The White Boot blog
Exploring Old Ideas In Brave New Ways


Make A Break for the Bay

With Virginia's Watermen Heritage Tours

Looking for a memorable day trip that’s fun for the whole family? Make a break for the Chesapeake Bay with a Watermen’s Heritage Tour.

This time of year is just right for getting out on the Bay to see how oysters and crabs are harvested, catch sightings of dolphins, and learn about the Bay firsthand. For a preview of tour fun, watch the short video below.

It is well known that the Chesapeake Bay provides abundant seafood, but have you ever thought about how that seafood makes its way to your plate? Virginia has a rich heritage of working watermen and women who fish responsibly. When you take a tour with a watermen captain you get to see the Bay through their eyes and understand how connected their livelihood is to a healthy Chesapeake. For watermen, the Chesapeake Bay is essentially their office. Watermen rely on all of us to do our part in keeping their office clean. 

During the tours, captains talk about Chesapeake Bay ecology and fun facts about Bay animals, like an oyster’s interesting life cycle. Any tour with one of our captains will likely include mention of how important oyster shells are–not just for the oyster that produces it, but also for generations of oysters to follow. Oysters begin life as free-swimming larvae that must find a hard surface to settle on or they will not survive. Oysters grow best on other oyster shells, which is why it’s important to return oyster shells to the Bay after harvests. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation works with local restaurants to collect and recycle their oyster shells. Those shells are put back into the water for restoration projects so we can all continue to enjoy oysters.

If you have never experienced the unmitigated joy of an oyster fresh out of the Chesapeake Bay, make plans to do so this year. Watermen captains give you a new appreciation for the Bay’s bounty and the amazing complexity of a healthy Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

So make your own plans to “Make a Break for the Bay.” These tours will enchant people of all ages and leave everyone with a better appreciation for local seafood.

Our Contributing Writer:  Paula Jasinski , Chesapeake Data/Virginia Watermen's Heritage Tours and Virginia's River Realm 


Upcoming Captain Training Classes

Virginia Watermen's Heritage Tours is holding three new training courses for captains this winter. The courses offered this year are:

All courses will run from 5-8 pm and include materials and resources for you to develop your own tours, access to professional advisors, and opportunities to develop important community partners.

To reserve your spot in one of these FREE training sessions, please call Rappahannock Community College at (804) 333-6828 today.

Visit the Virginia Oyster Trail Calendar of Events regularly for listings of upcoming activities and events.

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