Thanks to friend Anna, I went looking for whelk pots online and in the process stumbled onto some YouTube videos. Found this one entitled “Lobstering in Portland, Maine” showing what it’s really like to be a lobsterman:
This boat has a skipper and a sternman. Paul does both jobs by himself, so you can imagine he’s quite busy. But this video seems to have been shot from the hat or head of the sternman, and you can really get a good idea of how it goes out there on the ocean for these guys.
They must throw back any lobster that is an “egger” (lots of eggs underneath), any that are too small (see the gauge they use to measure them), and any that are V-notched on the tail (I think these are V-notched by previous lobstermen who have caught them and found them to be pregnant). There are strict rules about what you can keep and what you have to throw back, and woe betide any fisherman who gets caught breaking those rules!
This is a good one showing what you can and cannot keep:
Also, I love the accompanying music! Sounds like Gordon Bok but not sure. It may be Stan Rogers… I need to look it up. Gordon Bok, from Maine, is fabulous and the late Stan Rogers, from Canada, was probably the best folk singer of all time, IMO…
(Note: At the end of the video it says the song is sung by Chris Andrews – never head of him but love his voice… so off I go to look him up now! Found him, click his name to learn more.)
Just found this of Stan Rogers…wow!
The Candle Song, by Stan Rogers… oh, this was my all time favorite of his:
There are so many, but I must save these. Here is “Lockkeeper” – incredibly beautiful:
Stan died in an airplane fire in the U.S. helping to save other passengers. It was a wretched day when I heard he’d died back in 1983.
I loved that man.
I went out with Paul during the first part of our relationship back before we were married. I didn’t much like the smell of the bait barrel (dead fish). At first it made me nauseated. Also, the rocking and rolling of the boat, combined with the smell of the exhaust/fuel coming out the back all day long was enough to make my stomach turn. I never got sick but I had to get used to it.
Unfortunately, after we were married and we bought a house, and I was working full-time, I stopped going out with him. I kind of wish I hadn’t stopped. He enjoyed having the company (or so he says), but with chores to do here, it just wasn’t feasible for us to be a “team.” There are husband/wife teams of lobsterpeople around here. It’s hard work but it’s honest work and you can sleep good at night! I know when Paul’s head hits the pillow, either in his bed or on the sofa, he is out like a light!
This photo was taken by me on that first time he took me out lobstering with him.
It was the day we fell in love. Oh I had been nuts about Paul for years and years before this day, but we clicked on that day back in July 1985, and never looked back. The following May we were married and on a plane to England & Scotland for our honeymoon.
I’m getting all maudlin here… just wanted to show what a lobsterman’s work day is really like, and I do think the video above depicts it pretty well.
Bex & Co.
It’s in every one of us to be wise;
Find your heart, open up both your eyes.
We can all know every thing without ever knowing why.
It’s in every one of us, by and bye.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Gregory Alan Isakov – my new favorite musical artist