Author Archives: Paul T Morrison & RD

Solar Voyager: Gloucester to Lisbon Needs your Help!

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.

After two days I'm getting a little dizzy!

After two days I’m getting a little dizzy!

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?

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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.

[edit] add photo of props (photo is from the Gloucester High School Sailing Facebook page)

[second edit] Read comments from Solar Voyager.

One prop jammed and the rudder is not happy either. Line might be wrapping a prop and dangling off hitting the rudder.

One prop jammed and the rudder is not happy either. Line might be wrapping a prop and dangling off hitting the rudder.

Gloucester to Lisbon Solar Voyager back on track!!

Solar-Voyager yesterday morning woke up and one of the two solar panel output’s showed zero output. Redundancy kicked in and yesterday’s travels were heading to Lisbon but last night’s drift occurred earlier because half the juice was made during the day.

But either the connection wiggled back closed or they rebooted it last night because both solar panels are making juice this morning!!  Onward to Portugal!

Click here for map and click dots for info. The dashboard on the bottom fo the map also has good info.

Watts are back on both panels!

Watts are back on both panels!

Pleasure Island Walking Tour this Sunday June 19, 10AM to noon

I have always been fascinated by this sign out on Route 128 (really now 95) in Wakefield. I grew up poor on the wrong Cape so never made it to Pleasure Island but the exit sign beckons. Driving to work fantasizing about what I would do on my Pleasure Island. :-) Finally turned in last week and it was no Twilight Zone episode. I was not transported back in time. I couldn’t even find “Pleasure Island Road”.

Turn here for Pleasure Island where 6x9=42

Turn here for Pleasure Island where 6×9=42

But this Sunday morning I can find out. The Friends of Pleasure Island will have a walking tour of the Island no more. Take that exit 42 (bring your towel of course), and pull into the Edgewater Office Park and park in the first lot on the left. 10AM. Rubber Duck will be on a leash.

evidence

Searching for Pleasure Island I could only find this. Is it the anchor to The Sinking of the Hesperus? Or the Moby Dick Ride? Is this Monkey Island? Is this where the Three Stooges did their act? It was the wrong day. 6×9 equaled 54. But on Sunday, 6×9 will equal 42.

Rubber Duck Public Service Announcement #8

Rubber Duck was ranting this morning. Went fishing off the rocks and all we caught was a dozen helium balloons with “Happy Birthday” on them. I tried to cast out to snag them before they headed off to Lisbon, Portugal, nailed them but they slipped off the hook. A Kayak fisherman paddled over and I hooked him and he then paddled out and hooked the balloons.

Rubber Duck could not wait to slay the balloons.

Rubber Duck could not wait to slay the balloons.

Even with no opposable thumbs Rubber Duck slew the balloons, sucked out the helium and pretended she was Donald Duck.

Even with no opposable thumbs Rubber Duck slew the balloons, sucked out the helium and pretended she was Donald Duck.

These balloons suck. It is not like they are going to float out there and kill a hundred fish. But eventually they break down in the water into shiny bits and fish eat them. Turtles eat them. Birds eat them. So yes, you could be killing quite a few aquatic animals. Could someone tell Supermarkets in Gloucester they shouldn’t sell them? Worcester? Fine, chances are slim they make it to the coast. But not in a coastal community.

Give it up Rubber Duck.

Keep your day job Rubber Duck.

ps. WAZZAT #38, although many good guesses, remains unsolved.

pps. OMG I just realized it is Donna’s Birthday today!! Happy Birthday Donna. I will bring over the slain birthday balloons to celebrate. Since you are the queen of the 1 Hour At A Time Gang you will appreciate that they are no longer fouling our ocean and we can unceremoniously stuff them in a Gloucester DPW Yellow Bag!

Wazzat? (#38)

There is a perfectly good explanation. First to comment the full reason gets a rare original pink Good Morning Gloucester bumper sticker signed by RD.

