photos by author

City of Crisfield at the dock in Wenona harbor, Maryland. She was built in 1948 in Reedville, Virginia, and is one of the few working skipjacks still left on the Chesapeake- most of the other vessels now earn their keep as education or pleasure craft.

Every winter, she heads out to the Tangier sound to oyster with her owner, Captain “Daddy Art” Daniels, notably the oldest skipjack captain still living. Skipjacks were practical vessels, built quickly and cheaply, but still sturdy and beamy enough to carry hundreds of bushels of oysters on a good day’s harvest.

An endangered species, skipjacks are an iconic Chesapeake symbol of the 19th and early 20th century, when the working communities of the Chesapeake built homes and futures on oyster money.