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Monday, October 15, 2012

Remembering Chuck Stojak

We lost a good man. Chuck Stojak left this world early today. I knew Chuck a long long time. Ever since his days out at Madaket Marine. He worked out there for twenty one years as a mechanic. During the commercial scallop season Chuck would open scallops for his father and Cato. Chuck finally left the boatyard job and started scalloping on his own. He was one of the best scallopers I knew. During the commercial scallop season, I leave the dock between 5:30 and 6AM. I head out on a slow bell to the scallop grounds taking pictures along the way of the sunrise, etc. Every day like clockwork, I would meet Chuck in his boat up around First Point, Coatue. Chuck would always launch his boat at Children's Beach. He would catch up to me and fly by me at First Point full throttle in the dark. He had two speeds. Fast and fast. He was a hard worker. Never missed a day out there scalloping. If it were blowing 60mph, Chuck would be tucked up in Third Bend catching his limit of scallops. He beat most of us in every day with his limit. He was good. Chuck's favorite place to fish was always Third Bend. He would pull a limit out of there day after day after day. He would sometimes stray and go to one or two other spots in the harbor but most of the time you would see him and his old light blue boat up in Third Bend. He opened all his own scallops in his father's shanty. And when he was done opening all his scallops, he would help his father open his until they were all opened. When Chuck was not scalloping, he ran his own little boatyard business. He would always help out his fellow scallopers fix their outboard engines when they broke down. But his true passion was scalloping. He loved it. He was one of only a handful of high liners in the fleet. Scalloping won't be the same without Chuck. I'll miss seeing him and his old blue boat in Third Bend every day. I grabbed a few shots of Chuck over the years. Here are a few-
Chuck on the left waiting with the gang for the temp to reach 28 degrees so he could go scalloping.
Chuck (right) and his good friend, Mac, off Third Bend.
Chuck (left) and Mac rafted up having a gam in the thick fog one day out scalloping. Circa 2003.
Chuck (on right) and his longtime friend, Mac, waiting for the temp to go up at Petrel's Landing.

Chuck waiting for the temp to go up at Petrel's Landing.

Chuck scalloping at sunrise in Shimmo Bend.

12 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i am sorry for the loss of your long-time friend.

Anonymous said...

He was a great man, a wonderful father and a fantastic fisherman. He will be missed by many including those of us that reside in NJ, but who's hearts will always be on the island.

Martie said...

Thank you, TesWisGirl and Anonymous. Nobody saw this coming.

Nj Friend said...

I know. This is the worst imaginable. I can't believe I just talked to him yesterday. Thoughts and prayers to his son and family.

Richard said...

Chuckie was one of only a handful of hi-liners left in the scallop fishery,a real hard-driving scalloper.How well I remember one day a few years back,a raging 50 mph. Northeast snowstorm,the harbor a sheet of white and the snow flying sideways.And Chuckie's truck and trailer at Children's Beach,he was the only boat out.They don't make them like that anymore,he will be sorely missed.

Brian Campbell said...

Brian Campbell said I remember see him out there by third point when Jeff folger and I were scalloping. Always had a smile on his face. The island is missing a good man.

Jaime Michele Connelly said...

Beautifully written Martie, I am so sorry for your loss Bud. I am sure it is a sad time for you.

Queen of Canvas said...

I'll miss seeing Chuck driving down the road, or down around the town dock. I met him at Madaket Marine when I was fairly new to the canvas world, & working with Chuck was great. He gave me lots of winter work, & always helped me out if I needed a hand. I'm still having a hard time believing he's gone.

awepu said...

Nice pictures. I'll too miss seeing Chuck and his blue boat steaming home, while I'm still plugging away. Or getting to the shanty and seeing him walking out the door, after selling his catch, while I still have four hours of opening left. Whew, he was good!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss, and long friendship. The photos are a wonderful tribute...

Debbie Larrabee said...

Marty thank you for posting this, Chuckie would have loved this and appreciated this so much....Debbie
Larrabee

Murphdan said...

Nice Tribute Martie,

Very sorry to hear of his passing. The Island has lost a good man , and his family a vital cog in their lives.
God Bless you and keep you Chuck.