Friday, January 27, 2012

News: Nantucket Boat Found Three Years Later

From The Inquirer and Mirror (photo's included):

Scott Douglas and Rich St. Pierre vividly remember the wave that threw them from their powerboat off the western shores of Nantucket in August 2008, and the sight of the vessel floating away into the open ocean.

The men survived the ordeal and managed to swim to Esther’s Island where they were rescued by Nantucket marine authorities, but their boat, the Queen Bee, wasn’t seen again. Until now.

More than three years after the harrowing incident, the 26-foot Regulator boat was found across the Atlantic Ocean, drifting off the northern coast of Spain over 3,500 miles from Nantucket.

"We heard this huge roar and looked immediately to our left and there was a huge wave that was cresting and breaking above the top of the boat," said St. Pierre, who was at the helm when the wave struck. "The next thing I knew we were both in the water and the boat was taking off away from us."

Heavily damaged and covered in barnacles, the boat was discovered on Jan. 17 roughly 20 miles off the small port town of Llanes by the Spanish Coast Guard. Towed to shore, the boat still had “Nantucket” scrawled on the side and its two outboard motors remained attached. Using the registration number, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Massachusetts Environmental Police were able to confirm it was indeed the same one that was lost by the two men southwest of Smith’s Point on the Bonita Bar at dusk on Aug. 25, 2008.

“I had definitely given up,” said Douglas, 58, when asked if he thought he would ever see the Queen Bee again. “I missed the boat, but we were so happy we lived to talk about it, and if it had to be sacrificed, that was fine.”

St. Pierre, who still owns his home on Nantucket, said he was shocked when he heard the Coast Guard had called to inform him and Douglas that the boat had been found 1,241 days after the incident.

“You wouldn’t think it would ever happen,” said St. Pierre. “The question everyone asks you is, ‘what happened to the boat?’ It’s just such a weird feeling. It’s got a good ending and it’s nice to have some closure to it. I’d love to know what happened to it over those three-and-a-half years.”The U.S. Coast Guard suspects the Queen Bee drifted away from Nantucket into the Gulf Stream and then north into the North Atlantic current, according to Art Allen, of the Coast Guard’s Office of Search and Rescue.

Spanish media reports indicated that the vessel also still contained a first-aid kit, fire extinguishers, a radio and maps of the U.S. East Coast.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lead Fishing Tackle Ban

Here in MA when we changed our calendars we also had to change our fishing tackle.  MA implemented a lead ban for 1oz or less.  First and foremost I want everyone to quit the damn complaining.  Yes it sucks we have to buy new jigs and sinkers but no one can look me in the eye and say lead is good for the water.  I will agree that the reason the MA DFW stated was BS.  The Loons.  Currently there are 32 nesting pairs of Loons in MA, 2/3 of them reside in the Quabbin and Wachusett Resevoirs.  Here's where it doesn't make sense.  In 1975 there weren't any loons in the state.  Now how did we get the growth in population if they were really ingesting large quantities of lead.  The real reason is that each nesting pair needs around 1000 acres of water.  That's a big body of water! Let's not even bring habitat into this.  The #1 reason for most species decline in population, is habitat loss. 

The comical portion of all this, for me, is enforcing it.  The law states you can't USE lead but you can still POSSESS it.  So that means I can be out in my canoe and fish with lead and just put it away and paddle back to the launch and if a warden is there he has no proof I used lead.  I've never seen a warden while fishing anyways, so this probably won't affect many people.  I know I agree that the use of lead is bad and have since purchased new jig's and split shots to use.  So if you choose to follow the law or not, remember that it's for the good of the resource.

Lead ban resource.

Lead ban documentation from MA.

Source for Lead Free Jigs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Fiskars Power Tooth Saw

I have been on the lookout for a small portable saw to take with me when I go hiking or camping.  I could take a small hatchet or tomahawk but a saw seemed like a better option for light duty.  There are really three types of pack saws.  There is a folding saw, a sliding saw, and a breakdown saw (which resembles a hacksaw).

I've had good luck with Fiskars in the past, due to their amazing super splitter axe, and decided to give the sliding saw a chance.

The saw comes with a 6" blade or a 10" blade.  For my needs I chose the 6" blade.  The handle is the same FiberComp reinforced fiberglass as in their axes and hatchets.  The blade is stainless steel and has a triple edge for cutting .

