The 2018 Oyster Pick Up was held on Friday, June 1, 2018. Luckily, it was the only day that week where rain was not in the forecast. People began arriving at the Eglseder offices about 7:45 to get their route assignments and fuel up on coffee and doughnuts. After signing in, getting coffee and picking up their boxed lunches, our volunteers gathered their buckets and began to head out. There were more than 500 buckets waiting to be filled with baby oysters, which is over a thousand cages in the water! Everyone was on their way by 9:00 am with our first volunteer arriving at Easton Point by 10:00 or so. From there the buckets started lining up quickly. Our waterman, Robert Crow arrived shortly thereafter and began loading his boat with the first load to take out to our sanctuary. Scott, Matt Carberry and Matthew Wills all volunteered to take a ride in the boat and help plant the oysters, even though they were hot, tired and dirty from doing their own routes earlier. When they got back, the last of the oysters were waiting for them, so they did the whole thing over again! It was a hot, sunny day for puling cages up. This year there seemed to be a lot of fouling on the cages. Most of our volunteers commented on how difficult it is to pull heavily fouled cages out of the water, some of them were so heavy it took two people to pull them up! While cleaning them perfectly is not strictly necessary, it is a good idea to go out periodically and get the bulk of the buildup off. Especially before pick up, as it makes things much easier for our volunteers. By 4:00 pm all of our volunteers were back, the oysters had been loaded onto the boat and the oysters had been planted in the sanctuary. Usually, that can take up to two days. However, we have amazing volunteers and for his first year helping, an amazing waterman, who all worked incredibly hard and really fast this year to get it all finished in under 8 hours! While no endeavor is perfect and there can be pieces that don’t come together seamlessly, we do try to improve with every delivery and pick up. Input from our volunteers is always welcome as we try to make what they do as easy as possible.