Monday, September 28, 2015

Lobstering With The Grandson,,Catchin' Bugs

It was a beautiful afternoon to get out on the bay with my grandson Dustin and my nephew Bryan, along with his wife Rebecca and daughter Hailey.  It was Dustin's first experience with the intricate art of catching lobsters. . Bryan, who learned the art of catching those spiny, delicacies from his grandfather, DJ,  met us with, in fact, his grand dads old boat, at the Belfast Public Landing. 

Well actually it is a new "old" boat as  Bryan has immensely improved it from the old DJ days. Anyways,  soon we were off The Battery to the first buoy, floating upright as if at attention. Much easier to "latch" onto nowadays as compared to old floating warp,  gaff days..

Quickly Bryan had the pot warp engaged in the knee activated hauler and even more quickly the trap was revealed from the shallow waters and was on the working shelf to the immense interest of Dustin and Hailey.
And just like that we had our first lobster.... except..
it was a notched female laden with eggs. And after the quick inspection by our curious crew, she was over the side, the lobster, not Hailey.

Now we were on to the next set of traps, with the process repeating itself.. and with Hailey and Dustin anticipating the haul..

This time a different eggs..but to my experienced eye, honed to a sharpness from those long ago days of lobstering with my old man,  this particular bug looked a bit undersized to me. However with an expert check on the guage, and after a mild rebuke directed toward me from Bryan..

 the next thing I saw was the claw bands slipping over the crusher and pincer. Another upgrade from the days of the sharpened wooden, flat sided pegs that we used to insert behind the moving portion of the claws in order to immobilize them. 
(And by the way..check out the lovely bucket of bait that was supplied to Bryan by a professional fisherman, Brad. Anyways, I digress..)

And quick as Jack flew over the candlestick, our lobster landed in the bottom of the bucket..our first keeper..or should I say keepa'?

Of course Dustin, now having deemed himself a bonafide deckhand,  had to make sure all was in order and that the creature had settled in.

(Oh and Hailey? She said her Dad looked like a princess in his white fishing bibs.)

Dustin was curious about the trap and buoy set up and found a way to help by tossing the buoy back into the water after the trap was reset.  However he wasn't all that enthusiastic about the bait bucket, sorry Brad.  Who knows, maybe there is a future stern man in the making?

After hauling about a third of Bryan's traps we were as close to the marina as we were going to get, so we decided to head back so poor Bryan could get the rest of this traps tended before dark. 

On the way back we came across a pair of harbor seals basking in the late summer sun.

It was a fabulous couple of hours on the bay with my nephew Bryan and grandson Dustin and niece Becca and grand niece Hailey. 

And to top it all off? 

To be back in my Dad's old boat,  very fond memories of the old days washing over me.. with DJ and Uncle Oscar..haulin' traps..catchin' bugs...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Boating The Bagaduce River, Check..

We finally checked off another check off square from our Check Off List.  Castine has been one of our go to spots and when we visit we almost always tell one another that someday we really have-to explore The Bagaduce River.

So leaving Castine harbor in our wake..


and with our bow pointing up river..


we began our inland voyage...


 Of course as with any exploration of new waters one must be aware at all times of positioning and potential hazards. And so with the chart in the hands of a very competent navigator and our vigilant lookout stationed on the bow to alert us of impending danger


  we enjoyed smooth sailing on the broad waters with "The Narrows" looming ahead of us. 


 However our tranquil voyage would soon be interrupted with the eddys and and strong currents that quickly appeared. Strong enough to nearly submerge a green can. 


 But  just as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared, returning us to flat water, with our destination coming into view


 and looming ever larger, the Town of Penobscot,  nestled on the shoreline of Northern Bay.


 Even though we were some distance from the shore the river bottom was quickly closing the gap between us and it. And with the tide now receding we came about and worked our way down river, soon finding ourselves back in familiar waters of Castine harbor.


 A "pitstop" on Holbrook Island with it's convenient dockage was now in order...


 And so another check off from our Check Off List and another great day on the bay.