working waterfronts


New Bedford anchored the whaling trade along with Nantucket, when whale oil illuminated lamps extended across New England in the 1700s. Today it is still a working waterfront, a port where fishermen dock before heading out to sea for two to three week stretches of time to search for and catch fresh seafood like the tuna, scallops and lobster we had just finished eating.

On our way back to Round Hill we walked through the waterfront in the dark of night to hear the sounds and see the sights of the water’s industrial edge. I have to admit that walking by these large trawlers with their industrial size pulleys and spindles used to pull in loaded down nets sent chills through me. Maybe it is all the death and hardship these boats see when they’re at work, but something permeates their essence that is dark and foreboding. The one bright spot (literally) was a boat at end of the pier.

Three North Carolina fishermen had headed north to avoid the latest hurricane, docked in New Bedford, and were headed out the next morning to harvest sea scallops. Fishing is in their blood, they told us. They know that even while they entertain thoughts of leaving this life, they know they could never say goodbye to the sea.

p.s. I just had to include this fun photo of Amy! The docks may have been creepy, but they still provided an ideal stage for her dance moves!

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