Paul T Morrison & RD
Do not listen to the naysayers. The Super Moon really is Super. 30% brighter. If you are standing on the southern end of Long Beach at 4:11 PM the Super Duper Moon will rise among the twin towers of Thacher Island. Go to The Photographers Ephemeris (click to app) and you can move around and precisely find where you need to stand to split the uprights of the Towers with the moon.
Pro Tip: Leave your camera home. Someone else will take a great photo. Instead of fussing with a camera just stand there with your dog and enjoy the earth rotating under your feet so the moon magically appears on the horizon. I would also recommend smoking a doobie but it is not legal. Yet.
There may still be time to register a team. Get four smart people, 25 bucks a piece and come show off how much junk is stuffed in your brain.
Or come have a couple of drinks and cheer on the newest team, The Bag of Hammers.
Team Captain Greg Bover will lead The Bag of Hammers, Christine Armstrong, James Dowd, and Paul Morrison, to victory. They are setting the bar low hoping to outwit at least any other bag of hammers that have entered the trivia contest.
Gloucester Rotary Trivia Night (CLICK for INFO)
Friday, October 28, 2016
Gloucester House Restaurant
Doors open at 6pm, Game begins at 7pm
Great prizes for the top three trivia teams
Cash bar and pub menu available
Les Bartlett will give a talk on the quarries of Cape Ann this Saturday at 10 AM at the Cape Ann Museum Click here for details.
Last month Rubber Duck visited Profile Rock and posted on the Rockport Facebook page.
Les promised to explain what that circular dent was during his Saturday talk. He said, “RD is next to perhaps the most important spot on Cape Ann and along the Northeastern seaboard.”
RD tried to google the answer but came up dry so she is going to the talk this weekend.
After all the weather passing through now back to the standard gorgeous sunrises. Before the sun broke the horizon the backlit waves were gorgeous. But I was trying to keep baby stripers from chasing my popper so the iPhone stayed in the plastic bag. Then they were just babies in diapers, maybe 22 inches so I put the rod away and took a few shots.
There was a cloud bank off to the east so for the first time in weeks sunrise did not occur at sunrise.
Rockport Sunrise officially was 6:02 AM this morning but the sun did not appear until 6:10 AM.
So I’m in the hardware store and Rebecca shows me some fly paper. Remember that brown sticky tape your grandpa hung in the shop to catch flies? It still works and comes complete with a large thumbtack.
Adam catches a bluefish and needs to make sure it is really really dead before he lays it between his legs in a kayak.
If I catch a big blue I need to scale and leave the skin on for the perfect Marcella Hazan “Bluefish with Crispy Potato” click for recipe.” I was planning on making a post of gifts hanging on our kitchen wall from Fred Bodin’s Shop. But then I had a blue that I bled out when I caught it then scaled before filleting. But wait I needed a picture.
Still bleeding out but I think I can make a new Zombie avatar before I fillet the fish.
Reading Marcella’s recipe she lists other fish you could use but I have tried them all and a fresh bluefish is the only way to make this dish. Half a fillet will rest on the crispy potatoes while remainder of the fish marinates overnight to become smoked bluefish tomorrow. Ryan & Wood wood chunks from the distillery whiskey casks for the smoke. Perfection. Then smoked bluefish paté sealed with a dog kiss from Stella makes Joey’s favorite snack on a Ritz cracker.
Fred was someone you will never forget and even though you didn’t know it was his birthday today I bet you thought of him in the past week. His voice I can hear like it was yesterday, why Shaggy was Shaggy, Cape Ann Tool chimney, and stuff.
I did a google for Fred and it is amazing how many hits and images. But when we both convinced ourselves, “if you do it, I’ll do it”, and we showed up for Felicia’s party in Tuxedos, is my favorite. Shaggy front and center.
Preliminary results posted on this page. It was a perfect day. Nice high tide in the Annisquam, flat water most of the way around, lovely breeze, choppiest water was the last two miles in Gloucester Harbor.
So Russ Cone and Tom Bohrer go around Cape Ann in a sliding seat double in 2 hours 26 minutes. Are you serious? 9 mph or around 7.8 knots! The harbormaster will give you a ticket in the “No Wake” zone going that fast. How is that possible to do for a hundred yards much less over 20 miles of bumpy water? It is possible because a majority of the contestants in the Blackburn seem to be only made out of leather and sinew and have likely run an Ironman triathlon in the past week. Conversations at the high school before we take off, “I only drink coconut milk and free range basil the day before so my potassium levels are high and I don’t get twitchy.” Well shit I wish someone had told me that before I had three martinis and pork ribs the night before because I sure got twitchy out there.
For the rest, you should really click on the Blackburn Challenge 2016 Results. Each posted time is a story. The SUP stand up paddles mostly made it under 5 hours. That is amazing. I always find the most amazing are the dories and work boats posting faster times than me. Rubber Duck is in a 30 pound kayak and they are in a quarter ton or much more boat. You could pile ten lobster traps in the stern and they might add a few seconds to their time.
