Although the H.M. Krentz is a sailing vessel built especially for oystering, she was accompanied by a "push boat," a small yawl powered by a 150 hp diesel engine tethered to the stern, and controled at the helm of the skipjack.
The dredges were tossed overboard, one on each side. After a couple of minutes the winder motors were started and the dredges were hauled back on deck and emptied. Over the side went the empty dredges, and down on their hands and knees went the crew, three on each side, culling through the heap of shells. Legal size oysters were tossed behind the men, and empty shells & smaller oysters were pushed back into the water. After only a brief interlude the dredges were hauled back to the boat.
Over and over this process continued...until noon. Then the crew went below deck for their dinner of ham, sweet potatoes and green beans. After 30 minutes they were back at their stations, working the dredges until the sun sank below the horizon, twelve hours after we left the dock.
By the end of the day the H.M. Krentz and her crew had harvested 53 bushels of oysters. It was all in a day's work.
Enjoy the photos:
|Ready to leave the dock|
|The push boat at the stern|
|Culling oysters early in the day|
|A mid-day view of the dredges, winder motors, and oysters|
|Sunset on the H.M. Krentz|
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Civil War on the Outer Banks, Josephus Daniels, Jr, Secretary of the Navy during WWI, and his connection to Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022112.htm.