For the Weborg family, ties to the water are inescapable. Jeff Weborg and his wife Betty live in a home overlooking Hedgehog Harbor on Lake Michigan. Just around the tip of the Door County (Wisconsin) Peninsula lies a stretch of water named Port des Morts by early French settlers and rumored to hold more shipwrecks than any freshwater body in the world. Jeff, his brother Mark, son Eric, and a dwindling number men work these waters as the last remaining commercial fishermen in a storied history of demanding and treacherous work.
For these fourth and fifth generation commercial fishermen, family, history, faith, and work are inseparable; they return to the water each day knowing they could lose their lives or limbs. In fact, members of the Weborg family have died on the water; others have come close. Mark Weborg lost his arm in an accident on the water and one of his crew nearly burned alive in an accident on the boat.
During the summer of 2014, fishing was thin, putting into stark relief the hard work and sometimes little reward that makes others shy away from the job. But it's hard work that has put emphasis on the ties that bind this family and community together, to help them appreciate who they are and that they have each other, and allow them to give back to the greater community in which they live.