Category Archives: Working Boats
Busy days at Captain Joe and Sons, nevertheless Joey and Toby are cooking up a storm at lunchtime. Today Joey made the most deliciously tender roasted split chicken halves with grilled onions and sweet buttered corn and it was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!
The lobstermen’s greatest concern is safety; safety for their crew, the observer-spy, and for themselves, along with the liability issues and lawsuits that will fall squarely on their shoulders when the accidental injury or drowning invariably occurs. The financial burden will be huge because of the adjusted insurance rates and the fact that the boats will now be forced to carry expensive safety equipment; combined costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. The observer-spies carry sleeping bags, pillows, personal coolers, measuring boards, baskets, and buckets. When asked about her experience on a lobster boat, NOAA representative Sara Weeks admitted that she had never been on a lobster boat. On a small boat, where there is barely enough room for a second crew member, the panelists did not seem to comprehend the dangerous situation they are forcing upon the lobstermen.
The president of the Massachusetts Lobsterman’s Association, Arthur Sawyer, pointed out that although over fifteen years of data has been collected by the state of Massachusetts, this information was not sought by NOAA. The company contracted by NOAA to carry out the gestapo-like spy program is called MRAG Americas. Andrew Rosenberg owns MRAG. He was also the former Deputy Director of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (or the fox evaluating the chicken coop, see below).
Reportedly, MRAG is paid approximately $800.00 – $900.00 for every spy. The spy is paid roughly $125.00 to $150.00. MRAG pockets the rest (this program is huge and there are thousands upon thousands of these observer-spies). Now that there are few to no ground fishing boats on which to position the spies, MRAG and NOAA have suddenly targeted the Massachusetts lobstermen. Afterall, they have to keep the gravy train collecting our tax payer dollars to spy on our fellow citizens.
“Sea days” are the number of days the lobstermen will be forced to allow an observer-spy on their boat. This information, although available to the NOAA representatives, was conveniently and purposefully withheld from the lobstermen at the time of the meeting.
We love living up the hill from the Gloucester Marine Railways–never a dull moment!
History of the Gloucester Marine Railways from the Railways website:
“In 1855, Dodd & Tarr Fisheries was started on the tip of Rocky Neck in Gloucester Harbor. As the fisheries business grew to encompass a wharf, a grocery store, warehouses and 15 schooners, the need arose for a way to repair and maintain the fishing vessels. In 1859, the company constructed the first of two marine railways on the northern-most tip of their property on Rocky Neck. From then until about 1970, the Railways used a steam engine to haul up the vessels. One note of interest is that the gears used in the steam engine were produced at the same factory that built the engine for the Civil War battleship, the Monitor.
In 1874, the Tarr bothers of Gloucester took over the firm of Dodd & Tarr and by 1879 the company was listed as “Rocky Neck Marine Railways Association”. The name “Dodd & Tarr & Co.” was reserved for the fishing business only. By 1892, the railways was maintaining 20 first class vessels. In 1907 Capt. Frederick Albert Cook reportedly brought his schooner to the Railways to be sheathed for ice and outfitted for an Arctic expedition. In the 1920s and 30s, schooners participating in the International Fishermen’s Races were hauled out at the Railways for painting and last minute repairs. In the late 1980s the Mayflower II came for repair. Recently the privately owned 128 foot Nantucket Lightship was hauled up in dry dock as she received fresh paint and maintenance.
Since 1859 the Rocky Neck Marine Railways, now known as the Gloucester Marine Railways Corp., has maintained and repaired thousands of fishing, commercial and pleasure boats from the wooden schooners of the last century to the present day steel and fiberglass vessels. A modern Travelift has recently augmented the original railways as GMRC keeps moving ahead, from one century to the next, distinguished as the oldest continuously operating marine railways in the country and a well respected member of the marine industry in the Northeast.”
About the Schooner Roseway from the World Ocean School website:
“In the fall of 1920 a Halifax, Nova Scotia, newspaper challenged the fisherman of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to a race between the Halifax fishing schooners and the Gloucester fleet. Therefore many schooners, such as Roseway, built at this time were not strictly designed for fishing but in order to protect American honor in the annual races.
Roseway, 137′ in sparred length, was designed as a fishing yacht by John James and built in 1925 in his family’s shipyard in Essex, Massachusetts. Father and son worked side by side onRoseway, carrying on a long New England history of wooden shipbuilding. She was commissioned by Harold Hathaway of Taunton, Massachusetts, and was named after an acquaintance of Hathaway’s “who always got her way.” Despite her limited fishing history,Roseway set a record of 74 swordfish caught in one day in 1934.
Roseway was built and maintained to an exceedingly high standard, using a special stand of white oak from Hathaway’s property in Taunton. She had varnished rails and stanchions and had a house built for her every winter. She was so well maintained that the coal for the stove was washed before being stored in the bunker. This kind of treatment, which contributed to her longevity, was unheard of in the commercial fishing fleet.
On December 7, 1941, just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Boston Globe reported the purchase of Roseway by the Boston Pilots Association. In the article, the Pilots describedRoseway as “sturdily constructed of oak, the craft is fully capable of withstanding the battering of heavy seas and onslaughts of terrific gales that pilot boats maintaining the lonely vigil off Boston Harbor are called upon to meet.” Clarence Doane, agent for the Boston Pilots, stated that Roseway “approaches as close as possible to specifications of the ideal pilot boat as any vessel. . . .”
