Providence to Newport by Water (with my brother on a very hot day)

Mary:  “How old is this boat?”
Peter:  “35 years”
Mary:  “It’s nice in here. Why don’t you re-do the linoleum in the Captain’s quarters? You know, keep up the boat.”
Peter:  “Arrrgggh! This is a working boat! It stays in the water. Gotta make money!”
Mary:  “Okay. Got it.”

You might remember my brother, Peter and his boat, the Endeavour, from a past blog,
I Wanna Be a Lobsterman. Actually, that blog led to a unique experience when a guy named Steve Trewhella found a lobster trap tag from the Endeavour at Chesil BeEndeavor Tagach, UK on the South coast of England. Steve took a photo and posted it on Facebook, and then a second guy, Tom Pitchford of Florida, US, saw the  photo, googled the Endeavour, found my blog, and sent me Steve’s photo on Facebook at Mary Hartley RD. Crazy!

BTW: Our Endeavor is not to be confused with the HMS Endeavour recently found at the bottom of Newport Harbor. That Endeavour is the boat Captain James Cook sailed around the world when he made first contact with Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand.

Anyway, last Friday, an unbearably hot and humid July day, my brother had to move his boat from the Port of Providence where it went for its biennial exterior paint job (sorry, Pete) back to Newport, Rhode Island where it is docked. I went along for the ride. Mmmmm. So breezy steaming down Narragansett Bay.

Check out the photos of the day. Note the huge mobile harbor crane loading the boat into the water at Port of Providence, and at Slide 9, notice the pop-up storm brewing 20 miles to the west in Wickford, RI. We could see the thunder and lightening, but Wickford got all that plus heavy rain and very gusty winds. It blew through suddenly and tipped over stuff!

Comments:  Have you taken this trip?

I Wanna Be a Lobsterman

This is my brother, Peter. He is a lobsterman, actually the captain of the boat. A lobsterman is like a farmer except that agribusiness is not involved. There are no giant commercial farms owned by multinational corporations, no chemicals, no antibiotics, no genetic modifications, and no Monsanto beating down the door. Some people find lostering romantic; I find it dangerous. Same thing, I guess. I asked Peter about catching lobsters, and he told me this is how it’s done:

  • Get a fishing boat. Rig it to catch lobsters. Load 1600 lobster pots. Hire a four-man crew.
  • String bait, 3 to 4 skate to a string. Load 43 barrels of skate and a few pallets of poggies (menhaden) because the lobsters like a blend.
  • Steam from Rhode Island out to the coast of Maine where your lobster pots are already in the water. They are strung with line, 50 pots attached, 25 fathoms (150 feet) apart.
  • Drop anchor and haul in the pots with an electrical lift. Expect 10 lbs of lobster in each pot.
  • Land – Band – Bait (Land: bring in a pot and put the lobsters on the table; Band: place rubber bands around the claws and put the lobster in a tank of cold, aerated water; Bait: reload the empty pot with bait.)
  • Set Back: The pots are stacked on the deck in order: first pot in is the last pot out. Lower the lines while the boat is moving. Whatever you do, don’t tangle up the lines!
  • Repeat for 4 or 5 days, and then steam back to port.
  • Pack Out.  Back on shore, pump down the water from the holding tanks. Separate the lobsters into 100 pound crates.  Hoist the crates into a refrigerated truck.
  • Drive the truck to Boston where the lobsters are graded and sold: Select, Cull (one claw), Chicken (1 – 1.5 pounds), and Soft (this lobster has molted, only the cooked meat is sold)
  • Get paid. Hang around for a few days. Hope the crew stays out of jail. Get up and do it again.

    Your thoughts: Do you eat lobster?
    Lobster Nutrition: A 3-ounce serving of cooked lobster has only 76 calories, <1 g of fat, 16 g of protein, 413 mg of sodium, 184 mg of cholesterol, 160 g of calcium, 1.8 mg of iron, and a decent amount of potassium, zinc, other trace minerals, and niacin (vitamin B3.)