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Shrimping Off Tybee

6 December 2009

Tybee Island, Savannah, GA

This is a photo story of a day in the life of people who work on a shrimp boat. I endeavored to capture the sights and smells of their time on the water dragging the nets. On this particular day, I observed a good humored Captain Doug going from the bilge of the boat up and back down again several times checking the engine. His two assistants, Chris and Daryl, not only glided me up and over the railing onto the boat (due to morning high tide), but showed me where I would be most comfortable.

I quickly learned that this team of three had a routine that could rival an organized ballet company. If you have never seen the prep and catch of 500lbs of shrimp being separated from the rest of Wassaw Sounds fishy population, this practically merits an encore with free tickets to boot if you can befriend a shrimp boat captain in the Low Country. I listened to Randy Travis while watching a shrimp boat on fire less than a flare away in pouring rain.

The boys would come and get me when they were about to pull in the nets. What a sight to see this balloon of sea-life expunged from these bright green nets hanging over the boat’s aft. It was really quite exciting. Daryl recommended that I put on my raincoat while I was photographing. He was afraid I would catch a chill. He was right, and that’s why I’m sitting here blowing my nose.

I will be buying my shrimp from Captain Doug and others now. No more foreign/frozen shrimp for me. Shrimp costs $2.00 a lb at the dock. People stand in line with their coolers. I was gifted several lbs of giant white shrimp, and if I had known your address you could have been a beneficiary.

Photography