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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Liveaboards Around The Waterfront

Barb, a reader of the blog, asked me a while ago If I could do a little piece about the liveaboards around the waterfront.

Most folks don't know that there are several people living on boats year-round here on Nantucket. Today I took a walk around the docks and took pictures of the boats I know people are living on this Winter. Here are the boats-

Bob and Roz Rank live on this sailboat. I've known Bob and Roz for a long long time. Nice people. Bob is a master carpenter and scalloper. He also goes commercial striped bass fishing during the Summer. His wife, Roz, is a nurse. They have a little dog named Fisher. Bob has been living on boats here for as long as I can remember. Roz and Bob were married this Summer on their boat.

Next is the Mud Onion-

Several people have lived on this interesting houseboat. I know Lowell Whitford and his wife lived on it years ago. Now a couple and their three or four dogs live on it. Not sure who they are. They are newcomers to the liveaboard world.

Next to the Mud Onion is this boat-

A guy named Mike lives on the boat. He runs his own carpentry business.

And just around the corner we have-

A guy also named Mike lives on this boat. We all call him Wiskey Mike. Mike has lived on boats for almost as long as Bob Rank has. Mike is a carpenter. Years ago he used to bay scallop out of a 19' wooden Bristol Boat. Mike is a very talented guy. He can fix and build anything. He used to live on an old Chris Craft boat. One day several years ago when I was visiting Mike in his boat, he was in the process of rebuilding the engines. It was funny to see the engines torn apart in his living room!

Here are four more liveaboard boats-

From left to right: Freddy Singleton lives in the little black Seaway boat. It's only 24 feet! Fred has lived on small boats in the past. His last boat was a small sailboat which he sold last Summer. Fred is a painter and a handyman. He is also a very meticulous person. He keeps his little boat in top notch shape. Nothing is out of order. Next to fred is a 36' Albin Trawler. I can't remember the guys name who owns it. He lives on the boat mainly during the Summer months but comes down a few weekends during the Winter and stays on it. Next is a 49' Grand Banks Trawler. Rick Porteus owns her. Her name is Shelia G. Rick is a teacher for the school system here. He lives on the boat during the week and goes to the Cape on the weekends where he owns a house. Next to Rick is another Grand Banks. This one is a 42 footer. Chuck and Melissa Colley own the boat. They live on it only during the Summer. Chuck teaches wood shop at the school and his wife, Melissa, is a bartender for the Atlantic Cafe.

I also lived on a boat several years ago for a very short time. I bought a 38' Marine Trader Trawler down in Florida and had a couple guys run it up here for me. I never caught on to the liveaboard lifestyle and ended up selling her. I thought I would enjoy living on a boat but I couldn't get used to it. It's not for everyone. Anyway, here's a picture of the boat I once owned-

That was just a small sampling of the liveaboard community here. There are several more people who live on boats during the Summer.

[EDIT] I left out one liveaboard. His name is Joe Dooley. He keeps his boat at the Town Pier during the Winter. Joe lives on this boat, year-round, with his five, yes, FIVE dogs. He is a bay scalloper and also crews with Matt Herr on his conch boat during the Summer. Thanks for the heads up on that, Blair.
Here's Joe's home-

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Riding Out The Storm

Only two boats were here during the storm today. The western rigged dragger, Humbak and the western rigged sea scalloper, Elizabeth & Jasmine. I have never seen the Elizabeth & Jasmine in here before. She looks like a southern boat which has been converted to fish up north. I'm starting to notice more and more of these boats having a second wheelhouse. Notice the wheelhouse in this picture that overlooks the work deck-

I'm almost positive that this second wheelhouse is where the captain, the mate or a deck hand runs the winches from. It must be nice to do all this in a climate controlled enclosure. Most other boats you run the winches out in the open elements on the main deck.

Here is a picture of her bow. Does anyone know what the W stands for?

Hardly any work was done on the projects going on around the waterfront due to the storm today. The Robert B. Our Company worked for a couple of hours in the morning but then took the rest of the day off from their Children's Beach boat ramp work. The AGM guys never showed up today at their White Elephant dock project. That is very rare for those guys. I've known them to work in any kind of weather. I guess the wind and rain was too much for everyone.

Most of the ice has melted in the harbor.

No bay scallopers went out today. Ice was blocking the entrance to the Boat Basin all day.

The Brant point Coast Guard moved it's fleet of rescue vessels into the Boat Basin from Brant Point.
They do that every time the wind is strong out of the ESE. Their dock at Brant Point is not very protected when the wind is out of that direction.

The F/V Ruthie B looks to be laid up at the Town Pier for the Winter. She hasn't made a trip in over a month now.

Today's High & Low Temps.
High 45.5
Low 20.5

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Seeking Safe Harbor

The above boat is the only one that came in here today. Her name is Humbak. She's been here several times before. I thought there would be a steady line of boats filing in today in advance of the upcoming storm. Perhaps they are still out fishing and will wait till the last minute to head in.

Good news on the Children's Beach boat ramp project. The cofferdam was pumped out today. Here is a series of pictures I took down there late today- (Click on any picture to enlarge)

There is an electric pump inside of a pipe which is running full time pumping the water that seeps up through the bottom of the dam. This project is moving along nicely now. We need some warmer weather so they can start pouring the concrete slabs for the ramp.

Today's High & Low Temps
High 30.4
Low 17.6

Monday, February 12, 2007

Idle Scallop Boats

Above is a picture I took today of the line of scallop boats at Straight Wharf. They have been sitting there idle and locked in the ice for a long time. The temperature made it well past 28 degrees today but none of the guys ventured out scalloping today. The harbor has a lot of ice in it now. Scalloping in the ice can be extremely dangerous. I have had a few very close calls fishing in the ice years ago. If you are fishing in the ice, you need to pay close attention to which way the tide is going and the direction of the wind. Sometimes when you find an open area of water to fish in, there are usually several large ice floes around you. When the tide shifts, these huge ice floes move around. If you're not paying attention, the ice floe will crawl up your dredge ropes and pull your boat down and sink it. I know a few of the guys who carry a sharp hatchet on their boat. If they are ever caught in an ice floe and are being dragged under, they will quickly chop all their dredge ropes off of their boat and motor away to safety. Dredge ropes float so you can go back later and recover the dredges. I learned my lesson fishing in the ice a long time ago and won't go out now until the harbor is completely clear of ice.

A tug came over today and started towing one of AGM Marine's barges that was laying at Straight Wharf back to the mainland. At 4:30 this afternoon, the tug and barge was located about a mile north of the fairway buoy. They were going very slow, barely making headway against the rough seas and strong wind.

The sunsets at the waterfront have been spectacular the past few days. Here's the sunset from today I took from Monomoy-

Looks like we are in for a little storm on Wednesday. The temperature is forecasted to be in the mid to high forties. That will help melt most of the ice in the harbor.

Today's High & Low Temps.
High 37.8
Low 23.9