Thursday, July 31, 2008

Two Days Off!!!



My land it has been sometime since my wife and the munchkins can honestly say that we've taken a break from the real world. Since my wife and I both teach it seems that we get up in the morning, go to school, get the kids, eat, tub, and get ready for bed. Then summer vacation hits and I hit the world of self-employment only to come home and see the kids, eat, tub, and get ready for bed only to hit the grindstone the very next morning...

So I was hauling my 4 day set for lobsters on Monday and decided I'd try my 3 night stuff on the premise that I'd haul only if they produced. Well they did and I cranked through the gear only to back myself into a corner just like I always do when I get to mopping the kitchen floor. Then it dawned on me, if I were to haul my Wednesday gear on Tuesday (another 3 night set if I did) then I could let the traps set until Friday and Saturday with a nice 4 night soak for all my traps. Then I could grab my wife and kids and head to the family camp for some rest and relaxation, plus some needed family time. I got home with this idea and my wife seemed elated at the fact...

On Tuesday I hit the gear in the worst fog I've ever endured but kept plugging along. To be honest, I could not see fifty feet ahead and the eye strain transcended into a pretty bad headache. Still there was a motivation and I would not falter on my strategy. Once finished, I hit the throttle and set sail for market...

Once my catch was sold, I found an excited family with a pile of provisions waiting for transport. The wife would take our youngest in the car and I was to pick up the oldest at vacation bible school at four. We would then meet at camp and begin our retreat. Before we got there it didn't rain, but rather poured for the better part of the trip. It didn't matter for I had checked the forecast and the weather would be in our favor...

After the twenty trips between the truck and the camp, we settled in for a lobster feast with my in-laws and readied ourselves for bed. Tomorrow would be filled with fishing, canoeing, swimming, and family time. Things were looking up...

Sleep didn't fare so well as I got a bed with my two year old who isn't exactly ready for a big girl bed just yet. She tossed, turned, and kicked me all night. And to top things off, some squirrels had made a nest somewhere in the eaves above our bed. So at about 4:45 a.m. the little baby squirrel started in with that never ending chirp that was broadcasting a hungary little one. I wasn't going to get back to bed so I got up with the sunrise, a cup of coffee, and a flat calm water that was crying for a bobber and worm. And that was what I did while the family slept...

What I didn't realize was that during the summer my family has a different schedule than I do, and I would find myself swimming, boating, laying on the dock, and in hot pursuit of the bass that had been illegally introduced into the premier brook trout lake several years ago. So before the family had even crawled out of their beds upstairs, I had essentially done everything that I had intended to do with them by myself with the fullest intention of repeating my steps again once the family morning started...

With breakfast, another cup of coffee, and an eager family, we went for a paddleboat ride to look for frogs. No frogs but two kids that were excited to wear there new life vests and a wife who just seemed to be glowing at the fact that work for once would not dictate my day. We then returned for a swim, some fishing, and lunch. My oldest scored another bass that hit the measure at 7 inches and it might as well have been 5 pounds. I have a little sportswoman on my hands and she gleamed at the catch, but didn't want to hurt the fish so we let it go before I could even convince her to take it back for a picture. Talk about catch and release, she wanted the little bugger to go back to it's mommy so it could grow up to be a big fish...



After a day of rest, relaxation, and a whole lot of family time, we again spent the evening with a barbeque with the in-laws who live only 15 minutes from the retreat. But before we got to the feast, my father-in law and I trolled out for some search and destroy for the bass. After about 15 or so cookie cutters between 5 and 8 inches, the cell phone chimed it's warning for supper and we buzzed back for the feast. The steak was fantastic and the rest found its way easily into my hole. Nothing is better than a well produced meal before the late hours and I suddenly found myself wondering why we don't do more time at camp...



The evening went well and we hit the sheets with exhaustion. All of us were exhausted and we knew that the next day would be for packing and departure since my wife had to take my grandmother to the hospital for tests...

The next morning found itself with sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit, and coffee. Shortly thereafter, the packing began and we began our 45 minute trip back. My oldest accompanied me in the truck and the little one traveled with her mother to meet up with my mother and grandmother for a trip to the big city, Bangor...

So in retrospect, a break that was surely needed and time with my family that was priceless... So priceless we will be heading back Saturday after I crank out that second set of lobster traps... God love it and I love my family, I'm the luckiest man alive!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Worming like a rockstar...




This morning my father, duckhammer (the maine outdoorsman), and myself hit the flats at low water to get our limit of 1000 sandworms used primarily for salt water fishing. This was the first opportunity to have this segment of our lives documented on photo.



My father has dug sandworms his entire life and can credit at least 50 years of tenure in the industry. It would be fair to say that he might be one of the all time greats having harvested millions of sandworms. As retirement nears, I anticipate that I'll quit when he does...



But it is great to say that I have worked with my father and have been able to participate in an industry that is quietly phasing out as the number of worm diggers has steadily decreased over the last thirty years. Nevertheless, when it's right the money is astronomical and when it's not, you hope to walk off the flats with $75 bucks in your pocket. I've seen tides when I've made $350 in two hours time and others where three hours of labor would produce $50...

Have a great day,
Downeast Duck Hunter video

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Rabid Outdoorsman Hits the High Seas...




So I got the rabid outsdoorsman, my hunting buddy and co-founder of Duckpower, onto my lobsterboat for a day on the ocean. The weather was absolutely grand and the lobsters looked decent. I look forward to his post on his blog and it was great to share a little bit of what I do during the summer months. Tomorrow we will hit the flats for sandworms and bloodworms. There is a small limit on order and it will allow us to document the other career I pursue during the offseason from education. Till then have a great one!!!

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Dawg Days of Summer



As some of you may already know, summertime is my crazy time... A year's worth of work in three months while I'm on summer vacation from my career as a high school history teacher and all of a sudden it's back to school. So far I've managed to dig 29 worm tides, including 8 during the week of the 4th of July, set over 400 lobster traps, and now, dig more worms and haul more traps. My wife has left me with the kids for Boothbay Harbor and now I get up about 4 a.m., spend the bulk of the day laboring, and come home to make a sandwich before bed. So for those who do read my blog, I apologize... I will get working on my 1100 update and do a showcase on the duck boat modifications...


I did manage to get to southern Maine with my good buddy the rabid outdoorsman and check out Cabelas... Even though I could have easily spent about $5,000 dollars there I am very disappointed with its lackluster appeal... I could spend $5,000 at Walmart if I wanted to...

So be patient and I'll get to blogging in the near future...

DowneastDuckHunter out