Sea & Sky
Photos from Day 2 of the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival
With so many photos I’ll post them in batches over several days, so check back for more.
The geese get started before sunrise. Then laughing gulls. Another calm morning, no wind expected until afternoon, so there was more time to walk the docks and look at boats. A good day for the paddlers.
More traditional workboats this year, which is nice to see. You don’t see them much anymore. The workboats used by the friends and neighbors of my grandfather, watermen, were rode hard and put up wet, beat up bad by the elements. Signs of hard living. Even the most beaten down had a quiet dignity, though.
A lot like the men who used them. They’d cut you in a fight on Friday night if you crossed them on the far side of a six pack; but the same ones would give you anything you needed if they had it, even when they didn’t have much themselves.
I remember a skinny old crabber dancing in the grass in hobnail boots to a fiddle and spoons on a hot Sunday afternoon in August. He was in his late 80’s, and lived alone in a one room trailer. Sunday was the only day of the week he wasn’t up at 3am to start working his traps in a water-heavy deadrise driven by a single cylinder engine.
The sound of that engine would wake me in the morning before daylight, coming through the fog. It would slow down, and I knew he’d reached a pot float – pull it, dump it, bait it, and drop it – then speed up a little on to the next one, then slow again. Hundreds of times in a methodical, steady rhythm. I’d lie in bed listening until the smell of coffee and bacon got me out from under the covers. He’d work 8 hours before I finished breakfast and got dressed, and then spend the rest of the day mending traps. In his 80’s.