Frank Thompson looks toward his three sternmen on June 24 as they begin to haul his traps for the first time since June. The month-long break, while he recovered from a minor heart attack and had a new tailgate put on his boat, Obsession, was the longest he has ever taken, he said.

A lobsterman passes Tanner Lazaro as the teenager hauls traps onto his boat, Used N Abused, on Aug. 24. During the summer, Tanner hauled his own traps on days his mentor, Frank Thompson, or another lobsterman didn’t need his help.

Carvers Harbor, as seen from inside a building where the local Lions Club meets. The space is donated to the club by a local summer resident who wants buildings near the water to be used by year-round residents.

Jadon Jackomino and Tanner Lazaro, right, organize traps for Frankie Thompson as they steam out to federal waters before sunrise on Sept 1.

Jadon Jackomino kisses his girlfriend, Sahmara Robbins, after returning from a day hauling lobsters with Frankie Thompson in early September. Thompson, who fishes in federal waters, will be especially hard hit by a seasonal closure to protect right whales.

Corey Cayton takes a cigarette break between hauling traps on the boat Night Moves on July 6. It was an uncharacteristically rough morning for midsummer, according to Capt. Walt Day.


Frank Thompson picks up his grandson Scotty, 6, after coming home from work on Sept. 3. It’s a daily ritual, with Thompson saying, “I love you the very, very, very mostest,” and Scotty replying, “I already know that!” The boy’s grandmother, Jean Thompson, said she’s grateful that lobstering has allowed her sons to stay on the island and raise their children near her and her husband.

Jean Thompson holds out her phone so her husband, Frankie, can hear Mike Yohe, CEO of Lobster 207, during a call at their home on Sept. 3 about the closure of 1,000 square miles of federal fishing waters.

From left, Merle Webster, Dan Ohno and Dennis Warren chat with other lobstermen during a cocktail hour at Warren’s wharf on Aug. 18. The cocktail hour is a near-daily tradition that has been happening for years; most of the people who stop by are lobstermen or members of the Vinalhaven Lions Club.

Tanner Lazaro talks with Frankie Thompson in the cabin of the veteran lobsterman’s boat, Obsession, on Sept. 1 during Lazaro’s last week of summer vacation. Tanner has never wanted to work anywhere but on the water and counts himself lucky to be learning the ropes under Thompson’s wing.

Tanner Lazaro bails out his friend’s skiff before taking it out to his lobster boat on Aug. 24. Not yet old enough to drive a car, the young fisherman loves the freedom he feels on the water, where he’s able to rake in tens of thousands of dollars in a summer.

Celena Scott and her son Scotty Thompson, 6, watch the sunset from their back porch on Sept. 2. Scott said she isn’t sure what her middle son, Tanner Lazaro, would do if he didn’t have lobstering. Scotty said he doesn’t know what he wants to do when he grows up. “Maybe a policeman, maybe in the SWAT team,” he mused. “Or maybe a hauler like Tanner, my daddy and my gramps.”

Read the full series, The Lobster Trap, here.

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