When Recycling Becomes an International Incident


There are derelict fishing boats in various places along the Island’s shore. Tourists like to take photos of them and fishermen tell me that it’s a form of recycling (after all they’re made of wood and they eventually disintegrate).

Recently there was, what I consider, a bizarre International Incident involving a wayward derelict.


I’ve mentioned before that Lubec, Maine is right next to this Island. At its closest point it’s only 1300 ft away. (And to answer the perennial question, Campobello is in Canada because Daniel Webster got seasick when sent to decide the international boundary and he had his boat hug the American coast declaring everything offshore to be in this country.)

A big January storm caused an old brining shed to break free in Lubec and float across the water to Canada.


This was very upsetting to the people hoping to preserve this building. What was more upsetting to them was that residents here got out their chainsaws and prepared to repurpose the old timbers.

Now the Lubec Preservation People (I don’t know their official group name) had 48 hours to attach a rope to the building on Campobello’s shore. If they had then nobody would have touched it. The rope would announce prior ownership and salvage laws would bar any interference with it.

They didn’t.


The resulting brouhaha, accompanied by letters to various editors proclaiming the inviolable truth of various points of view, was um interesting. I have to say most of the reaction here could be described as a lengthy eye roll.

It was eventually sorted out. The woman in charge got her brining shed back (with help from Fisheries, Customs, and local residents).

I hope next time their downtown decides to go border hopping they remember to bring a rope. 🙂


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