Bentleys in Essex

A group of Bentleys met up in Essex today and after a tour of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum went on their way to Wentworth by the Sea for a weekend gathering of the Bentley Club. All except the more modern examples were British Racing Green, of course..

Glimpses of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in Portsmouth, VA – Part 3

Glimpses of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in Portsmouth, VA – Part 3


North Landing from my window in the Renaissance.  Pig and Oyster Roast Awards in the tent at far left.  Portsmouth Visitor Center and landing for the ferry to Norfolk on the far side.  The ferry was evicted for the weekend to make space for schooners.  On the near side center, with flags flying, LIGHT REIGN, first in Class A and winner of the Perpetual Trophy for the best corrected time to Thimble Shoal (127 nm)

2014 Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race – Official Results 10/18/2014

Start off Annapolis; AA and A boats race 127 nm to Thimble Shoal, B and C boats race 80 nm to Windmill Point

Class AA 127 nm Start Thu 13:40:00

Elapsed time / Corrected time / Place

Summerwind  18:19:26 / 14:46:58 / 1

Pride of Baltimore II  23:15:34 / 20:56:26 / 2

Liberty Clipper  DNF

Lady Maryland  DNF

A J Meerwald  DNF

Mystic Whaler  DNF

Lynx  DNF

Class A 127 nm Start Thu 13:40:00

Light Reign 18:54:44 / 13:04:58 / 1

Woodwind 18:13:34 / 13:18:33 / 2

Brilliant Fri 18:37:00 / 13:54:37 / 3

Adventurer (56) 20:51:49 / 14:51:37 / 4

Hindu 35:58:00 / 30:20:44 / 5

Britanya  DNF

Liberté  DNF

Class B 80 nm Start Thu 13:50:00

Apella 19:02:00 / 14:45:32 / 1

Tom Bombadil  18:49:00 / 14:51:54 / 2

Adventurer (65)  19:07:00 / 15:24:44 / 3

Sally B   22:11:00 / 17:53:41 / 4

Libertate  36:47:04 /  32:01:15 / 5

Edlyn Rose  DNF

Shanty  DNF

Sultana  DNF

Bonny Rover  DNS

Class C 80 nm Start Thu 13:50:00

Farewell  18:15:00 / 12:59:21 / 1

Susan B Merryman  23:22:06 / 17:48:36 / 2

Istar  30:32:00 /  24:17:16 / 3

Adventure DNF

Summer Wind  DNF

Norfolk Rebel  DNF

Quintessence  DNS

Celebration  DNS

According to Race Chair Bill Mellen, “It was light air at the start with winds appearing early AM on Friday. Then it was a drag race on a reach for schooners Woodwind and Summerwind as they made the 47 nm between Windmill Point and Thimble Shoals in 4hr 6min neck and neck with Woodwind making it to the line at Thimble Shoals first.”


This year Jay Irwin received the Black Dog Trophy, created in 2006 to honor the individual(s) who supports the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in the spirit of Captain Lane Briggs (1932-2005), the founder of the GCBSR. Named after Captain Briggs’ faithful companion, Reb, this bronze statue of a black dog signifies loyalty to the race mission and faithful and honorable support for the event without personal recognition. In the words of Captain Briggs, “It’s amazing what you can get done if you don’t care who gets credit for it!”

The board of directors presents this award, honoring significant contributions to the race, as deserved and not on an annual basis, making it the most prestigious presentation of the organization.  Flanking Jay are Race Chair Bill Mellen and Al Roper in his role of perennial emcee.


Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Perpetual Trophy  Awarded to LIGHT REIGN (A Fleet), James Turrell at the helm, with the best corrected time at Thimble Shoal of 13 hours, 4 minutes and 58 seconds.  LIGHT REIGN was first in the new Special Class this year in Gloucester.


Howdy Bailey Buckle, awarded to a B or C Fleet schooner for line honors at Windmill Point, was given to FAREWELL (C Fleet), sailed by Linda Gunn, with an elapsed time of 17 hours and 18 minutes.  The Windmill Point Trophy, formerly the Michelob Chesapeake Bay Challenge Trophy, was also awarded to FAREWELL, with the best corrected time at Windmill Point of 12 hours, 59 minutes and 21 seconds.  Linda is hobbling with ski poles after hip surgery.  Looking on is P-town’s Stormy Mayo, who hung in with ISTAR for third place with an elapsed time for the 80 miles of 30h32m.


