Hand tonging for oysters is a signature sight of the Chesapeake winter, as has been for over 250 years. Tonging is the oldest way to gather oysters after the far more ancient technique of wading in and working free the most appealingly large shells from their encrusted habitats. Once oystermen, working in ones and twos, would have worked off of sail craft, like the iconic log canoe. Their tongs grew ever longer as the oyster beds diminished from years of harvest; once breaking the surface, by the 19th century they were pulled up from a depth of 20 feet or more.  Real muscle is needed to maneuver and lift these tongs, which catch and lift oysters, cultch and all the little organisms of the oyster bar to the water’s surface. Tonging watermen face slow, backbreaking work. But as this video attests, they also see the most dazzling mornings water, sunlight, and fog can create.