Linda Greenlaw is the only female swordfishing boat commander on the East Coast of the United States and a best-selling author of books with maritime themes. She appeared in the 1997 novella The Perfect Storm and the 1998 film The Perfect Storm.
Linda Greenlaw’s Net Value
Linda Greenlaw, a highly accomplished individual, has amassed an impressive net worth of $5 million over the course of her career. Her accomplishments as an author have played a pivotal role in the accumulation of her substantial fortune, which is largely attributable to her financial success.
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Jim and Martha Greenlaw had Linda Greenlaw in Connecticut. Her father was the information systems manager at Bath Iron Works. Linda grew up in Topsham, Maine, and spent her summers with her family in Isle du Haut, a small village off the coast of Maine with 71 residents.
She attended Colby College, where she studied English and government. In order to pay for her tuition, she worked as a cook and deckhand on the Walter Leeman yacht during her senior year. Even after graduating in 1983, she continued to work on the vessel during her personal time and vacations.
In fact, Alden Leeman, the proprietor of the boat who had gotten to know Linda during her time there, promoted her to swordfish captain in 1986 when he purchased a second vessel. Linda never encountered any problems or discrimination while working on the fishing craft, despite being a woman.
She expressed astonishment and even embarrassment at the number of individuals who were genuinely astounded that a woman could capably captain such a vessel. This sentiment was expressed by Linda in her book The Hungry Ocean.
Fishermen for Profit
While the Andrea Gail sank in the Atlantic during the Perfect Storm of 1991, Linda Greenlaw served as commander of the Hannah Boden. Greenlaw’s endeavors to warn Andrea Gail of the approaching storm were depicted in The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger and its film adaptation.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio portrayed her in the film, and Junger lauded her as not only the only female commander of a swordfishing vessel but also one of the best captains on the entire East Coast. Greenlaw moved to Isle du Haut in 1997 and bought the Mattie Belle, a 35-foot lobster boat.
On May 28, 2009, however, the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador convicted Greenlaw of illegal fishing and entering Canadian waters without authorization. The Crown asked for a $53,000 sanction. In contrast, her defense advocated for a sanction that was only half as high. The judge imposed a $38,000 fine after determining that the defendant did not exercise “due diligence.”
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In 1999, Greenlaw published her first book, titled “The Hungry Ocean,” which detailed a perilous month-long swordfishing expedition. The voyage was marked by severe weather, obstinate fish, amusing shipmates, and the overpowering stress of working for ten consecutive days, each of which lasted 21 hours.
Her later works include “The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island” (2002), “All Fishermen Are Liars: True Tales from the Dry Dock Bar” (2004), “Seaworthy: A Swordboat Captain Returns to Sea” (2010), and “Lifesaving Lessons: Notes from an Accidental Mother” (2013).
Greenlaw collaborated with her mother, Martha Greenlaw, on two cookbooks and authored four detective novels with the titles “Slipknot” (2007), “Fisherman’s Bend” (2008), “Shiver Hitch” (2017), and “Bimini Twist” (2018). These novels are named after knots and feature the fictional character Jane Bunker.
Steve Wessel owns a custom boat-building business in Surry, Maine, and is married to Linda Greenlaw. His family’s business had been affiliated with water for so many years that he chose to make it his primary occupation. Because they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in 2022, Steve and Linda wed in 2012.
Linda stated that she first met Steve when she delivered a yacht to a friend’s custom repair shop. They soon developed mutual affection and fell in love. They decided to get married after 8 months of courtship. They have no biological offspring from this relationship, but they adopted the passionate fisherwoman Sarai Johnson.