When The Moonies Came To Town

Adam Bolonsky writes-

I remember when the Unification Church (the Moonies) arrived Gloucester in the late 70’s and started bluefin fishing. It was a complex time, and thinking about it recently, I came across these reminiscences from Colleen Christian, a Moonie who moved to Gloucester to fish on one of the two dozen or so Gloucester bluefin boats the Moonies brought to the waterfont. Moonie crews fished with handlines for bluefin. Some crews were made up of only women. Anyhow, I got a kick out of the anecdote below, especially the part where a moonie from the Bronx teaches a Gloucester bluefin moonie crew how to respond to Moonies suck!

Colleen writes:

My first assignment in Gloucester was on a bluefin boat that went to the Northwest Corner, this huge bank, a rise in the ocean floor, where the water is about a hundred feet deep, ideal for bluefin tuna fishing. Soon after we we got there, there was a strike on one of the boats in there. When you hook a bluefin, first thing you do is, the first mate releases the anchor – attached to a big orange buoy ball – so that when you land your fish you can retrieve your anchor. In our fleet, it was permissible for any of our boats to come over and take the anchor of a Moonie boat that had just hooked up, the reasoning being, if one boat caught a tuna in that spot, another boat would, too.

So that’s what we did. Soon after we moved to the other boat’s mooring ball, I heard the snap of one of the clips holding our handlines. Our captain barked out orders to release the anchor and to pull in all the our other lines. 

It was pandemonium and utter confusion, and so another boat in our fleet motored over to help. This big German guy jumped on board with us to us. He and I pulled in the extra lines and our captain took the fighting line to the bow. After a half hour, I took the fighting line, and that’s how it went, back and forth, for over two hours. , and it went on, like that, for two hours, his turn, my turn. 

The fish we landed weighed 550 lbs. When we got it within a few feet of our boat, I gaffed it, and we inserted one line through its gills, another around its tail, and we tied it off alongside low enough in the water to keep cool for the trip home.

The big thing to do in was moon us. People in Gloucester knew us and knew our cars, and they would drive by us and pull their pants down and show us their butts. They’d yell, 

“Moonies suck! Moonies suck!”

But there was a brother in our church who was kind of a bad dude before he joined the church. He was from the Bronx, and he knew how to answer Moonies suck. He said,

“When they yell Moonies suck, you yell, Your mother sucks! Your sister sucks!

So we did. They yelled Moonies suck at us. And we yelled back, Your mother sucks!! And they yelled, My mother sucks?! You suck! and from there it would escalate.

woman moonie bluefin

Photo: Nancy Breyfogel, Susan Fox, Jane Rees and Lois Ramunnihad stand with a Moonie bluefin they landed in Gloucester in the early 1980’s. “Like anyone else,” Lois said, “I wanted to try it because it sounded exciting. It was something new.”

Fishing Gear at Milk Island From Adam Bolonsky

Adam submits-

Fishing gear at Milk Island. Milk Island’s a cormorant and blackback seagull nesting ground. Lots of of fishing gear washes up on its lengthy gravel bar running north towards Rockport. By August  adult blackbacks start cannibalizing their young – grabbing fledglings by the neck and drowning them, dragging them ashore to pull them apart.

The lobster gear uses non-floating line, required to prevent whale entanglement and a source of large capital outlay for local lobstermen.

Shot with a home-made OliviaTech jib and a cheap $10 wide-angle lens. The guy who presents the OliviaTech jib is sort of a goofball, but I like his presentation because it leaves no doubt about how to build the jib for about $40.

True or False

Adam Bolonsky submits-

Poll: the following story is true or false:

True: I was there and I saw it happen. We made frogs’ legs stew out of the frogs stuck in the mud 

False: no way a 12-gauge shotgun could scare that many seagulls

Probably true: winters in Gloucester were a hell of a lot colder back then. Most winters kids from Magnolia iceskated to GHS by way of Normans Woe and the Blynman Canal

Reporting in the Gloucester Daily Times more than a few years back, none other than Joe Garland was accosted downtown by Ray Davis, deliveryman for the Railroad Avenue Market:

Ray jabbed a finger in my chest and asked why I didn’t mention the day Niles Pond disappeared. 

