Working the Chesapeake: watermen on the bay
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Working the Chesapeake: watermen on the bay

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    For generations, the waters of Chesapeake Bay have provided a home for independent fishermen. We call them watermen, and whether they are men or women, old or young, the title earns them a certain respect in the region. Watermen often work alone or in small groups, spending hours, days, years on the open water, far from the comforts of office or home. Still using the tools of their grandfathers, products of an old ingenuity, these watermen represent, in some way, our cultural past. To learn firsthand more about the lives of Chesapeake watermen, the author of this book went out with them in all seasons and in all weathers. He joined fishermen as they tended their pound nets, their fyke nets, their eel pots. Though his initial purpose was to detail commercial fishing methods in the Chesapeake, he ultimately gives us the people and places that define the region's special character, not only the watermen's techniques but, in brief glimpses, their view of what may be a disappearing world. Through carefully rendered interviews and astute observations the author has preserved for us a slice of life, a slice of time. His descriptions are embellished by the drawings of Neil Harpe, a well-known Chesapeake Bay artist who has a special interest in workboats and watermen.
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