Categorized | Maine Lighthouse Keeper

Lobster Branders and Lighthouse Plumbers

Day 259 – Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Today had a “High Noon”. It was literally “high water”, and noon. A rare occurrence. I concern myself with the weather, sea and tide more than anything else. I suspect the Keeper’s of the past did the same, although they did not have the benefit of wunderground or weather.com. This morning was bright and sunny, and the adjacent shoreline of the Bold Coast was peppered with June’s sea smoke…

Monday night I attended a meeting of Maine’s Lobster Advisory Council, which is trying to launch a campaign to market and brand Maine lobsters. Certainly something I have an interest in, both from a marketer’s standpoint, and a “from away” local. Several of the Cutler fishermen were there, mostly the best of them it seemed to me, and the Department of Marine Resources, and LAC reps. I believe a campaign such as this needs to happen, and would certainly increase demand and awareness. I’m just not sure that the way it’s being proposed to be paid for, (the majority funded by the fishermen), makes sense. I asked, but did not get a real answer to my question of how an increase in demand would translate into an increase in fishermen’s boat price, and not just a benefit seen by the dealers and processors. This is a complex issue and I will continue to post on it. And, I am working on a marketing/branding program of my own, for Cutler lobsters. It should be noted that Canada has been working very hard to increase their share of the lobster market, and have been quite successful, both in the US and internationally. In fact, many of the lobsters you buy, at either a restaurant or supermarket, that you may assume are from Maine, are actually from Canada, or Massachusetts, or other states. And yes, there is a difference in taste and quality. This is the marketing consultant the LAC has brought on board, John Sauve, former director of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, and current President of The Food and Wellness Group marketing firm…although disappointingly, there was no “takeaway”, or any ability to download the proposal presentation…

I had plumbers out yesterday, to work on the well, filtration system, and hot water heater. We got new elements in the heater, which are already great, and replaced the filters in the system. Ryan and Larry, from Jeff Huntley’s firm did the work, and they were great. Flushed it out and I am back to running the water through the filters. It’s clear, and doesn’t smell of sulfur, as it did. This is them working on island…and after a visit to the top of the Tower


We also ran out of gas on the way back into the harbor, something I’ve never done. I had just put at least five gallons in on Sunday so it didn’t make sense to me. Nonetheless, Josh Cates, Captain of the F/V Avery Grace gave us a tow from the salmon pens, and Dean, the owner of Little River Lobster Company, gave me enough gas to get back out to the island. I thank them both.

This is a snap of the floating crates that hold lobsters, and keep them fresh…


Several Lighthouses on Maine’s coast are currently up for takeover, including Boon Island down in York. This is a very interesting article about one man’s memories, growing up at this light, as the son of a Keeper. Thought you might enjoy it…

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20120620-NEWS-206200329

Spring continues to blaze here, and it’s been decidedly warm, somewhat unusual but continuing winter’s trend. Here is a snap of some pretty flowers, which I will ask the botanist that is coming out on island Friday what they are…

Been having lots of visitors out, which is great, especially to see the locals coming out. I am waiting to hear when the Girl Scouts are coming out in August, which has never happened (they are probably bringing bird houses that they’ve made), and hopefully some camp groups, including the Maine Environmental Summer Session For Youth, “MESSY”, as well. This is a house in town, Machias, about a 20-minute drive. There are actually some beautiful homes here…

My kitchen table…

A boat fishing Little River Light’s front yard, with Hal’s Bell beyond…

And a snap of the first page of the Machias Valley Observer, which comes out today, with an article about Norb Lemieux’s daughter Christina’s first book, “How To Catch A Lobster In DownEast Maine”. It’s a truly great read and I highly recommend getting a copy. You can order it from Lighthouse Digest, and that’s better than Amazon as LD is a big supporter of Little River Light and The Lighthouse Endeavor. Here’s the link…

http://www.shop.foghornpublishing.com/product.sc;jsessionid=2591B584731CD52F4A754914B02B233A.qscstrfrnt02?productId=595&categoryId=1

And one of my photos that’s in the book also made the cover of the paper…

http://machiasnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/20120620-Wk-44-Front-Page.pdf

I’m continuing to ready the House, Tower, grounds, Oil House, and Boathouse for the start of the guest season. If you’re thinking of visiting for an overnight, please go to www.LittleRiverLight.org for details. It will be one of the most amazing places you ever stay.

And a single-hander sailboat that came into the harbor for an overnight…

Still working on changes to the website, so thanks for the patience. Foghorn sounds. The Light is on. Good Enuf.

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6 Responses to “Lobster Branders and Lighthouse Plumbers”

  1. Mary-Adair Macaire says:

    The flowers look like Queen Anne’s Lace – which is actually a weed, albeit a pretty one. ‘Don’t know the official name for it. It was my Aunt’s favorite flower as it reminded her of her summer home in Cape May Point. There’s a lighthouse there too!

  2. Joan Jellison says:

    I agree with Mary. Queen Anne’s Lace. Lovely weed. They are all weeds of some sort.

  3. Bill Kitchen says:

    yes, agree with you both. so very nice. dandelions are a “weed” too, and mark my words, five years from now they will be a superfood…and yes emma, i have sailed by cape may many times, bringing boats to and from nantucket to annapolis. so nice that you have that memory. beautiful. thank you both for commenting.

  4. Arthur says:

    If you wish to identify Cutler lobsters use claw bands marked Cutler, ME. I have often seen in store tanks lobsters with claw bands marked Canada — and at Hanaford in Rockland, no less, and contrary to signs in this store advertising this company’s program to promote Maine seafood products.

    Concerning taste and quality, have any blind tests of such been conducted or is it a claim based on wishful thinking?

  5. Arthur says:

    –more–

    The lobster license fees paid by the several thousand fishermen and dealers includes a 23% promotional fee. What is the state doing with this money? And trap tags at 50 cents each for over 3 million traps. That the fisherman should pay even more for promotion? No way!

    Another matter is the marketability of the new shell lobsters that yield lower boat price for the fishermen but with a proportionally higher boat cost for fuel and bait per pound of lobster. This compares to farming if pre-maturely harvesting the crops.

  6. Carole says:

    This is the headline in today Portland Press Herald “Tag maker delay puts freeze on lobstering” “A manufacturing breakdown delays plastic license tags required for traps, costing fishermen time and money.”

    According to Joseph Fessenden, chief of the Maine Marine Patrol he thinks about 100 lobster men out of a total of 4,500 in the state are affected, but really does not know if a 100 is accurate number.

    The company that makes they are located in Congers NY thinks it will be making regular shipments of said tags sometime before the end of July.

    The entire appears to be a bit of a mess.

    Has anyone read this article or know anything about this issue?

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