This weekend in our small fishing village of Stonington, Maine we hosted the annual Lobster Boat Races. Lobstermen from all over compete with their boats—some of them put in special engines just for the occasion and then remove them for regular fishing—crossing the harbor at full throttle while people watch from other boats, dinghys, islands offshore, and from the harborside restaurants and the hillside homes. It’s a sport roughly equivalent to NASCAR but on the water and attracts a similar spectator (with beer as much on the mind as racing).
We went out in our double kayak into the relative safety of the harbor spectator boats to watch the races this Sunday. The waves generated by the racing boats made for an exciting couple of hours for us in our little craft. We did endure a few jibes from people on lobstering boats but we had expected it since kayakers are also known as “speedbumps” in lobstermen parlance.
Out in the harbor at sea level you notice details you might otherwise miss. Symbolism is a big part of feng shui and lobster fishing culture. Many of the lobster boats have incredibly creative and often humorous names. Size Matters, Pound a Pot, Wet Dream, Foolish Pleasure, Underdog, Joyful Noise, MyGraine…to name a few.