The Newport-based fishing vessel Freedom has been Marc Ducharme’s home away from home since it was built in 1984.
And for the better part of those 32 years, Ducharme, the boat’s captain, and his crews of four to five men have spent their time pulling lobster traps from the waters around three underwater canyons near the edge of the continental shelf, about 125 miles southeast of Nantucket. The crew makes 25-30 runs a year — each lasting about a week — to the lucrative lobster grounds formally referred to as the Northeast Canyons on George’s Bank.
Each trip nets them about 6,000 pounds of lobster, Ducharme said Wednesday, standing in the cockpit of the 72-foot-long vessel docked at the Newport state fishing pier.
“I’ve probably spent more time out there in those canyons than I have on land,” Ducharme said, pointing to the fishing area on a nautical chart.