The next road trip took us to Great Bay Marina in Newington, NH. We set up a meeting with the boat owner to meet and discuss his boat. We were told the boat was called “Blue Daze” and that we’d find her close to the breakwater of the marina in plain sight from the parking lot, and, sure enough, there she was. We hung around for a while looking at the boat from afar until the owner, Chuck Cressy, showed up. Chuck owns the Durham Marketplace in Durham, NH. He’s a really pleasant and personable guy and spoke highly of his experiences in Casco Bay over the years. Chuck mentioned that he has friends on Peaks Island, and he would often take the ferry out to see them. Chuck had Blue Daze built back in 2004 by AJ for fishing offshore. Chuck proceeded to tell us of his adventures off Portsmouth Harbor and the Isles of Sholes fishing for cod, pollock and tuna. “She’s a fish magnet!” said Chuck. Whenever he ventured to his favorite fishing grounds, he caught fish! He had her rigged with all kinds of gear to catch BIG fish like tuna. According to Chuck, when he caught a big fish offshore, he would get on the phone right away with his market and speak with his meat and fish guy. They had a list of customers whom they would call to tell them that he had free fresh fish on the way for them and to come into the store to pick it up. What a brilliant strategy to thank your most loyal customers – hats off to Chuck!
Anyway, we chatted about his boat and looked in practically every nook and cranny imaginable: under the gunwales, in the engine compartment, behind the head…. We tried to trace all the hoses from one end of the engine to the other, to try to get an idea of how she worked. We asked Chuck if he knew anything about this part or that part, and Chuck’s response was “I’m not a mechanic and couldn’t tell you how any of this worked. If I had a problem I’d get someone from the marina to fix it.” Well, about a week or so before we showed up Chuck had had a harrowing experience on one of his trips. He was leaving the marina to go fishing offshore, and he headed out under the Memorial Bridge on the Piscataqua River. The currents are known as some of the strongest in the country, which leads us to the story. Chuck was underway, and all of a sudden his engine quit. He found himself drifting toward a bridge abutment at a pretty good clip, unable to restart the engine. Quickly, he grabbed his anchor and got it to hold the boat just before hitting the bridge. He later got towed back to the marina and had the mechanic look it over. The determination was “water in the fuel.” Chuck vowed to fix the problem, so they pumped all the remaining fuel from the tanks, cleaned the engine, and replaced all filters etc etc etc….. From that point on, Chuck had been ready to sell the boat and move on.