Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hello From Boston

I have been in Boston this week, calling on customers old and new. I was traveling with my Sales Manager Chuck Wild as well met our new Representatives from Tiger Electronics, Karl, Evan, and Rick. Karl and I hit it off very well as he grew up similar to myself. One look in his office explains it all. When traveling it's fun to get the flair of the area and Boston really offers an opportunity to see our history close and up front. Karl graciously took the time to show us some of the sites in downtown Boston. One of my favorite stops is the Union Oyster House. As stated it is America's Oldest Restaurant,with much being the same as it was in 1826. The oyster bar is classic. A semi circle bar with the original soapstone working area, the oysters are shucked in front of you and served super fresh with horseradish, their special sauce, and Tabasco. They are huge and delicious. Washed down with a ice cold glass of Harpoon IPA, it the perfect way to start the night. Most of the area around the area was built in the early 1700's. Not far from there is North Boston which is the Italian district. Originally the slums of Boston, the Italians were the last to inhabit this section of town and they stayed. It is alive with small Italian restaurants and bakery's. After the oysters Karl took us to his favorite Italian place, a small but delicious eating place then ended the night at Mike's Pastries, the most famous bakery in Boston. At 10:30 PM the place was packed. Know for their conoli's, the bakers are working all night. Pretty amazing when you consider most of Minnesota shuts down by 10:00!

Next on my list was to go to Gloucester, one of the most important fishing ports in the world. Here Gordon's of Gloucester made fish a household staple. If you have had cod, haddock, or swordfish it likely was processed here. Today the decline of the fish stocks (although haddock are reportedly at record highs) and the ever popular Government regulations have impacted this area severely. To survive the town is slowly converting to tourism. It is certainly a beautiful part of the country. Gloucester is also the basis for the book and popular movie called The Perfect Storm, the story of the Andrea Gail and it's fate during one of the worst storms ever witnessed. When I was looking at buying our current home in 1991, Minneapolis was hit with one of the craziest snowstorms ever. Known as the Halloween Storm of 1991, it dumped over 30 inches of snow in 24 hours. Well this storm met up with another low pressure area then a hurricane in the North Atlantic to create the "Perfect Storm". I loved reading about how they commercially fish swordfish with the lights and the long lines. The book also had a chapter on what is it like to drown. This is why I wear my life vest all the time. We entered the Crow's Nest, the location for much of the movie scenes shot for the Perfect Storm with George Clonney. It was a typical working man's bar, nothing special however the looks we got were expected ones of locals checking out the tourists. I admitted to the bartender why we were there and she offered a photo album of the actors and filming. It was interesting, we had a beer, I bought a hat, that's off my bucket list.

Next stop was the Cape Ann Brewery. One of my hobbies when traveling is to visit local brew pubs and sample their wares. I have been to about 60 of them around the country from Homer Alaska, Manhattan Beach California, The Strand Brewery in Galveston Texas and now one on the far east coast of New England. The beer was excellent as I had a pint of their Fisherman's Ale (go figure). My free time is usually casual and I wear my Green Bay Packer Hat as there seems to be a Cheesehead always close by. It is amazing the people you meet around the world who are Packer Fans, including some in the Shanghai Airport in China. Well half way through my beer a guy look right at me and asked where I was from. Sconnie of course! He was with his wife and son from southeast of Milwaukee. We cheese heads are a friendly bunch and invited ourselves to join them for another pint, discussing the problems with the last Packer game. It was a lot of fun for sure and Chuck learned the power of the Green Bay mystic, something that he will never realize in Buffalo, New York. Here are a couple of pictures of my new found friends as well as me, the Gordon's from Gloucester fisherman! I did check out the fishing opportunities and yellowfin tuna are in the area as well as stripers and cod. I have put that on my list for potential fishing adventures.

I did get out fishing on Mille Lacs last Saturday. I had heard that using lead core line was in so I bought 200 yards at Fleet Farm before heading up. Lead core line is exactly what it sounds like, a lead strand with braid around it for strength. The line is also colored in 10 yard sections going from purple to white to black to green and a rainbow of colors for each section. The theory is that 18# lead core sinks at a rate of 5 feet for each 10 yards (or color) let out. To fish 25 feet deep simply let out 5 sections. At the end of the lead core is tied a mono leader around 10 feet long. The objective is that you can fish standard baits like floating Rapala's or Shad Raps at depths significantly deeper than what they would run. My plan was to have Tom drive while I take an existing line counter reel, strip the line and replace it with the lead core. After doing all that work the line prove too large of a diameter and could only get 4 sections on, not enough to fish the depth we planned. Plan B was to see if Bill had any larger capacity reels. He did not but reminded me of the large salmon rods I had let him use a number of years ago and they would work. After a half hour of rerigging we were set. Tom and I headed out to some of the deep gravel areas that had fish stacked on them. The fish were there but not very cooperative. Although we caught nothing on the lead core it was a great experience for next years strategy. We did end up on Anderson Reef for the evening bite, which never materialize either. Tom finally got a 16 incher with a Rouge before we left. Certainly one issue remains the warm water temperatures. It is still in the high 60's which needs to get into the mid 50"s before that shallow bite really gets going. Oh well, fun trying!

1 comment:

Hack-Man said...

You picked the right time of year to visit Boston. While I never cared for the crowded streets or the fast-paced people, I always enjoyed the food and the beer there.

Glad you're able to mix pleasure with business!