Friday, October 24, 2008

Lobster Lunch (Crab Roll on the Side)

Lobster Dinner
The wise diner brings along his own "real" silverware.

The Maine lobster market crashed in the week or two before our visit. We had a fascinating conversation about it at sunrise one day with a super-friendly lobsterman of about 35 or 40 years old at the tiny lobstering harbor at Jonesport, Maine. He told us he was in no hurry to get out there, as there was no money to be made. Lobster was bringing him not much more than $2 per pound, when he needed about $3 just to break even, given fuel costs. Turns out that even relatively well-off people around the world cut out luxury items like lobster when times turn tough. So these guys are on the head of the nasty economic curve coming our way.

The lobsterman left us and rowed his tender out into the freezing cold morning, where he prepped his lobster boat and brought it to the dock to await his maybe 65 year-old partner, his father. The old guy was one of a circle of old-timers on a couple of "Liar's Benches" in the country store where my wonderful wife had gotten us coffee a little earlier in the morning. He hobbled out to the dock on a cane, braced up against the banister on a steep aluminum gangway, and expertly dropped down maybe 50 feet to the boat dock floating at low tide.

And off they went to pull in most of their 800 lobster traps.