St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet

St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet


  • St. Augustine Shrimp Fleet

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 16]

-tial in serving shrimp. When the song says, "Shrimp and rice, they're
very nice," everyone on the shrimp fleet will agree and will add,
"Be sure the shrimps are fresh!"

Filling the Hold and Heading Home.

After lunch the net was again raised, shrimp and fish taken, and
the dragging resumed. This went on with dreary regularity through the
day and continued through the night. Floodlights above the deck lighted
the operation during darkness, and the crew worked unremittingly save
for a few cat naps while the net was dragging. The cool air through the
portholes, the soothing hum of the rigging, and the gentle pitch and roll
of the Fortuna all combined to drive the weary men into dreamless sleep.

At a somewhat ungodly hour, coffee was served again and the
captain, who had been from wheel to stern about fifty times that night,
was relieved from the wheel. Captain De Cruz earned the five cents a
pound that he received for the catch. On duty for as long as thirty-six
hours exposed to the possible dangers of storm, fire, and collision, he is
at all times responsible for ship and crew. Deckhands look to the captain
for their wages and food, and get even less than he does. At the mercy
of poor catches and manipulated markets, they still hopefully talk of the
"two hundred dollar haul" they made perhaps ten years ago. The
rewards are not great for the shrimper although the toil is.