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time: 5:30 pm air temp: 26 F water temp: 40 F tide: rising conditions: calm, sun setting

Low tide, rearranging moorings and checking on oysters.

I am slowly beginning to shake off my winter sleepiness and start the process of gearing back up for the upcoming growing season. This evening, (the second of two low tides I've worked in the past month) I finished extracting all the moorings from the small LPA sites I've been working on for the last six years and got the first few reset with new tackle and lines in place per my new lease. To be able to spread the gear out this year, finally... I can't fully express how good I know it's going to feel!

Much of the mooring gear that I removed and replaced this month is equipment that's been installed on the site year round for six + years now. It was definitely time to replace things that had started to wear and fray, but I'm also feeling pleased at how well my systems have held up over all. It's nice to feel confident in their integrity as I get ready to reset for the year.

What six years of wear and tear on mooring hardware looks like!

It's been an exceptionally cold and icy winter in Maine this year, perhaps the heaviest sea ice I've seen in the river and bay since I began growing oysters. All that ice building up and then moving around as the tides come and go can do a lot of damage to gear that isn't strong enough to withstand it. I anxiously worried about the farm this year, and checked on it obsessively on my weekly harvest runs, but am relieved and thankful to report that all remained put, oysters and moorings. And speaking of oysters, a quick peek at the littlest guys this evening confirmed that they were (so far) alive and well, another victory after a cold icy winter!

So, now that I have some moorings ready to take gear, I'm moving on to splicing and putting together the new sets of spreader bars and floating long lines that will get rigged between moorings to accept the gear once it's floating again. And then lots and lots of sorting and mending and prepping of gear to head back out on the water again when the time comes for it. Spring is already overwhelming and stressful as it is, so I wanted to make sure to get this extra project done ahead of time. Always (trying) to look after myself a little bit!

Old mooring gear, ready for retirement.

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