Lobster Fishing- The American Worker Project #2

Lobstah10 My second installment into The American Worker Project brought me Down East to the coast of Maine in a little place called Brooklin Maine.    Specifically the waters off of Eggemoggin Reach just a few miles south of Mount Desert Island, but a seemingly miles away from all the crowds and tourists that one encounters when touring Acadia.

I was introduced to my new lobstering friends,  Patrick and his sister Sharlene Grant, by our new friend and host Laurie, of Ocean Front Camping of Reach Knolls in Brooklin.      Laurie and her husband Paul were amazing hosts and also a wealth of knowledge in assisting me with setting up several of my shoots.   But that is a story for another post….  Stay tuned.

Getting back to my exciting day of lobstering….   Here are a few more photos from that cold morning on the water.     Scroll down below the following photos for more info on my hard working subjects Patrick and Sharlene.

Lobstah13Lobstah05Lobstah04Lobstah12Lobstah16We started out our morning early at the crack of dawn,  what turned out to be a late start compared to their normal days.   After boarding their boat and loading up the day’s bait, we had a quick discussion about what we were going to shoot and how I can get the best shots without ending up in their way or over the side of the boat.  😉   I couldn’t have asked for better subjects.  They  were super nice and gave me free reign on their boat to shoot whatever I wanted.   

Patrick and Sharlene are second generation lobster fishermen.    Both started out at a very early age just as their father before them.   Sharlene worked the boats off and on over the years and took time every summer to fish alongside her brother and her dad.   Patrick has followed in his dads footsteps and has hardly missed a day on the water in over 30 years.    It is hard work, but when you talk with them you see that they really love it.    You would have to love it to get out on some of the cold mornings…    😉   It was a blustery 29 degrees Fahrenheit the day we went out.    Fortunately the sun was out.   I can only imagine what it must be like when it is cold and blowing with rain added in on top of that.

The job of a commercial lobsterman is hard.   You work really long hours,  get up super early and head out to search for your bouys in a sea of what seems like millions of bouys. This task of finding your traps (or Pots) has been simplified somewhat with the invention of the GPS but finding them and hauling them in is still an arduous task.    Patrick captains the boat and snags and hauls in the traps while Sharlene preps the bait and does all the measuring, banding and sorting of the keepers vs the rejects.    Then Patrick drops the pots and the process is repeated about a zillion times.    All the while being soaked with freezing cold water.   Simple right?  😉   Watching them work was something else,   they are like a well oiled machine.      One of the highlights of the day was when Sharlene pulled in a pot that at first glance only had two lobsters in it… upon further inspection it turned out to be one lobster that had shed its shell and left a perfectly preserved shell of its former self right next to it.    A pretty rare find,  even for a seasoned pro.

All in all we had a pretty good day.   While it started out slow,   it picked up about mid morning.   Patrick joked that it seemed like every time I would switch from stills to video  we seemed to bring in lots more pots full with lobsters.    Sounds like a joke but it literally happened like that 3 times in a row.   Stay tuned for an update with our video we shot that day.  In the end we went back in to port with about 4oo+ pounds of lobster.    Which is a pretty good haul for about 1/2 days worth of  lobstering at the end of the season.

At the end of the day they sent me home with a giant bucket of lobsters and a few crabs and my family and I had the feast of our lives!    Thanks so much to them both for making me feel welcome and for being such great subjects!
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