In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Colours of the season

Lobster season for this district will begin on November 30th. The first day is Dumping Day. That's when the lobstermen take their traps out to sea and dump them. Then, after midnight on the next day, they can go out to haul their traps.
There's plenty of activity right now at Fort Point and Gunning Cove wharfs, on the western shore of Shelburne Harbour. Everybody is getting ready for the season.
There's plenty of activity on McNutt's Island, too. Skipper keeps Sailor Boy's traps on his island dock from one season to the next. This is where he and Radar will load Sailor Boy with the equipment she will need for Dumping Day. Radar's son Allan is helping out today.
The traps are ingeniously designed inside, with an outer compartment and an inner one. A lobster can turn around and leave the outer compartment, if he changes his mind. But once he's gotten all the way into the inner one he's not likely to leave until the lobsterman hauls the trap and pulls him out.
Undersized lobsters have an escape hatch. And if a trap is lost at sea, the hinges on the hatch rust away after a period of time so that a bigger lobster can eventually get out, too.
Radar is checking the traps while Skipper cooks today's dinner.
Sailor Boy's equipment is ready to go. The buoys have all been repainted, and the trawl lines are coiled in stacked boxes. Behind the buoys and trawl lines is an old fish house, the only other one that's still standing on the island.
Some lobstermen use plastic tubs for trawl lines and some use the old wooden boxes.
It's important for buoys to be freshly painted and bright. You don't want to have to be searching for your buoys when you are hauling traps.
It all makes for a very colourful season.

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