The Desperado

Bob Schwabik –



The Desperado © Bob Schwabik, 2008/2013

The Desperado © Bob Schwabik, 2008/2013

I love exploring the back roads of the Delmarva Peninsula and the Chesapeake Bay area, always with a camera. On one of these explorations I came across a small harbor almost exclusively populated by working boats. These are the boats that are used by “Watermen” of “The Bay” as the Chesapeake is known, to bring you your Crab Cakes, Oysters, and other delicacies harvested from the Chesapeake Bay. This was unusual, finding these Workboats in the harbor, as the Watermen work 6 days a week to bring you their harvest. This is the first and only time I’ve seen the Desperado moored near the road, as it is usually berthed bow in among the other boats.

The Desperado is a “Deadrise” a type of workboat almost always found on the waters of The Bay. They “drudge” (dredge) for Oysters and service their crab traps. In the past the Watermen took their harvest to “Bal-mer” (Baltimore). These days of bridges and refrigerated trucks have made that trip unnecessary. Many Watermen spend their lives on The Bay and rarely venture far from home.

The life of a Waterman is accurately described in the 1976 Pulitzer Prize winning Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay” by William W. Warner and covered in some detail, and as is typical, by James A. Michener in his factional novel Chesapeake Bay.  The image was captured on a Saturday afternoon in May, 2008 using a Canon 5D, f/11 at 1/250 with a 28mm Canon lens mounted on a Monopod. Post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop, and later converted to Black & White using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro, and edited in Adobe Lightroom 5. 

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