Wednesday, August 31, 2011

08.31.11 Here's a good shot of Ausable Forks...a day after the flooding

 Adirondack Daily Enterprise - Lou Reuter 

     Here's a great shot of my section of Ausable Forks in New York. Our homes are the green and blue ones to the right and just above the bridge. To the left is the Jay side and to the right is the Black Brook side. The West Branch is running straight up the frame and the East Branch is at the bottom left. Junction Pool is above the two trees dead center on the bottom and then the Ausable River goes to the right.

To give you an idea the below image shows the blue building in the lower right part of the above picture, during the worst part of the storm. I am surprised that more of the towns didn't get swamped with more mud than we did since all the roads were a blowing part of the rivers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

08.30.11 Could have been worse for us...but it was horrible for some

Behind Rod's, where the West Branch went through 

In the Jersey section on the Jay side, where the East Branch went through

In the Jersey section on the Jay side, where the East Branch went through   

     The North Country got pounded. The Jersey Shore had it bad in the way of strong winds and downed trees and some flooding. I just got home from the Adirondacks and we still don't have power here in Ocean Township. What Ausable Forks and other towns east of Lake Placid went through is similar to what North Jersey is going through today. It's a bad game of catch up. Irene came and went. The rains pounded the earth, and now the rivers are trying to handle the runoff.

Behind Rod's, where the West Branch went through 

In the Jersey section on the Jay side, where the East Branch went through

     In Ausable Forks I had 6 feet of water in the basement. The work I had done on the furnace and hot water heater from the springs storms will have to be repeated or everything replaced. The culprit in the mess was the usually lazy East Branch of the Ausable. Irene must have parked over the High Peaks around Keene and Keene Valley and dumped all 15 inches of rain in a few hours. Then it all hit the river. It ran through those towns and headed down to Ausable Forks where it meets the West Branch, a perfect storm. In addition a tributary called Black Brook ran wild and added to the mess. Some parts of town will be changed forever. There is even early talk of FEMA buying people out to forfeit their houses.

The West Branch came over the wall, taking the fascia and some foundation with it

     Our biggest problem was the West Branch crested over the wall out house sits on. It took with it fascia boards and parts of the foundation that the house sits on. If you stand in the basement you can see across the river. We also have a sink hole in the side yard which must have drained into the basement. Luckily the water only went up to the first floor joints and didn't hit the first floor. I spent the better part of the day taking apart the furnace in an attempt to make everything dry. The heating guy has us on the list. Right now we have power and water, and another trip to make up there to finish repairs on the foundation and sinkhole.

As you will see it could have been worse for us, it was that bad for some.

In the Jersey section on the Jay side, where the East Branch went through 

 In the Jersey section on the Jay side, where the East Branch went through

Water up to the top step of the basement 

In the Jersey section on the Jay side, where the East Branch went through 

Taking apart the furnace 

Basement showing the where the water was, check out the floor beams 


Monday, August 29, 2011

08.29.11 The Adirondack homes are well, ruined...thanks Irene

     I spoke with someone from the town this morning. The water was up over the bridge next to our house. That puts it about mid first floor. I think were screwed.

08.29.11 My home in New Jersey is the Adirondacks status unknown

     I got up around 530 to hear a silent generator. I went out and got more gas, a coffee, and the papers. The New York Times covered the City hard, not so much in New Jersey. They ran some Reuters pics from Asbury Park. I hate when that happens. Makes you feel like you failed, or just suck. But that's the good news.

     My sister warned me that Irene came through the North Country in a big way.

08.28.11 Irene hits Monmouth County and back at it with the camera

                                                                           Heritage Way, Colts Neck                           Colin Archer for The New York Times

