Oyster Divers Brave Frigid Water; Send Them Some Love

Gumm and Medwig plunged into the frigorific waters of Smithtown Bay in search of Blue Island’s acclaimed Naked Cowboy Oyster.

Have you hugged your oyster diver today?

diving for oysters in ice

Dave Gumm and Keith Medwig, oyster divers with Blue Island Oyster Company, have unquestionably earned great big polar bear hugs after yesterday’s work in ice-cold Long Island Sound.

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With many years of oyster diving experience between them, Gumm and Medwig plunged into the frigorific waters of Smithtown Bay in search of Blue Island’s acclaimed Naked Cowboy Oyster.

The bright blue sky and January sun had little effect on the 10-degree temperature of the air, nor the 40-degree temperature of the water. Clad in full dry suits, full face masks and using standard scuba equipment, each man dove for no more than 10 minutes at a time to a depth of 20 feet foraging for wild oysters. Compounding their mission, visibility in the glacial waters was down to no more than six inches. Yet through it all, these intrepid and stouthearted divers came up with one bushel basket after another, chock full of the cherished bivalves. Evidently, this is all in a day’s work.

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So, if you should happen to come upon either Dave or Keith, give those two bodacious oyster divers a great big hug. They really earned it this week.

 

 

 

 

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Betsy Davidson is the editor at large of Edible Long Island.