David Lunt, who goes by Davie (his father is also David), has lived in Frenchboro nearly his whole life, apart from the four years when he attended high school on Mount Desert Island.
“To me it was ideal,” said Lunt of growing up on the island. “We pretty much had the freedom to do whatever we wanted.”
The Lunt family goes back hundreds of years on Long Island. The main harbor is Lunt Harbor, which looks north to Mount Desert Island. The restaurant in town is Lunt’s Dockside Deli, opened by David and Sandi Lunt in the 1970s.
“It’s home,” said Davie. “It’s what I’m used to.”
Lunt returned to Frenchboro after high school to continue lobstering.
“It’s good when it’s good, but when it’s bad it’s not that good,” he said with a laugh. He raised three children on the island, one of whom now lives there with his girlfriend.
“You have to plan further ahead,” said Lunt, in terms of groceries and supplies, but he’s used to it.
Davie lives with his girlfriend Rachel Bishop in a tidy house on one of the hills overlooking Lunt’s harbor. Bishop also raised a son in Frenchboro.
“Lance didn’t feel like he missed anything,” Bishop said. “He feels like being here has given him opportunities he wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
On an island, said Bishop, the fears associated with raising children are different.
“Everyone’s usually looking out for them,” she said. “If the 5-year-old is down on the flats and maybe they shouldn’t be there somebody will bring them home.”
Bishop was raised in Jonesport and on Beals Island, and her family traces its lineage back to Guernsey Island, off the coast of Britain.
“I think I’m supposed to be on islands,” she said. “I’m closer to a hospital and a grocery store now than I was living Downeast, even with the water in between us.”
Bishop has worked as a teacher at the island school, running the restaurant and as the island’s emergency medical technician.
Despite the lack of medical facilities on the island, Bishop said, the residents are efficient if there’s an emergency.
“If you give them a job they will do it,” she said. “Give everybody a specific task and it all works out.”
The couple usually take a vacation mid-winter, said Lunt (“Nassau is nice this time of year”) but otherwise they work a lot, read, watch Netflix and nap.
Years ago, said Lunt, scallopers would occasionally tow up the underground cable that brings power to the island, cutting them off for weeks, but it hasn’t happened in a long time. And they always make do.
“Most everybody out here is pretty independent,” Lunt said.