Maritime Explorer: Captain Terry Stockwell

Mon, 05/01/2023 - 8:45am

    The 61st annual Windjammer Days will take place Sunday, June 25 through Saturday, July 1, 2023. This year the Friends of Windjammer Days is celebrating our rich population of Maritime Explorers. Those featured have traveled extensively on different bodies of waters either for work, pleasure or both.

    Terry is a lifetime boater. He started his journey as a young boy cleaning and crewing for family and friends. He also hauled a few lobster traps with his surrogate grandfather leading to one of his high school summer jobs as crew aboard an offshore lobster boat fishing out of Boston and Gloucester. These trips were 8 -10 days long, and the heavy wooden traps were the size of refrigerators. He sharpened his sailing skills over another summer on a schooner which was being delivered to Grenada.

    Terry first came to the Boothbay area in the mid-70s while visiting a friend who was working at the Gulf dock. The crew at the dock asked Terry about his experience with outboards and his honest answer was that he didn’t know anything. This was the perfect answer because they offered to hire him on the spot and vowed to teach him everything he needed to know about outboard engines. After giving this offer some thought, Terry quit his charter boat job and moved to the Boothbay Region to work at Blake’s Marine. He later transitioned into a job at Brewer’s Boatyard in Southport. Around the same time, he acquired his 200-ton Captain’s license and traveled from the Canadian Maritimes to the lower Caribbean as well as made multiple transatlantic crossings.

    While working at Brewer’s, Terry bought an old lobster boat and started lobster fishing out of Newagen. He raked urchins and did odd job jobs during the winter while also doing yacht deliveries and charters. After a few years Terry fished from a larger and more capable boat and expanded to scalloping, groundfishing and shrimp fishing. He eventually bought an even larger boat which he used for gillnetting and scalloping in the Gulf of Maine. Fishing became increasingly time consuming, requiring multi day trips and moving up and down the coast to where the catch was most plentiful. Combined with winter time delivery and charter work this schedule was impacting his family life, and he came to the realization that he was missing most of his children’s activities. This led to the decision to transition into the world of fisheries management. After ~25 years of fishing, he understood the importance of balancing interests to protect both the natural resources and the commercial fisheries. He was unique to the field as one who had commercial fisheries experience. Terry then had a 21-year career at the Maine Department of Marine Resources primarily representing Maine on the New England Fisheries Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

    During his years on the water Terry encountered some challenging situations such as storms, waterspouts, a dismasting and a lightning strike that caused the boat to catch on fire. In one instance he had a fuel bladder rupture which resulted in being stranded in the Cape Verde Islands for weeks until parts and more fuel could be delivered. Highlights from his transatlantic crossings include visiting the scrimshaw museum in the Azores, hiking in the volcanoes in the Canary Islands, seeing the Barbary monkeys and caves in Gibraltar and being able to be in Monaco for the Grand Prix.

    Currently Terry serves as the Edgecomb harbor master. He is a member of the New England Fishery Management Council Science and Statistical Committee. He continues to love boats in all forms and being on the water with his college girlfriend and now wife (Lauren) of 40+ years, their two children and their families and friends. Terry and Lauren have several Down East cruises planned for this summer and this fall they plan to travel from Edgecomb to the Florida Keys and Bahamas in their 42-foot trawler.