Shelley Van Buskirk Spears is one of our island neighbours. Shelley's grandfather was one of the last lightkeepers on the island, and she is part of a big extended web of family and friends whose McNutt Island connections go back many decades. When lobster season arrives members of this extended network jump in to provide extra help during the crucial first days, when there is so much work to do.
Shelley went on Lyndon Crowell's boat, Maybe Tomorrow, as a bander. Her job was to put rubber bands on the lobsters' claws so they couldn't damage each other after they had been caught. She and her crew-mate Josh took these photos, and she graciously let me use them here.
Josh is emptying a trap. He'll put fresh bait (seen in the foreground) into the trap before he slides it back into the sea.
A banded lobster.
Lyndon Crowell, captain of Maybe Tomorrow. Lyndon grew up on McNutt's Island as the son of one of the last lightkeepers.
Shelley's uncle Cliff's boat, Bar Tender.
One of her dad's boats, Ocean Motion.
Her brother's boat, Au Cobra.
Her uncle Mark's boat, Butt Buster.
A fashion statement. The crews have fun and work hard. On freezing mornings we shiver in our cozy house when we hear them steam by in the darkness, long before dawn. It is dangerous and difficult work.
Lyndon says he loves it and looks forward to every new season.