Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Workboat leaving Queens Creek

The other day as I was dawdling around the house trying to come up with any reason not to do laundry or clean or focus on the book, I heard the familiar sound of a workboat start up.

Workboats are a dying breed, most definitely on the endangered species list. We hardly ever see them up Queens Creek where I live. So as soon as I heard that engine start up I dashed for the camera. One of the neighbors keeps a boat in our cove and for whatever reason he was taking her out for a spell.

We see lots of sailboats, motorboats, goose-chasing canoes, kayaks, jet skis--you name it, we see it around here. But workboats?  Not so much any more.

There's nothing quite like the sound and smell of a good workboat.


Workboat leaving Queens Creek; Smithers Cemetery is across the creek; CBW's ornery locust tree, center; and her dilapidated fire pit is there on the left. 

The boats below are docked over at the Seabreeze on Gwynn's Island.

 The day I took this photo a high school acquaintance who still works on the water was in the parking lot.

We had a wonderful conversation about the good old days, and how very few people are working the water anymore. When we were coming along it was very different. After this generation is gone (with perhaps a few exceptions), there will be no more commercial watermen in Mathews.

It's very sad.

Click here for a poem I wrote a couple years ago about a waterman.

For another post related to watermen that includes some history, click here.

If you're tired of me directing you elsewhere, give your computer screen a little flick right here <.......>.

If you've ever experienced the sights, smells and sounds of a workboat, please leave a comment.

If you've never been on a workboat but have something to say, please leave a comment.

If you're happy and you know it keep it to yourself because this Vitamin-D deprived person can't take it clap your hands.

If you're ready for spring, stomp your feet.

Simon says, "Stomp your feet."

CBW says thanks for reading and tolerating her inane tangents, superfluous commentary and inconsequential blathering. She blames the long winter, lack of sunlight and adult-onset ADD extreme exhaustion for her incessant rambling.

p.s. Seriously, I do have one more link for you, and this is a good one.  Click here for Nate's blog and a gorgeous shot of an osprey nest off Gwynns Island at sunset.  Nate's family has a house over on the island and he's been visiting since he was a kid. His photos--and the accompany narrative peppered with humor--are superb. Have a great Wednesday.


Kay L. Davies said...

I love boats with jobs. My favorites have always been tugboats. I once almost convinced my bank manager to give me a loan to buy a tug, but when he found out I wanted it for a live-aboard and didn't plan to work it, he said he couldn't lend me the money. I weighed maybe 110 pounds and did not look like Tugboat Annie. (Your parents might remember her.)
-- K

Ann Marie said...

I shall refrain from commenting on work boats or watermen for obvious reasons..

cupsu.. what you get when you pay 10 cent for cupasoup instead of the standard 33 cent.

Mental P Mama said...

We have a lot still up here on the Sound...but I expect their days are numbered as well. sigh.

Lynne M said...

I am stomping my feet, and I am also Vitamin D deficient..

Love work boats, spent most of my high school years (and a bit beyond) in Guinea. I also loved helping to make crab pots and eel pots. Eel pots were my favorite. I also love the smell of marsh mud baking in the sun. Most people think it stinks to high Heaven, I think it smells like Heaven!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

You crack me up! I'm sitting here stomping and clapping, and... well... I don't know what that says about me, or frankly, you...

But I do know I love boats. What your area is experiencing with watermen, the area where I grew up is experiencing with farmers. I remember my great aunt, who lived on a farm for her entire life, lamenting that all of her 5 children moved away and didn't want to farm, and their kids won't want to either. And now that she's gone, her farm is for sale and part of it might be sold to build new homes. Not all of it, but part of it. It seems a shame to me.

Mrs F with 4 said...

I'm an inland hill kind of girl... but I spent five years at university by the sea. I know buggerall about boats and ships... but I remain fascinated by them. And by the idea of escaping on one, fishing, cargo, but absolutely not, nevernoway, a cruise ship. I worked for a deeply memorable six months on one. Like a floating prison... with no chance of escape.

viesslow: like very slow. But slower.

Deltaville Jamie said...

I have many fond memories of pulling crab pots and gill nets. OK, maybe not so fond of the gill nets. Seriously, I think my mental state could use a few days of working on the water, gill nets included.

WV: tahedi- I wish I was on a plane to Tahedi.

Nates Pics said...

I tried stomping my feet, clapping my hands, and also the rub-your-tummy-pat-your-head routine, but turns out I don't have enough dexterity or hands to do it all at once.

Wish I could say I've been on one of those workboats, but I've only been looking at them all my life - never actually on one.

Thanks so much for linking to the Osprey post! Glad you like it!

maria_nj said...

Good morning all..

hear at the jerzee shore, when you are sitting on the beach, you can still see the BIG fishing and clamming boats go out. ( Or you could just dig you toes in the sand at the right spots and get them yourself) I myself have never been on one. I have been on a few boats in my days though. These days I would prefer the cruise ones though.

Don't need to stomp today, the sun is shining but it is blistery cold. I have some housework that really needs to get done today. My bedroom funiture looks like it grew fuzz...

maria_nj said...

oh sorry wanted to say...

be-u-ti-ful picture Nate!!

deborah said...

all tugs, towboats and barges here on the Ohio River now.


AverettLadyNana said...

It is so sad for me to think of watermen as a dying breed.

Country Girl said...

Those photos really are gorgeous! Thanks for the link.

I hear the workboats when I'm in Maine during the summer. Actually, it would be wonderful to be in Maine for the entire summer. * sigh *