“You mean the day back in the twenties when Jack Prentiss tried to drain it to under twenty acres so it wouldn’t qualify as a Great Pond and he could claim if for his private puddle?

“Naw,” said Davis. “This was way back, a terrible hard winter. Niles froze right deep. Came on so fast an awful crowd of gulls there got their feet froze in. Next morning one of the guys was tramping through that way, and thought mebbe he could save ’em if he could scare ’em off.

“So he went home and got his twelve-gauge shotgun and went back and fired both barrels up in the air. Them gulls all started flying at once, and they lifted the whole of Niles Pond right up off the bottom and flew away it over Brace Cove to the no’theast.”

Picture 3

If you’re cleaning out your old Gloucester house or the one you grew up in..

Adam Bolonsky submits-

If you’re cleaning out your old Gloucester house or the one you grew up in..

Be sure to give the Cape Ann Museum a call.
When I cleaned out my dad’s basement in East Gloucester this summer, I
came across tons of Gloucester memorabilia from the 1960’s, 70’s and
..old programs from the Cape Ann Symphony when it used to play at the
Fuller School…
…theater programs from the Gloucester Stage Company when it staged
its plays at the BlackburnTavern…
…GHS graduation programs…
…Gloucester postcards from the 1950’s…
…announcements from the Rockport Art Association containing min bios
of members from the 1940’s…
All sorts of stuff, valuable and not, ephemeral and permanent, that
captured eras of not-recent Gloucester history.
Anyhow, I stuffed all of the paper and books and Gloucester
knickknacks into a box, and the archivist from the museum came over to
pick through it. She took a lot  for the museum archives, sent a deed
of gift later in the mail, and mentioned that she wished more
Gloucester residents would call the museum come time to clean  out
their parent’s homes.

our lady

Snapshots from this Morning’s Deviled Egg Competition

Contestants and judges ©Kim Smith 2013Contestants and judges left to right Janet, EJ, Joanne, Linda, Paul, Adam, Joey, Ed, Richard, with Gigi in the front

1st place winner ©Kim smith 20131st Place Winner Linda Sadja

Judges Adam and Joey EJ's award ©Kim Smith 2013Judges Adam and Joey

EJ 2nd place ©Kim Smith 2013EJ Wins 2nd Place

Gigi wins third ©Kim Smith 2013 copyGigi Wins 3rd Place

Nick Avelis and Dahlia ©Kim Smith 2013Nick Avelis and Dahlia

Brian M and Amelia ©Kim smith 2013 copyBrian and Emilia

Amelia and Dahlia ©Kim Smith 2013Emilia and Dahlia

Amelia mastering the trike ©Kim Smith 2013Emilia

Honorable Judges ©Kim Smith 2013Honorable JudgesHonorable Judges Paul M, Adam, Joey, Ed and Richard

Heather Atwood and The Open Door Food Pantry’s Jennifer Perry Pair up to Help Gloucester eat Better! From Adam Bolonsky

Adam writes-

Heather Atwood and The Open Door Food Pantry’s Jennifer Perry teamed up last week at Heather’s house to tape a segment on making baked snack chips even kids would eat. 

Jennifer’s the Food Pantry’s nutrition development coordinator – her job, to teach Gloucester how to cook and prepare the fresh produce available at the Pantry’s numerous distribution sites throughout the city.

Hey kids, tell mom and dad, grammy and grampy, uncle and auntie: free lunch for Gloucester kids this summer at five Pantry locations:

As part of Project Bread’s Better Summer Meals initiative, menus include locally grown produce, whole wheat breads, and low-fat milk.


Jennifer Perry, The Open Door Food Pantry’s nutrition development coordinator.


Low in fat, high in nutrition, easy to make and tasty: sweet potato, white potato, zucchini, beet chips.


