Thursday, February 16th, 2012

The Lobster Boat Story


Mr. Frank Thompson (“Frankie T”) is a lobster fisherman living on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine. He needs to keep records for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and he uses Clairefontaine wire bound notebooks to write down his entries. Some of the fishermen use laptop computers, but Mr. Thompson considers them unreliable, and sticks with Clairefontaine. His faith was rewarded after a recent disaster.

His boat, Independence, struck a ledge, and went down in 10 fathoms or 60 ft. of water. Nine hours later, he had it on a barge headed back to the harbor for repairs. Mr. Thompson searched the boat looking for his notebooks. It is vital he find them, because they contained all his numbers and information on his fishing gear.

He finally located the notebooks on the top of the engine. All his entries were still readable. The paper was damp, but the book held together, and he was able to turn the pages. “They were in good condition, just a little smudged with diesel oil. It was just like when I wrote on them. Quite remarkable,” he said.

Mr. Thompson and other fishermen purchase their Clairefontaine from Carlene Michael at Vinal’s News Stand AKA “The Paper Store” in Vinalhaven. Carlene told us “fishermen love Clairefontaine paper because it holds up so well in the damp weather of Maine.”

In case you’re curious, Mr. Thompson writes with a ballpoint pen. Nothing fancy, just good and reliable. “The Paper Store” has been around since the 1870s.

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