Deal Island, Md., Sept. 6, 2010
Skipjack captain Wade Murphy, right, steers his boat, the Rebecca T. Ruark, during the 2010 Labor Day skipjack races. Murphy and his boat won the race. At left, his son, Wade Murphy. I first sailed aboard a skipjack and photographed the Deal Island races in 1984. I was hooked on the beauty of the boats and the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I was also hooked on the people -- the watermen (and women) who make their living working on the water. I can sit for hours and listen to them tell stories with their rich, centuries-old accents. Since 1989, I have been part of the crew on the Rebecca. Built in 1886, she is the oldest skipjack on the bay. When we sail, being a crew member is the priority and I can only pick up my cameras when I’m not pulling on a line, crawling into the hold to check a bilge pump or using binoculars to scan the horizon for bouys that mark the race course. If the weather is not too heavy, there is usually plenty of time to take photos, and I am grateful for that.
Ray K. Saunders
The Washington Post