According to the Web site wordorigins.org, “Scuttlebutt is an early 19th century nautical term for an open cask of water kept on deck for use by the crew. The term comes from scuttle — to cut a hole in — and butt — a large cask. Sailors would gather about the cask and trade stories and gossip, much like modern office workers do at the water cooler or coffee pot. By the turn of the 20th century, American sailors began using the term scuttlebutt to refer to these sea stories and gossip. Eventually the term became associated with any gossip or rumor.”

Apprenticeshop welcomes new manager

ROCKLAND — Atlantic Challenge announced Jan. 15 the appointment of George Sprague as its new Apprenticeshop manager.

Sprague was a 2008 graduate of the Apprentice program and has worked in support of AC’s waterfront programs since that time. In his new role as Apprenticeshop manager, Sprague will supervise the shop programs and waterfront operations of Atlantic Challenge.

“I am very pleased that George has agreed to join our team,” said Executive Director Eric Stockinger in a press release. “George understands our philosophy of experiential education. He also has a natural leadership quality.”

Since moving to the Midcoast three years ago, Sprague has worked on the Rockland waterfront in many capacities: as a crew member on commercial vessels such as the Penobscot Bay pilot boat and a local day-sailing schooner, as well as supporting several traditional wooden boat-building projects in the region, including the recent rehabilitation of the schooner Timberwind out of Rockport. Prior to coming to Maine to pursue his apprenticeship at Atlantic Challenge, he worked in the steel construction industry.

Sprague’s background also includes 11 years of military service where he served as an active duty Marine and in the New Hampshire Army National Guard. His service included 15 months of active duty in Iraq with Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In addition to his work at the Apprenticeshop, he is also pursuing a degree in small business management at the University of Maine and teaching courses at The Woodturning School in Damariscotta. Sprague and his family make their home in Bath.

For more information about the Apprenticeshop, a school for traditional boatbuilding and seamanship, and the Community Sailing Program, visit atlanticchallenge.com.

Midcoast fishermen offer shrimp lessons at Unity College

PORT CLYDE — On Friday, Jan. 22 from 11 a.m. to noon, Unity College will host a Maine shrimp cooking demonstration at 90 Quaker Hill Road in Unity using Port Clyde Fresh Catch shrimp harvested by the fishermen of the Midcoast Fishermen’s Cooperative in Port Clyde. Justin Libby will show how to create tasty dishes using Maine shrimp and recipes from “The Original Maine Shrimp Cookbook,” published last fall by the Island Institute. The event is free and open to the public.

The MFC has been working with Unity College, an environmental college that is defined by the principles of sustainability with significant emphasis on buying local foods for its dining services, to bring fresh Maine shrimp to the menu of the college’s food service program for students who eat at the campus dining halls. Unity is one of the few colleges that does not outsource its dining services, which Dining Services Director Sandra Donahue said helps maintain a focus on buying local.

The project builds on the local community supported fisheries program in Unity and nine other locations throughout the state, in which participants pay in advance for a share of fresh seafood delivered each week throughout the fishing season. Port Clyde Fresh Catch seafood is also supplied to several restaurants and is available through selected retail outlets and online at portclydefreshcatch.com.

For more information contact Jessica Libby at 975-2191 or jessica@midcoastfishermen.org.

Send scuttlebutt to Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello at sauciello@villagesoup.com or call 207-236-8511.