Day One

Survived it! It was a little touch and go this morning - awful, awful weather. Probably the worst weather day we've had in months. Started off with sleeting rain and during my 45-minute drive down to the farm, it turned from ice to snow to whipping rain. Awesome first-day weather. Really. Just perfect. For a minute, I thought someone was trying to tell me something. dsc00182 But ... then I got to the farm. It was 8 a.m. (they have me on a totally reasonable schedule from 8-4), and I was bundled up in my hooded coat, jeans, long underwear and Hunter boots. Immediately, I parked in the wrong spot. Billy Bennett, Skip's dad and one of the growers, is God at the farm (so I was told by Andy... I mean Berg). Billy owns and runs everything. And the exact spot where I parked my car is where he backs his truck up to the side door of the shop. Thankfully Cory (Corydon, the shop manager/man-in-charge) showed me where it was safe to park and then brought me to the shop where I met the legendary Bill and quickly understood why everyone loves him. Huge smile, great handshake, soft, friendly eyes. Just like Skip.

My two colleagues, Berg and A2 (Andy & Andy) were in the shop as well. We caught up briefly and then I hopped in the truck with Berg. Thankfully, it was one of those days where you just. don't. go out on the water - really choppy, very high tide, and totally unpassable. Phew. Instead, we went into the Oysterplex (that sorting house I showed you before) and got to work.

Now, to be honest, it's taken me a few hours to relax and process everything (I've also had a few glasses wine - to warm up, ya know?) so I won't go into it all. But the basics involve this: we spent about 4 hours culling (sorting oysters by size, weight, etc) then we went over to the shop (it houses a table saw and we were tasked with cutting 68 24X24 inch plywood boards into 19x24 inch boards in order to make upwellers... which I'll explain later). A2 managed to keep all of his fingers intact and I didn't take anyone to the hospital (win, win). After that, we headed back to the shop (a barn next to ICO headquarters) and proceeded to CWB (count, wash, bag). Honestly, it's as simple as it sounds. We wash the oysters, count them out, and bag them.

I can explain in further detail tomorrow. For now, check out my semi-ragged boots. dsc00185Fashionably mud-covered, right? The problem was, I couldn't feel my feet for most of the morning... and by mid afternoon, I lost feeling in my fingers. So... you know... those are things to work on. Oh, right: I also had to cut my fingernails (mud+long nails=disgusting mess).

The plus side? I had the best hot shower of my life tonight.

More tomorrow, I promise.