[edit] Adding Hint #1: This activity involved Rockport Police Radar. (It could have been any town but right now much easier in Rockport.)

WHY?

WHY?

Blackburn Challenge July 16, 2016 is 38 Days away

blackburnchallenge

OK, so the Blackburn Challenge has a new twist this year. After you register you get an electronic bib number mailed to you connected to RaceJoy. (Click for info) This software will track everyone in the race. Not sure exactly what “spectators” will see but likely you will be able to follow someone in real time around the course. You could follow Rubber Duck or even better, follow someone who is speedy.

We have 38 days to figure it out. Rubber Duck will post a test run on Facebook or here. Anyone out there who has experience with RaceJoy please speak up in comments. It would be cool to see all the contestants race around Cape Ann but that is a lot of dots. Ask your friends who race in triathlons. I bet they have used it.

Sunny in Boston today.

Sox take over first place in AL East. Buck Showalter's team gives it up in the 13th inning and will never see first place again. Meanwhile the Yankees climb out of the basement with six straight wins to get to .500 but they are still the Yankees and of course they still suck.

Sox take over first place in AL East. Buck Showalter’s team gives it up in the 13th inning and will never see first place again. Meanwhile the Yankees climb out of the basement with six straight wins to get to .500 but they are still the Yankees and of course they still suck.

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So toasty in Boston today that the tourists are vaporizing.

Rubber Duck says Toot Toot! Essex River Race results

Another fun Essex River Race was pulled off by the Cape Ann Rowing Club. This is a voluntary group that does an amazing job each year with the 6 mile Essex Race to begin the summer and the Blackburn Challenge all the way around Cape Ann in July.

In both races there is one certainty, if you are not super fast you pay for it. The wind always comes up quickly and is in your face at the finish while the winners are already eating the Woodman’s Clam Chowder.

Preliminary race results here.  A couple of points. Travis Hayes on a paddleboard 1:04:10.  Jimmy Tarantino and Joe Cominelli, Banks Dory Double 1:08:48.  That’s pretty close to six miles an hour either standing up or rowing a hefty dory. That’s ridiculous.

But on to the Sea Kayaks. John Karoff who I think broke 60 minutes last year wins again. Looks and talks like a totally normal person, a tad skinny but he wins this every year. Before the race Rubber Duck checked the percent body fat of all sea kayak contestants both male and female. None measured higher than 7%. This is when rubber duck looks at who is paddling her boat and does a major SMH and FFS. But check out these numbers. These are preliminary but I’m taking them to the bank and signing up for the Blackburn tonight.

All of these contestants but one has competed in at least two Iron Man triathlons. Can you pick the odd duck?

All of these contestants but one has competed in at least two Iron Man triathlons. Can you pick the odd duck?

The haul today at Motif #1 Day in Rockport

Cake Ann and Seaview

Got the dessert at Cake Ann and some Salsa from Seaview. Stopped by Seaview to pick up some eggs.

bareskin

Bearskin was hoppin’

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Rubber Duck also did not write down the name of this shop. Bearskin Neck. Soapy bare skin.

Didn't catch the name of the store. You have to come to Bearskin Neck to see the pig. "Some Pig"

Didn’t catch the name of the store. You have to come to Bearskin Neck to see the pig. “Some Pig”

Practice Lap around Straitsmouth Island 48 Hours before Essex River Race

143 matches to “Captain_Yes” meaning 143 boats registered so less than forty slots left. Still time to register. Essex River Race this Saturday morning.

Adam Bolonsky showed me this swimming spot. Shot this with some added software on the iPhone to take an 8 second exposure to smooth out the water. Not bad for hand held.

Adam Bolonsky showed me this swimming spot. Shot this with some added software on the iPhone to take an 8 second exposure to smooth out the water. Not bad for hand held.

Rubber Duck signed up for Essex River Race this Saturday!

With a little help Rubber Duck fit her fat ass into her kayak this morning. Although she sounded like a champagne cork when attempting a water exit, she fit.

