A Day In The Life
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a shrimper?
It all starts with a 2AM alarm clock, and it doesn't end until the last shrimp is sold in the afternoon. And in between is hours of hard work: preparing the nets, hauling them back in, culling the catch, and getting it all cleaned up and ready to do it again the next day. And that's on a perfect day when everything goes right—but these guys do it because they love it. It's a way of life for them that the rest of us benefit from as they provide us with the fruits of the sea that we get to enjoy and that we love to celebrate in the Lowcountry.
Many thinks to photographer Glyn Cowden who volunteered his time to make this happen. Glyn said he had a great time doing this, but he doesn't know what he would have done if his alarm had to go off at 2AM again the next day! And many thanks to Capt. Tommy Edwards and crew of the Mrs. Judy Too for letting Glyn come along and for doing what they do every day. Please note you can click on each photo if you wish to enlarge it on your screen.
The time on the clock is right!
Kevin checks the nets, chafing gear, and bag strap
Goat and Kevin lower the outriggers - the tall arms you see on the back of the boats when you look down Shem Creek
Kevin lowers the doors before the first drag
DJ, Kevin, and Goat work the winch
Capt. Tommy, Kevin, and Goat check the "try net," a small net used to sample what sort of catch they're getting
Goat culls the try net - a mix of jelly balls and shrimp. Too many jelly balls and the main nets could get too heavy to haul in
Yes, this is a real picture!
Kevin grabs a few minutes for breakfast before the first haul is made
Capt. Tommy drops the first haul on the culling table
Goat works the first of what will be many hours at the culling table today
The birds know where the free meal is
As well as the school of sharks!
A pod of dolphins trails the nets off of the Isle of Palms
Icing the shrimp from the first haul
Checking the try net again. This is done about every 30 minutes
A calico crab
DJ brings in the second haul of the day as Capt. Tommy looks on
Capt. Tommy at the helm
Keeping the catch covered from the hot sun while the culling continutes
A gull grabs a menhaden before it goes overboard
Goat sorts the shrimp out of the catch
Goat and DJ continue the culling and sorting
Rinsing the shrimp to get the sand out
The yellow on the tips of the tail indicates the large roe shrimp
There's always something to clean
Another haul to cull and sort!
Capt. Donnie Brown on the Lady Paige
Not a bad day's catch
Putting the door back on the rack means it's time to head home
DJ and Goat cull the last bit on the way back in the shipping channel
Home sweet home
Even the birds in the creek know where to be!
Goat walks the catch back to the dock across Capt. Wayne's Winds of Fortune
DJ wheels the catch to the parking lot to be sold
The lucky customers who ordered from Capt. Tommy ... you can't get it any fresher!