I’ve been fishing for over ten years already! I started fishing regularly with my father when I was in my early twenties. But before that, I would often go during my teens to lend a hand on setting day, or to do some banding – (putting elastic bands on the lobsters’ claws, to prevent injury). I guess I was always a morning person, because I remember sometimes getting up and having breakfast with dad before he left for a day on the water. Six years ago, I bought Nancy’s license when she decided to sell and I’m sure glad she’s still got a knack for it, because she spent a couple of Mondays helping us band lobsters this season, and what a difference it makes to have two extra hands on board!
I think that women are really starting to get more comfortable in this industry, because there are two female license-holders in our harbour now [insert “Little River Harbour” sign], and at least a half dozen others working as deck hands.
I like that I get to stay here, close to my family and close to the water. I love every sunrise I get to see and sometimes I even love the adventure of being out there on a sloppy day.
It sure does have its down sides, though, such as the dangers that are constantly at the back of your mind, every day. Ropes can have a mind of their own, and it’s up to you to stay out of their way. It’s amazing and scary to watch them leave the boat, as sometimes they can jump and go wherever they want; luckily, I work with a great crew, and I know we are always looking out for each other. And, as amazing as those sunrises are, it can get hard mid-season to stay motivated to get out of bed at 3:30 am.
It’s kind of a novelty to some folks, when they find out there’s a lady on board. I guess I can see why, but I take it pretty seriously, and I hope that more and more women get comfy in this line of work, because we are certainly capable of it!