Life on the Bounding Main, or My Old Man and the Sea

The other day, while Paul was selling lobsters down near the harbor in Marblehead…

Paul at The Landing selling bugs

…he was talking with a customer who lives right on the water in Town and who very often can see Paul lobstering in his boat from his home. He told Paul that he loves to take photographs and often zooms in and takes photos of Paul while fishing, and that he has them all on a “web site” online. He told Paul that we could have any of those photo files if we want them, so I got them and offer them here.

I don’t go fishing with Paul any more, but it’s nice to have these as a reference as to what it is really like for him, day in and day out, on the ocean, doing his “thing.”


In the photo below, Paul’s is the smaller boat in the foreground. His friend is in the other lobster boat. I love this shot. It would make a great enlargement.

Paul (in foreground) at work lobstering

He looks so little compared to the great big wide ocean!

Paul at work

See what I mean about the seagulls having a love affair with Paul and his boat?

Paul at work

Hard at work. Nice action shot as Paul “sets” a trap somewhere new hoping that it will bring in more “bugs.”

Paul at work

I would always be worried those traps would fall overboard while perched on the side like that. He’s probably moving them to another spot in the ocean.

Paul lobstering

This is one of my favourite shots. I love the comraderie between the lobsterman and the gulls. Co-existing in nature, each trying to eek out a living.

Paul lobstering

Reaching into the trap to see if there are any “keepers.” More often than not, they are too small to keep and back into the deep blue ocean they go, to be caught another day.

Paul lobstering

Here he looks to be “banding” the lobster, putting colored elastic bands around their claws so they can’t hurt him when he is handling them and also so they can’t injure the other lobsters while in the same crate.

Paul lobstering

And up comes another trap from the ocean.

Paul at work

Off he goes with a boatful of traps, probably to be moved to a different location where they might “fish better” than the last place.

Paul at work

He never is really alone out there, is he? He’s always got someone or something to talk to – and from what he tells me, very often those birds get his ire up, stealing his bait, dive-bombing the boat quite often, and he has a few choice words to say to them out there. He even recognizes certain birds by various oddities about their bodies. I guess they are comrades on the sea.

Paul at work

Can’t you just feel the quietude of his work days?

Paul at work in the big blue sea

Now this is scary. When I first saw this picture, I said “Paul! What are you doing out there in that rough sea?” He told me that was nothing… it’s often like that. I’m glad I never realized it all these years or I would have worried a lot more than I have. He looks so vulnerable there, almost buried by the waves!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Granted, these photos seem to have been taken on nice days. There are so many days when he goes out when the weather is just awful. He fishes in the rain a lot, as long as the wind isn’t too high. He fishes in snow a lot, too. But I guess the photographer liked the nice sunny days best to photograph my Paul in his work.

This photographer, by the way, is Ken Taylor and his web site with his other photos can be found here. He has quite a few. Click on a subject matter and enjoy.

Thanks, Ken, for letting me use these. They mean a lot to me as the wife of a hard-working lobsterman who is out on the sea for most of his days.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Note: All photos on this page were taken by Ken Taylor and it is by his kind permission that I use them here. Thanks again, Ken!


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11 Responses to Life on the Bounding Main, or My Old Man and the Sea

  1. Bex says:

    I agree, TS, it is a pretty place. And I think that it being so appealing (Marblehead has been called the yachting capital of the world but I kind of doubt that’s strictly true!) is what makes the job of lobstering more palatable for Paul. I mean, if he were fishing out of a run-down area, with less natural beauty all around, I think his job would be quite tedious. As it is now, he works all hours and has his boat in the water 12 months a year, where he used to only fish from May thru about November before he met me and married me and had a home and wife to help support!


  2. T.S. says:

    What a pretty place! He must love his work!


  3. TopsyTurvy says:

    Love the pics, Bex and Ken. Thanks for giving us a look into the work that Paul does. It was fascinating – and boy does it make me miss the sea!


  4. sandy from iowa says:

    “WOW”…GREAT PHOTOS and a wonderful story you told.


  5. Michael says:

    Such wonderful photos! Thank you for sharing them.


  6. Nina says:

    Beautiful photo essay! You gotta be friends with sea when you do this kind of work!


  7. Bex says:

    Sue, Paul gets crabs too but he throws them back! He also get whelks and he knows two Korean women in town who love them so he sells them some and sells the rest he gets to a supplier (for very little money, but every bit counts!).


  8. sue says:

    These take me back some 60 years when I went to a camp on Cape Cod.

    The husband of the owner of the camp was a lobsterman, and one of the special treats for the older campers (teenagers) was to spend a day with him on his lobsterboat.

    He let us keep the crabs that snuck into the lobster traps, and when we got back to the camp we boiled them up and had quite a feast.


  9. Carol says:

    I really enjoyed seeing the photos. Your hubby does work hard.


  10. mz. em says:

    I love the photos Bex. It is nice to have a visual of Paul’s work day when you write of him lobstering. Ken is a very good photographer to get such shots. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Rhubarb says:

    I like the last one best of all. Thanks for sharing Paul’s days with us. It’s a different world from mine, the way I live now, but brings back childhood memories.


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