date: May 12, 2019
air temp: 54 F
water temp: 46 F
conditions: partly cloudy, calm.
notes: Finally! I finally managed, with help from my father, to get my main squeeze, a 19 foot East Pointer skiff that doubles as my work boat, in the water for the season. A broken outboard tilt motor that required professional repair caused a delay in launching date, and in the meantime I've been confined to Gingersnap, a 12.5' aluminum skiff with a measly four horses strapped to her (mostly rotted) plywood transom. When your farm commute time gets cut from 35 minutes to 8 minutes, you know you're in business!
To celebrate having my big boat back in the water again I took a little joyride out to the farm just to poke around at things and try to take some more observations as to how my oysters fared through the winter. As a pretty new oyster grower, I am still learning what to look for and how best to navigate big seasonal shifts such as bringing my crop into and out of the winter hibernation season. I tend to be a person of a "go go go!" kind of a nature, and being aware of that, this year I am making myself take the time to slow down and observe, so that I can improve my farming practices and grow a better oyster for my customers.
So far as I can tell, things fared the long winter months pretty well. We were spared large quantities of ice moving around this year, which can be devastating to a farm in shallower water such as mine. Mortality rates were low, though maybe a bit more noticeable among my seed from last year, maybe due to the fact that I sunk them a little bit on the early side (water warmer than 40 F). Lesson learned, and grateful to not have suffocated too many little ones!