WITTMAN — On the waters of the Choptank River, they toil from the early morning to afternoon, sometimes six or seven hours a day. They are part of the newest generation of watermen, but they could be the last.
Derek Wilson and his best friend Nick Hargrove are a team. Wilson dives into the water and scoops oysters up from the bar, while Hargrove drives the boat and packs the oysters in baskets.
The duo bring back 24 bushels each day to the seafood plant Wittman’s Wharf, and the oysters, considered a delicacy, are shipped across the Eastern Shore, all the way to Virginia.
Wilson yearns for the Chesapeake Bay, to be immersed in the waters and pluck oysters from the Bay bottom. He’s been doing it his whole life.
Hargrove, the owner of Wittman’s Wharf, works more than seventy hours a week to keep his business running and the oysters shipped to restaurants and businesses across the state and beyond.
They might be the last to do this. But that hasn’t stopped them yet.