Wooden Boat Enthusiasts: Boat Building Session with Craftsman Geno Mondello!!!

From the IDRC-

The GMHC is offering a boat building session with craftsman Geno Mondello for high school students (see attached flyer with contact information).  Please contact Tom Balf if your students would be interested in this unique opportunity!

Thanks, Erik Dombrowski

Maritime Gloucester Offers Teen Boat Building Course

Beginning on Tuesday, April 3rd, Maritime Gloucester is offering a new session of its boat building course for high school students. The course runs for eight weeks with classes scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m ‚Äď 6p.m. at the Dory Shop. Taught by Geno Mondello, the program gives participants hands-on experience in laying out, lofting and making full-sized patterns, making full-sized pieces and assembling and finishing a skiff. No prior experience necessary. The fee is $50. The course is limited to six participants. To register, call (978) 281-0470.


Thomas Balf
Maritime Gloucester
Phone: (978) 281-0470


Hurry, Space is limited!!!!!!

Series- 100 year Old Gloucester Postcards From Peter Dorsey- The Magnolia Road


Peter writes-


I have a big box of old postcards, and I realize that a few of them are from Gloucester, Mass.  Perhaps your readers would like to see some of them. I’ll send you a few here. Maybe I can find some more in my big box. I’ll send them from time to time; if you like.  My father was born in a house near the cut in 1919, and his father worked as a scientist for Mr. Hammond (of the castle);so I have a historical attachment to Gloucester.

I always think its amazing to see the changes that occur in just 100 years, and am glad to have the chance to study old pictures and share them when I can.

I really enjoy Good Morning Gloucester!

Peter Dorsey

Did You Know? (Reiki)

That Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing? It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”

I believe Jesus of Nazareth was the greatest Reiki master who ever lived, but he also made it clear that we all possess the same abilities he had, if we only learn to use them.  What is the first thing we all do if we get an injury or have a pain?  We instinctively put our hand over it, because our highest self knows that is where the healing energy comes through, whether our conscious minds knows it or not.

I used to host monthly Reiki healing circles when I was in Florida, and can say that the energy channeled is amazing.  There is nothing strange, new age or religious about it.  It is ancient and natural.

E.J. Lefavour


Japanese Flowering Quince ‚ÄėToyo-Nishiki‚Äô

Please join me Wednesday, March 14,  at 10:30 for my lecture The Pollinator Garden presented by the Arlington Garden Club.

I am in the process of organizing photos for my upcoming season of garden design lectures and am enjoying looking over the past year in photos. This was my first year with the Fujifilm x100 and the photo of the flowering quince below was one of the first photos I took with the x100. I do love this camera!

Chaenomeles speciosa ‚ÄėToyo-Nishiki’

Coaxing Winter Blooms

From mid-February on is the recommended time to prune members of the copious Roseaceae (Rose family) and their cut branches create stunning arrangements. The bare limbs dotted with five-petalled blossoms are particularly evocative juxtaposed against the cool, low light of winter. I am picturing the plum rose of Prunus cerasifera ‚ÄėThundercloud,‚Äô the vivid pink of peach blossoms, the elegant sparkling white blossoms of apricot trees (Prunus armeniaca), and the brilliant fiery red-orange ‚ÄėTexas Scarlet‚Äô Japanese flowering quince illuminating the rooms in which they are placed. I have to say my favorite of favorites is Chaenomeles speciosa ‚ÄėToyo-Nishiki,‚Äô with buds swollen and ready to burst by mid-winter and flowering in multiple hues of white, rose, and apricot pink, the beauty of their blossoms emphasized by the sharply zigzagging branches.

Note: Flowering quince provides nectar for northward migrating hummingbirds. It is not too early to put out your hummingbird feeders.

More information about Chaenomoles ‘Toyo-Nishiki’ may be found in Chapter Three, “Planting in Harmony with Nature,” Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!

Joint Meeting of the Planning Board and Planning & Development Committee Monday, March 12 (tonight) 7 PM at City All

Joint Meeting of the Planning Board and Planning & Development Committee Monday, March 12 (tonight) 7 PM at City All

Key item: * Rezoning of Commercial Street #33 and #47 (Bird’s-Eye), Amend Gloucester Zoning Ordinance to create Hotel Overlay District

Please come and let us hear your voice… this is a very important issue and ALL need to be heard.. now is the time..

