Searsmont lobsterwoman Sadie Samuels is only 23, but she’s had some form of lobstering license since the age of 7, and in a widely shared Boston Globe profile published this week, she’s triumphantly described as the “most badass woman on the water.”
Samuels got her student lobster fishing license at 7, reached the 200 hours necessary to receive her commercial license by 13 and got her own boat by the age of 14, the Globe reports.
Samuels is described in the Globe profile as a lobsterboat captain “whose long, blonde braids poked out from under her turquoise baseball hat and framed her freckled face.”
The Globe notes that Samuels is one of only 73 women under the age of 35 with lobstering licenses in Maine — out of a total 5,000 licenses distributed in the state.
The young businesswoman talks about lobstering as a way to defy social and economic inequalities still plaguing women today.
“One thing I like about being a girl out here is that they can’t pay me less than a guy,” Samuels told the Globe. “They just can’t. There’s a price per pound, and fuel costs the same whether you’re a guy or a girl. Any other job, they’d pay what — 73 cents to a man’s dollar, statistics say?”
She talks about the rough-and-tumble politics of Maine’s lobstering community, as well as the state’s famous reputation for do-it-yourself independence.
“It’s all about work ethic in Maine. You want heat? You split your own wood,” she told the Globe. “You want to get to your car in the winter? You shovel it out. No one else is going to do that for you.”