Rockport Harbormaster
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Harbormaster & Waterfront Committee Reports

Annual Reports for year ending December 31, 2011.

Rockport Harbor Department
2011 Annual Report

During the winter months work began with Apex Company to do a study on the infrastructure of all the town’s harbors. The Town of Rockport had been awarded $220,000.00 from the Seaport Council to do survey’s of the four harbors during 2011. Work began during the winter and continued during the summer with the final report presented in December.

Harbormasters Scott Story and Rosemary Lesch remain active in the Massachusetts Harbormaster Association and the local North Shore Harbormaster Chapter of that association as training coordinators and officers in the both the NSHM chapter and MHA. Rockport’s two harbormasters and two assistant harbormasters are certified and continue their In service training to keep their harbormaster certifications current.

In April routine maintenance was done on the entrance to Old Harbor/White Wharf to restructure the large granite stones that had fallen over and partially obstructed the harbor entrance during the winter storms.

The town floats were put in the water in early May, connected and secured by Memorial Day. The transient boating season started in May and continued into the fall. It was a good summer weather wise which brought a large number of visiting boaters to the Town of Rockport both in the harbor and out in Sandy Bay.

In mid June Coastal Zone management came to the town to host a workshop on washing boat bottoms and disposal of waste water etc. The meeting was well attended from the waterfront community, the new rules and regulations were explained by waste water specialists.

July 8 weekend we had a visit from 4 US Navy’s training ships-These 44’ sailing vessels were traveling the east coast to fine tune their maritime skills. Rockport’s Navy committee along with the Sandy Bay Yacht Club hosted the sailors and their families.

In midsummer our new Pump Out boat and trailer arrived and the old pump out boat was taken in trade by the manufacturer. The Rockport Harbor Department has been in the State of Massachusetts Clean Water Vessels program since its inception in the mid 1990’s. This program ensures that a coastal city or town be provided with a boat that has the capability to pump waste/sewerage out of a vessel and into the storage tank on a Pump out boat. The vessel that Rockport received is 20’ long with a holding tank of 300 gallons. The grant funds 75% of the cost and the town pays the remaining 25%.

In August the waterfront prepared for Hurricane Irene-hurricane preparedness programs were put into place and boaters secured for bad weather.

In the month of October the new Thacher’s Island launch arrived with a boat christening at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club. This 26’ aluminum boat will be the primary transport vessel for the island and the original boat (early 1980’s) will be used as a work boat.

The season was not at a lost for local tragedies with the death of Pigeon Cove fisherman and local waterfront journalist Peter Prybot. Peter is greatly missed around the shorelines of Cape Ann.

Late fall brought the loss of the 42’ power vessel Ocean Reporter which went aground on the tip of Straightsmouth Island. All hands were safe but the boat was lost. We look forward to seeing a new Ocean Reporter on the mooring in the spring.

The Rockport Harbor Department had hundreds of incidents including: a fisherman washed off the rocks, divers in distress, boat fires, May Day calls, kayakers in distress, medical emergencies and assisting numerous boaters on a daily basis.

A special thank you to all the town departments who work together to make the waterfront such a special place not only for locals but for thousands of visitors each year whether they arrive by land or sea.

Rockport Harbormasters
Rosemary Lesch/Scott Story

Assistant Harbormasters
Ron Petoff/Story Reed


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