More than 15 million people "from away" visit Maine each year, most drawn to the rugged beauty of its rocky coast. But rocks and the sea provide only the setting for a more interesting drama: the everyday lives of the honest, hard-working, and fiercely independent populations of its hundred small, tightly-knit fishing villages. Coastal Mainers are also taciturn, as if words are too precious to waste. The occasional tourist, even most of the summer residents, find it difficult to elicit more than a minimal "ayuh" or "daow" in conversation. In fact, Down East humor is defined by what is NOT said.
While the west has its cowboy, the icon of the Maine coast is its lobsterman, a sort of cowboy of the sea. But behind each lobsterman stand: a sternman, a bait dealer, a diesel mechanic, a boatbuilder, a pastor, an auto mechanic, a fuel oil dealer, a general store owner, a road commissioner, the teachers of his children, and myriad other members of his or her community. Like barnacles on a tidal ledge, these closely-knit people cling to the edge of the sea. They have salt in their veins, and the Maine coast is their ecosystem. If you wish to know these Mainers better, Salt in Their Veins invites you into their parlors, their kitchens, and their fishing shacks to join conversations between the author and thirty-five salty Mainers.
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About the Author
a lobsterman, boatbuilder and ice harvester in Harpswell, Maine. After grad-
uating from Bowdoin College (B.S. Physics), he received a Ph.D. in Physical
Oceanography from MIT. He remained at MIT as a research scientist develop-
ing a surface ship gravity meter for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Lunar Traverse Gravimeter for NASA that flew on Apollo 19.
Returning to his roots on the Maine Coast, he has spent the rest of his life explaining how things work-teaching physics at Bowdoin College, founding
America's first two do-it-yourself house-building schools (the Shelter Institute and Cornerstones), writing and hosting a national PBS series on energy con-
servation (Housewarming with Charlie Wing), developing the first Department of Energy approved home energy audit, and writing a dozen top-selling books on home building, home maintenance, and remodeling.
He then moved aboard a cruising sailboat for a total of nine years, during which time he wrote five marine related books: The Liveaboard Report,
Boatowner's Illustrated Handbook of Wiring, Get Your Captain's License, The One
Minute Guide to the Rules of the Road, and How Boat Things Work.
Salt in Their Veins is his first book about people, not things.