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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.