We're halfway through our last month of the summer season and I have no idea where it went. Last week flew. Our new routine of pulling river bags, dumping the seed into the boat and Skip planting keeps our days flowing smoothly from one project to the next but 10 hours goes by in a second. We got a good amount of seed planted on the grant this week thanks to good weather but there's still a ways to go. The seed in our upwellers has finally reached a point where every silo is evenly filled and the levels are low. We'll keep grading (onto 1/2 inch screen now) and sending more seed out into the river (to replace the seed that's being planted) and we continue to wash, wash, wash our oysters and the bags they sit in. It never seems to end but now that I can see the progress, it's easy to understand why we take such good care of the seed.
These 1/2" oysters are now going out to the river on a daily basis. The oysters we're planting are about twice this size. The color on the shells has faded from wine/amber/purple to the gray-ish green you find on full grown oysters. Still, they're beautiful to look at when they're this size. Imperfectly shaped but with the smoothness and curve of a fingernail. And they're sharp as hell. I've got a hand full of slivers from handling them this week.
This was Eva's last week on the farm, sadly. One by one they go. We sent her off with a mini float party on Friday afternoon which ended with us creating crate city to keep the seagulls away. They've recently discovered that the roof on our house and the float itself are excellent spots to hang out -- they toss clams down onto the deck to crack them open and then crap all over the place. Not a pleasant sight first thing in the morning. But Skip installed a tiny device that simulates a seagull distress signal and keeps other gulls away. Apparently it works because the guys got to the float yesterday and found it free of poop. (Side note: If I'd known how much poop is involved in the world of oyster farming, I may not have asked for this job. At least I've gotten used to it.)
We hosted a serious float party last night for a the Hale family and a slew of their friends. Skip put on a show with striped bass ceviche, razor clam chowder, steamers, oysters, lobsters, and steak (with help from Meggie O'Neill, a former Creeker who now works in restaurants and did most of the catering). Catie, Shore and I lent a hand with service and clean up, but really, we were there to enjoy a perfect Duxbury evening on the water.
The guests absolutely made the night for us. They belted out tunes by Journey, Jimmy Buffet and the Beach Boys while feasting their way through the night. Once the sun went down, we lit the gas lanterns and snacked on ice cream sandwiches and blueberry tarts. To cap it off, we were treated to a fantastic display of stars (with a few meteors thrown in) and polished it all off with a stop at the Winsor House for last call. The whole night was a delicious display of how these guys are living the good life -- and not a bad way for me to spend a Saturday.