And there goes my fam­ily…

Tri-County Vanguard - - OP-ED -

It has be­come a tra­di­tion for Tri-County Van­guard lead editor Tina Comeau to share per­sonal re­flec­tions on the start of the lob­ster sea­son. Here’s a story she wrote on dump­ing day morn­ing – not long af­ter the boats had left their wharfs, in­clud­ing her fam­ily’s boat with her hus­band and two sons on board. She knows her thoughts and feel­ings are ones that hun­dreds of other house­holds and fam­i­lies can re­late to.

Fish­ing is hard work. It is no­ble work. It is gru­elling work. It is needed work. It is phys­i­cally de­mand­ing work.

Over the win­ter a day at the “of­fice” is in bit­ter cold tem­per­a­ture with windy con­di­tions – and as a bonus you can throw rain and snow into the mix. There’s no real sched­ule fish­er­men can rely on. Their lives and liveli­hoods are gov­erned by the weather throughout the six­month sea­son that will end on May 31. And by de­fault, the lives of their fam­i­lies are gov­erned by the weather too.


At the Pinkney’s Point wharf there’s al­ways that one boat ev­ery dump­ing day that scares those of us on shore as leans to one side while steam­ing out of har­bour. It al­most makes me feel phys­i­cally ill. I have to look away.

And then our fam­ily’s boat, Ja­cob’s Jour­ney, pulls away from the wharf. I know what thoughts are go­ing through my mind. I won­der what Emmy is think­ing of at this mo­ment too. I see tears in her eyes. Ja­cob is wav­ing good­bye. I see Justin in the wheel­house and yell out my life­jacket re­minder, just in case he missed it the other 135 times, ac­cord­ing to his cal­cu­la­tions.

As boat af­ter boat steams away – form­ing a what looks like a lighted city on the wa­ter’s hori­zon – there’s a bit of comic re­lief on the wharf as one boat is throw­ing out a lot of smoke from its ex­haust. “I fi­nally got a boat named af­ter me,” laughs a woman. “And look at me, I’m smokin’ hot!”

The last boat leaves. The har­bour is quiet and empty. It’s a far cry from an hour ago when it was bustling with ac­tiv­ity. Now it’s just peace­ful – that peace I was long­ing for an hour ago although re­ally the wor­ry­ing has only just be­gun.

Emmy and I walk back to my car and I pick out an­other song for drive home. It’s the song ‘From Now On,’ from the movie The Great­est Show­man.

I like when the song kicks up into a spe­cific set of lyrics that re­peat them­selves again and again:

“And we will come back home. And we will come back home. Home, again!”

I think about my fam­ily that just sailed away.

On this morn­ing, those are ex­actly the words I want (and need) to hear.


The fish­ing ves­sel Sea Quiz steams out of port at the Pinkney’s Point Wharf on dump­ing day morn­ing Satur­day, Dec. 1. The start of the sea­son, which should have opened Nov. 26, had been pushed back to the end of the week due to weather.

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