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Bittersweet Atlantic Lobstering owner Bo Kinsman and first mate Amy Kelly at Perkins Cove, Maine where they moor their boat. The two have been working together for a year while remaining sober. an older sister she also learned early that taking care of others was something she craved, whether it was good or bad. That nurturing was ultimately part of her undoing. “I learned that if I took care of others I did not have to take care of myself,” said Kelly. “I could focus on being a mom to everyone and not my own problems.” Three years ago Kelly turned her focus to herself and started attending AA meetings. When she got sober things came into focus, and then sharply regressed. “It was when I got sober that I started having problems with vertigo. I had had it for years but the drinking always helped. When I wasn’t drinking anymore it came back,” said Kelly. It was then that the literal began mirroring the intangible. Kelly’s life was out of balance. She needed a place to live, a job, sober friends who did not need her to focus on their problems. Gradually each of these needs came into focus. She began house sitting a property and living in an apartment above the garage. She got a used car that she could fill with collected shells from her walks and began adding fresh lavender to help clarify her thoughts. She took on odd jobs such as window washing and anything else she could get her hands on. Kelly is popular in Ogunquit and considers it home. She has longtime friends who welcome her into their businesses because her powerful, outgoing personality is a magnet to others. She does not seem to meet a stranger anywhere she goes and her sobriety has brought her a newfound positivity as well. To add balance to her life she started learning yoga and putting into practice the breathing yoga requires to focus and be healthy. It was at one of her AA meetings that she spotted a former drinking friend, Bo Kinsman. Eventually when she felt the time was right she mentioned wanting to ride on

his lobster boat. “The first time I said it he agreed but nothing really came of it. Eventually I decided I really wanted to try it out because I thought the imbalance of the boat would help my vertigo because it would force me to focus on my balance. I went up to him and told him again but this time I made him say he would let me go on the boat.” Shaking her head Kelly thinks through what happened next. “Well I went out in April of last year and I just said I would volunteer. I did that for several months and saw my vertigo go away. There is something about the waves and the balance out there, the way I feel on the water. I feel so free when I am out there working,” said Kelly as she pauses to picture it in her mind. “It is hard to put into words how much it means to me to be able to go out there and work.” Kelly looks up with tears in her eyes. She has been Kinsman’s first mate for a year with just the two of them manning the Bittersweet business. She walks through the house, slipping on her bright orange oilers smelling faintly of the peppermint castile soap she uses as detergent and then her white lobstering boots. Kelly then takes a moment to do breathing exercises to start off her day. “If you believe you are going to get sick out there, it will happen,” says Kelly as she packages the breakfast for her and Kinsman into a large cooler. “You have to take 10 deep breaths and focus on the positive.” Even as she says this she pauses and listens to the waves crashing outside. “It sounds like the water is going to be rough today.” She packs a few extra flavored seltzer waters. The sky is a dark shade just shy of black, a deep blue that will continue to ever so slightly lighten as the morning continues. She grabs her cooler and pulls out of her driveway to the abandoned lot where she parks her car and AWAY | 17

Profile for Jennifer Coombes

AWAY Magazine/Jennifer Coombes  

AWAY Magazine is a travel magazine for those who want to have travel experiences off the beaten path. This fall issue focuses on travel in C...

AWAY Magazine/Jennifer Coombes  

AWAY Magazine is a travel magazine for those who want to have travel experiences off the beaten path. This fall issue focuses on travel in C...

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