About 40 feet long, narrow for her length and finished in flat white, the boat's forefoot, sharp as a meat slicer, carved a clean trough into the bay's choppy waters (see our extra photo gallery here). The bow wave curled like a slice of bologna, tumbled back to the surface and vanished into one of the flattest wakes I'd ever seen. She made 10 knots, maybe 12, and the bay quickly absorbed all record of her passing. A tall, angular deckhouse sprouted from the forward third of the boat, and the open cockpit stretched from the house to the transom, interrupted by only the engine box and the culling board. The freeboard seemed impossibly low by the standards of ordinary pleasure boats, but this characteristic allows the waterman to work his tongs by hand from the wide washboards. A successful day of tonging would have filled a lot of this open space with a mound of oysters, but today she was empty. The owner relaxed at the starboard-side helm console, his fingers loosely wrapped around the fore-and-aft tiller.