So how did the Rubber Duck do? I finished. 5:22:07. My goal is to break 5 hours but I blew a seal at Lanes Cove. Maybe three seals. They jumped in my boat and wanted to party. No wait, wrong type of seal. I whip down the Annisquam and actually still see the leaders of SK kayaks at the river mouth. Which means I am going too fast and not pacing myself. And sure enough one elbow and one leg get a case of the twitchies and I have to take my feet off the pegs and straight arm paddle for 30 minutes while I dream of coconut milk. Sandy Bay is a stretched out nightmare that never ends and by Milk Island I am in survival mode. Just finish. By Good Harbor Beach I want to paddle in and throw myself onto the shore but I would scare the kids and the piping Plovers would run away. Being a local I know exactly where Brace Rock is and how long the Dogbar Breakwater is (over two thousand gruesome feet!) and Gloucester Harbor measures exactly two miles and every whale watch boat wants to kill me. I swear one missed me then backed up to try to finish me off, OK the mind goes after 5 hours of paddling.
Greasy pole, time is recorded, flip boat to lay in water for ten minutes then on up to pour two pints of cold Ipswich Summer Ale down my throat. That wasn’t so bad. Let’s do it again!
Lessons learned: Everyone else has a winged paddle in my group. They giggle at my Werner Cypress paddle. Who knew? Not me. Getting one of those. Coconut milk and basil. Yup, potassium next year I’ll have a case, no martinis for 24 hours. 2017 I break 5 hours. Nothing damaged, feel great, time for a nap, this typing is making my poor pruney fingers tired.
And last but not least, The Cape Ann Rowing Club pulls off another flawless race. An all volunteer army gets 300 contestants into the water with humor, keeps an eye on them for 20 miles with the safety boats all the way to the finish line and beyond including picking up the errant pulled pork plate on Pavilion Beach.
OMG! Tomorrow. Since last year was not a cake walk around Cape Ann there are a couple of things your boat has to have. You were sent a list. Go to 3 Lanterns in Gloucester to pick up that safety whistle for $1.75.
Row Open Water Northeast has a map of safety boats. Also good links, possibly Bib numbers for tracking participants.
Cape Ann Rowing Club has tons of info, start times, links.
RaceJoy is the mobile phone app for tracking participants. Ask the people you want to track for their RaceJoy Bib Number. (This list may be posted on the above sites.) Find Blackburn Challenge listed under Massachusetts then find Rubber Duck Bib #40.
7:15AM the Stand Up Paddlers take off from the Gloucester High School. All manner of rowed and paddled vehicles then start up the Annisquam.
8:45AM the six man Outrigger Canoes start HUT HUT HUTTING down the river.
The Cape Ann Rowing Club will be meeting with the Coast Guard tonight to work out the logistics of Saturday’s Blackburn Challenge Race. It looks to be perfect tide, and perfect weather. Hot.
Tomorrow GMG will post info about how you as a spectator can follow your favorite contestants. Go to RaceJoy and download the app to your smart iPhone or Android device. We will publish all RaceJoy Bib numbers of contestants tomorrow. Punch in the bib number, follow your paddler. Want to practice? Rubber Duck is bib number 40.
You might still be able to register for the race but do it now. Click here.
What we know currently:
- You will not be able to follow RaceJoy from a computer. Cool. Get out of your house with your phone, stop following Pokemon and follow real paddlers.
- Bib numbers. Check the bib numbers tomorrow, Thursday, to see who you want to track.
- Find “Blackburn Challenge” under Massachusetts in the RaceJoy app.
- More info tomorrow.
Contestants: Be Safe. Mandatory on your craft, PFD, Noisemaker, Map. It’s going to be hot. Make sure you bring water and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Blackburn Challenge, July 16, 2016. Long range forecast shows partly cloudy 85 degrees for that Saturday. Tide chart shows high tide at 9:30AM so the boats will be flushed out of the Annisquam at the beginning. So, perfect weather, perfect tide.
And for the 30th running of the Blackburn most contestants will be tracked by GPS using RaceJoy. (Click here.) Even if you are just watching the race you should go download the app to your phone now. Besides clicking to see that the race starts in 11 days, 17 hours, 30 minutes, you will get to see a progress report of participants. Rubber Duck will be finding out more about this app in the next week so watch GMG for updates. If you want to try it out on Rubber Duck her “Bib Number” is 40. (RD needs a bib, she dribbles.)
Breaking news: Cape Ann Rowing Club Facebook page might be able to change Rubber duck into a shark!! She feels faster already!
Participants: if you want to be tracked by the unwashed masses of GMG just post your bib number in the comments. Then you will see Rubber Duck closing in on Jimmy T.
Solar Voyager, the remote solar driven boat which had become entangled in a fishing net is picked up by the Royal Canadian Navy.
Two days ago as Solar Voyager was whirring along under solar power from Gloucester to Lisbon 60 miles south of Sable Island and something happened. One of two motors conked out and it was tossed around, submerged a bit, maybe dragged by something. Two days later the motor is still out. The most likely explanation is that fishing line is wrapped around a propeller.
Last night Solar Voyager tweeted: “We could really use some help! Anyone know anyone who fishes in the Grand Banks or has a boat in Nova Scotia?
If you know anyone in the area fishing you can find the GPS coordinates refreshed ever 15 minutes here. Leave comments on this post if you think you might know someone. There is only a 7 knot breeze and 1 foot waves so it should be easy to spot. Think of a large aluminum kayak painted blue. I doubt there are many that size out there.
 add photo of props (photo is from the Gloucester High School Sailing Facebook page)
[second edit] Read comments from Solar Voyager.