Unofficially 34 DNF (Did Not Finish) Blackburn Challenge and some that did finish needed a little help. Jimmy T threw a double outrigger a line before they were kindling and hamburger on the barnacle coated granite of Halibut Point. The next point was just as messy.
Here a white Epic Surfski flips right at my feet at Andrews Point. My little iPhone 6 does not really capture the drama as the dude in the red sea kayak hears the splash and turns around. (1-2) By 5 he has pulled up even, steadies the Epic as Epic paddler thanks him for stopping and hops back up into the seat. In 8-9 fellow travelers stop by to see if they can offer assistance but red kayak has it well in hand.
Meanwhile they drift from about 60 yards out to about 20 yards which is getting very close to the surf zone. Blowing hard straight in with decent swells. I was getting ready to greet them as their boats turned into splinters on the granite. Just when it seemed like they took just a little too much time the Epic takes off. (11-13)
Red Sea Kayak back pedals a touch (14) to turn around then sweeps in close before heading off (15) to surf the waves across Sandy Bay. The wind and surf were roaring but he was so close that when I called out “nice job red kayak” he tipped his hat and was gone.
Follow along 1 down to 6 then 7 down to 13.
This was a few minutes earlier than the other video. My sister said there were two explosions. A smaller one then a really big one. The bilge and then the gas tank? Just conjecture. Everyone got off safely?
when I crossed under the Greasy Pole to finish a boat exploded over in the cut. To complete circumnavigation I had to go that way to get back to my car at the high school. The boat was burning like a big rubber duck.
340 or so athletes will be paddling or rowing all sorts of high and low tech watercraft all the way around Cape Ann this Saturday. Click here for specifics at Cape Ann Rowing Club website.
Click on the new updated GMG map of the race to find a good location for viewing the race. Hint: Go to Cape Ann on Saturday, face water, watch racers go by left to right.
If you are on shore:
Anywhere on Cape Ann facing the water is a good view of the race. Obviously a point sticking out will be a better view as the racers cut the corner. Good Harbor Beach on the other hand is not so good as they will just be dots on the horizon. 8AM staggered start and the Annisquam River is good, they will be starting to exit the river by 9AM. Then from there until 2-3PM the fastest boaters will be circling the Cape entering Gloucester Harbor and on to the Greasy Pole finish. But don’t forget to cheer on the slower boats, the SUP boards, the dories, and everyone else who just want to finish the challenge in under six hours.
If you are watching from a boat:
Again, anywhere along the shore of Cape Ann. Please be aware there are many serious racers in high performance craft in this race. That means some are in razor thin craft and your wake can easily flip their boat. Steer clear, view from a distance, and keep the speed down when near these fragile craft.
Click the map, 33 tidbits of new information sprinkled within, and don’t be like Rubber Duck and miss the race entirely. She is paddling the race on Friday morning the day before! Such an airhead.
A week from Saturday the gun goes off for the race around Cape Ann. Still time to sign up before the July 20 deadline. Click here for race info at awesome Cape Rowing Club that sponsors the race.
Start at the high school, gun goes off north of the railroad bridge, paddle down the river and then start taking right turns until you go all the way around and into Gloucester Harbor to the Greasy Pole Finish line. Simple. (Click the map for a better view and secret messages from Donna and Rick as well as the Milk Island Seagulls.)
Rubber Duck and I have done this race five times and it is
great fun, uh, a wonderful test of endurance, uh, an accomplishment for an old fat dude who sits in front of a computer too much of the year! It is a staggered start so a standard sea kayak gets to go before all the high performance vehicles paddled by sinew and muscle. It is entertaining to watch them all fly by on wakes you could water ski behind.
Over 300 of these crazy people have signed up already. They are probably all doing an Iron Man Challenge this weekend followed by a double marathon the day before the Blackburn. When you talk to them they seem like such normal people. Jimmy Tarantino types except he does the whole race in a Grand Banks Dory!! Jimmy T, why don’t you stop by Joey’s dock and stick ten wooden lobster traps in your dory and make it a real challenge?
