A Captain On The Chesapeake Bay, ‘Lost’ Without A Skipjack

December 25, 2015

For centuries, Chesapeake Bay oysters were harvested by skipjacks, those tall, sleek, singled-masted sailboats.

The skipjacks are mostly gone now, replaced by more efficient, less majestic ways of fishing. But one skipjack captain refuses to fade away.

Kermit Travers, 78, is one of the first and last African-American skipjack captains. He’s been sailing the Chesapeake for most of his life.

“If this boat right here could talk right now, this boat would tell you all about me,” Travers says.

He loves the water, he says. “[I]f I couldn’t see a skipjack around I think I’d be lost.”

Click the audio link to hear him reflect on his life on the water.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Our lives have changed ...

CPR will not compromise in serving you and our community. Vital news and essential music are made possible by member support.