Rush hour starts early in Boothbay Harbour. Newcomers to this little town in Maine are woken by diesel engines at half past four in the morning. It is not the roar of trucks but a low throb and thrum.
After a while it is reassuring, restful – the sound of the lobster boats heading out.
They are not large – about 35 feet long (around 10 metres), some crewed by their owner alone, most with one hired hand, the stern-man.
They stream out in the morning and come home in the evening, like city commuters.
But the lobsterman’s commute is more impressive – past rocky islets, under ospreys nesting on marker poles, surprised by seals suddenly alongside, porpoises and sometimes mighty whales.
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