Bob Waddle of Quahog Lobstermen’s Co-Op Inc. has been providing the lobsters for the College’s lobster bakes for 60 years. 

Waddle is a Mainer from Harpswell and has been involved in the lobster fishing business since he was young. 

“When I was a kid, I went with my uncle,” said Waddle. “He had traps and fished.” 

He remembers having to row an output, an electric boat, out to the traps with his uncle. 

“I bought an output. Sometimes it didn’t work and [my uncle] didn’t like rowing an output,” he said.

This meant that Waddle would have to row the boat. 

“That’s family,” he said with a chuckle. 

Waddle had a stint in the Marines from 1948 to 1952. Following that he moved to Boston with his wife, where he rented a place and fixed it up. After he had finished renovations, however, he decided that he wanted to return to Harpswell. 

“I told my wife, I said ‘We’re not gonna live here’. Pack up. And we came up,” said Waddle. 
He then bought a cottage in Maine from his father and has been lobstering there ever since. He lives five minutes away from the business and also has an inn on his property that is run by his daughter. 

Waddle says he delivers lobsters to a dozen college campuses from Maine to Maryland. 

Bowdoin was one of his first customers when he was just getting his business started. 

According to Ken Cardone, associate director and executive chef of dining, Waddle provides 1,200 lobsters for the annual lobster bake, and 2,300 to 2,400 each for Reunion Weekend and Commencement. 

Cardone says the College likes getting lobster from Waddle because he always delivers the lobsters the day of the bakes and is a local vender. 

“We’ve had an excellent relationship through the years,” said Waddle. 

Waddle no longer goes out to check traps himself but rather employs other lobstermen who fish for him. 

“Rain doesn’t bother them. Fog doesn’t bother them,” said Waddle. “Lack of bait and price [are what bother them]. They are very independent lobstermen.”

Waddle said that he expects to continue delivering to Bowdoin. “They’re good people,” he said.