Two winters ago, on a family cruise through the West Indies, Kirsten Scott poked her head out of the cabin of the sloop Eleda and spotted another classic wooden sloop drifting, apparently crewless, through the anchorage on Dominica. She didn’t need her lifetime of sailing experience to know that should this lovely yacht make open water, it might not be seen again until landfall in Nicaragua. Dispatched in their vintage Lawley tender, Scott’s husband, Ross Gannon, and son, Olin, were soon aboard The Blue Peter and secured her to a mooring in the upper harbor.
Graham McKay is executive director of Lowell’s Boat Shop, a national landmark and working museum whose mission is “to preserve and perpetuate the art and craft of wooden boat building.” The oldest continuously operating boat shop in America, Lowell’s was founded by Simeon Lowell in 1793 on the banks of the Merrimack River in Amesbury, Massachusetts.
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.
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