Two weeks after the Matinicus shooting, three lobster boats were sunk at their moorings in Owls Head harbor near Rockland, Maine, in an apparently unrelated dispute that authorities still were trying to unravel.
Two 35-footers — Git-R-Down, owned by Donald McMahan Jr., and First Light, owned by Keith Simmons — were found sunk at their moorings early Aug. 5 as lobstermen arrived at sun-up to begin their workdays.
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?
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