Vance Bunker, the lobsterman accused of the Matinicus shooting, is a local hero who helped save three men after their tugboat sank one brutally cold night in 1992.
The air that Jan. 16 was minus 4 F — so cold a thick layer of sea smoke hung over Penobscot Bay. Though stars were visible overhead, visibility across the water was very smoky. The wind was blowing 40 mph when the 75-foot tug Harkness, chugging back to Mount Desert Island, began taking on water off Matinicus.
The lobster fishery has had some very, very good years
— but also some tough ones — from the mid-1980s right up to 2007, when lobsters were fetching as much as $12 a pound wholesale at the dock. This summer, lobstermen have been getting $2.50 a pound, a 19-year low.
A seaworthy boat handles well, is stable, sheds water quickly, and has plenty of reserve buoyancy
A seaworthy boat to my mind is one that can reliably and safely carry out its function or mission. In that context, you would expect a runabout to stay afloat, handle well and ride comfortably in a light chop on inshore waters.
Solo sailor Nicholas Barham had no way of slowing the speedy Tahiti Belle’s rush to destruction.
Barham was asleep in a darkened bunk aboard his 31-foot trimaran Tahiti Belle, his dreams troubled by the same concerns he had when awake: Can the rig hold up in this gale?
1. Life jackets: Never use a life jacket without crotch straps and, preferably, a spray hood built into the collar. It is also well worth thinking about having a buddy line and two of the combined red flare/orange smoke canisters the lifeboat crews use attached to their life jacket waist straps.
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