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  • Tim Tower

Billy's Journal

With the exception of Tuesday morning, April 19th, when the wind blew out of the southeast at fifty miles per hour and it was pouring rain, we have had good business. It has been windy. But most days have been sunny with high temperatures in the mid 50°s. Some days have been warmer. We had five days last week where the high temperature for the day was 60°F to 65°F. Friday, April 15, had the highest air temperature so far breaching the 65°F mark.

I haven’t adjusted any of the prices on the menu that we show online. The menu remains the same. Prices on just about everything have risen. Lobster & lobster meat prices are higher, steamers stayed the same. In general, produce prices are up thirty percent. We haven’t changed our dessert prices.

Lobster prices are higher everywhere because, frankly, lobsters don’t crawl much this time of year in Maine. If they don’t crawl, they don’t trap. And if few lobsters are landed, the price stays high. Take into account the much more restrictive lobster gear regulations with respect to saving the Right Whale and the continued huge demand for hard shell lobsters in China, you have a situation where high prices might be here for the long term. Soft shell lobster runs in July & August might bring prices down. But last year they didn’t! This was very surprising to me. Even when landings were highest in August and September of 2021, lobstermen were receiving record prices per pound. I have no idea why this was the case. But my lobstering friends were very happy. Some of the lobsters we sell are caught from boats that fish out of Perkins Cove.

One of the things I have enjoyed most this year is seeing some of our regular Canadian patrons coming back to Barnacle Billy’s. Some have been absent for almost three years, since before the Covid pandemic started. I found myself talking to Normand & Nicole, from Montreal, over thirty minutes the other day.. I couldn’t tear myself away. They are such wonderful people and I missed them so much. And, of course, I wanted to know what they had been doing with themselves during that time. There have been many others. You know that if you are seeing these people again, I feel that you must be doing something right!

We had to update our in-house security system last week. In the process, we also had to upgrade the webcam. That took a few days to fix. In the meantime, I received lots of emails telling me that the camera wasn’t working. I appreciate the heads up. But when that webcam is down I have to spend way too much time answering emails. That’s okay, though; I would rather answer the emails than not know we have a problem.

We are certainly not “killing it” business wise. But we are doing well. At this pace and if I can get Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. up and running on a daily basis, we should be able to make it through another season so that we can open again in 2023! Hey, it sounds like a joke but you never know. I remember the year of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City. We were ten percent ahead on September 1st. We finished the year seven percent behind. So you never know. Fingers crossed?


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