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  • Tim Tower

Billy's Journal

The month of April will be most noted for the high price of lobster meat and lobster products. At one point we were paying $58/pound for handpicked fresh local lobster meat. The price never did go below the mid $50s for the month. Normally, we labor through these prices that last about a week before prices fall. Not this year. The sea water temperature was so cold that lobsters didn't crawl much. Since the northeastern U. S. has established a huge Chinese export market, the demand both locally and overseas was very high with not nearly enough product to meet demands. Lobsters weren't trapping and everybody wanted them. So did we! But everyone had to pay for them. I did end up raising prices on things like lobster stew, lobster salad plates and lobster sautés. But our lobster prices stayed on the low end. And I really should have started looking at prices more seriously at an earlier time.

When May showed up prices were just starting to drop - some. As of this writing, prices have dropped but not nearly to the level we expect for this time of year. The water is still cold. Lobsters still aren't crawling like they should. And everything in the world of fish/shellfish stocks are behind in migration a week or two. But that's nature. And we will roll with it.

April's weather was also fairly cold. But winds were light for the most part. The weekends have been busy. The week days have not. However, for those who have time, the week days have been the most enjoyable times here at Barnacle Billy's. We had fires in both fire places every day in April. It's been very enjoyable at times on the deck and, at times, by the fire. I would call it a win win! But that's me.

The worst thing about April was the fire at the Blue Water Inn at Ogunquit Beach. Some say it was an electrical fire that started in a wall that burned down the entire Inn and damaged Huckleberry'srestaurant next door. It started around 6:00 PM on Tuesday, April 28. We could see the smoke from Perkins Cove drifting with the northwest wind blowing out to sea. The wind was strong enough to fan the flames and allow it to spread further than if it had been calm. Huckleberry's might have been spared otherwise. All of us were saddened by this not only because of what it did to the family and employees just before opening. But also because the Blue Water Inn was a landmark here in Ogunquit. And for all the work and heartache they will have to endure during the process afterward. Also, most will be keeping a close eye on the rebuilding. All of us who own property on the water will be hoping that the rebuilding period will move forward flawlessly. There is never a good time to have a fire. But to have a fire in a seasonal business just before opening and after all the winter improvement money has been spent is just devastating. We wish everyone at the Blue Water Innthe best for the future.


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