Yielding the yards
There are things it seems you never have to think about or worry about until suddenly you do. I’d like to say that our Boats & Gear editor was one of those things, but it’s not true.
Michael Crowley has been the one constant on the NF editorial staff from our now-publisher Jerry Fraser’s days in the editor’s chair to mine (and well before Jerry’s time). In fact, he’s been working here longer than anyone else on the staff, period. I have always had it in the back of my mind that he was crazy to keep working for me, as much as I asked of him, relied on him and gave him a hard time arguing about writing style and headlines. Yet, he kept it up. Perhaps because of all of you.
Mike is not the type to brag, but he’s seen a lot and understands a good deal more. He’s not only bright and quick (and cynical, for which I am eternally grateful), but he was a part of this industry long before many of the technological updates he has covered over the decades were even dreamed of.
In the 1970s, Mike was fishing in Alaska when he saw an ad in the National Fisherman classified section for a schooner named the Bluenose Jr., modeled after the Canadian racing schooner. So drawn was he to this boat that he left Kodiak for Camden, Maine, to buy her. That was when he realized he was just around the corner from the NF offices. As he wrote in our 50th anniversary issue, he thought he would pay us a visit, figuring, “What the heck, maybe I can write for them.”
And so he has for nearly four decades. We have since moved our publishing offices to Portland, while Mike stayed in the heart of lobster boat building country in midcoast Maine. The magazine has changed in ways that reflect a changing industry, and Mike has followed those changes steadfastly, but his commitment to quality coverage for the nation’s commercial fishermen has not wavered in the least.
I am relieved to say that Mike is not leaving for good. This industry puts its hooks in you and doesn’t let go that easily. So (if we’re lucky) he will still be contributing to the magazine and our Boats & Gear blog at NF.com. But his consistent input, guidance and boatbuilding wisdom will be missed by all of us.
Fair winds and following seas, my friend.
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