Encountering history

While covering a story about oyster restoration, we came upon a bit of Chesapeake history — one of the remaining skipjacks.

Regular readers may remember that one of my favorite stories ever was a profile of the last remaining skipjack captain on the Western Shore.

Skipjacks are wooden sailboats that are used for dredging oysters from the Chesapeake Bay. They’ve fallen out of favor, though, and only a handful remain as working boats. A few more are used for private sails or educational purposes.

The other day, I saw the Rebecca T. Ruark, which is the oldest skipjack still in the fleet, built in 1886. It looked like Capt. Wade Murphy had her out for a tour. It was nice to see her under sail.

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