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A February to remember: Maine lobsters and lobster scientist iced-in (Print)

Jimmy Wotton aboard his lobster boat Overkill out in a snowstorm breaking ice.  Friendship fishermen tried in vain to keep the harbor and surrounding bay open.  I took this shot through the window looking out over my desk. (Diane Cowan photo)

Jimmy Wotton aboard his lobster boat Overkill out in a snowstorm breaking ice. Friendship fishermen tried in vain to keep the harbor and surrounding bay open. I took this shot through the window looking out over my desk. (Diane Cowan photo)

For those readers who do not know, Diane Cowan, Phd, is the executive director of The Lobster Conservancy, and the author of the popular “Ask The Lobster Doc” column that appeared in Commercial Fisheries News for several years.

Cowan made national news recently when her struggles with being iced-in on a coastal island, and essentially cut off from civilization and supplies, resulted in an emergency air drop.

Even for the scrappy Cowan, this winter has posed unique challenges, along with new scientific insight.

She has been willing to share her experience and knowledge in this special edition of Ask The Lobster Doc. 

— Editor

 

FRIENDSHIP LONG ISLAND, ME – The last time I went to the mainland for groceries, dog food, bird seed, banking, and normal stuff like that was Jan. 22.

I only know the date because I got the credit card bills.

The last time I went to the mainland for a shower and mail was Jan. 30.

I know this because I wrote about it in my journal.

That’s the last time I touched a dollar bill.

Feb. 2, 9 pm.  Iced-in.

I know because I went out to check on my boat.

I always told summer people that if I could only be out here on the island for one month of the year, that month would be February – because it is the most aesthetically beautiful month.

So I was here for all of February, and part of March and January, without leaving.  It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

But, there were things I couldn’t have known, feelings I didn’t know I could have.

When the ice took over and the boats couldn’t go in or out of Friendship Harbor, my world became completely silent.

I didn’t notice until later when someone asked about it, but I too became completely silent….

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Read the rest of this story and much, much more in the April issue of Commercial Fisheries News.  Buy this issue or Subscribe

(Read online immediately with access key and download for future reference.)

 

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