Capt. John Eginton with Pat Dutton of Mystic Whaler received the Rebel Educational Trophy, which balances the triad of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race: a valiant race down the length of the Chesapeake Bay; historical preservation of the schooner fleet; and an education program focused on the heritage, ecology and natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay. We all know that it takes an experienced crew to race a schooner under full sail, but often the educational program the schooner carries along goes unnoticed. The schooners participating in the education program spend untold hours planning, fundraising, training and executing their educational program. The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Educational Program Committee selects the schooner deserving recognition for their contribution to this essential element. It is the schooners’ educational programs that will perpetuate Captain Briggs’ vision of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race for generations to come.


The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Clock, awarded for line honors at Thimble Shoal to the fastest schooner in the race, again went to WOODWIND, Capt. Jen Kaye, with an elapsed time of 18 hours and 15 minutes.


Every year a donation is made to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation with the stipulation to put students on the water for a day.  Many of  these kids are from large cities, and it is a very special experience for them.  $177,624 has been donated to date.  Nan Nawrocki, Race Chair from Baltimore, George Treiber, GCBSR Treasurer and Elizabeth Buckman of CBF.


James Grundy, owner of Class AA winner Summerwind (the ex-Merchant Marine Academy boat familiar in Gloucester) made a personal gift of $5,000 to match the GCBSR.


The volunteers that make the GCBSR so enjoyable for schooner crews are like family to those who are, or have been regular participants.   This is race chairman Bill Mellen, who has run the event for seventeen years.  It is a complicated one-way race that requires a very wide starting line for the large schooners close to the main shipping channel.  Bill is always ready to listen to suggestions about handicapping, safety or any other aspect at the Sunday morning captains’ recap of the race.    Roger Brown donates a breakfast for all the captains, crew and volunteers at his popular restaurant.


Schooner crews have a way of blending and here we have folks from ADVENTURE, BRILLIANT, PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II etc. etc. and etc.


At the Gloucester Schooner Festival no volunteer worked harder than Brett Ramsey.  Our mutual friend Jay Irwin is no stranger to Gloucester.  Jay, 81 drove up from his ‘old folks home’ in Baltimore to help rig Ed Boynton’s SUGARBABE in May,  then again to race with Ed in the Gloucester Schooner Festival.

So hat’s off to the volunteers!

Al Bezanson


Postcript ___  In Baltimore, before the race, there are days of festivities with a similar dose of hospitality.  Every schooner is assigned a liasion in Baltimore and another in Portsmouth,  insiders, who make a real difference in the quality of the participants’ visits.  It can be a tough slug getting a boat to and from this race, with a substantial  commitment in time and expense.   The typical autumn weather often makes the race itself challenging to say the least.  Why do we do it?   It’s the people!

The Dreadfully Despicable and Despised Poison Ivy


Eastern Bluebird and Poison Ivy Berries

“Leaflets three, let it be!”

Perhaps the most disliked plant of all is poison ivy, despised throughout its range for the blistering rash that oozes and itches when one has the misfortune to come in contact with any part of the plant. What is the substance that causes that most dreaded of unpleasant of rashes? Poison ivy is infused with urushiol, a compound that not only wards off humans, but caterpillars, too (generally speaking, caterpillars are a plant’s number one enemy).

Toxicodendron_radicans_01Poison Ivy in Flower

Several of my landscape design projects are located on Plum Island. I laughed initially when it was first brought to my attention that poison ivy was one of the “approved” plants permitted on Plum Island. Of course, whether approved or not, I wouldn’t dream of planting poison ivy on a client’s property, but I did want to learn more about why it was on the approved list. And here’s the reason why we might want to rethink our disdain towards poison ivy: Plum Island is home to and breeding ground for hundreds of bird species and small animals. The blossoms of poison ivy are a rich nectar source for many pollinators and the berries are a prime winter staple for dozens and dozens of song birds, including cardinals, mockingbirds, and robins.

800px-Toxicodendron_radicans_(L.)_Kuntze_-_eastern_poison_ivy,_poison_ivy,_poisonivy_(3778180456)“Berries white, run in fright.” ~ More than 60 species of birds eat the fruit of poison ivy.

