A scallop diver was diving off Babson Island while his sternman circled their Novi-style fishing vessel, yesterday. It was raw and gray and signs of last night’s snow storm were already in the air. The ambient temperature reportedly was 25 degrees (F), and the water temperature 38. Here, the diver is returning to the boat after his last dive:


The images here were taken over a long distance through misty air; hence, they’re not great. But they’re probably good enough to make most of us realize that we’re not cut out to be a scallop diver or sternman, not to mention being either in February. Here, the diver reaches the boat and hands up his mesh bag of scallops that he has just picked off the bottom:


Next, the diver’s oxygen tank is taken up by the sternman:


You can’t be graceful climbing aboard through a vessel’s open transom into air that is more than 10 degrees colder than the cold water:


Most Atlantic Scallops are dredged, these more expensive “Divers’ Scallops” are hand-picked. and well worth the price, considering the extraordinary efforts it takes to harvest them. Usually, they’re shucked on board and only their abductor muscles (what most of us call “scallops”) are brought to shore.


Many of us here have annual standing orders with neighboring divers for gallon packages of this food of the gods and of coastal Mainers. Usually, Barbara prepares them simply so that their mouth-watering natural flavor is foremost. However, it’s impossible to pass up renowned local Chef Devin Finigan’s exquisite fresh scallop and lobster bouillabaisse.


(Brooklin, Maine)

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