For Gloucester lobstermen Mark and Matt Ring, long stretches at sea mean days’ worth of grueling work, at times with little result. But with generations of fishing in their blood and the lure of the catch in their conscience, this uncle-nephew team continues to take to the high seas in one of Gloucester’s longest-lived and most celebrated traditions. By Alexandra PecciBy, Alexandra Pecci – Photo Essay by, Jared Charney
“That’s Kettle Island,” Mark Ring says, pointing to a little green dot on the black radar screen. The island is feet away from Mark’s lobster boat, the Stanley Thomas, but appears ghostly through the early morning fog that envelops Gloucester Harbor. “What do we call this kind of fog?” Mark calls out to his nephew, Matt. “Dungeon-thick,” Matt replies, with a small smile and a voice that’s quieter than that of his boisterous uncle. The water is calm, but the fog is heavy, disorienting. “It’s a nuisance,” Mark says. “There’s only one thing worse: catching nothing.” Fishing is an iconic profession, especially in Gloucester. There’s something romantic and Odyssean about it, something that captures people’s imaginations. But for lobstermen Mark and Matt Ring, it’s just another day at the office. Northshore tagged along with the Rings to capture life-in pictures-aboard the Stanley Thomas.