Life aboard the New Bedford trawler Nobska

The workload is daunting for Geoff Hatfield and his crew on the New Bedford-based fishing boat, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. The captain, Geoff Hatfield, was busy on deck but said he had a few minutes. I (Mark Patinkin) climbed aboard and followed him up to the wheelhouse. His trawler is named the Nobska, and it’s a big one, at 90 feet. It’s been fishing for haddock, which is plentiful these days — on their last trip they came home with 72,000 pounds. Because of that, Hatfield brought an extra man for this trip to make a crew of six. They were below helping guide 30 tons of ice into the hold. As soon as that was done, the Nobska would be off on a 12-hour steam to Nantucket Shoals. That would put them there near midnight, bedtime in most worlds but not in fishing. Right away, they’d set the net for a two-hour tow, haul it back, empty it and set it out again — and on like that for five days. That’s how long they’d be gone. Hatfield is 57 and has been a captain more than 30 years, the last eight on the Nobska. He takes 48 hours between trips but no more than that. “This boat,” Hatfield said, “doesn’t stop fishing.” Read the story here 10:00

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