Every Tuesday throughout the Summer, visitors have boarded the Tuckerton Seaport’s new pontoon boat and Floating Classroom, The Pohatchong II, for our Spend the Day Working the Bay Program learning time honored traditions from authentic baymen! The Seaport’s first ever month of Spend the Day was hosted by three generations of the Allen-Speck family and founders of the Barnegat Bay Decoy & Baymen’s Museum (Tuckerton Seaport)! Videos of these programs will be posted to the Seaport website and Facebook page – stay tuned!
On July 16th, Veteran Bayman Arthur Harold “Oppie” Speck, Sr hosted Tuckerton Seaport’s fist ever Spend the Day Working the Bay recounting a lifetime of hard work and memorable times on the bay. Oppie has played a special role in keeping the traditions of the region alive through his life’s work, passing on his knowledge to and instilling the same passion for the bay in his family, and as a founder of the museum.
James Allen, Jr. hosted the second Spend the Day Working the Bay on July 30th. James is the nephew of Oppie and Nancy Allen Speck – though he’s been more like a son. James learned from Oppie the regional family traditions like hunting and fishing. James’ passion for bay folklife has made him into an esteemed Decoy collector with over 40 years experience, operating Tuckerton-based Decoy Heritage with wife Debbie and serving as a dedicated Seaport founding board member for 29 years.
Following the family tradition, Jimmy Allen III hosted the next Spend the Day on August 6th. Jimmy is the owner of Just Diggin’ It Hand Harvested Jersey Fresh Clams where he has sustained this traditional occupation through emerging technologies.
You can find Oppie, wife Nancy, and daughter Susan along with James, Debbie, and Jimmy Allen at every Seaport festival expertly shucking clams and oysters at the Seaport Raw Clam Bar!
Spend the Day Working the Bay is made possible and free of charge by the OceanFirst Foundation Floating Classroom Grant. Join us for Spend the Day Working the Bay as a Marine Scientist on September 10th with Kaitlin Gannon of a Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JCNEER) or for Spend the Day Working the Bay as an Oysterman on September 17th with Scott and Matt Hender of Barnegat Oyster Collective’s oyster cover.