the story of Zan the lobsterman.

Did you know I could happily live on lobster every day for the rest of my life?

DID you know that Zan is a lobsterman?

I hope you’re taking notes. These are things that are important.

In actuality, I’m not sure I could eat lobster every day for the rest of my life. I would miss things like cheese and chocolate. But if lobster’s on the menu, you’d better believe I’ll be eating it.

And also, Zan is not really a lobsterman. Not one that wears those rubbery orange pants and pulls traps out of the sea, anyways. We do eat a LOT of lobster every summer, thanks to Zan and his brother, though. And that’s just the honest to goodness truth. Here’s how it works:

Love that guy. For reals.

Ever since I’ve known Zan he’s been pulling lobsters out of the sea. It’s one of his summer hobbies and a pretty cool one, at that. He loves it, lives for it, and is good at it. You see, Zan is a lobster diver. This means he dives down into the ocean to look for those little crustaceans, and pulls them out of the water with his hands. His bare hands! He’s been perfecting this skill since he was a kid. Both him and his brother Clark are fanatics for lobster diving. Clark maybe even more so. That guy is straight up addicted to the ocean. Zan’s father used to take him and his brother out to snorkle dive every summer. He taught them how to look for lobsters, too, and at a certain point, the boys started going up to the ocean to dive by themselves.

They each have a Recreational Lobster Permit, which allows them to take lobsters out of the ocean in Massachusetts, so long as they’re the right size (not too big and not too little) and aren’t egg-bearing females. They purely do it for fun and for themselves, and have no plans to ever sell the lobsters they catch.

It’s pretty cool to watch them dive. I often like to tag along with them when they go. I take my book and relax on the beach, with dreams of lobster feasts in the near future. YUMMM-Y.

When they’re looking for lobsters, they’ve always got to go diving at low tide. Zan brings his snorkle gear, a wet suit, a scuba bag (to put the lobsters in while he’s diving), and a cooler (to store the lobster in after he’s caught them). They line the cooler with ice and a bunch of seaweed to keep the lobsters fresh until their ready to be cooked.

After years of practice, both Zan and Clark have got their favorite spots for diving. Or really, I should say, they know where the lobsters like to hang.

Mostly they can dive whenever the tide is low, but sometimes when that’s in the middle of the day it’s hard. Especially if there’s a lot of people on the beach that day. Most often they go really early, or later in the evening when the crowds have died down. I love going up to the beach with them when the tide’s low in the early morning. It’s so quiet and peaceful being awake before the rest of the world.

They usually dive for about an hour or so, moving along the rocky shore, checking under rocks and between crevices, trying to find where the lobsters all hide. It’s not easy, and sometimes their hands get scraped and clawed, but coming back with dinner is always worth it.

Some days they don’t catch any lobsters. Some days they only catch a few. But this summer? Well, the picking is good, I’d say. In the past 2 weeks we’ve had lobster feasts 3 times! And so many lobsters have been caught that friends and family far and wide need to be called over to help with the eating.

(It’s not hard to find people to help with that sort of project.)

People like me, for instance.

Because I’ll crack a lobster open and soak the meat in a dish of butter any day. (Don’t mind if I do!)

Pretty cool, right?

I feel super lucky to call this guy mine. He’s a keeper, that’s for sure. And I think I’ve made quite the catch.


  1. Oh my goodness – best hobby EVER! That tray full of lobsters makes me swoon.

  2. This is incredible! I am fascinated with Zan’s hobby of diving for lobsters. And you get to eat them fresh?! Amazing. I haven’t had good fresh lobster in a long, long time. Enjoy your feasting!! You’ve got one jealous girl right here!

  3. Love this post! Great pictures and awesome story! Zan is the MAN!

  4. Seriously the coolest thing I have heard! I need my own Lobster man!

  5. Great post, Anna! I hope there are many more lobster feasts in your future!

  6. Wow, good for you for catching a lobster man! That’s really cool and didn’t know that was a hobby for people

  7. Ellen Coughlin says:

    Anna! I love lobster too and this post makes me want to learn how to be a lobster (wo)man like Zan!!! Awesome pics! And I’m always around to eat lobster if you find ourself in the akward position of having too much ;)

  8. LOVE this post.

    hi zan.

    happy lobster hunting and happy lobster eating. yum.

  9. I love stories about Zan! I know Britt would be SO jealous. It is his favorite food too.

  10. That’s the coolest thing ever.

  11. super jealous. I have yet to have lobster OR crab this summer…but picking cooked crestatians is symbolic of summer for me!

  12. That’s amazing! I want some lobstah girl!

  13. Wow, something I never thought of people doing, that is really cool. My dad used to dive for abalone off the California coast. I loved collecting the shells after we would feast.

  14. oh i am so jealous! i looooooooooove lobster – what a cool thing to do. too bad i don’t live closer – i’d always help you eat extra!

  15. What a catch.

  16. 1. I loved this. And I am SO excited to meet Zan.
    2. I saw nautical themed dishes the other day. They were so beautiful. And I wanted them myself, but definitely thought of you. There was a beautiful lobster dish!
    3. I’m sorry to say I don’t really like lobster. I’ve always been a bigger fan of crab…which makes for lots of lame jokes from my mom.

  17. WHAT?! This is AWESOME! That’s a hobby if I’ve ever heard one!

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