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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
One With Nature: A Day in the Life of a Lobster Fisher is a nonfiction photographic journal written by Christopher M. Meuse with photographs by CMDM. In 2014, the author spent a day with his son, Captain Anthony Meuse, and his crew on a lobster fishing trip on Baie Sainte-Marie, Nova Scotia. The day began hours before sunrise, and the captain’s boat, Major Expense, set out on the water while it was still dark. Navigational equipment has gotten quite sophisticated, and Meuse was able to familiarize himself with the arsenal of GPS units, radio devices, depth sounders and sonic equipment that enable boats to avoid collisions and wrecks and navigate the waters safely as they prepared to set out. Lobstermen drop trawls, which are lines that have traps attached to them, and the location of each trawl is marked by a buoy bearing the distinctive colors of that fisherman. Meuse spent his day working alongside his son and the crew, dropping the trawls, baiting the traps and then going through the catch to release undersized lobsters. Meuse shares his son’s family history as fishermen; his great-grandfather, Eugene, began his working life as a Nova Scotia fisherman when he was 15 years old. There’s are archival photographs of Eugene from the early 1900s. Meuse shares each aspect of his day aboard the Major Expense with the reader. He also includes a number of inspirational quotes and poems.
Christopher M. Meuse’s One With Nature: A Day in the Life of a Lobster Fisher is a grand and glorious adventure aboard a lobster boat on a picture-perfect day. I’ve often wondered what the life of a fisherman would be like, and while I’m not too keen on getting up hours before dawn, CMDM’s brilliant photography had me picturing myself aboard the Major Expense along with the author and Captain Anthony. Meuse gives the reader a good look at the work and effort that goes into not only getting a boat like the Major Expense, but keeping it functioning where there are no guarantees of profits and the work is perilous to boot (between 1999 and 2015, the Transportation Safety Board data shows 55 deaths on Canadian boats). I was also fascinated to learn about eco-psychology, which the author has studied, and its focus on nature’s healing powers. One With Nature: A Day in the Life of a Lobster Fisher will give an aspiring fisher a good idea of what the field is all about, and the rest of us the peace and inspiration that a day of sun and sea can bring. It’s most highly recommended.