     My day started around 230 am when we lost power in Ocean Township. We soon had 6 inches of water in the basement. I took a ride to my fathers shop to locate a generator and on the way was stopped when this tree fell down and took the power lines with it. At my fathers shop I found a brand new Ford F-350 with a welding machine in the back. Perfect. But the overhead door wasn't working and there wasn't a manual backup. So I moved a 600 pound welder across the shop floor, set up some planks, use a choker and a come-a-long and attempted to get it onto my truck. A quarter of the way up it rolled. Thankfully my brother came and help me load it up and by 830 am I was back home and had the sump pump running off the generator.
     I was still on assignment for The New York Times and had to go make some pictures. The bulk of the storm had passed, but I was sure there was good images to make. My friend said Sea Bright took a beating and the town was shut down going in. I called the photo desk in the city to see if they knew or wanted anything specific. I mentioned the problems in Sea Bright and was told to give it a shot. I made images in Rumson and Red Bank and went home to try and transmit.
     My Verizon was out and I tried to transmit off my iPad. No good. I reached out to my friend Carl who had a good cable connection so I went there to move pictures. After I sent them I got a call from the photo editor asking me, " You got anything with any sand in it?". That's a horrible question to hear asked. Basically it means either, "Your pictures suck", or "It's not what we're looking for."
     I had my point and shoot and ran down to Avon and made a few pictures of a guy in a loader moving sand around Ocean Avenue. I went back to Carl's, sent them, and never heard back again.

                 Looking at the Shrewsbury River and Sea Bright from Rumson                   Colin Archer for The New York Times 

                                                              Shrewsbury Way, Rumson New Jersey                  Colin Archer for The New York Times 

                                                                Monmouth Street, Red Bank                                 Colin Archer for The New York Times

Saturday, August 27, 2011

08.27.11 Back at it covering Irene, high tide tonight 6:23, 7:11 in the morning

     I was out at Holmdel High School at 7 am this morning. It was one of the emergency evacuation centers  set up by the county. I would a few hundred people there. mostly from Keansburg. It was more of the same along the Bayshore and northern Monmouth coastline. People boarding up, packing up, and hauling out. Stopped at a house in the highlands to make a really cool picture. As I did, an old friend, came out. It was funny, hope the pic makes tomorrows paper. The New York Times, well it is New York, is all about New York. It used to be a little better when we shot for the New Jersey section, then the Metro section. Now, it takes a miracle. I moved over 25 images yesterday. A few made the web, one in todays paper.

High tide tonight is 6:23 in Asbury Park, 7:11 in the morning. I think that's when we'll find out how, I'll say beat, we might be. Stay safe and well.

Friday, August 26, 2011

08.26.11 Out this weekend for The New York Times covering Irene

   I spent the better part of the day covering preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Irene. I was in Long Beach Island by 630 am and starting making images soon after. Tons of people boarding up, packing up, and hauling out. The mandatory evacuations began mid day and people were on the move before they got kicked out. The impression I got from most people was, "I'm not leaving!"
    I continued my way up north through Seaside Heights to Asbury Park. It was more of the same with just a little less urgency. The barrier island folks were all business.

I'll be back at it early tomorrow continuing through till Sunday. I hope it passes, but if it does I hope I'm close to make good images.

And, while on my way home from Princeton last night after shooting the last part of the scallop assignment I think I may have found my next boat, for real. It's a 21 foot Seaswirl center console. Super clean and great second owner. I might check it out tomorrow before the storm.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

08.24.11 Back from scallop fishing deep in the ocean


  What a great assignment. I am working on an assignment that put me on the scallop boat Lucky 13 out of Viking Marina in Barnegat Light. The editor and myself spent the 16 hour trip interviewing and shooting the crew at work. Once they started hauling gear, I couldn't sit and watch. So I got some pointers from the Captain and mates and off I was. We caught around 7,000 scallops, and each needed to be "cut". The key move is to not slice up the abductor muscle, the part that we eat. I spent the good part of six hours happy as a clam! "cutting" scallops along with the crew. We were 50 miles out and had flat water and good tides for most of the trip. One thing, you never know what you might "dredge" up at there. Check out this miserable bastard of a fish. "Poor mans lobster" or monkfish as it's officially known.

     My dream of casting to busting BFT's behind the boat never materialized. The algae bloom that runs from Brooklyn down to Cape May DOES exist, and it's keeping fish of their normal haunts.

After talking with the Captain I hope to spend some more time on that part. More to follow. Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

08.23.11 Going offshore on assignment scallop fishing

Tonight I am on assignment in LBI where I'll spend the next 16 hours aboard the scallop boat Lucky 13 as we scallop fish the waters off New Jersey. We heading out of Barnegat Light around midnight and will return around 4 pm Wednesday afternoon. I hope to see some bluefin behind the boat, and yes, my 10 weight Helios is packed in my camera bag just in case!

08.23.11 Found a boat that I like...

     I have come to realization that my beloved 20 foot cuddy Marathon may not be the ultimate striped bass stalking boat. However, I think I found one that might be better suited for THIS falls striper run. A 1979 22 foot Mako with twin Johnson 90's. I went out and saw it and potentially liked what I saw. We'll see.