Joe Langhan and cameraman/DP Luis Goncalves, from Gallo Productions, set up for the two-camera shoot.


Heather and Jennifer gear up for the first segment: frozen pea bruschetta and radish topping.


Heather gets the wireless mic treatment from Luis: mic on the blouse, transmitter on the back of the apron.


Start with these ingredients. Slice. Add salt and pepper. Bake for anywhere between ten minutes and an hour. Zucchini needs a lower temp and more time.

Adam Bolonsky Requests Recipes For fresh Calamari

Lots of anglers are catching 6" to 8" squid off the inside edge of the Eastern Point Breakwater with Sabiki rigs. 

Anyone have a good spicy recipe for what to do with the fresh catch?

By the way, now that the Audubon Society runs the lot at the breakwater, don’t forget that it costs $5.00 to park there for the day!

As for access, tell the guard at the gate by Niles Beach that you’re headed for the breakwater. There’s a public right of way along the AEPR (Association of Eastern Point Residents) private speed-bumped roads. 

As for Niles Pond, it’s a Great Pond open to public use.

Gloucester Reads Shakespeare Laureen Maher

Adam Bolonsky produces the Gloucester Reads Shakespeare project

Larueen reads from "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" at the Beauty Bar on Parker Street.

First in a series of locals reading for the Gloucester Reads Shakespeare project at goodmorninggloucester.com.


A big thanks to Fisherman’s Outfitter…


Adam Bolonsky writes-

A big thanks to Fisherman’s Outfitter who contributed 250-yards of bluefin tuna monofilament line to the upcoming aerial video project Ed Collard, Bill Whiting, the National Fish and Wildlife Service, the Thacher Island Organization and I are planning at Thacher Island this spring!
Watch GMG for the footage….


Hoax Mayday Calls of Gloucester: What they look and sound like- From Adam Bolonsky

Here’s audio and video of the Coast Guard’s response to that hoax mayday call off Gloucester this summer. 

Sector Boston had to issue a pan-pan, tying up personnel and channel 16.

Meanwhile a fully-crewed motorized lifeboat, one those brawny 47-footers docked at Solomon Landing, had to scour Cape Ann’s shoreline from Eastern Point to Milk and Thachers Islands.

Thachers Island Advection Fog Video From Adam Bolonsky

Thachers Island, Rockport: the best overnight deal in town. You can camp there for $5.00 per night.

But sometimes the advection fog moves in here fast and thick.
Here’s a video shot of launching a sea kayak from the island as the fog crept in from the northeast.


Like they say, be sure to bleed those bluefish…Adam Bolonsky reports

Well, it was a good day yesterday for kayak fishing east of the south tower at Thachers Island west of Londoner reef and the big iron pole. Water temps were in the low 70’s, sun was out, few boats were on the water.

Schoolie bass were rounding up on the surface, indifferent to all baits and lures but stippling the water then thrashing did the midwater column when the kayaks spooked them.

As any angler will tell you, bleed blues. Be sure to rip out….err, remove their gills.

Good eating!

Photos by Mike Hirsch, commercial airline pilot who works about one day a week, still doesn’t  know how to body surf, but sure loves visiting Cape Ann.







I see our boy Paul Morrison in the background!

Sean Hurley inks a copper plate etching for printing at his studio at Beacon Marine Basin

Adam Bolonsky reports-

Sean Hurley, local artist at work in his studio at Beacon Marine Basin, just one of many artists’ beehives located throughout Gloucester, opens up his studio to Good Morning Gloucester.

Watch while Sean runs the first step in printing a large-sized copper plate etching: inking the etched copper plate.

The print Sean has created is far larger than 11″x17″.

And, attention, Gloucester and Rockport gallery owners! Sean has representation in New York, but none on Cape Ann!

National Fisherman Archives Now Open- from Adam Bolonsky

National Fisherman, the commercial fishing industry magazine, recently opened up its historical archives of east and west coast commercial boats. 

Here’s two. One shows the first of the Novi lobster boats built in Plymouth, Ma. at the tiny boatshop on Union Street. Novi boats have long been a commonplace on the Gloucester waterfront.