My first impressions was that the blade looked very nice and should cut well and the caribiner clip was a great idea.  Wearing it off my belt loop or attached to a pack was a real bonus and would provide easy access when I needed it.  The saw comes with a lifetime warranty, which is a big plus in my book.  I love companies that make gear and are willing to stand behind the product.  It was light, sharp, bomb proof, and cost $12 from Amazon.  How could this product be bad?  I'm sorry to report that this saw sucks.  The design, which may not be a Fiskars problem, of the sliding blade makes this saw almost impossible to lock into place without being a gorilla on steroids.  I'm no body builder but I shouldn't have to use a set of vice grips to lock this saw open.  Since the saw has a short distance of play, it always seemed to lose momentum and the blade gets stuck in the wood.  I tested this with standing 2" diameter tree's as well as limbs.  During a flawless cut this blade is amazing.  It tears through the wood and I'd love to take this blade and put it in another saw or another design of a saw.  I noticed that if you take the strain off the limb by pulling down a bit, to prevent even the slightest pinch, then it works better.  Overall, this saw will not make it in my pack and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.  The locking mechanism seems to be the biggest problem in a sliding saw and I plan to skip this design altogether in the next saw purchase.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

News: Six Stranded Dolphins Rescued In Wellfleet

From CapdeCod Today:

A crew from the International Fund for Animal Welfare treated and released six rescued dolphins at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown Monday afternoon.  According to an IFAW spokesperson on the scene, six dolphins were rescued from Mayo Beach and Indian Neck earlier in the day in Wellfleet.  This recent stranding and rescue follows a mass stranding of some 30 dolphins over the weekend. At least 20 dolphins have died after washing up near several Cape Cod towns, an International Fund for Animal Welfare spokeswoman said Monday.

Between 40 and 50 common and Atlantic white-sided dolphins have been found stranded close to the shore since Thursday, and the number will likely rise, said IFAW spokeswoman Kerry Branon. Some animals were released Monday near Provincetown, bringing the total number of animals saved to 19.

History repeats itself on the same day

Ironically on this same weekend in 2006 a similar stranding occurred. That time the Cape Cod Stranding Network (CCSN) tried to rescue ten stranded dolphins and saved half of them. Two dolphins were found in Rock Harbor suffering from dehydration and other injuries.

Site Update

As you may have noticed, I changed the logo.  Since there are many things I do and want to write, I decided to not be so specific and write about anything and everything in the outdoors.  From teaching new skills to enjoying New England.  I'm still working on a new motto for the site but I'll think of something.  The reason for the change was because in the last few months I've been busy and haven't been able to get out as much as I'd like but still had many ideas for posts.  So going forward expect a lot more from me.  HOORAY!!! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

News: MA Hiker Dies On Mt. Washington

Mt. Washington can be a cruel beast with it's fast weather changes and constant blowing wind.  

From WWLP:

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. (AP) - A Massachusetts hiker has died after falling on Mount Washington. 

Officials say 46-year-old Patrick Scott Powers of Mansfield., Mass., fell about 800 feet while descending the mountain after dark on Monday.  

Powers started the day hike up the mountain Monday morning from Pinkham Notch. Officials say after reaching the summit he fell down snow and ice covered slopes into Tuckerman Ravine between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Rescuers worked through the night, getting to Pinkham Notch at 2 a.m. They say Powers died of his injuries.  

Officials say temperatures at the summit were around 9 degrees with low visibility, light snow and winds of 40 to 50 mph all day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Big Bird Cage

I was sitting by the roaring fire when Sara heard a thumping noise, we brushed it off as the wind.  We live in a windy area and the wind often kicks up something.  It wasn't until a prolonged noise made me get up and look out the back window.  I thought maybe a trash can lid had blown over and was banging the can.  I looked out the kitchen window and found nothing but a large woodpile and a setting sun.  I then opened up the curtains to the porch and saw a juvenile hawk stuck on my porch enclosed by the screen.  The porch was acting as a large bird cage and he was frantically trying to escape.  There was one rip on the left hand side of the porch where I ran a hose up to power wash the porch this past fall.  I left the opening because in the spring I'm going to redo the whole porch.  The hawk must have flown into the hole in the screen but didn't know how to get out.  So let's think about this logically, what are my options here:

1) Leave the Hawk alone......I couldn't do that because he probably would have died before he found his way out.  

2) Walk out and grab the hawk and throw it through the hole.....I didn't like the idea of walking out with my chainsaw helmet on to try and grab a pissed off and scared bird of prey.  I only deal with birds that I've put a sufficient amount of shotgun pellets in.  

3) Rip the screen wider and let him fly out on his own......DING DING DING DING.  I grabbed a broom and opened up two holes and let him fly out on his own.  I've been in the woods enough to see some unbelievable things, but this takes the cake.  Here are two pictures I took before I sprang into action.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

News: State Cop Shoots Woman Walking Dogs

What happens on the last day of deer season in the last minute (or maybe after shooting hours) when you think you see a flash of gold/brown in the woods.  If you answered shoot at it and hope it's a deer you'd be in the same situation as this.

Taken from Masslive.

NORTON, Mass. (AP) — Police say an off-duty state trooper who was hunting in Norton has shot and wounded a 66-year-old woman walking her two dogs after sunset, claiming that he thought she was a deer.

The woman was hit in the torso while walking on a wooded path at about 5 p.m. Saturday. Norton police say the trooper called 911 after realizing that his target was not a deer.

State police on Sunday said the trooper is not being identified because he faces no charges and no internal investigation.

The woman was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment. Authorities did not immediately release additional information on her condition.

The woman is not being fully identified by police who said she and the trooper live in Norton.

Norton, state and environmental police officers are investigating the incident.