Harvesting lobsters by hand in a traditional rowboat. Saves on petrol, CO2 emissions---
This started as a daydream: being out to haul without the engine noise; reviving
traditional fishing methods and gear; most importantly, breaking the imagination barrier
about what is possible in truly sustainable energy alternatives.
February 4, 2011- The first season has come and gone, and a wild ride it was. Sweet Pea
is safely indoors at Ann and Tom's place. I go visit her while taking the kids sledding.
I stare through the window.
I had one really great month by which time I'd gotten gear in the water, the bugs worked
out of the operation through endless frustration and cursing. The great month ended with
the forecast of Hurricane Earl. I'm in for one more season, starting with gear work in
April and setting out in early May. Then we'll have to see...
Get the latest at my blog:
February 1, 2010
Last Friday, I stopped in at The Carpenter's Boatshop to view progress on the 15 foot
Peapod they're building me. The shop is on the second floor of an airy, sun washed
timberframe building in Pemaquid. I was struck by a couple of things. First, how much
work goes into just setting up the wood frame on top of which the boat frame is
constructed- sort of a big curvaceous wooden mold. Next was the enthusiasm of the
boatbuilders. They were quick to show me the jigs, ribands, rabbets and keel
components, and did their best to educate me. I felt how excited they were to be
building this unique vessel. Enough so that it was decided that as long as they were
going to the trouble of finding all the forms and working out the sequencing, they
may as well build two. My baby will have a twin sister out there somewhere. Here's a
clip of the progress, which is basically the keel and the mold for the hull.
January 5, 2010
Update- After a couple of months of stewing and obsessing, I finally have a boat
picked out. I’ll be working on a 15 foot Matinicus Peapod built by the Carpenter’s
Boat Shop in Pemaquid, Maine. (www.carpentersboatshop.org). Lisa and I visited there
last week, and looked at their many stunning boats- both new and in restoration. The
peapod will be cedar planked, lapstrake fashion, over an oak frame. I pretty much had
to run in circles and hyperventilate when I got the call from Robert Ives informing
me that they were undertaking the project. It looks as though the as-yet-unnamed
vessel will be completed in April. Now I need a name…
I also recently acquired a number of second hand lighter weight lobster traps, so
that piece is coming together. The 60 or so left behind in my back yard are in pretty
hard shape, but the few that I set out this summer seemed to work pretty well.
One thing a clumsy, middle aged, clueless guy like me really needs is good safety
gear and plenty of it. I’ve spent a couple of months researching flotation, gps,
distress beacons, radios, strobes, radar reflectors and the like.
Matinicus is covered in snow. My trap yard is frozen down. The wind at night holds no
intimidation because I know I don’t have to be out in it. I haven’t been to the
harbor for days. I am coming out of the first restful vacation since before my 7 year
old was born. It has been a little strange to wake without knots in my belly. I’m
getting used to it.
April 8, 2010. So by now I'm really feeling behind. The boatshop has been quietly leaving
me in the dust on my own project. I've got a few warps ready. No buoys painted, no traps
groomed, no gaff, no clue. I'm still trying to get winter jobs wrapped up. Here are the
latest pix. I highly recommend hearing Vendana Shiva or picking up one of her books if you
can. She advocates small, highly biodiverse food production as answers to economic
imbalances, environmental problems and hunger. Sounds a lot like my idea. The problem is
that right now, it's still an idea, although there are some awesome individuals building
me the world's coolest commercial fishing vessel. Grass is green, songbirds are
everywhere. Time to have the last wood stove fire of the season and throw the winter job