I was to meet up with Jim Buxton to accompany him on a scallop diving trip last Monday, only two days before the end of the scallop season in Maine. It is still winter, and his boat cut through the skim ice on the harbor as he pulled up to the dock at South Port Marina to get me. Don’t let anyone tell you that salt-water doesn’t freeze.
We then headed over to Portland to pick up another diver, Paul Fischer. They had no ‘tender’ on board (someone to steer the boat while the divers are underwater), so they took turns throughout the day diving 30-50 feet deep to scour the sandy bottom for scallops. On this day, Paul and Jim were greeted in the depths below by a loon and a minke whale respectively, something that normally never happens they say. I must have brought good luck.
Personally, I love scallops. I had no idea how they were harvested, and I now hold an amazing amount of respect for those who choose to dive deep in the dead of winter to pull the tasty morsels to the surface.
Scallop on the sea floor, image by Jim Buxton