Legends and luxuries

By Jessica Hathaway

The course of true love never did run smooth, especially when it comes to passionate affairs with the sea. And so it has been for Frank “Thumper” Eicherly IV, who owns and fishes the Maggie S. Myers, a 122-year-old fishing schooner, the oldest on Delaware Bay and the only one under sail. Thumper admits that he’s under her spell and has spent more than $250,000 restoring the wooden boat, piece by piece. Writer and photographer Jay Fleming profiles Thumper, the Maggie S. Myers and the eclectic crew of this living legend on page 24.

Zeke Grader is an industry legend of another flavor. Our Northeast Field Editor Kirk Moore profiles Grader, who was honored by his colleagues, friends and family in April before he passed the torch as executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. Grader served for more than 40 years as an industry advocate and bridge builder, and the attendance of 300 industry colleagues to his fête is evidence of the punch he’s packed during the course of his career. Read Kirk’s story on page 20.

When I read Monique Coombs’ Moment of Youth column on page 10, I started singing Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’.” If you are familiar with the song, you are probably stuck with an earworm for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.

The difference between Monique and the song is that Monique doesn’t fall in and out of love with fishing and the wide ocean. She’s all in. That’s the inspiration we’re always looking for in our Moment of Youth column. This is a relatively new section of the magazine that is dedicated to the voices of up and coming industry leaders, the legends yet to come. Passion, dedication and love of life on the open water is the common thread among fishery leaders, no matter the age.

Some might see Boats & Gear Editor Michael Crowley’s feature on crew comforts on page 34 as pandering to the softer side of life at sea. But whether we like it or not, the bigger boats are competing with industries that have made a practice of catering to their crews in return for their spending weeks and months at sea. From the relatively basic noise and vibration dampening to improved quarters and onboard entertainment, the newest boats have quite a bit more to offer.

Whether they’re on a 32-foot lobster boat in coastal Maine or floating on a Bering Sea luxury longliner, the next legends are out there. Somewhere.  Talking fish.


» Read more from Jes in her weekly Rudderpost blogs.15june NF cover

» Read more articles in our June issue.

A collection of stories from guest authors.

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