She’s not giving up anytime soon.
Many people who live to be 100-years-old have a mind to stay at home and follow doctor’s orders. But not Virginia Olivier, a centenarian in Maine who goes out 3 times times a week every lobster season to do one of the most dangerous jobs around. She goes out with her son, Max, himself a hearty 78-years-old.
The Olivers have a strong routine going out to harvest lobsters from their watery traps. Virginia separates the larger ones for market from the smaller ones that she throws back into the water.
At 101-years-old Virginia is the oldest lobsterman -male or female- in the state of Maine. After she cut herself and needed stitches recently her doctor asked her why someone of her age would be lobstering still and her answer was that she wanted to and that’s why she continues.
The job has many risks, such as those associated with any water-based job, like drowning and water safety.
Some lobstermen also mark the female lobsters by making a v-notch on the females and this results in many cuts and wrist injuries each year not unlike those associated with meat-processing plants. The lobsters on Virginia’s boat are measured before being sorted and having their claws secured with rubber bands.
The industry has long been dominated by men, but it’s not just Virginia who is making waves. Young women have begun to lobster more often, some even as young as 16 and captaining their own boats.
Virginia has been lobstering since the age of 7 right before the Great Depression began, which gives her a staggering 94 years of experience. She says she’ll retire when she dies, which shows just how dedicated she is to her vocation.