IN SEARCH OF ELLEN MARIE
Ellen Marie is my eastern-rig dragger. Our connection is not by Title; it's a heart thing.
Bonding vibes began to resonate after purchasing colorful fine art depicting her wheel house. I knew almost nothing about the fishing industry or fishing boats then. Researching her birthplace (the Harvey Gamage Yard in South Bristol, Maine) inflated pride already piqued by owning the original painting. "Ivy League," and "the creme-de-la-creme of boat yards" - my naive mind took these characterizations and assigned to Ellen Marie exceedingly special value as if she had been the only boat built there. More importantly, the research brought to light the federal program that bought fishing boats to decrease the fleet in the 90s. Believing that Ellen Marie qualified, I wondered why the list of boats taken did not include her. I was hooked. I had to know where she was. Driven to find her and learn whatever I could about her, the search began.
I invite you to travel with me IN SEARCH OF ELLEN MARIE. See which clues like stepping stones lead to others. Listen in on comical, enlightening, mind- and life-changing conversations. Wonder about the plethora of coincidences. Laugh with men who built Ellen Marie in 1961, meet others who fished on her, a Captain who cared for her as if she were a yacht. Learn about or be reminded of the eastern-rig over-the-side fishing process. Hear the seagulls, smell the salt water, feel compassion for loss of life, and watch an era of marine history move dramatically before your eyes. Enjoy the adventure!
Rachel Rowley Spaulding