Maine winter lobstering, everything is tedious,
Approaching solstice takes thin slices of time,
Daylight, and temperature, shorter, colder days,
Decisions harder, traps deeper, 60 fathom,
Further from shore, depths good few weeks
Back are too shallow as lobsters retreat to
Deeper waters. This morning, my body and
Mind operate on slow bell, another cup of
Coffee, listening to marine forecast, make
Few phone calls, converging weather systems,
Narrow window to take Christmas lobsters,
Quick out-and-back runs hauling twin traps.
Sun above horizon, temperature 23 degrees,
Wind gusting to 15 knots, white-cresting waves,
Wind-chills in single digits, sea-spray freezing
On wheelhouse windows, bright-blue sky, I add
Another layer of clothing, clashing camouflage,
Bib overalls. This boat is powered by diesel,
Coffee, caffeine, and nicotine. Such is my life
And livelihood, too many years working for
Risk taking on Gulf of Maine, accumulating
Ice on windscreen, stick to what I know and
Love: family and faith, navigating home waters,
Hauling traps, anticipating Maine hard winters.
What will tomorrow bring? Few hours of good
Weather, calm easterlies. Is there such a thing?
Under late afternoon sun, I’m watching home
Buoys on radar, reflections getting bigger,
Brighter. Thoughts of dinner and relaxing,
Good scotch and Tylenol, heating pad for
Aching back. I’ll be up early, watching local
TV weather, making few phone calls. Who
Else is braving Maine waters? Descending
Clouds, freezing rain and ice up on Grand
Manan, snow-ice line almost overhead. This
Cold December morn, I’m staying home.
This morning it’s 16ºF along rocky coast of Maine, snow extending west
to cold Toronto. Frozen mix forecast over the weekend. Thanks for reading.