08.23.11 Hit the beach in Lavalette early

     I met up with friend and fellow Agency New Jersey photographer Rob Yaskovic down in Lavalette this morning. Rob is from Sussex County and is down vacationing with his family. He hasn't fly fished the salt much but after a go with the Orvis 10 wt Helios and 9wt Access he was sending flies out over the breakers and getting down a double haul or two. We fished some tiny baitfish flies for snappers that weren't there and down low for fluke that weren't there either. We saw some spearing in the wash but no fish or birds on them.
     We jumped back into the bay and tried the same flies on top for snappers. I guy throwing a popper off the end of the dock didn't get any either. It was a nice time on a beautiful morning. It was cool enough to make me think that an albie would bust right in front of us, soon enough.

Monday, August 22, 2011

08.22.11 Poplar Brook in Ocean Township floods after last nights rains

     Most of New Jersey got hit with hard rains last night that caused power outages and flooding. I had an open container out last night and it looked to me that we may have got 5-6 inches during the downpour. 
     This afternoon I got a cal from a friend of a friend of a wife that her mom was flooded out after last nights rain, in Ocean Township. I figured maybe wet carpeting or a puddle. But last night Poplar Brook flooded and wreaked havoc to a mainly senior population at Poplar Village off Roosevelt Avenue. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the section of the complex that had the most damage. Some seniors were returning to apartments that had 36 inches of water in them. Some couldn't return because they had no one to help them, so they remained in the hotels where they were put up. The woman above is removing things from her apartment in a hand basket, while her neighbor dries clothes outside her apartment on a chair.You can't see it but the high water mark in the first picture below is just at the bottom sill of the windows. Below that are pictures of some of a women's belongings that are warped or damaged from the nasty swamp water that filled her apartment, along with family photos that lay out to dry, only to discolor and curl.
     I spoke with a police patrolman who passed through, and called the Asbury Park Press over two hours. And to boot, the woman whose belongings were drying out, had water up to her windshield wipers that filled her car with water. Horrible to have happen at 85 years old. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

08.21.11 Found blitzing fish in Shark River...okay, caught some small snappers

     My dad invited me and the kids to go crabbing and snapper fishing this morning. We went down to the Belmar Marina and rented two boats. My son Sean who loves to crab said we should have just gone to Marine Park in Red Bank, where we always catch crabs. In Shark River We tried several approaches to catch dinner, and none turned out well. First, I spared the kids and left all my silly fly rods home. That got me points right off the bat. So I drifted a squid and Gulp! combo through the channels and flats and didn't pick up a short. Then we used bunker in both drop lines and traps and managed 4 small and female crabs. Then, well we all got lucky. The snappers were blitzing, and we were on them. We used spearing and poppers and caught about twenty, the biggest maybe 7 inches. About 3/4 of the way through the trip my son Sean quit. He likes to catch and eat crabs. This wasn't working for him. We got back to the dock around two and the kid at the dock asked us how we did. He said a few others boats got a fish here and their maybe two keepers all morning. I told him we were really trying to catch crabs, and with that he said, " You have to go to Barnegat Bay or Red Bank for that, crabbings not that good here!" Sean won.

Friday, August 19, 2011

08.19.11 Took a ride down to Deal and found some birds working...also read about the algae bloom off New Jersey

     I had a boat mechanic come out to the house to take a look at the boat. Let's just say he ordered Marvel Mystery Oil in the engine and then call him back in a week. More on that to follow. Then I took a quick ride down to Deal to see what was happening. When I arrived people were starting to pack up as dark skies were moving in from the south. I looked up and down and found these birds busy off Roosevelt. I took a ride up and made some casts with my Orvis Access 8wt topped off with a Surf Candy. I saw some lightning in the distance so I pulled in after a few casts. It's nice to see birds on tiny bait, fall is coming! Hopefully the huge algae bloom found off New Jersey won't effect fishing that much.

Hopefully the huge algae bloom found off New Jersey won't effect fishing that much. A few days ago the NJ DEP put out a release that was picked up by several outlets reporting that a algae bloom had formed from Brooklyn down to Cape May. Upwelling gone wild and lots of rain and runoff lead to this bloom. When the algae dies off it could effect the fish as the oxygen levels decrease in the waters where bacteria eat the dead algae. Below is a satellite image of the area.