Ocean Calls Home Maritime Son
Joseph DeCoste grew up on the ocean and could never quite live without it.
He’s fished the waters of East Tracadie with his father since the age of 15, sailing first the humble 34 foot Joey Bengie, then later the 40 foot Sunrise Sail II. But by the end of his formal education Joseph found himself to be a power engineer, pursuing work and good living in Fort McMurray, Alberta, like so many Maritimers before him.
“I was doing well out there,” he said, “but I missed the ocean too much.”
So much, in fact, that in his nine years out west he made a point of coming home and dedicating a few weeks to each lobster season, getting his fix of salt and spray. He came home permanently in 2015, still employed as a power engineer but moonlighting as a boat hand. Three and a half years ago, the siren song of the Atlantic finally won out.
“I realized that I didn’t come home to do jobs I really didn’t want to do,” he said. “I came home to fish.”
He quit his engineering endeavours and, for the last two years has worked full time in the fishery alongside his father, racking up the experience necessary to apply as a new entrant to the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board. In this way, he hoped to finance his new career.
“The interest rates were phenomenal,” he said, having been steered to the Fisheries Loan Board by friends and relatives.
Joseph decided to buy his father’s ship, the aforementioned Sunrise Sail II, along with his licenses, the four most relevant to Joseph being lobster, mackerel, herring and scallops. He took ownership in December, 2019, and come hell or high water, won’t be renaming his father’s ship.
“I have a thing about renaming boats,” he said, from either superstition or prudence. “I don’t walk under ladders and I don’t rename boats.”