Is Linda Greenlaw Gay: Exploring the Maritime Author’s Personal Life

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By Alexander

Linda Greenlaw, renowned for her expertise as the only female swordfishing boat captain on the East Coast of the United States, has led a life as captivating as the treacherous waters she navigates. Her maritime ventures and her literary prowess have established her as a bestselling author, with notable works including “The Hungry Ocean” and “The Lobster Chronicles”. She is also known for her appearance in the book and film “The Perfect Storm”, which further catapulted her into the public eye.

Today, however, we will look at a different question. And that is, is Linda Greenlaw gay.

Throughout her career, Greenlaw’s personal life has piqued the interest of many, leading to inquiries about her sexual orientation. It is important to address that Linda Greenlaw is not gay. She has, in fact, found love in her later years with Steve Wessel, a boat builder by profession, whom she married in 2012. The couple’s relationship began when Greenlaw took a boat to Wessel’s shop for repairs, marking the start of a personal partnership that would align with her storied professional life.

Greenlaw’s journey subverts many of the expectations placed upon her in a male-dominated industry. Her dual role as a nurturing parent and an accomplished professional—having adopted a daughter—further showcases her multifaceted life. Linda Greenlaw’s story is not only inspirational due to her trailblazing career but also reflects resilience, determination, and an ability to find love and family as she continues to excel at sea and in writing.

Early Life and Background

Linda Greenlaw, hailed as the only female swordfishing boat captain on the East Coast of the United States, has a heritage deeply rooted in Maine. Her early years shaped the person and acclaimed maritime author she has become.

Maine Origins

Born on December 22, 1960, Greenlaw was raised on the island of Isle au Haut, Maine, where the sea is an integral part of daily life. This small, remote community is accessible only by boat, nurturing her affinity for the ocean from a young age.


Greenlaw pursued her education at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, before further advancing her maritime knowledge. Earning credentials from the prestigious Maine Maritime Academy in Castine equipped her with the comprehensive nautical expertise necessary to command her own vessel and eventually attain recognition in the literary world for her contributions to maritime literature.

Linda Greenlaw’s Maritime Career

Linda Greenlaw has cemented her reputation as a prominent figure on the Eastern Seaboard as the only female swordfish boat captain and as an accomplished author. Her career encompasses a span of notable seafaring roles and media appearances that have earned her both respect and fame in maritime circles.

Swordfish Captain

As a swordfish captain, Linda Greenlaw stands out in what is traditionally a male-dominated industry. Her expertise in navigating the treacherous waters while leading her crew in the hunt for swordfish has been a critical part of her identity and contributed to her growing status in maritime professions.

Captain of the Hannah Boden

Linda Greenlaw commands the F/V Hannah Boden, the sister ship to the ill-fated Andrea Gail, famously known from Sebastian Junger’s recounting in “The Perfect Storm.” Her role at the helm of the Hannah Boden has not only showcased her skill and leadership but also tied her name to a significant historical maritime narrative.

Television and Reality Shows

Greenlaw’s vast experience at sea translated to on-screen opportunities, including a spot on Discovery Channel’s “Swords: Life on the Line,” where viewers got a glimpse of the perils of swordfishing. In season 19 of “Deadliest Catch,” she brought her deep-seated knowledge of commercial fishing to the Bering Sea, broadening her audience and solidifying her place in reality television.

Commercial Fishing

Linda Greenlaw’s involvement in commercial fishing extends beyond the swordfish boat to the offshore red crab fishery, underscoring her versatility and deep-rooted connection to the maritime industry. Her participation in this sector demonstrates her expansive experience in various types of fishing, emphasizing her comprehensive understanding of the industry.

Literary Contributions

Linda Greenlaw has established herself as a distinguished author with notable works in maritime literature, personal narratives, and culinary arts, reflecting her rich life experiences at sea and on land.

Maritime Literature

Linda Greenlaw garnered significant recognition in the field of maritime literature. Her first book, “The Hungry Ocean”, which details her adventures as a swordfish boat captain, displays her profound knowledge and experience in the fishing industry. This book and others like “Seaworthy” and “All Fishermen Are Liars” contribute to her reputation as a leading voice in U.S. maritime narratives. Her writing earned her the U.S. Maritime Literature Award in 2003, solidifying her status in the genre.

Autobiographies and Personal Stories

Furthermore, Greenlaw has penned autobiographies that delve into her personal life, with captivating stories that enhance the understanding of her world. “The Lobster Chronicles” offers insights into her life after returning to her home island, documenting her transition from the sea to lobster fishing. Another significant work, “Lifesaving Lessons”, intricately weaves the story of her personal growth and challenges faced while living on Isle au Haut, Maine.

Culinary Works

Greenlaw extends her narrative flair to the culinary world with titles that celebrate the food culture of her Maine heritage. Her foray into this genre includes “Recipes from a Very Small Island” and “The Maine Summers Cookbook”, both co-authored with her mother, Martha Greenlaw. These cookbooks offer a collection of recipes interspersed with anecdotes, earning high praise and further literary acclaim, including the New England Book Award for nonfiction in 2004.

Personal Life

The personal life of Linda Greenlaw reveals a partnership rooted in common interests and a tranquil life on an island community, marked by the sea’s rhythms and her role as a guardian and mother. Yet, is Linda Greenlaw gay? Let’s take a look.