Thank you Sefatia

Flying to Ireland? Let Michael O’Leary send you off!

That’s right, folks, gimmesound artist of the week¬†Michael O’Leary¬†will be at Logan Airport this week ¬†serenading travelers to and from Ireland. ¬†Watch the video to find out when.

Michael is one of the only musicians on Cape Ann who routinely performs with no mics, no amps, “nothing to plug in”¬†— just you and his band in a venue with good acoustics. ¬†In this video he describes the appeal of truly acoustic music — the way music was heard for thousands of years.

The Dog Bar reopened last night with more seating for music fans. ¬†This rounds out Gloucester’s West End music scene giving us more music choices all week long. ¬†See full music lineup here.

Dave Mattacks on Sirius XM Radio through the month of March

(Photo: Dave Mattacks and Meg Griffin outside Gloucester’s Bang A Song Recording¬†Studios)

Internationally respected drummer Dave Mattacks is a native of North London who now¬†makes him home in Marblehead, Massachusetts.¬† After years as a member of Britain’s Fairport Convention, he has recorded with¬†Richard Thompson, Nick Drake, XTC, McCartney, Joan Armatrading, Elton John and so many more.¬† Dave can be heard regularly¬†at in Gloucester venues including¬†Jalapenos, The Dog Bar, The Rhumb Line and The Franklin playing everything from Jazz to Americana to The Blues with a variety of other notable musicians who make their home on Cape Ann, Massachusetts.
At Bang A Song Recording Studios in Gloucester,¬†Dave recently co produced “Epic Hello”, the 2nd album from Gloucester based band, ‘Bandit Kings’.
During this 2-part conversation¬†with Sirius XM’s Meg Griffin, Dave Mattacks¬†talks about his rich musical experiences with the late Sandy Denny and Nick Drake¬†as well as¬†his love of¬†the¬†Gloucester music scene and the players who make it great.¬†
“Having Words With Meg” featuring Dave Mattacks on Sirius XM ~ The Loft channel 30


Monday & Tuesday        March 12th & 13th  at 2pm
Sunday March 18th                                       at 4pm
Saturday March 31st                                      at 9pm

Poem By Peter A. Todd

This Poem By Peter A. Todd was posted as a comment. It deservers to be a post. Not a comment.

The Captain at the Wheel By Peter A. Todd 04/23/2010


“Taking watch of harbor through days and nights With his hands firmly gripping at the wheel Our statue of yesteryear and today With his eyes fixed like hardened steel Many seasons and storms have passed him by Since the Captain was dedicated by our shore Through raging winds and sunlit skies The Captain has done his faithful chore The sands of time that has ebbed and flowed In circling our great statue of the sea Like the many stories of Fishermen of old Our Captain sets the spirit within us free The inscription etched below his feet So treasured to the Fishermen in many ways When the Sands of Time are stilled we‚Äôll meet Those we have lost now raised by God From the oceans grave.”

Peter A. Todd

We are so lucky to have so many talented people on this small Island!

Annie Fundraising gets new stage

Just 9 days ago, we started a crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds to build a safe and sturdy new modular stage for the Theatreworks space at The Annie, designed by our technical director GODDESS, Carson afKlinteberg. The amount needed was $3,000. Almost half was raised Monday night within a two hour period, from donors as far away as California, Colorado (thanks, Mom!) and even Norway!
The stage will be completed by this Wednesday, March 14th, built by the Goddess herself (who is here from Ithaca College for a few days over Spring Break), along with a happy crew of volunteer builders. Anyone who is interested in lending a helping hand should stop by The Annie, 1 Washington Street, between 9am and 9pm, Tuesday (3/13) or Wednedsay (3/14). "Come hell or high water, the stage will be completed by Wednesday night," says the Goddess.
Feel free to come snap some pix, or we will be happy to send along some photos of the finished project.
www.TheAnnie.org Get your arts in here!

