Greenlaw docks at Pickard
The naturally funny Greenlaw says she "fished her way through" Colby, working as a cook and then a deckhand on a swordfishing boat to pay for tuition. But her life changed course after Sebastian Junger called her "one of the best captains, period, on the East Coast" in his book, The Perfect Storm.
Although she was not asked to play herself in the film version, she was offered a book deal and wrote the bestseller The Hungry Ocean. Her second book, The Lobster Chronicles, was published this year. It details her foray into lobstering after returning home to Isle au Haut, Maine.
But after writing The Hungry Ocean, another door opened for Greenlaw: motivational speaking. After a floundered first attempt, she has since dropped the "motivational" and is now listed as an "adventure speaker."
Uncomfortable with the formality of that role and the obligations of book touring, Greenlaw was, for the most part, anything but serious last Friday. She spoke of the first time she wore make-up (age thirty-eight) and the first time she was asked for an autograph (while urinating in a bucket on her boat).
Greenlaw's achievements have often been overshadowed by her gender because there are so few women in her field. She said the best advice she ever received was from her mother, who told a seven-year-old Linda that she could be anything she wanted to be.
However, after college, Greenlaw discovered that her mother's advice did not include being a fisherman. She was told to "get a real job" and stop "wasting [her] education."
Greenlaw believes that education is never wasted and, despite her success as a fisherman, writer, and speaker, she has never once filled out a job application. She highlighted the merits of hard work and respect in her talk.
The New York Times may have blasted The Lobster Chronicles as a "personal ad," but Greenlaw was willing to read a portion of a letter from an adoring male fan, and said that the men in prison especially seem to like her.
Despite the humor weaved into Greenlaw's lecture, the Q & A session
ended on a serious note. Someone in the audience posed a question regarding
fish as a renewable resource, which Greenlaw answered by saying that she
foresees the end of the fishing industry as restrictions imposed upon
fishermen become stricter. But, as she concluded, that is another talk