Rubber Duck fit easily into her kayak with just a little help.

Rubber Duck fit easily into her kayak with just a little help.

Registration is open until Thursday night at 7 PM but you better register right this minute because the cutoff of 180 boats in the race is rapidly approaching. Click here to go to the Cape Ann Rowing Club Registration page to sign up and get info.

Never entered a race before? It’s only three miles up and three miles back and then hotdogs, beer, and clam chowder await you back at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. If you don’t want to race just go to the causeway in front of Woodman’s and watch the work boats and dories start at 10 AM this Saturday and make sure you stay until noon to see Rubber Duck make it back.

As always a hat tip to all the volunteers of the Cape Ann Rowing Club who make this event a memorable start to the summer.

Sliders at Willow Rest OMG OMG

These are Sliders in name only. Brioche toasted nicely , some sweet onion and a cheese that makes the whole thing so gooey. Try it with the potato onion soup.

These are Sliders in name only. Brioche toasted nicely , some sweet onion and a cheese that makes the whole thing so gooey. Try it with the potato onion soup.

There is a three day science meeting I go to in a secret location on Cape Ann. I go to all three days because Willow Rest caters it. Rubber Duck gains three pounds.

Willow Rest

Some Boat Names

OK, UB88, looks like a Navy Landing Craft named after Patrick T Kennedy

OK, UB88, looks like a Navy Landing Craft named after Patrick T Kennedy. Was he 87 last year? But now?

All About the Buoy. I get it.

All About the Buoy. I get it.

This one was missing from the lineup last year. It consistently cracks me up every time I see it. Evvy and I do, "Bob Loblaw's Law blog!" over and over as we head down the Annisquam.

This one was missing from the lineup last year. It consistently cracks me up every time I see it. Evvy and I do, “Bob Loblaw’s Law blog!” over and over as we head down the Annisquam.

Even the Rubber Duck has had it with this weekend weather.

She’s taking Thursday and Friday off until this bullshit drizzle stops on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunrise this morning 5/12/2016, 5:25:34 AM. Nice sunrise. It must be Thursday.

Sunrise this morning 5/12/2016, 5:25:34 AM. Nice sunrise. It must be Thursday.

Because guess what's going to happen this weekend just like last weekend and the weekend before that?

Because guess what’s going to happen this weekend just like last weekend and the weekend before that?

No! Towards the light Mr Asparagus, towards the light!

asparagus

If you follow me on Facebook I posted first light of Mr Asparagus on April 28. That is a full week before I’ve seen one in my garden. Today I go to measure my asparagus (it’s a guy thing), and he seems to be retreating back into the earth. Come back! It’s a sunny day! In a week all your pals are going to be popping out of the ground and into the pan.

In a case of the early bird not getting the worm that damaged asparagus (behind little stiffy) was likely the first up but I used an iron rake to clear the leaves a week ago and must have whacked it right in the cojones (that would be the apical meristem.)

Holy cow! Green flash! Then I took the photo.

Sunday, 5:45AM Don’t see that every day. First time for me. I really need a second hand and Siri needs to tell me exactly when the sun rises. 5:46 does not cut it. Shot this between 5:45 AM and 5:46 AM. It has a greenish tint but it was really green about a third of a second before. Kool-Aid Lime green. Stella was not impressed.

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Great Eastern heading north about 12 miles east had a good view.

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Joey: “Who in their right mind uses Red Mulch?”

This has been a burning GMG question for years now. Joey believes that anyone who uses red mulch is a sociopath, only sane people use black mulch. This is a photo of red and black mulch. Equal piles. I will be graphing the usage of the mulch over the next two weeks.

 

The problem is, this is right next to Fenway Park so we might find that only gardening sociopaths live in the Fenway area.

The manager of the Shaws on Boylston Street in Boston will be posting updates of usage.

The manager of the Shaws on Boylston Street in Boston will be posting updates of usage.

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