Joe Virgilio Makes Saint Joseph Rolls is a wonderful addition to Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project. So many thanks to Joe for taking time from his busy work day to allow filming! Highlights include Joe sharing stories about the early days working alongside his grandfather and cousins, when the thousands of rolls needed for Saint Joseph’s Day were made by hand.
Tag Archives: Al Bezanson
Al Bezanson submits-
Glimpses of The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in Portsmouth, VA – Part 2
Mystic Seaport’s BRILLIANT, first in the medium class this year in Gloucester, was among the few that finished early. Most of the fleet was well astern dealing with light air, then heavier headwinds.
WOODWIND runs public sails out of Annapolis and is a consistent winner in this race. She is of lightweight construction, built by John Scarano in Albany in 1993. Every year, after the pig roast, there is a famous rum party aboard for all the crews and volunteers.
APELLA, 2nd in class in Gloucester this year, with PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II. She is a Shearwater 45, designed by Dudley Dix and built in South Africa.
This was the 25th GCBSR and LADY MARYLAND has sailed in most all. She is a pungy, built in 1985 by Living Classrooms in Baltimore and used for hands-on multidisciplinary education for students of all ages.
A J MEERWALD of Bivalve, NJ is the state’s official tall ship. Built in 1928 for oyster dredging, she is fully engaged in educational programs with the Bayshore Discovery Project.
FAREWELL, built in a backyard in Annapolis and launched in 1972, is a scaled down Grand Banks schooner design by Peter Van Dyne. FAREWELL and GREEN DRAGON were rivals in Class C in six of these races between 1997 and 2009.
Brett Ramsey took time out for a high speed drive to VA over the weekend to talk to boat owners and sample the legendary hospitality that is the feature of the GCBSR.
On the inside, TOM BOMBADIL, Pasadena, MD with ISTAR, the 37 ft schooner launched this summer in Provincetown by Stormy Mayo. ISTAR has been a project for nearly forty years, and would have been at the Gloucester race this year had she not been held back by headwinds as she returned from Maine.
Dr. Al Roper, President of the GCBSR Executive Committee, was up all night managing docking and seeing to it that every schooner got a full measure of southern hospitality.
More to come, including the race results in Part 3 of this series.
The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race finished last weekend in Portsmouth, VA and here is a glimpse of goings on there. Brett Ramsey and Al Bezanson from the Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee attend on a regular basis.
Night crew tended to the schooner bait, aka slow roasted pork. No need to hurry, for the wind was contrary and most of the boats were a long time getting there.
In due time it was roasted to perfection
Transportation to Norfolk was compromised for a worthy cause
The Dockmaster’s Command Center was set up while the Schooner Liaison Crews kept the coffee flowing. It was going to be a very long wait for the arrival of most of the boats.
The race this year was hosted by four boat/yacht clubs, and the Portsmouth Boat Club stood by the docking area.
Early arrivals were BRILLIANT, LIGHT REIGN AND WOODWIND. They are docked at the North Landing, adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel and Portsmouth Visitor Center.
More to come, including the race results, in Part 2 of this report.
Local schooner fans might enjoy tracking the boats in the 127 mile Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race starting today at 1330 off Annapolis. Entries in this year’s race include these schooners who have raced in Gloucester: Adventurer 65, Apella, Brilliant, Hindu, Liberty Clipper, Light Reign, Lynx, and Pride of Baltimore II. Istar, stormy Mayo’s new schooner from Provincerown is also racing. The tracking link is http://www.baltimoremarinecenters.com/About-BMC/Schooner-Race-Tracking.aspx
Here’s the forecast at the start. Not a friendly one for schooners.
The actual wind near the start is displayed here
There is a half day oyster and pig roast at the finish in Portsmouth, VA. When you’ve spent up to forty hours rockin’ and rollin’ your way down the bay dodging shipping traffic it’s the light at the end of the tunnel.
Schooner Green Dragon placed first in the Small Schooner Class in the 2014 Schooner Races, winning the Betty Ramsay Plate. Al Bezanson, who’s the owner of Green Dragon and is on the Schooner Race committee, sits in the cockpit of his schooner. Photo by Kathy Chapman.
This past spring while working on Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph film project, I filmed Joe Virgilio making Virgilio’s Saint Joseph rolls and wrote a post for GMG about Virgilios. At that time, Al Bezanson, owner of the Green Dragon Schooner, shared that during Schooner Festival, Joe Virgilio welcomes the schooners with warm loaves of freshly baked bread as they sail into Gloucester Harbor.
