Monthly Archives: January 2011

Adam Bolonsky Sends In VHF Radio Mayday: Winter on the Gulf of Maine

Be Prepared to Give Your Location for a Channel 16 Mayday Call

Click here to see the video


One key to making a vhf radio mayday call is to give your location. In this call, the harried captain of a sinking fishing boat fails to. A second nearby fisherman breaks in on the call to remind the captain to give his location, in this case with Loran bearings. Video background footage is of dayboats unloading their commercial fishing catch in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Backstory: The fishing vessel Whistling Dixie strikes a submerged object in winter seven miles off the coast of Maine. The captain makes a rushed vhf mayday radio call to the Portland Coast Guard. He struggles to give his loran bearings. His boat rudder post has punctured the boat’s hull, leading to catastrophic flooding. A nearby fisherman chimes in on the call to assist, reminding the captain to give his location. The crew members were later rescued from their life raft. Whistling Dixie sank and was marked a securite hazard by the Coast Guard.

Credit: Sea Kayaking Dot Net/



Thought to have been washed out to sea during the Christmas storm, the scary clown mascot of the Schooner Ardelle has apparently been found, rescued and returned to his watch. He looks a little worse for his adventure, but that may be because his new perch can’t be very comfortable.

In other Ardelle news, framing is now completed. Planking is next.

Did You Know (Annisquam Exchange and Leonard School)

photo collage of Annisquam Exchange / Leonard School and Annisquam Historical Society

Photos by E.J. Lefavour

That The Annisquam Exchange has served the community for over 66 years by donating its profits for the maintenance of the historic buildings of the village: Village Hall, Village Church, Leonard School, Library and Firehouse?  The Exchange also supports the Good Neighbors Program and the village’s Mt. Adnah Cemetery. The Exchange is a wonderful consignment shop that sells jewelry, both costume and designer, antiques and collectibles, small furniture pieces, lamps, linens, china, clocks, cards, prints and paintings.  On the second floor above the Exchange is the Art Gallery.  In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are two group exhibitions by local artists in the main gallery. The small gallery hosts two special exhibits of local artists. The Gallery and Exchange are Open May 1st through October 16th.  Annisquam is one of the oldest and best-preserved villages in Gloucester.  The Annisquam Exchange was established to insure that the history, architecture, art and community of Annisquam be preserved for future generations. The Exchange began in the old Firehouse, which is now the Historical Society Museum for the preservation of Annisquam’s 380 year-old history.  You can learn more about The Exchange by visiting their website at

The Exchange moved to its present location in the historic Leonard School in the mid 1940’s.  My neighbor, Sarah Hackett, attended the first through fourth grades at the Leonard School in the early 1930’s.  These four grades were taught in the single room on the ground floor, and her class consisted of 8 students.  Her mother was also a teacher at the school when she was a young woman.  Once she married though, she was required to quit teaching, as married women were not allowed to teach in those days.  The wire mesh on the windows was installed to keep them from being broken by fly balls of children playing on the green during recess.  There is similar mesh on the inside of the windows for the same purpose, when weather was inclement and the children stayed inside to play.  The school, as well as Leonard Street, was named after Father Ezra Leonard (remember him from the Annisquam Village Church post?). 

The school was built in 1834 – the land and building cost $840.  In 1836, William Young was paid a salary of $16 for teaching at the school; Samuel Young was paid $87.75 for teaching and supplying wood to heat the school.  (From Gloucester Record of School Buildings and Selectmen’s Records of Payments, researched and provided by Katherine Groves of Gloucester.)

The top photo is of the Annisquam Exchange/Leonard School.  The middle photo is of the mesh windows.  The 3rd photo is of the Exchange and the Historical Society (old firehouse) to the right of it.

E.J. Lefavour

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