Fishers are back at sea again since the lobster season opened earlier this week on Prince Edward Island.
Prior to the start of the season, boats are returned to the water, traps and other gear readied. In addition, dredging of the waterways occurs since the sand around the island shifts over the winter and can pose a hazard to the boats.
At Seacow Pond on the northwest corner of the island, this was the scene last week as boats and gear were prepared for the season.
Boats lined the pond and along the wharf, by each boat, its gear was piled, ready for loading on the big day.
It was interesting to be close enough to see the weight in each trap, which causes it to sink in the water.
The buoy which is the marker for each trap has a weight as well which keeps the buoy upright in the water. The weights on PEI are concrete, made by the fishers.
On Setting Day, the opening of the season, fishers load the gear and head out to the fishing ground as their families gather along the shoreline to wish them a safe and successful season.
Last week in a nearby inlet, we saw a dredger which was pulled ashore,
allowing us to see the cutter head which bores into the seabed.
The sand is sucked through the dredger and ejected away from the shipping channel. With the weather co-operating, the dredging done and gear and boats ready, Setting Day was Tuesday.
That day on the northwest coast, we had our picnic lunch in the yard of Christ Church at Kildare Capes, a peaceful setting along the coastline. There is a stained glass window at the back of the church with the words, “Peace be still,” whilst Jesus stands in a boat amid stormy seas. It is a reminder of the danger of working at sea and the faith of many people on the island.
Meanwhile, as is the tradition with many island families, we are having our first lobster of the season for Mother’s Day this Sunday. Even the children enjoy a meal of lobster. It is a part of island culture which our family enjoys.