Bay State Skye



Dive headfirst into the inner circle of the 1990 Gloucester seafood industry. Bay State Skye is an historical fiction based on actual events hinging on interviews with fishermen, seafood processors, and restauranteurs.

From the treachery of the sea, to the deception at the docks, to the struggle to convince the state to help tackle the mounting mound of fish offal piling up at the defunct waste-reduction plant, Bay State Skye reveals the challenges faced by those who make their living by going down to the sea.

When lobster fishermen Jimmy and Murph Sweeney happen upon an abandoned fishing boat that had been illegally dragging within state limits, it ignites the tension that had been smoldering between lobstermen and fishermen for years. As the Bay State Skye's cargo is off-loaded, it sets off a series of adverse events for all who share the misfortune of coming into possession of its catch.

Bay State Skye is the fifth book by award-winning author, Janice S. C. Petrie. Her family has been involved in the Gloucester and Boston seafood trade for two generations. Petrie's interest in the industry was piqued after spending several years working as assistant plant manager in her family's Gloucester seafood processing business, which led to her inclination to tell this story.

Product Details

$14.99  $13.79
Seatales Publishing Company
Publish Date
June 22, 2018
6.0 X 0.63 X 9.0 inches | 0.89 pounds
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About the Author

Janice S. C. Petrie has been enchanted by the sea for as long as she can remember. She became a certified SCUBA diver while in high school, and spent many years exploring coastal waters. Her fascination with marine invertebrates grew while working for the New England Aquarium as an Outreach Specialist. Since then, she's spent years caring for these fascinating sea animals, and teaching children and adults about the habitats and sea life commonly found near the shore. The material covered in her children's stories are topics commonly taught by Petrie in her popular sea animal programs. Petrie has experience in all facets of the sea, having worked as an assistant plant manager of a large, Gloucester/Boston seafood company. In her free time, Petrie made many trips to the Ossipee, New Hampshire area to visit with the Ossipee Historical Society, the Carroll County Courthouse, and the Concord State Library, trying to piece together the events of 1916 that kept everyone mesmerized while the tragic story was unfolding, yet was seldom mentioned years later. She gained interest in this story after learning the cottage she spent a single night vacationing in as a baby, seemed to be occupied by an unsettling presence. As a certified teacher, grades K-8, and a Reading Specialist, all ages, Petrie has earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees in the field of education, with a concentration in reading. Petrie also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, with a graphic design concentration. Because of her background in developing integrated curriculum units for elementary and middle schools, Petrie has available on her website, free, downloadable curriculum packets for each of her children's books.


"Petrie's entertaining novel is based on the story of the Bay State Skye, a ship found floating empty, its crew lost to the sea, near Gloucester, Mass. In August 1990, brothers Jimmy and Murph Sweeney are headed to port aboard their lobster boat when they come across the Bay State Skye, awkwardly circling outside the Gloucester breakwater. When they pull alongside, they find that its owner and crew are nowhere to be found, presumed lost at sea. The Sweeneys also note that the boat had been dragging inside state limits, which is illegal, and has gathered hundreds of pounds more than the legal limit of 100 pounds of lobster. The illegal fishing has also damaged the equipment of lobsterman Johnny Higgins, who could be financially devastated by the loss, but it helps to unite his community in a fund-raiser for him. The fish and lobster catch from the Bay State Skye is brought to market, but when bouts of bad luck and unfortunate events follow various transactions, including sales losses due to shipping accidents, the fishermen begin to believe the catch is cursed. Petrie's novel includes fascinating details about both the fishing industry and market; readers will find themselves caught up in the stormy excitement and the tantalizing touch of mystery."--Publishers Weekly

"Inspired by true events, this well-researched intriguing novel exposes the occupational hazards embedded in the Gloucester, Mass., fish and seafood trade in 1990. Vivid, pungent, and layered in deceit, the story verges on an eye-opening look at a lucrative industry as opposed to a work of fiction.

Backed by countless interviews and the author's firsthand knowledge and experience, the carefully-edited narrative reveals time and place through authentic descriptions and colloquialisms. The author's tendency to focus on minute details creates an experience to be savored, rather than quickly devoured.

Illegal acts on the ocean, a popular theme in fiction, may encompass any profession, yet this memorable book stands apart--an intricately-planned historical immersion in Cape Ann that will make an indelible impression on a jaded connoisseur of adventure novels.

Candid protagonists in this character-saturated novel take the story in many directions, with shady personalities at the helm. Their development spins doubt and suspense and triggers double-takes."--BookLife Prize

"Reading a good book written by an experienced 'sea person' and successful author . . . is what I would call easy living. Bay State Skye provided the extra special ingredient for escaping the heat of the day and returning to 1990. I enjoyed the entire book, especially the gurry plant chapters, for I was directly involved in the controversy. Petrie's detailed reporting of the results of the shut down of the plant was extremely well done."--Roy Spittle, Gloucester Business Owner

". . . evidence of the quietly engrossing nature of this work; the mystery lures readers in, and the suspense throughout effectively holds their interest."--Kirsten, professional copy editor

"This was a fun read that felt like a movie script. The characters were interesting, the industry details were captivating, it was humorous, suspenseful and I did not guess the ending."--Hannah Adelman

"An enjoyable read and unique novel of historical fiction and faction, served up with mystery, suspense, humor, mischief, economic hardship, the pull of the sea, greed, fear, politics and gritty work of fishing. I love cross-genre books and this author pulls it off."--James Masciarelli