Malign poison ivy if you will for its dreadful rash and clamoring habit. Lets rip it out of our backyard play spaces and public pathways. But knowing it holds an important place in our ecosystem, lets allow it to continue to grow wild in wild and appropriate places. Poison ivy is one of the essential reasons why we are privy to the legions and legions of beautiful birds that dwell, nest, and migrate through our region.

140256018.pF0PzVtqYellow-rumped Warbler and Poison Ivy Fruits

Yellow-rumped warblers are able to withstand our cold winters by switching from a diet of primarily insects, to one of poison ivy berries, bayberry, and other small fruits.


“Red hairy vine, no friend of mine!”

The telltale reddish hairs of the vine are clearly evident in the above image; leaves, vines, stems, and hairs are all toxic to humans. As I am constantly exposed to poison ivy due to landscape design projects, and oftentimes filming and photographing in locations where poison ivy is prevalent, my number one solution to avoiding contact is to identify its presence and to wear protective clothing. Knowing poison ivy’s mnemonic rhymes will help with its identification: “Leaves of three, let it be!”, “Berries white, run in fright!”, and “Red hairy vine, no friend of mine!”

*    *    *

My sincere thanks to Bob Snyder for the use of his photos. Permission to post the bluebird and poison ivy berry photo was requested and John not only graciously allowed the photo, he also forwarded along the photo of the Yellow-rumped Warbler. You can see more of his beautiful photos here: Bob Snyder Photography.

All other images are courtesy Wiki Commons Media. 

I Had Me Some Black Bottom And I May Never Go Back…

Just one whiff of those sweet Black Bottoms is enough to turn you into a black bottom fan for life.  Get your nose right in there and smell that sweet aroma.  Ahhhh, take it in… heaven. 

Get your Black Bottoms at Alexandras Bread Co. while they last.

2014-10-24 09.47.07image

CNN, Memories, and a Shirt

SUshirtWM5025I confess, in my several months of confinement in medical facilities and at home, I’ve become a hopeless news junkie. The current scandal is about sketchy courses for athletes at the University of North Carolina. The so-called “paper classes” did not require attendance and had no professors – students just got a good grade. When at Syracuse University, I was required to take one science class, so I signed up for Physics 101. Upon entering the huge lecture hall, I saw a lot of really big guys. The course material was below high school level. The students called it “football physics.” I did my work and got an A.

What made me think about my connection to this breaking news was an old SU t-shirt. I bought it from the college catalog in the early 1980’s, crammed into the back of a drawer, as I became too fat to wear it. It fits great now because I’ve lost 80 pounds. I’m thinking that UNC is not the only college padding their teams.

Thank You To The Person Who Called Out My Insensitive Post

Last week I posted something that was a definite use of poor judgement. I can admit when I’m wrong and in that case I was definitely wrong.

Not going to bring up what it was about but wanted to thank the person who wrote in the comment and opened my eyes to the insensitivity I displayed on the subject.
Since I don’t have that person’s email address I hope they see this post of thanks and apology.

Your comments weren’t simply brushed aside, I’ve thought long and hard about them and am extremely remorseful for having written it in the first place.

So thanks again.


Friday October 24th , 2014 Cape Ann Weather..

Marine Forecast :
Today NW winds 15 to 20 kt. Gusts up to 30 kt this morning. Seas 5 to 8 ft. Patchy fog this morning. A slight chance of showers this morning with vsby 1 to 3 nm.
Tonight NW winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts up to 20 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft.

Pod Cast Weather :

Hourly Forecast :



Community Stuff 10/24/14

At the Gallery….

Is it Halloween already?

This summer was great — very busy, visitors from around the world, and lots of commissions. Poppies are still a favorite, and pebble beach paintings are a wonderful reminder of the beauty of summer in Rockport.
The gallery is open year-round:
Autumn Hours:
Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11 am –  5 pm EST
Sunday 12 noon – 5 pm
Tuesday & Wednesday: Open by chance or appointment
So please do visit, just be sure call the gallery first to confirm hours during the unpredictable New England weather.

My Pebble Beach paintings are especially popular with visitors to Rockport. “Pebble Beach No. 29”
was featured in the inaugural issue of Cape Ann Magazine (read more about my interview below.)