Al provides more details:
Virgilio’s started donating bread to the visiting schooners two years ago, and it now threatens to become a popular new tradition. The first year Brett and Max Ramsey, in Brett’s high speed inflatable, met up with schooners as they entered the harbor and presented them with a loaf or two along with a pineapple. In some cases the bread was still warm from the oven. When that happened with Adventurer, out came the butter, and the bread was enjoyed in a flash. Last year Max and Dom Nesta made the deliveries, and more of the Sea Scouts may be handling it this year.”
In the photos Al provided, Green Dragon had just received a delivery in the outer harbor as she entered from Manchester.
I was so struck by the Virgilio’s generous, welcoming gesture and thought what better time to pass along Al’s story than the night before the Schooners begin to arrive. As Al points out, “When you get around schooner people you may hear them talking about the need to have extra butter aboard in Gloucester. This is a very big deal in fending off other ports that are vying for schooners that same weekend. Thanks Joe and the high speed Ramsey/Nesta delivery guys!”
There’s a little event you may have heard about that’s going down this weekend-
THE THIRTIETH ANNUAL GLOUCESTER SCHOONER FESTIVAL!!!!!!
Check Out The Gloucester Schooner Festival Web Page For All The Info About The Schooner Race, The LobsterFest and The Parade Of Sails!!!!
Al Bezanson submits-
There are three size classes in the Gloucester Schooner Race and here are some entries this year in the Small (under 45 ft class). Sub-category “TOOGAG” meaning Traditional Out Of Gloucester And Green.
Bald Eagle, launched 1955, designed by Sam Crocker, built by Bud McIntosh in Dover, NH, owned by Judy Nast & Paul Cole
Green Dragon, started 1939, launched 1951, designed by Scotty Gannett, built by Chester Spear in Scituate, MA, owned by Al Bezanson
Sugarbabe, launched 1975, designed by Tom Colvin, built by Alan Vaites in Mattapoisett, MA, owned by Ed Boynton
(All photos by Al Bezanson)
For The Who When What Where Check Out The Schooner Festival Website Here
Al Bezanson submits-
Effie, the pup at the helm of Ernestina, (ex Effie M Morrissey) will be greeting visitors at the SEMA table from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM Saturday at Maritime Gloucester. This Effie is a Newfoundland, no longer a pup, and there’s no missing her. The Schooner Ernestina Morrissey Association (SEMA) has important news to share on a restoration schedule and subsequent plans to put her back to work. Now owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and operated by the Schooner Ernestina Commission, she was launched as Effie M Morrissey in Essex 120 years ago to fish out of Smith Cove for the J F Wonson Fish Company. We are very interested in talking to anyone with information on her early years working out of Gloucester.
We hope to see you at MG on Saturday!
(Mary Ann McQuillan photo, 2003)
In checking the Schooner Festival schedule for friends who are visiting during that time, I realized the event will be here very soon. Sponsored by Maritime Gloucester, tickets aboard Gloucester’s gorgeous hometown schooners for the Parade of Sails can be purchased by clicking these links: Schooner Thomas E. Lannon and Schooners Ardelle and Roseway. Click here for special viewing opportunities at the Beauport Sleeper McCann Museum.
Al Bezanson provided the names of the schooners, in order of appearance:
Thomas E Lannon
Lewis H Story
Hi Joey ___
REDBIRD’s long migration from San Francisco via Portsmouth, VA is now complete. She is now a year-round resident of Cape Ann. This beautiful schooner had been kept in the builder’s family until Daisy Nell and Captain Stan brought her to town for the first time last Saturday.
Stubby sez ___ “Some folks may welcome the vernal equinox, but these longer days are interfering with my sleep.”
submitted by Al Bezanson
Richard J. King is senior lecturer in literature of the sea with the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport. In 2004 he published an article in the Log of Mystic Seaport (Vol 55), “The Most Valuable Bird in the World.” (Domestic birds excluded.) I was quite astounded when I read it at the time, and have just now enjoyed his new book, published by the University of New Hampshire Press, “The Devil’s Cormorant.”
With all due respect to the beautiful GMG icon, one has to admit its eating habits don’t set a great example for a blog that so often features fine food. But the cormorant ___ ahh ___ only the freshest fish will do.