So I was thinking of changing it up a bit for the Rubber Duck. The day before (Friday July 24) high tide is at 5:41 AM. So if I did the paddle from the tennis courts at the high school at 6AM I get a nice tide, the cool morning for most of the paddle, and no crowds mowing me over. Might even be all the way around before that dreaded southwest wind starts piling up in your face.
Anyone else want to go for a paddle on Friday? Leave a comment. I have two spare kayaks. We won’t try to break any speed record. Maybe even stop for lunch on Straitsmouth Island or Thacher Island. And if the Good Harbor Beach looks like a good finish line then why not pull in there instead of those last grueling miles in the Harbor?
Yo Adam Bolonsky! Ed Collard! You’ve both gone all the way around. Anybody else? On Saturday we could hang on Pavilion Beach, “Oh yeah, did that yesterday mon.” (That’s a Jamaican accent, I will pack bear can lettuce and tomato sandwiches. If you say that with an accent you will get it.)
Bored with kayaking? Stop and bounce a little silvery thing off the bottom and catch a few Atlantic Mackerel. (Three Lanterns Marine, Deadly Dick Lure, good for lots of stuff, go with a small one for the Atlantic Mackerel. Catch a Pollock and eat that or rehook on something bigger and drop down for a blue or a low IQ Striper.)
Marinate in olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper overnight in a ZipLock.
Heat up the grill on high then turn to medium low. 6 minutes a side or until charred just a bit. Hard to screw up.
Jasper White has these as an appetizer for around 23 bucks at the Summer Shack. He adds some fancy Venezuelan pickle relish on the side. Skip that and use Genuine Vidalia Sweet Onion Mustard Relish from Seaview Farm in Rockport. Rubber Duck Seal of Approval.
I think Lefty the Dog Shark ate the cute couple from Vermont. So sweet and minty.
In 2011 Les Bartlett posted a photo on his website of dawn on July 5, 2011 and I have been fascinated ever since about what the bonfire is doing the day after. Click here for his shot and links to Les’s website.
This year it was as hot as ever. You could have roasted a Seaview Farm Grass fed Steer on these coals.
There were 24 boats moored in Sandy Bay this year up from 4 last year when I took this photo.
Paul’s Perfect Pellicle on brined fresh bluefish to be smoked using the secret ingredient. Cut up chunks of Rye cask from Ryan and Wood Distillery of Cape Ann and a touch of hickory.
Never clean the element.
Ryan and Wood Rye Keg and a couple pieces of hickory.
1) Celestial Pin Ball continues tonight with Venus practically slamming into Jupiter in the western sky over Cape Ann just after sunset. I posted about it here and here.
But we live in New England so we have missed the approach of Venus in the past week except for a glimpse and tonight right before they come into view we will leave this slice of clear air and clouds will again block our view. Try and get a glimpse because it is the closest aproach of these two planets in 2,000 years. What happened 2,000 years ago? That’s right. Some people say that the combo of the two brightest objects in the sky (besides sun and moon), was the Star of Bethlehem.
If you do catch a peak, check them out with binoculars and consider the fact you are looking at an inner planet as a crescent and a giant outer planet with four moons visible. Be one with the universe.
2) For science geek awesomeness it does not get any better than tonight at midnight 23:59:60 which will be followed by 24:00:00. How can that be? Those are the same exact times! But this is how those sneaky scientists wedge an extra leap second into today. So pour yourself another drink because today is longer than any other day of the year. Also pray that satellites and planes do not fall from the sky as computer systems worldwide add a second to their systems in different ways. Google is so freaked that they are going to do what they call a “leap smear” and spread the additional second over several minutes.
If you google “Google Leap Smear” this image is the first hit. Enjoy your 23:59:60. It is also possible, besides the internet exploding, that this is an actual head exploding of the one person who thinks 60 seconds on a microwave is longer than typing in one minute.
FYI: The leap second is added because the rotation of the earth is slowing and 1 PM would eventually become high noon. The leap second is also being added at midnight Greenwich Mean Time. That is 8 PM on Cape Ann so if you want to send a text message to your loved ones be sure you get it done before 7:59:59 tonight. Go out and look at the Star of Bethlehem instead.