Linda Greenlaw’s first experience with commercial fishing was during her undergraduate years at Colby College in Maine, where she majored in English and government. She needed tuition money, so she got a job as a cook and deckhand aboard the swordfishing boat Walter Leeman. She liked it and was good at it, and after school she decided to stick with it. Greenlaw went on to become the first female captain of a swordfishing boat on the East Coast — and one of the industry’s best.
Some people seem born to sail. Queene Hooper Foster didn’t grow up around boats, but she developed an early fascination with them, poring over Rosenfeld photos and building pond models. (At 14 she wrote to Ted Hood and enlisted his help in designing a mainsail for one of her models.) She explored the creeks of the Chesapeake aboard her first boat, a Luders 16, but Foster did much of her learning aboard the Concordia yawl Moonfleet and, through the vicissitudes of hands-on experience, became a skilled sailor.
It’s a sunny October day, and Paul Dobbins is getting a bit of a late start setting out his seaweed lines. He has been monitoring the water temperature at his lease site, in sheltered ocean water off southern Maine, and it has finally dropped to optimal conditions. Tomorrow he will start setting out thousands of feet of line seeded with millions of tiny sugar kelps, a type of edible seaweed — or sea vegetable, as many prefer to call it — native to Maine.
There aren’t many people who reach the top of one profession and then attain the pinnacle of a second one. But Onne van der Wal, though he is affable and modest, is also a talented overachiever.
The drive to Boothbay Harbor, Maine — 10 miles down a peninsula and past the rocky islets wonderfully named The Cuckolds — terminates in a narrow network of lanes paralleling the undulating shore.
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