This is a template, not a recipe, as some of the ingredients are hard to come by.

Choose a father who lobstered both as a profession and a pastime. Don’t worry about the sand between your toes as you dangle your legs off the bench seat on your way to the boat.

Watch for the first few years, then with someone holding your belt buckle start leaning the better part of your body over the side of the boat to retrieve the buoys.

As time passes, begin to haul in the traps; you’ll be able to haul all 10 in gradually. Assume wrongly that the next logical step is to learn how to drive the boat. Father doesn’t own boat. Wait patiently to learn how to drive boat. Never under any circumstances wear a life jacket or sunscreen during your childhood. Retain a healthy fear of being bitten by a lobster after being bitten by a lobster at the age of six. Retain this fear always.

Stop playing baseball competitively after Little League. Go to college. Drop out of college and live in van. Go to a different college. Drop out of different college and live in teepee.

Continue to lobster with your dad.

In your early 20s have enough friends to organize a weekly pickup softball game in the summer. Play at dusk because it’s too hot during the day. Turn on the lights when it gets dark. Do not let the lights distract you from the task at hand even though its always fun to watch them cough and sputter on.

Remember the vacant lot next to your mom’s house you named Ebbets Field where your brother shagged flies with rocks denting your favorite bat. Appreciate the apple trees you dodged in your dad’s yard as he stroked ball after ball in your direction with one hand. Try not to cry when thinking about Robert Redford rounding the bases after his towering shot at the end of The Natural. Cry anyway.

Invite your dad to play one night. Watch the sand kick up behind his heels like a racehorse as he rounds first following his towering pinch hit marvel while also considering that human limitations are possibly, most likely, self imposed. Try your best to calculate how high up on the Green Monster the ball would have struck and the size of its dent. Know that under the right circumstances, with the right breeze to the left, that softball would have cleared the monster.

Lift with your legs, just as when you haul your traps, when helping your father up from the ground as he limps to his car. Apply a cold beer to the back of his ankle. The following day learn to drive the boat while he elevates his cast.

Learn depth of pond.

Go to cooking school. Carve carrots into jumping fish, receive a B+ and give teacher benefit of doubt they didn’t see the miniature scales and gills.

Drop out. Eat out. Enjoy meal. Ask owner for job. Start following day. Work hard. Work when sick. Work when tired. Come home to watch mom die. Go back to work the next day. Bury grief by working more. Work until sick. Work until tired.

Get your own boat.

Go to Menemsha. Find someone wearing waders and waterproof boots that is walking with a slight limp and inquire about where to get lobster bait. Wear gloves when retrieving bait or else your one-year-old child will be repulsed by you.

Get up at dawn, ideally without an alarm as not to wake your slumbering wife — when the sunrise is the color of a peach and soft like one.

Hold your breath when retrieving your bait, especially as you work your way deeper and deeper into the barrel. One poorly timed inhale can stay with you for the rest of the day.

Assure your wife every few days that the bait barrels will be picked up soon and the smell will dissipate with a little hose down. Change subject.

Reassure neighbors that the foul smell is hard to pinpoint. Could be a deer carcass in the brush or more likely just low tide. Tell neighbors that on the next trip you will bring them a few lobsters.

Reassure your wife you haven’t forgotten about the deadline to get rid of the bait. You know how the Island is this time of year after all.

Start an informal IOU system for number of neighbors you have promised lobster to. Research if a lobster’s claw shows mark from rubber band if removed. Find out if any Island fish markets are running specials on lobster.

Remind your wife that lobster tastes so much better out of the ocean than from some tank in the back of a fish market.

Learn the proper knots and use them to secure your buoys to your traps. Choose a color scheme that brings you joy when painting your buoys.

Go lobstering. As you exit Stonewall Pond the rocks tell you to slow down. Navigating under Quitsa bridge requires slowing down. The man sailing alone tells you to slow down. The kid on the dock tells you to slow down. The harbor master tells you to slow down. The bell buoy is telling you to slow down. Someone is trying to tell you something.

Drop your traps off at the brickyard. Most people have an order to their buoy alignment. It is not mandatory. Don’t be discouraged when your battery dies, you hit a rock on your way out, your fuel lines clog or kink, your hat flies off in the wind, it’s too choppy to go any faster than three knots and don’t worry about how fast a knot is. Don’t get down on yourself when you get skunked, smell like a skunk or can’t remember which pots you have hauled and which you have not.

When the line from one of your traps wraps around the propeller of the boat and you are alone bobbing near shore, lift the engine up and climb out on top of the small engine on your small boat until it feels like the next inch you move further will put you in the water (not dissimilar to your early days retrieving buoys).

Count how many pots you have hauled as you go and try to keep a mental tally knowing you may forget, and forgiving yourself for it.

Bring your dad out and talk or not.

Don’t ever count how many keepers you have amassed until you are back on shore because it doesn’t matter. Bring about three inches of water made to taste like seawater to a boil in a large pot. Cook lobsters for approximately 10 minutes over a high flame. Remove from heat and allow to cool and cook through for another 15 minutes (this may be the most important step).

Serve one lobster per person. If you find yourself with a few extra, cook them anyway as lobster salad is a nice way make people happy.

Reassure your wife the bait barrels will be gone by the weekend.

Chris Fischer lives in Chilmark.