Commercial fishing and conservation from Alex Gross

Hi Joey,

Our daughter Alex – a senior at UMass Amherst – wrote a terrific piece about commercial fishing and conservation. It was an assignment to show how two seemingly conflicting things aren’t actually in conflict at all.  It’s based on her experience working with the sea life at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center (now Maritime Gloucester) where she worked a couple of summers and then lobstering one year with Tony. We thought you might like it for GMG.

Abbie Lundberg

Commercial Fishing & Conservation

By Alex Gross

When my father offered me a well paid job at the age of 14, I gladly accepted.  The appeal of the challenging physical work, early hours and convenient commute outweighed the aspects of the work that came into conflict with my idealistic values.  Sure, I was to work harvesting lobsters for profit and consumption ‚Äď I could still be an avid environmentalist, right?

Lobstering requires a certain toughness. You have to haul trawls of eight 40-pound lobster traps from the sea, wrangle lobsters without getting your hand caught by their skin-shredding claws, tolerate the smell and feel of pounds upon pounds of bait fish (usually greasy herring and sometimes gnarly-toothed whiting) and, on top of it all, my meticulous father insisted on being at the dock by 4:00am.  I relished the challenge.
The summer before I became the first mate on a lobster boat, I took what I saw as the first step on my path to becoming a world renowned marine biologist.  My first job, working at a local aquarium, was surely a sign from the Universe that I was destined to be an environmental crusader, protecting Earth‚Äôs oceans and discovering new species in the black depths of the Marianas Trench.  I knew that I was on my way to a life of investigating the seas and protecting the wellbeing of every fish and anemone therein.
I was enamored with the work.  I spent hours happily scrubbing the tanks, dissecting squid to feed to the animals in the exhibits, and sharing my knowledge and passion for marine life as a guide to visitors to the aquarium.

Before we opened, after we closed and in the down time during the day, I would do that extra bit of cleaning in the back corner of a tank or spend a few extra minutes on feeding the creatures in each exhibit.  The skates were my favorite.  You had to hand-feed them because the silversides in their exhibit would devour any floating piece of squid before it reached the skates at the bottom of the shallow tank.  I adored each fish, sea star, spider crab and periwinkle in those exhibits.

My relationship with marine life had always been one of affection and protection.  I had grown up fishing recreationally and was always comfortable with (and fascinated by) catching and killing fish for my own culinary purposes, but was unsure what lay in store for me as a first mate on a commercial lobstering vessel.  Was I really to be responsible for the sale and ultimate consumption of thousands of lobsters each week?
My father was a skilled teacher and I was a fast learner.  By week three I had fallen into the rhythm of hauling gear, sizing lobsters to see if they were legal to keep and sell, banding the keepers, stuffing fistfuls of herring into bait bags, tossing any shorts, hitchhiking crabs or fish back into the water, and keeping my feet from becoming tangled in the ropes that could so easily pull me to an early watery grave.
Although I was in my element, this fast-paced job allowed me little time to examine the tiny lumpfish that may have loosened its suction grip on the trap and fallen to the deck, or the intriguing slug whose feathery adornments flow gracefully underwater but look like a pink lump of phlegm in the dry air.

As I became a brutal and efficient master of crustaceans‚Äô fates on my father‚Äôs boat, I began to develop a greater understanding of the world beneath the waves.  I unflinchingly skewered invasive green crabs on the protruding spike of the trap that holds the bait bag, protecting my beloved ecosystem from these invaders from the East.  As a fourteen year old in love with marine life, I would have been incapable of stabbing these poor crabs to death; as a conscientious environmentalist working for a responsible and careful lobsterman, I felt some sense of empowerment in doing my part to eliminate a tiny minority of this invasive population.

As it turns out, commercial lobstering helped me understand more about conservation than I may have had the opportunity to learn had I only worked in the aquarium.  I was able to enrich the aquarium by bringing in specimens that came up in the traps and adding variety to each exhibit.  We were even lucky enough to find a triggerfish that had lost its way in the cold North Atlantic waters one winter, bringing it to a warm tank on the brink of death and helping it to regain its strength.

I did not end up a marine biologist or an independent lobsterwoman, but I do continue to draw strength and inspiration from those pungent, early-morning, hard-working summers.