There was a time when hundreds of wind driven vessels called "skipjacks" sailed the Chesapeake Bay in search of oysters. Their crews were hard working men, pushed to the limits of their endurance, competing for a share of the harvest -- challenging the elements while dredging under sail. Those days are gone, some say never to return! However, a rare opportunity exists to experience life aboard a working skipjack.
During November each year the Chesapeake Heritage Conservancy offers Discovery Dredging -- a hands on, once in a lifetime opportunity to work with a crew dredging for the succulent bivalves. You help with the hauling of dredges and the culling of oysters.
For just $125.00 (per person) you will experience 6 hours of sailing on the Skipjack Martha Lewis, participate in dredging operations, and get to keep up to two dozen oysters if we have a successful catch! You will be a "waterman" for the day so you must be prepared -- you will want to bring along rubber boots, brimmed and cold weather hat, thin warm gloves, heavy-duty rain gear, and a change of clothes. The weather can be quite "interesting" in November.
Take a look at a gallery of photographs of CHC "watermen" in action captured by long time CHC volunteer Amy Kehring. ( VIEW ) Here is a YouTube video of a typical workday on the Martha Lewis:
In what year was the observation below made about Chesapeake Bay Oysters? (ANSWER)