A Cotuit Christmas

Santa came to Cotuit yesterday, arriving on the Fire Department’s boat around 4 pm under grey skies from the southeast, on the wind, rolling into the town dock where about three hundred excited kids and parents greeted him with great pleasure and enthusiam. I got off the water from my first (and perhaps only) row of December just in time to shower and change and make it down to the dock for the happy occasion.

I stood on the beach and shot some video; Daphne took the Nikon so the photos are better than usual. I met the one other Cotuit blogger I know of, Paul Rifkin, and we chatted until the great event began.

Santa walked up the hill to the village park where he sat in his throne, was blessed by Reverend Nicole, and then ignited the village Christmas tree which I can see from my reading porch.

My buddy Chris drove people around the village in his dump truck filled with hay bales then came over for a dinner of braised short ribs (from the Balthazar cookbook), roast potatoes, salad, and cranberry and apple pie.

The “R” Months — clamming recommences

Foggy Saturday afternoon in November with temps in the 60s and a low tide means it was time to go clamming after seeing the clam police had opened up my favorite clam spot for fall harvesting. This is a spot you need a boat to get to, so it tends to be hardly hit by the recreational crew. As a somber aside, in my daily sculling this fall I have seen a massive increase in the number of clammers out looking for clams. It makes me wonder if some of this activity — both commercial and recreational — is driven by the economic cycle and the simple fact that people are looking for some income and some protein.

Anyway, I needed some quahogs for chowder and stuffed quahogs. All waders were leaking, including a hardly used pair of new neoprenes some f%$king rodent like a mouse or chipmunk decided to chew up for nesting material. All the other pairs were cracked, a sign of either ozone rot (never store waders near anything with an electric motor, like a refrigerator) or old age. So … I know what I want for Christmas.

When we went to the landing to get the boat I discovered some Cape Cod version of a horse thief had taken a set of bolt cutters to my dinghy’s lock-up chain. Fortunately the dinghy didn’t get pinched, but now I am in a high state of paranoia that either some yacht club moron officer is deciding a new policy that no dinghy’s shall be chained to the yacht club fence, or the town is going to get serious about cleaning up the abandoned mess of abandoned dinghies, canoes, catamarans, scows, punts, and skiffs littering the shore around the landing. In any event, I need to go down there with some sort of waterproof plea to leave my dinghy alone as I intend to continue using it until mid-December. Any way, if you who wields bolt cutters is reading this, do me a favor next time? Post a notice or call me?

Like I said, it was foggy. But this time of year there isn’t much boat traffic to worry about, and the course to the clams is basically head due south from the mooring for two minutes and stop.

Son and I focused right on chowder sized clams, the ones with shells as big a closed man’s fist. Instead we found some decent ones — right between cherrystones/littlenecks and true chowders. Here Fisher lives up to his name and demonstrates some jerk rake technique (a Ribb jerk rake no less).

I came up with this in my rake, a perfect baby horseshoe crab. Horseshoe crabs are right out of the days of dinosaurs, living tribolites, so I wanted to make sure this one survives to make more. They are hard hit by commercial fishermen who cut them up for trap bait.


What could be finer?

  1. There is no wind at 8 am so I am about to go for a pleasant fall scull around the harbor.
  2. The dogs are frightened and avoiding me because of my bellicose behavior at 1:30 am when J.D. Drew homered to bury the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the second game of the ALDS.
  4. I am on vacation. Ten days of being and nothingness. It’s time for the Fall Run and I am off to the Great Backside Beach to stand in foamy surf, sling eels into the darkness, and ponder my existence while staring across the Atlantic at Portugal.
  5. I am going to cook a roti de porc au lait for my dinner tonight.
  6. Perhaps I shall seek bivalves in the mud later today. Must check tides.

So, whereabouts this coming week? Going nowhere. How to contact me? Don’t. Blog probabilities? Low, except to lie about fish I haven’t caught, and to gloat about the BoSox.

Cotuit in World War II

Wish I was going to be in town this Wednesday so I could hear this presentation on Cotuit during WWII. The town was the site of a amphibious warfare training base, Camp Candoit, located in North Bay. The soldiers practiced their marine landings for North Africa, Sicily and D-Day here. The Cotuit Wikipedia entry blames this camp for a decline in quality of the oysters. Alas, I will be in RTP this week.