Overview from the publisher of The Devil’s Cormorant
Behold the cormorant: silent, still, cruciform, and brooding; flashing, soaring, quick as a snake. Evolution has crafted the only creature on Earth that can migrate the length of a continent, dive and hunt deep underwater, perch comfortably on a branch or a wire, walk on land, climb up cliff faces, feed on thousands of different species, and live beside both fresh and salt water in a vast global range of temperatures and altitudes, often in close proximity to man. Long a symbol of gluttony, greed, bad luck, and evil, the cormorant has led a troubled existence in human history, myth, and literature. The birds have been prized as a source of mineral wealth in Peru, hunted to extinction in the Arctic, trained by the Japanese to catch fish, demonized by Milton in Paradise Lost, and reviled, despised, and exterminated by sport and commercial fishermen from Israel to Indianapolis, Toronto to Tierra del Fuego. In The Devil’s Cormorant, Richard King takes us back in time and around the world to show us the history, nature, ecology, and economy of the world’s most misunderstood waterfowl.
Al Bezanson reports-
Here are the numbers folks. Tillicum 1 has been training in Nova Scotia this summer and here are the results.
The Fish on Fridays series is a collaboration between Gloucester photographers Kathy Chapman and Marty Luster. Look for various aspects of Gloucester’s centuries-old fishing industry highlighted here on Fridays.
This week we visit with Al Bezanson who recalls his days working at Gorton’s Seafoods in Gloucester. As an engineer he worked on ways to improve their products, specifically the fish cakes. Al moors his schooner Green Dragon in Smith Cove and is enjoying his summer stay at Rocky Neck’s Accommodations, where we shot this video.
(Sorry about the poor sound quality in parts of this video. Still scaling the learning curve.)
Photos © Kathy Chapman 2013
Flake yard photos courtesy Bodin Historic Photos.
© Fredrik D. Bodin 2013
You Do Realize YOU Can Participate In The Schooner Race Right? Get Your Ticket To Race On A Schooner
The Gloucester Schooner Festival is almost upon us. There is still time to book a ticket to ride on a schooner in the race September 1st. The course is a beam reach, three times around, affording close-up views of the participants coming and going. A splendid way to spend a day you will long remember. Twenty-three schooners have registered.
This is ROSEWAY in the 2006 race. She was built in Essex in 1925, and is doing important work today with young people at sea. Space on ROSEWAY and other schooners listed here can be arranged through Maritime Gloucester_______
Here we Go- Al Bezanson and I Am Going To Beat You Into Submission Until You Signn Up And Take Part Of The 2013 Gloucester Schooner Festival!
Sunday, September 1st is the date for the 29th Annual Gloucester Schooner Race. There is plenty of space remaining for passengers in the race. Maritime Gloucester will link you to a schooner or arrange for a ticket.
This photo of AMERICAN EAGLE leading ALABAMA in the 2011 race came from Amy Beaudet on GREEN DRAGON. The race course is set for beam reaching – optimum sailing for schooners. About 20 schooners have signed up and as the race progresses you can expect to be in traffic the entire time with photo opportunities like this.
The day after Kim Smith’s movie, just a couple blocks from the cinema, in the searing noonday sun, a squad of these were scurrying toward the east along the Rogers Street sidewalk behind Cape Ann Savings. They were about two inches long. The questions for your readers are, who were they, where might they have come from, where were they going, and why?
This was my first shot with this new lens. There is a Sony E-Mount and a Micro Four Thirds version, $239.
Another random photo from the Maine Boat Builders Show. This caught my eye because I have battled a few corroded frozen seacocks in inaccessible places. When the frozen seacock wins you may be floating dangerously.
The Graylock Seacock System booth was manned by two young brothers from the Cranberry Isles. I spent some time with them and this is what Seth Gray told me, “The idea for the project came from my father, Ed Gray. He had the idea for years but just didn’t know how to put it into action. For my senior design class at Wentworth (in 2011) I chose to take his idea and make it practical. Out of that senior project came our first design, which has evolved since then into the display at the show. Years and years of working on the water and working on systems aboard boats led us to the conclusion that our system needed to be both rugged and simple.”
Check out their website and the installation in the Cranberry Isles Water Taxi.
Went to Norfolk on the weekend and I was forbidden by family to hang out on the waterfront. So…. I got these shots at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. The dragonfly was in the wild but the butterfly was a captive in the Butterfly House. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.
Thanks for sharing Al!!