kept on a stern-mounted reel. The two doors are stored along the rails near the reel.

The net is set off the stern by unwinding the reel so that the cod end is put into the water first. The rest of the net is unrolled from the reel, and then the doors are placed in the water. Water pressure on the doors causes the doors to separate and open the net. Enough cable is then released to place the net at the desired depth. The upper lip of the net is lifted up by floats on the headrope while the lower lip of the net is pulled down by a weighted footrope. This action opens the net vertically.

Rubber discs may be attached to the net to hold it down. There are now restrictions on the size of the rubber discs that can be used on footropes when trawling on the Oregon continental shelf. These restrictions confine trawling to mostly smooth bottoms, such as sand and mud. Tow times can last from 30 minutes to several hours. Depths can range from 5 to 700 fathoms (a fathom equals six feet). Bottom trawlers typically fish from 1 to 40 miles offshore.

The crew hauls in the net by winching in the cables until the doors are back in place and most of the net is on the reel. Once the catch is on board, the net is reset for another tow. Then the fish are separated into deck bins (checkers) and put in the hold, where they are iced or refrigerated.

The Oregon State Research Report Can Be Found Here

Writers: Ginny Goblirsch and Steve Theberge
Consultant: Scott McMullen
Artist: Herb Goblirsch
Editor: Sandy Ridlington
Design: Rick Cooper

Ron Gilson- Gloucester Fishing Historian Part II

Gloucester’s True Fishing Industry Historian, Ron Gilson Talks About Gloucester’s Fishing Past In This Second Part Of Our Video Interview-

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