Category Archives: Working Boats
Gloucester Schooner Festival 2015 Parade of Sail with time lapse ~
A perfect day for the Parade of Sail, the 31st annual Gloucester Schooner Festival was the most highly attended festival to date, with 23 schooners participating and thousands of spectators perched all around the beaches and boulevards surrounding the harbor.
You’ll see parading through the inner harbor the smallest rowboats to the grand three-masted 169-foot Schooner Mystic, with the Roderick McAllister chugging through the scene. Look for Gloucester schooners the Adventure at 2:10, the Thomas E. Lannon hoisting her sails at about 3:10, and the Ardelle at 3:30. GMG FOB Al Bezanson’s Green Dragon is seen at 4:51. Out by the Dogbar breakwater the 610-foot Navy’s USS Fort McHenry was positioned and surrounded by sailboats and schooners, you really get a sense of the size of this ship.
The parade time lapse footage was shot in real time and is one hour and 23 minutes long, compressed into roughly six minutes at 1000 percent.
Schooner identification provided by Green Dragon Captain Al Bezanson. Thank you Al!
3:10 THOMAS E. LANNON
3:54 LETTIE G HOWARD (w/o sails)
3:54 HINDU (hoisting)
4:51 GREEN DRAGON (into and out of Harbor Cove)
5:31 LIBERTY CLIPPER (inbound)
5:44 AMERICAN EAGLE
6:22 GREEN DRAGON
6:35 ELLEN MARIE
6:39 LIBERTY CLIPPER
Our son-in-law Matt was doing some research for a project and came across the following super interesting article about the history of lobstering. Some of the information I knew and there is lots I didn’t. I hope you find it informative, too.
I was reminded of this video of a blue lobster, caught by Captain Dave Jewell of the Lady B., where Joey describes the difference between a male and female lobster.
From the Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Long ago, lobsters were so plentiful that Native Americans used them to fertilize their fields and to bait their hooks for fishing. In colonial times, lobsters were considered “poverty food.” They were harvested from tidal pools and served to children, to prisoners, and to indentured servants, who exchanged their passage to America for seven years of service to their sponsors. In Massachusetts, some of the servants finally rebelled. They had it put into their contracts that they would not be forced to eat lobster more than three times a week.
Until the early 1800s, lobstering was done by gathering them by hand along the shoreline. Lobstering as a trap fishery came into existence in Maine around 1850. Today Maine is the largest lobster-producing state in the nation. Though the number of lobstermen has increased dramatically, the amount of lobsters caught has remained relatively steady. In 1892, 2600 people in the Maine lobster fishery caught 7,983 metric tons; in 1989, 6300 Maine lobstermen landed 10,600 metric tons of lobster.
Smackmen first appeared in Maine in the 1820s because of increased demand for lobsters from the New York and Boston markets. Smackmen were named after their boats, a well smack. Smacks were small sailing vessels with a tank inside the boat that had holes drilled into it to allow sea water to circulate. The smacks were used to transport live lobsters over long distances.
The first lobster pound appeared on Vinalhaven in 1875 and others quickly followed. Lobster pounds work in the same manner as the smack boats. The lobsters are kept in tanks with water passing freely through them. The first lobster pound was in a deep tidal creek, but today they are more common on docks floating in the harbor. Using the pound, dealers can wait for the price of lobster to increase or allow a newly-molted lobster time to harden its shell.
By the 1930s, the traveling smackmen were being replaced by local, land-based buyers who served as the link between the harvesters and the public. –
Join us Sunday afternoon, August 23, at 3:00pm for an afternoon of acoustic folk under sail aboard the historic Schooner Adventure, with a pair of Cape Ann’s most acclaimed young musicians. Tickets are $60 General Admission, and $45 for members! For more information and to make your reservation, call our office at 978-281-8079. For more information about Marina and Bernardo, visit http://www.marinaevansmusic.com/, or her FB page: http://facebook.com/marinaevansmusic. See you there!
The perfectly formed mast hoops on the Schooner Adventure were custom made at Gloucester’s own C.B. Fisk organ building company. The Newbury company Pert Lowell makes mast hoops however the largest they have to offer is only a foot in diameter. See the video of Greg, Geoff, and Bill making the hoops, from shaping the strips of steamed ash around the form to finished fastening. Geoff Deckebach is the lead shipwright and restoration project coordinator for the Adventure. Greg Bover shares that Geoff made the ingenious circular jig. The ash for the hoops was donated by Jim Knott, who also donated the ship’s engine.
The next member sail is this coming Wednesday, August 12th at 3pm. Take advantage of this fabulous offer! For more information about becoming a member and sailing benefits visit the Adventure website here.
Video by Joanne Main.
Did you know that if you become a member of Schooner Adventure, your membership includes TWO FREE SAILS?
Hoisting the Sails
Sailing aboard the Adventure I felt transported to another time and place. Exhilarating, yet peaceful, the ship possesses a splendid grace and steadfastness. What a treasured gift to have had this experience. Thank you, thank you Captain Edick, Adam, and crew for a truly memorable afternoon. I can’t wait to adventure aboard the Adventure again!
With sunny and blue skies above, along with a moderately strong wind, Captain Edick remarked that it was perhaps the best sail of the summer.
Experiential learning is at the core of Adventure’s mission. Volunteer Adam Bolonsky teaches young sailors how to navigate Gloucester Harbor.
In June, the Adventure was issued her Passenger Vessel Certificate by the Coast Guard. The member sails have become so popular dates have been added every week in August and early September.
The Advenutre is poised to be a tremendously positive ambassador for Gloucester. Saturday she participated in the Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta in Marblehead. The vessel is a floating museum and classroom and there are plans to sail to nearby ports from where the Adventure used to sail as a fishing boat including Boston, New York, New Bedford, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Portland.
Support the Adventure by becoming a member or volunteer–opportunities abound. Take advantage of this extraordinarily beautiful gift to Gloucester that is the Adventure! Click here to learn more about becoming a member.
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#GloucesterMA Harbor At Dawn. 5:37AM Windmills, Lobster Boats, and Cripple Cove From @CaptJoeLobster
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.