neavitt to tilghman aboard the dreamer.
day break on dreamer with captain johnny.
a few weeks ago i hit the waters of the bay for the first time aboard the workboat dreamer. captain johnny gowe guided us along the choptank river from the neavitt dock to the tilghman railway, where he was headed to work on his boat. during the week or so following oyster season, workboats fill the marina ready to be inspected, painted, repaired, and cleaned up before they start crabbing. ideally, the boats leave the water only once a year – their sturdy fiberglass hulls are able to weather the wicked winter ice that so easily damages the older, wooden boats.
en route to the marina railway we passed watermen getting a jump on the crabbing season which started earlier this month. i was impressed watching them steadily work the trotlines, catching blue crabs one at a time, swiftly flipping them from the net into the basket. in stark contrast, the clam boat looked far more complicated – with a conveyor belt system for retrieving and sorting the little razor clams that make excellent bait for crabbing.
no matter what they are catching – oysters, crabs, clams – watermen generally work alone, spending long, solitary days on the water and i loved this brief glimpse into their world.
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…more from my on-going watermen project…
oyster recovery partnership :: ORP project – le compte bay, choptank river.
environmental matters committee :: SB 342 :: eastern shore watermen rally in support of senate bill 342.
choptank to the railway :: neavitt to tilghman aboard the dreamer.