YouTube Gloucester Harbor Video Zen from 2009
Executive Officer Brandon McCampbell reports that the crew of the Key Largo is the same as the crew that operated the Grand Isle. Approximately 32 days ago, they picked up the Key Largo in San Juan, then onto Miami, then to Charleston, before arriving in Gloucester.
Interestingly, I asked Executive Officer McCampbell what the symbols mean that are painted above the Key Largo sign, each with a red X. The seven snowflakes represent seven cocaine seizures and the plant, marijuana seizures.
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Overcast skies and chilly temperatures. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Deep sigh, and waiting for spring.
The Cedonia Crosby, from Tugboat Information:
Built in 1979, by Eymard and Sons Shipyard of Harvey, Louisiana (hull #12) as the Nora Adams for the Adams Marine Towing Company of Morgan City, Louisiana.
In 2008, the tug was acquired by Crosby Marine Transportation of Golden Meadow, Louisiana. Where she was renamed as the Cedonia Crosby.
Powered by two GM 12V-71 diesel engines. With a 6:1 reduction, for a rated 1,000 horsepower.
Her electrical service is provided by two 30kW generators. The tug’s capacities are 10,000 gallons of fuel oil, and 2,000 gallons of potable water.
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Yesterday afternoon as the sun was setting I stopped down the Jodrey State Fish Pier to see if there was any ice left in the harbor. There was some, but it seemed mostly along the edges. Snapping photos of the Captain Joe fishing boat, I met the captain of the Captain Joe and, no surprise, his name is Captain Joe! He was super personable to talk with and asked whether I was speaking American English or was from Great Britain. I asked him from where was his accent and he said a combination of Sicilian and Italian. One of the crew joked and demanded a $100.00 per shot as he assumed I was working for an international magazine. Funny! I told them all about Good Morning Gloucester. If you read this Captain Joe, thanks for the photos of your beautiful boat in the setting sun!
Snapshots from an August morning, taken just after sunrise while watering the HarborWalk gardens. I am so swamped with work during the warmer months that I never got around to posting these.
Do you have a favorite Gloucester lobster boat? Two that come to mind immediately are the Stanley Thomas, painted in her classy red, white, and aqua blue, and the Degelyse, with her colorful orange flags. What’s yours?
Hurry Summer ~ We Miss You!
Yesterday morning’s exquisite sunrise from Pirate’s Lane.
F/V Freemantle Doctor Heading Out
The sun’s light at daybreak coming up over the harbor after the snowstorm lent a golden glow to all. I find our neighborhood–the people, the architecture, the boats, the sweet little robins–to be a never ending source of inspiration. See panoramic view of Smith’s Cove sunrise, posted yesterday.
@uscg Cutter Grand Isle Decommissioned Yesterday After Many Years Of Service In #GloucesterMA 2/26/15 5:45AM
Check it out here on their Facebook Page:
“Our beloved Coast Guard Cutter #GrandIsle will be decommissioned tomorrow.
July – September 1996: GI received a CG Unit Commendation for participating in the response to the Trans World Airlines Flight 800 Crash. The plane was on its way to Paris from New York and experienced an explosion 16NM off the coast of Moriches Harbor.”
For our many many posts about Gloucester’s Cutter- https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/?s=GRAND+ISLE
The Wicked Tuna’s “Hard Merchandise”
I caught the Hard Merchandise from the TV Show Wicked Tuna unloading a few Bluefin Tuna at the State fish Pier this Summer. One of the Tv crew members said the shows they’re filming will air in February 2015. So you may get lucky and watch them film on the Gloucester waterfront. The Hard Merchandise has been fishing for years here in Gloucester way before the TV show. They dock at the wharf behind the Madfish Galleries on Rocky Neck. I’m sure all their Fans will enjoy these photo’s. Video’s coming soon.
Trenel Cove is where a ferry went between Gloucester Island and the mainland. Ferry Street, off of Washington Street, goes there. Today, the Route 128 A. Piatt Andrew Bridge crosses the Annisquam from the hill just behind Trenel Cove. Clammers still pull up their skiffs onto the beach at the head of the cove. This Trenel Cove photo is going to hang in…..Trenel Cove!
Message from City Council President Paul McGeary:
“The City Council and the city’s Fisheries Commission are holding a joint meeting on the current state and future of the fishing industry. The meeting will be held on Friday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m. in the Kyrouz Auditorium at City Hall.
Mark Ring, the chair of the Fisheries Commission, and I decided to hold the meeting to provide an opportunity for city, state and federal officials to meet with representatives of the fishing industry–both those who work on the sea and those who work ashore–and the public to assess the current state of the industry and to help identify what steps can be taken to preserve and help prosper this industry that is so important to Gloucester.
The forum will have two focuses:
- Short-term needs of the industry: How do we preserve the infrastructure and help those hurt by recent cutbacks in allowable catch survive the next few years, which are likely to be difficult ones for the industry?
- Long-term future of the industry: What are the options for our fleet and those businesses that depend on it in the long term?
Representatives of government, industry and advocates will be present to share their ideas. It’s a chance for all of us who have busy lives and don’t always have the time to closely follow the events that impact our fishermen and shoreside businesses to hear firsthand from those most affected by the current situation. As well, it’s a forum for people with ideas on how to protect and help grow the fishing industry to air them.
The agenda for the joint meeting can be found here:
I hope you will avail yourselves of this opportunity to hear what is happening in this industry that is so much a part of who we are.”
Paul McGeary Photo
A lobsterman’s work is never done ~
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