Robert Olson, a 15′ Dayboat

      When I was in boat school Robert Olson was my neighbor on West Quoddy Head. He was the caretaker there, and a lobsterman, and someone I came to think of as a friend. He never took the time to go sailing. Always too busy for that! But I would like to dedicate … Continue reading Robert Olson, a 15′ Dayboat


Quoddy Light

        There were two strains of peapods built downeast along the coast of Maine. The first, and arguably most common, were for inshore lobstering. A man or boy, often an old man or a young boy, would tend a few traps in among the rocks and ledges too close in for the … Continue reading Quoddy Light

Chasing after the new, the trap of innovation.

Just look around you. What we see is what collapse looks like. It's not the dramatic plot of some Apocalyptic movie. Such flashy spectacles are just a symptom of our decline. In the end it's not only our inability to adapt to changing conditions that holds us in its grip. We are in collapse because … Continue reading Chasing after the new, the trap of innovation.

What I Learned in “Boat School”

By accident. No one involved with that school wanted such lessons to be learned. Certainly not the State of Maine and it's representatives at the Department of Education. Mr Dodge taught this lesson as reluctantly as he parted with any of his family's secrets – that in itself a fund of wisdom I'm still mining for its truths so deep and esoteric for all of the downeaster's matter-of-fact and undemonstrative demeanor. We students had no idea what was really on offer, either from Mr. Dodge, Ernie's endless stories of wartime Britain and the cream of the Empire's nautical traditions brought together to defeat the Nazi hoards. Nor from each other and the rough and tumble of day-to-day life with so many odd and difficult characters gathered in an inhospitable and impoverished corner of the world where twenty foot tides met the sunrise and sea-smoke encrusted on the walls inches from our beds.