Salem MA

On the anniversary of starting our Loop May 25, we made it into Salem. Both Shelly and Ray’s earliest boating memories started in this port. Salem Willows Yacht Club and Coney Island (where there used to be a YMCA camp and building for decades) were the earliest of my memories. While Shelly’s were more centered out of Palmers Cove Yacht Club and Misery Island is where her family frequently anchored out and rafted up with all the cousins.

Salem Harbor as seen from the deck of Palmers Cove YC.

My grandfather ran the YMCA island camp for decades, and when I was all of 5 years old, he let me steer the Seahorse , the open runabout that we used to shuttle the boys out to Y camp on Coney Island in Salem Harbor. My father and my uncles all ‘graduated’ from that camp program years earlier, and much of their seamanship originated there, all to be passed on to MY generation, which came to include two Maritime Academy grads and at least FIVE USCG licensed Masters, (Russ, Scott, Richie, Lori, and Ray all have or got their captains licenses among this generation of the Charette and Sirois families). I need to check on Steve and Mike Charette (sons of Peter and Diane Charette). It is entirely possible that one or both of them are captains too. Steve is a Marine Surveyor, and Mike is a big boating enthusiast.

It is a little early in the season to try, but Shelly and I need to get a long string of mackerel jigs to see if we can re-live some of her childhood memories of bringup the line with a fish on every hook on every cast!

I do not ever remember getting THAT lucky as a kid, but I do remember one fishing trip anchored on the east side of this harbor, off the cemetery, where we caught SEVEN different species of fish in one day… all on drop lines! (Mackerel jigs and sand worms were our typical bait.) Flounder, mackerel, skate, pollack, and 3 others were the species. I cannot remember all the names, but I can remember what they looked like.

Decades later, I took my son, Nick and his friend Josh Knapp fishing in the Damariscotta River in East Boothbay, Maine and that’s when we got to experience the success that Shelly boasts about… multiple mackerel on each cast! So, I can attest: it IS possible.

Shelly’s mom, Nora Charette, is aboard this afternoon! It has been a couple years since these two have seen each other, though they talk on the phone every day. Nora knows her way to this marina as she and husband Dick filled up their car with five kids, food, and boating gear countless times over the decades.

Shelly and mom, Nora! “The Beverly Girls”
Catchin’ some rays.
Dinner at The Anchor… excellent food and service. Broiled Haddock, naked without breading! Smashed podadah!

Happy with her choice: Sea Scallops!
Right off the bridge – Beverly
The Anchor – Salem News: Best of 2022
Safely back at the club.

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