Thursday, 2 May 2013

Fishermen and Friends

April showers bring May flowers.

You know that little ditty? Well it rings a different tune around these parts. Something along the lines of, 'April showers bring May lobsters.' Okay, I'll admit that my version is not quite as catchy as the original.

But seriously, does anyone else enjoy a good 'feed' of lobster, as my common-law would put it? It is certainly something that I have grown to love and look forward to each May. And not only did I get that 'feed' earlier this week, but I got the chance to see behind the scenes first hand on how they get ready for the season. I snapped a few shots for those of you who aren't up to date on the world of lobstering so you could live vicariously through my, admittedly smelly, adventure.

Slicker Cat is the name of Pops' boat.
This is a shot of it loaded up and ready for setting day.
Rob's dad, 'Pops' as Finley will learn to call him, owns a lobster gear. Rob would love to follow in those same clunky rubber boot footsteps sometime later in life and insists that I will be by his side. So, I thought I would get on board {literally} and see what it is all about.

Now, I didn't get to go out and actually catch any lobster because I had no one to watch Finn during the week. And this momma is not about to let him out on a boat on a rough foggy morning this early in life {though his father insists that it is perfectly safe}. So I settled with helping the guys prep for 'setting day' and then went out for one load to see essentially how it is all done.

So obviously setting day is the day that they 'set' the lobster traps in the water for the season. Shocker. But before they do that, they need to prep the traps and load them on the boat. This is ground breaking stuff, I am aware. But stick with me.

It was a beautiful sunny Sunday - this gals birthday! And I mean really, what better way to say Happy Birthday than with dead smelly fish and lobster traps that weigh as much as me? Welcome to my world.

No, Im just being dramatic - it was a great time getting to see what these guys do.

Let me break it down for you.

First, you have to fill bait bags so there is something to attract Mr. and Mrs. Lobster to the traps. That is where I come in. It is a very easy job but apparently no one likes to do it...I cant begin to imagine why.

My lesson from Pops on how the pros do it!
I honestly had the best time! Happy as a clam! Sea reference noted and lamely intensional - thats just how I roll!

Cheeser Mr. Rotten Herring Fish
Okay, enough about me. Bait bags done, check! 

Now onto the traps. These babies weigh nearly a hundred pounds each - note the different ones already loaded on the boat back there, they weigh a bit less.  Robert, with his big muscles {not mussels tehehe}, lifts each up to be baited by Pops while he attaches them to the rope line, better known as a trawl. I learned that six to eight traps are connected per trawl and are numbered by buoys on either side. You may need to know that in life so I am just helping you out. Jeopardy here we come!

Muscles versus Mussels.
{I honestly crack myself up - who doesn't love a good pun?}
That is a serious baiting face!
{Which is why I opted to feature Pops versus myself}
Once baited and roped, the trap is then passed down to be loaded onto the boat. Ryan, Roberts brother, is the chap sporting the camo. He was responsible for organizing the traps, buys and rope so that everything could be run off smoothly without a hitch. They didn't offer to let me jump down there and help out. Hmm...


The next morning we were up and at em before 5:30 am to watch the boats set out with their first load of the day.

Slicker Cat and its crew.
Finley came out to see them off. He couldn't take his eyes off of the boats! His father will make a fisherman out of him yet!

Finley and Meema watching the boats leave the wharf.
A little later in the morning, after a coffee or eight, the guys let me tag along for a trip out on the water.

Danger
I stayed in the cab and learned through observation. It was the safest choice for this new bee.

This part of the job seemed rather simple in concept but also easiest enough to mess up and land with a splash in the water. The guys carried one trawl of traps at a time to the stern and side of the boat. Then when the boss, Pops in this here story, finds a good spot to drop them they just get pushed overboard one at a time.


There are two buoys to a trawl - one at each end. They are the key to finding them again when the guys come back for their loot tomorrow. Basic enough. But let me tell you, that is a lot of rope. Much easier said than done my friends.

Relaxing on the job.
And that is that. Once all the traps were set we headed back to the wharf. 

Meema, Finley, and Moe greeted us.
There you have it - a day in the life of a fisherman. And who knows, one day that could be Robert, Finley and I on our own boat. Im sure if you asked Pops he'd tell you I need a little more practice before then. Who are we kidding - a tone more practice.

Maybe Ill stick to what I do best and stay close to home. Everyone will be happy that way. And I will smell less like a rotten fish.

Ill keep you posted on whatever shenanigans we are up to next. Hopefully they will be related to my an item or two on my daunting to-do list.

Chat soon!

1 comment:

  1. Love this! You are a lady of many talents!!

    ReplyDelete

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