Interview with
Cape Ann Lifestyle

Tusinski Gallery was also chosen to be featured in the first issue of
Cape Ann Lifestyle, published this summer. I enjoyed sharing my perspective on my early artistic influences, the joy of working in Rockport and other interesting topics. Two of my paintings: “Dreamy Still Life” and “Pebble Beach No. 29”  appear in this beautiful magazine.

From Jodi,

Our rented house is being sold, closing in on nov 10th, hoping you can print our press release.

I’ve included some photos if you want to use them.  Photos credit is Law Hamilton for all except the photo of me and the little screech owl, photo credit for that one is Erin Parsons Hutchinson.

Thank you so much, I’m praying one of your readers will help us continue to help our wildlife, if we cannot find a place, Cape Ann Wildlife may need to shut our doors permanently or until enough funds are raised for a facility.

Thank you so much

Cape Ann Wildlife, Inc (CAW) is in immediate need of a new facility to rent, due to the rented home being sold.
Cape Ann Wildlife, Inc and Jodi Swenson has been rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife in Gloucester since the 2005, saving hundreds of animals, primarily songbirds every single year.
Closing the doors on this valuable resource for our community will be a great loss.
Preferred is a affordable single family home, 3 bedroom, away from the center of town (Gloucester, Essex, Rockport, Manchester, Ipswich) for the small rehabilitation center and Jodi’s family.
As a 501(c)3 non profit, there may be a potential tax write off for a landlord.
We of course need an animal friendly kind of place, that’s affordable. 
Only permanent pets are 1 small dog and 4 birds.  During the songbird baby season, we can have up to 30 little babies at a time, fall, winter and early spring being a quiet time.
We need enough room outside to build simple pre-release cages for birds to get acclimated to life outside and flight conditioning. 
So please help us continue this important service to the community and our quickly declining songbirds.  If you know of a property that might be suitable please contact Jodi Swenson at 978-325-2501, visit

New Year’s Rockport Fundraiser, Paint Night, Wed. Nov 12th, 6:30 PM at the Pigeon Cove Circle, Rockport, MA.  Paint Night is a company that supplies an artist who will come to your location and teach you how to paint a finished painting in an evening of fun, food, drink & socialization.  We need 35 applicants by Oct. 29, but you can still register up to the day of.  Pre-registration is required at Contact Claire with questions:  Help New Year’s Rockport Eve dig out of debt from 2013 and prepare for 2014.



Metcalfe Show Opens At RAA

Rockport Artist Judy Metcalfe will open a two-week solo show of her award winning watercolors at the Rockport Art Association on Sunday, October 26th with an artist’s reception from 2:00-4:00 PM.
In Judy’s words, “I attempt to catch the moment when sunlight transforms a simple object into something wondrous.  When a flower glows with inner light, a water droplet sparkles, or an intricate network of shadows is cast by a spray of leaves or the facets of a glass vase. Each of us see these things in our everyday life, but they are fleeting. I try to capture them and hold them for others to enjoy.”  In viewing her works, the observer realizes just how well she succeeds.  Meticulously rendered, they seem to be real – not painted – with a simplicity that belies just how intricate they really are.
Metcalfe received her BFA in Fine Art from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.  She is a signature member of American Watercolor Society, Hudson Valley Art Association, New England Watercolor Society & National Association of Women Artists.  She holds elected memberships at Rockport Art, North Shore Arts & Connecticut Academy of Fine Art.
The Metcalfe exhibition will continue through November 6th.  For more information visit the RAA’s website at or call the gallery at 978-546-6604.  The RAA is open Tuesday – Sunday.



Johnny Orlando is remembered as teacher, mentor, and friend to countless students during his decades as carpentry teacher at Gloucester High School.  John passed away suddenly two years ago, but his memory as a master carpenter lives on in the form of a scholarship awarded to a graduating senior for college or advanced vocational training.

Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant, 86 Main St in Gloucester, has agreed to donate ten percent of proceeds of food sales on Monday, October 27th to the Scholarship Fund; and all who remember Johnny are invited to join with his family and friends that evening to celebrate his life.

Tax-deductible contributions in any amount may be also made to:

The John W Orlando Scholarship Fund c/o Gloucester Scholarship Foundation, Cape Ann Savings Bank,

109 Main Street

Gloucester, MA 01930 .

For further information, contact Rosalie Parisi at (978) 283-0286