Family and Relationships

Linda Greenlaw’s marital status brings clarity to public speculation about her sexual orientation. Linda is married to Steve Wessel, a boat builder she met through her maritime connections. After tying the knot at 52, Linda’s mention of a “shotgun wedding without the pregnancy” underscores the humorous and straightforward nature of their union. Their relationship, which began when Linda had work done on her boat at Steve’s shop, did not appear to be a case of love at first sight, but one which blossomed over time as they shared mutual interests.

The couple is also proud parents; they are legal guardians to Linda’s niece and have an adopted daughter, Sarai. Linda’s married life on Isle au Haut appears to be grounded and enriched by her family ties.

Life in Isle au Haut

Isle au Haut, a remote part of New England, provides the backdrop for Linda Greenlaw’s life away from the public eye. It is here that she has not only made a home with her husband but also woven herself into the fabric of the local community as a commercial fisher. The island’s nature and pace play a significant role in the couple’s life — setting the stage for a quiet and secluded married life.

Linda’s profession as a lobster fisher is emblematic of the region’s maritime culture and the hardworking ideals of its inhabitants. Her contributions as an author, including books that received the Alex Award from the American Library Association,** further reflect the depth of her experiences at sea and the richness of her life on Isle au Haut.

Influence and Impact

Linda Greenlaw has established a significant legacy as a trailblazer on the seas and as an influential figure in maritime literature. She not only broke barriers by being a highly skilled female swordfishing boat captain but also captivated audiences with her engaging storytelling as an author.

Role as a Female Captain

Linda Greenlaw stands out as one of the most recognizable figures in a predominantly male-dominated industry. She carved a niche for herself as the only female swordfishing boat captain on the East Coast of the United States. This distinction highlighted her skills in navigating and managing swordfishing expeditions, which require a deep understanding of the sea and the tenacity to lead a crew in often unforgiving conditions. Her command of boats like the Sea Fever and Hannah Boden showcased not only her seamanship but also her role in inspiring other women to take the helm in maritime careers.

Media Portrayals and Recognition

Greenlaw’s influence expanded beyond the fishing community, reaching a wider audience through various forms of media. Her portrayal by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in the film adaptation of “The Perfect Storm” brought her story to the silver screen, while her maritime books, including Seaworthy: A Swordboat Captain Returns to the Sea, provided an authentic glimpse into her experiences at sea. These narratives, filled with details of her life as a captain, cook, and fisher, among other roles, garnered significant recognition. Additionally, her appearance on reality television as a part of “Deadliest Catch” further cemented her impact in popular culture, allowing viewers to witness the realities faced by those in the swordfishing industry.

Current Endeavors and Future Projects

Linda Greenlaw, celebrated for her maritime expertise, continues to embark on new ventures as a boat builder and writer, shaping her legacy in New England’s maritime culture.

Boat Building Activities

In Surry, Maine, Linda Greenlaw has engaged in boat building activities, collaborating with local craftsmen to design vessels that reflect the traditional boat-building heritage of the region. She partners with experienced boat builders, focusing on constructing vessels designed for the challenging conditions of New England waters. Her dedication to the maritime industry remains evident as she blends timeless techniques with modern innovations.

New Literary Works

Linda Greenlaw has further established herself as a distinguished writer with her home in Topsham, Maine, serving as the backdrop for her literary creations. Her recent works include explorations into the finer nuances of life as a swordfishing captain and other maritime adventures. After works like Lifesaving Lessons: Notes from an Accidental Mother, she is expected to continue to offer new perspectives into the world of maritime life, with publications that promise to enrich the literary landscape of New England.

Community and Social Work

Linda Greenlaw demonstrates a steadfast commitment to her community through various social work initiatives and educational mentorship programs. Her efforts primarily benefit the residents of Isle au Haut and Surry, Maine.

Mentorship and Education

Greenlaw has invested her time in guiding fisherman friends’ families, having adopted the niece of a fellow fisherman. Her mentorship extends to helping young individuals understand the importance of maritime traditions and career opportunities on the sea. Greenlaw’s educational outreach may include talks or informal education regarding her own experiences at sea, especially since she is known as the only female swordfishing boat captain on the East Coast of the United States.

Volunteer Activities

In addition to her mentoring roles, Greenlaw is active in several volunteer activities within her communities both in Isle au Haut and Surry. Her presence in volunteer activities promotes the preservation of community welfare and maritime heritage. As of the provided information, specific organizations in Surry or Isle au Haut, such as a gun club or Blue Hill society, where Greenlaw participates have not been detailed. However, it is often individuals like her who contribute to local efforts such as community building and involvement in local initiatives.

Public Perception and Controversies

Linda Greenlaw has navigated not only the seas but the shifting currents of public perception, particularly as it relates to her personal life and professional depiction in media.

Media Influence

Linda Greenlaw first became known to the public through her portrayal in Sebastian Junger’s book, “The Perfect Storm,” and the subsequent film adaptation. The role she was depicted in brought significant attention to her career as the only female swordfishing boat captain on the East Coast of the United States. As she transitioned into reality TV, becoming a reality TV star with her appearance on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch,” the public grew more interested in her personal life.

The influence of media has played a substantial role in shaping the image of Linda Greenlaw. It’s through platforms like Discovery Channel that her marital status has been discussed, alongside her career. Linda Greenlaw’s marriage to Steve Wessel, as noted by media outlets, places her personal life in the heteronormative narrative contrary to speculations about her sexual orientation.