Shrimp Boats and Daydreams

During a recent trip to South Carolina, I took a detour with my aunts and mother for an adventure in Calabash, North Carolina (just at the NC/SC border).

Calabash is home to ‘calabash’ style shrimp, shopping (Callahan’s), and family vacations. Its neighboring beaches, Sunset and Ocean Isle, serve as the get-a-way spots for many American families.

While strolling the Calabash dock, we noticed that the shrimp boats had just come in. Excited, we wondered if they had yet unloaded their ‘gold?’

It turns out that we were just in time to see their treasure. As we watched, the fishermen unloaded coolers of freshly frozen shrimp (caught out at sea and immediately frozen to preserve the ‘just caught’ taste) and prepared for business. They measured the shrimp in ten pound lots, cut their heads off, and put them in plastic grocery sacks for patiently waiting customers.

As I watched the fishermen, I wondered if they found joy in their profession. What was it like it to faithfully travel out to sea, catch something, and fill the (many) bellies of anticipating locals and tourists? I admired their lives and work as I watched them diligently weigh these sea creatures in the glistening sun.

Photo: Shrimp boat at sea
© 2008 J. Dana Trent

3 thoughts on “Shrimp Boats and Daydreams”

  • Oh, to be back there right now on a 75 – 80 degree day 🙂

    This is a very good glimpse of what we saw that day. The picture of the shrimp boats with nets out AND my beloved birds waiting ashore to glean whatever washes up as the men "shrimp" and then throw overeboard bits of things. Great picture.

    Remember the hut, the man on a stool, scooping up with both hands, almost exactly 10 pounds with every scoop. How the shrimp were entangled and came out of the tub of sea water in whole bunches -not one at a time.That fascinated me.

    You are a wonderful writer. Keep it up.

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