The seconds shows an impressive wreck on the shores of what I think is Ten Pound Island, at the entrance to the inner harbor.

The Coast Guard kept an air station at Ten Pound.

Sadly, the island’s a mess: thickets of poison ivy, crumbled walls and staghorn sumac that do a very good job of keeping vandals away from the lighthouse and foghorn.



Adam Bolonsky Is Looking For A Striper Photo For an Article

Hi Joey;
If things go to plan, I’ll have published in the September issued of On The Water magazine a 2,500-word story on striper fishing inner and outer Gloucester Harbor during the fall run.
Can you put a call out to compadres you know, and via GMG, that I need high res. (at least 1megabyte) photos of large stripers bass taken from any type of boat?
Photos that include recognizable Gloucester landmarks would be great, but are not a necessity. Fish can’t look obviously dead: i.e. covered in blood, with their guts hanging out or anything graphic like that.
Photographer gets byline credit but no cash.

All I have is Pablo here-

So get to it photo snappers!

Cape Ann Alphabet Soup From Adam Bolonsky

Adam writes-

Cape Ann is as full of abbreviations as its waters are full of lobster. Here’s a quiz. How well do you know Gloucester’s and Rockport’s many institutions?

First person to provide all the correct answers for what these abbreviaitions stand for gets to give Adam Bolonsky a Brazilian bikini wax: 


1. GDTimes

2. GHS

3. RHS

A little harder:

1. AGH

2. SPHS (hint: Fuller School and Fiesta patron saint)


1. f/v

2. m/v

3. s/v

Nautical bluebloods:


2. AYC


The arts:


2. RAA


4. GSC

5. CAM (hint: Homer (not Simpson) and Lane (not Lanesville))

6. CATC (hint: the former Blackburn Tavern, and once home of the GSC)

7. NSMT (hint: saved from bankruptcy)

Rockport Residents Only- Adam Bolonsky Submits


Really now?

From the Mass Office of Coastal Zone Management-

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management


Cogswell Farm Landing Rocky shore accessed by public footpath. Limited street parking.

From The Rockport Open Space Report 2009-2014

Access to the ocean south of the center of Rockport is available along a chain of beaches, coves, and rocky ledges. Public footpaths lead in from the road to Emerson Point, Flat Rock Point, Steep Bank Landing, and Cogswell Farm Landing. There is limited parking at Long Beach, Cape Hedge Beach, Pebble Beach, and Loblolly Cove, but all these areas attract walkers as well as large numbers of swimmers, divers, surfers,  fishermen, bird watchers, and picnickers year-round.

So You Say You Know Gloucester? From Adam Bolonsky

Adam writes-

Here’s a quiz for all you locals out there in GMG land. 

Can you read the navigation codes for the south lighthouse at Thachers Island off Rockport, the lighthouse at Eastern Point, and the light at the end of the Dogbar at the entrance to outer Gloucester Habor?

Here are the codes, taken from the images below:

1. Thacher’s Island south light:  FL R 5s 166ft 17m

2. Eastern Point lighthouse: FL 5s 57ft 20M

3. Dogbar light and horn: Oc R 4s 45ft 6M

First reader to give the correct answers gets to accompany Joey  "Baitmaker" Ciaramitaro on his next trip out of town to chop up yet another counterfeit lobster roll maker into tuna chum.

(By the way, you can download NOAA’s printable pdf navatigation chart of Rockport and Gloucester inshore waters for $2.75 at NOAA 13279)



Cape Pond Iceman Larry Memhard Rips it Up at Good Harbor Beach From Adam Bolonsky

Photos Video and Text- Adam Bolonsky

Larry Memhard’s dad owns Cape Pond Ice down the Fort. His mom is curator of the Cape Ann Museum. Here’s Larry in action at Good Harbor Beach. 

The blurry stills come from a 2-minute video:

Good Harbor Beach Skimboarding.

Shot with a discontinued old school SD/VGA  Flip video camera protected by a waterproof case.