4/19/2019

Updated: May 20, 2019

date: April 19, 2019

time: 1300

air temp: 50 F

water temp: 41 F

tide: low, -1.0'

conditions: annoying. SE wind, 10 knots gusting to 15.


notes: Today is the day! 40 degrees Fahrenheit is the water temperature threshold at which adult American oysters start to come out of their winter slumber. For those of us who winter oysters over in the water, this is the day we wait and watch for to start evolving the farm into the layout which will promote the best growth. In the case of my farm, that means pulling oysters up from their bags on the bottom and spreading them out to float on the surface for a summer of feeding.

This is what I call a driveway truckplosion of oyster gear. Trying to get organized for a big farm transformation such as the winter to spring evolution is sometimes hard for me to wrap my brain around in terms of anticipating what gear I will need to make it all happen.

It would be too much to ask for the perfect confluence of wind, weather and tides, though, especially in early April in Maine. A good, extra low drainer tide is ideal for my farm site, because it allows me to wander around in the shallows and pull things up without needing to hang over the side of the boat. Not gonna happen this year. This first attempt today was too rough for my small boat and me to accomplish much beyond rigging up a set of floating surface lines and dragging a couple bags of last years seed (baby oysters) up from the murk. They looked alive and well and somehow bigger than I remembered, though, so that was enough of a relief to allow me to accept defeat at the hands of the cold wind and vicious chop. I will try again tomorrow.

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