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Getting Ready for Lobster season

Original Post: November 23, 2010

At Fort Point Fisheries in Gunning Cove, everybody has been getting ready for the lobster season for weeks. Now they are putting the finishing touches on their work. Next Monday is dumping day, also called setting day. That's the beginning of the lobster season for Lobster Fishing Area 33, which is this one.

The traps are either already loaded onto the boats, or about to be. A lobster license entitles the holder to set 250 traps. All those traps will be set next Monday, beginning at 7:00 a.m., if the weather is okay. The word from Environment Canada is that it will be windy.

Randy Van Buskirk is helping load his brother Cody's boat. I suppose Cody will return the favour later on.

Here's Cody Van Buskirk on his boat, Au Cobra.

The traps are very big and they are very heavy. Each one has a concrete weight inside that keeps it from moving around too much when it is sitting out there on the ocean floor.

It is a big project to slide the traps off the stern and into the water. They go off the stern one after the other, mostly in strings of several tied together. The boat is moving over the place where the traps will be set, and the traps are sliding off the back. This is all happening far out in the North Atlantic, at the beginning of December.

The day the lobster boats go out with their traps is a dangerous day. So much is going on and there's so much weight and mass to deal with. There's a lot of skill involved, and even then things can go wrong.

A view of Skipper's new boat, H. Sinclair, which is named for his dad, Harry Van Buskirk. Randy's new blue traps are stacked on the dock to the left, ready to be loaded onto Sea Arrow.

Locomotion, the red boat on the left, is already loaded. That's Cody and Randy's dad Roger's boat.

Another view of Au Cobra taken from Chopper I as we sailed away toward home.


*Anne Yarbrough and her husband Greg Brown lived and wrote on McNutt’s Island in Shelburne Harbour. Greg’s book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (Pottersfield Press, 2010) tells the story of their first year on the island, and Anne’s blog ( explores all aspects of island life.

*NOTE: Anne Yarbrough and her husband Greg now reside in Delaware near Wilmington.

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