When lobster fishermen Jimmy and Murph Sweeney happen upon an abandoned fishing boat that was illegally dragging within state limits, it ignites the tension that has been smoldering between lobstermen and fishermen for years. As the Bay State Skye‘s cargo is off-loaded, it sets a series of adverse events in motion for all who share the misfortune of coming into possession of its catch.
Bay State Skye is an historical fiction based on actual events. This story gives readers an authentic glimpse into the inner circle of the Gloucester seafood industry in 1990 that hinges on interviews with fishermen, seafood processors, and restauranteurs. From the treachery of the sea, to the deception at the docks, to the struggle to convince the state to help tackle the mounting mound of fish offal piling up at the defunct waste-reduction plant, this tale reveals the challenges faced by those who make their living by going down to the sea.
Petrie’s family has been involved in the seafood business for two generations. Her interest in the industry was piqued after spending several years working in the trade herself, which led to her inclination to tell this story.
A Look at Gloucester Classics that are Included in “Bay State Skye”
The Greasy Pole Contest
This is a brief video of the greasy pole contest from 2017. It never gets old! Enjoy!
The Seine Boat Race
The Seine Boat Race is another time honored event that takes place every summer in Gloucester during St. Peter’s Fiesta. It was from this event that the dory race teams were selected to compete against the strong teams from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Both these events are featured in our new book, Bay State Skye, and are visible from the beach, as well as from the boulevard, with the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial overseeing the event. Enjoy the video!
Lobster Fishing and Eating in the Rough at
Bearskin Neck in Rockport
Come along on a lobster boat to pull a few traps, just as Jimmy and Murph did every day in Bay State Skye. Then take a short drive to Rockport’s famous Bearskin Neck to watch lobsters prepared for eating in the rough at Roy Moore’s Lobster Company, which is very similar to the Loster Hut in our story.
The Cutting Line at a Local Seafood Processor
Watch a skilled fish cutter fillet a flounder at a local Gloucester seafood processing plant. This is a good look at a cutting line, as was described in Bay State Skye.
The International Dory Races
The dory races between Lunenburg, Canada and Gloucester, Massachusetts have evolved into not just one race, but several. Divisions not only include a men’s competition, but women and mixed couples compete as well. This is a far cry from the first race as it was described in Bay State Skye.