We here at FishOn always have an ear to the rails and our peepers peeled to any rustling in the treeline. It's not paranoia exactly. More like a hobby.
But every now and then something just sneaks up on us. Take history as an example. History can be the sneakiest of them all. Just when you least expect it, you're party to something that might, probably, you know, never have happened before. And that can be a life moment.
And so it was last week, when Coast Guard Station Gloucester dispatched one of its 47-foot life saving boats with a full female crew.
The station, which blasted out the news via its Facebook page, said it is believed to be the maiden voyage at Station Gloucester of the all-maiden voyage.
The pictures show six beaming Coasties who happen to be female. There's also a dog in one of the photos, but its gender is unknown. Our investigative desk is on it.
There are always going to be firsts. There's always going to be an event, an achievement or a performance that's never been viewed, recorded, streamed or experienced before.
Should they all be celebrated? That's up to the beholder. We here at FishOn, who actually love space travel, couldn't give two farthings for a space race between two billionaires. Let us know when CATA's offering it, with the senior discount.
But this? With the importance of this job, with the dangers inherent in the selflessness of military service? This is to be celebrated.
What makes it so special is not only that it was an all-female crew. Probably no one who watched the boat slice through Gloucester Harbor that day could chart their gender.
What makes it special is that it was a full crew of young women serving their country and their community; women, like their male colleagues, who accept the responsibilities of the gig and are up to the task.
And thus do these things become the norm. FishOn huzzahs all around.
FishOn weekly baseball quiz question
On this date in 1939, the Red Sox traded one of their minor league players — and a future Hall of Famer — to the Brooklyn Dodgers for four non-descript players to be named later and $35,000. Who was the player? The answer lurks below.
Fishing for prawns, catching something else
Here's an interesting tale out of Ireland: According to the rte.ie news website, the fishing vessel Cu na Mara out of Dingle was fishing for prawns about 120 miles off the Kerry coast, in an area called the Porcupine Basin, when it hauled its nets. Inside, among the prawns, was an ancient ivory tusk from an African elephant that experts believe may have come from a slave ship that sank on its way to England or America.
The crew, according to the story, brought the tusk to Dingle Oceanworld aquarium for evaluation. The aquarium enlisted the aid of other experts.
"I contacted Dr. Connie Kelliher of the Parks and Wildlife Underwater Archaeology Unit, she's an expert in this and came to look at it," Kevin Flannery, a researcher at the aquarium, told the website. "She said she thinks it's from a slave ship that would have gone down in the Porcupine in extreme bad weather."
The story went on to say that slave ships sailing up from the west coast of Africa often carried ivory from the slaughter of elephants along with their human cargo.
The tusk now is in the hands of the National Museum of Ireland, which will apply DNA testing to determine its actual origins.
Coral protection program
Just a reminder, NOAA Fisheries has published its final rule designating coral protection areas on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine and prohibitions against most bottom-tending fishing gear.
The action establishes the Georges Bank Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area on the outer continental shelf, in waters no shallower than 600 meters, adjacent to the Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area established in 1977 by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
Bottom-tending commercial gear is prohibited in the area, with the exception of red crab pot gear.
The rule also designates the Mount Desert Rock and Outer Schoodic Ridge coral protection areas in the Gulf of Maine. The former is about 20 nautical miles south of Mount Desert Island in Maine in depths between 100 meters and 200 meters. Commercial vessels are banned from fishing with the bottom-tending mobile gear. Lobster fishing with trap gear, however, still is allowed.
The Outer Schoodic Ridge Coral Protection Area, encompassing about 31 square miles at a site about 25 nautical miles southeast of Mount Desert Island, also bans bottom-tending mobile gear. But lobster fishing with trap gear is allowed.
Finally, the rule designates the Jordan Basin Dedicated Habitat Research Area in the Gulf of Maine. We're guessing it's for habitat research.
FishOn weekly baseball quiz answer
The player was shortstop Pee Wee Reese, who went on to spend 16 years with the Dodgers, most of them as the team's captain, helping them to 16 National League pennants. The story is this: Reese, the starting shortstop for the Louisville Colonels of the American Association, was so highly regarded that Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey led a group that purchased the Colonels to secure the rights for Reese. But Red Sox player/manager Joe Cronin, the club's starting shortstop, adamantly refused to relinquish the position and belittled Reese's ability, leading to the trade.
Reese's full name was Harold Henry Reese. He picked up the nickname Pee Wee, not because of his physical stature, but because the Louisville native was runner-up as a kid in a city-wide, pee-wee marbles championship sponsored by the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper.
As always no fish were harmed in the making of this column.
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT