Boat Name: Alewife Cove
I've caught lobsters since I was a little boy. Some of my first memories helping my father and my cousins pull traps off the shore of Cape Elizabeth. By the time I was in high school I had my own little lobster boat, an 18 foot pointer named Celia (my Mom's middle name) and 100 traps. I was hooked.
The Maine coast is a special place and lobstering enabled me to experience the ocean in a way not many can. Every summer while my friends were washing dishes or mowing lawns, I got out on the water every day in my boat and caught lobsters. I've seen creatures come up in my traps that would boggle your mind.
As the years passed it became clear that lobstering is a very difficult way to make a living. It is back breaking work that takes a toll on your body and while the money can be good, it is not a guaranteed paycheck. That being said, it is not something you can just walk away from. Last year I finished two master's degrees at the University of Maine, one in marine biology and one in marine policy. I also nearly died lobstering when a swell capsized my boat. I am a lobsterman and a scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. On any given day I am either catching lobsters or studying them. Not a bad gig.
There is something about spending time out on the water that becomes a part of you. Maybe it is the sun exploding up over the water on a summer day or maybe it is the ice hanging off my nose that first freezing day of the winter. Or maybe it is just knowing that I'm doing what I love to do.
The important lesson I learned from nearly dying last year is that life is short, and if you are not doing what you love to do, you're just wasting time. Let me catch your dinner this month. Go ahead and Catch a Piece of Maine.