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Travel

Before You Grow Up: Be a Lobster Boat Deckhand

There are only a few carefree summers in your life. Don’t waste them interning at law firms—opt for one of these adventure-packed seasonal gigs instead.

(Photo: Monty Rakusen)
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Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.

The Good: you’re on the open ocean, the pay’s great, and you’ll never complain about hard work again. The Bad: it’s nearly around-the-clock, demanding physical labor—hauling traps out of the water, removing the lobsters, cutting up bait fish with huge knives on rolling waves. After 20 hours there’s a four-hour break—sometimes. “If weather gets rough, I’ll keep guys on duty for up to 48 hours if I need to,” says Morgan Garrett, captain of the 64-foot Sea Star in Point Judith, Rhode Island.

Prereqs: “A driver’s license,” says Garrett. “A lot of deckhands are alcoholics and drug addicts who can’t keep a license and don’t show up for work on time, so a valid license says a lot.”

How to Break In: Walk the docks from New York to Boston, handing out résumés at boats. “Avoid Maine, where there’s a required two-year apprenticeship,” says Garrett. There’s no minimum age, as long as you can handle the work.

Pay: A share of the catch, which ranges from $600 to $1,800 per week, plus room and board at sea.

Romance Potential: Decent, just as soon as you get into shore, where you’ll be flush with cash at the port bars.

Résumé Skills: Knot mastery, ability to work like a mule, knife play.

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Filed To: NatureWater ActivitiesFishing
Lead Photo: Monty Rakusen