The Blessing & The Shrimp

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Robert Todd, a 26-year-old, fourth-generation Georgia shrimper, stout and blue eyed, climbs the mast of his family trawler, Sundown, to dress the outriggers with shiny gold and blue ribbons. A Georgia state flag is tied to the bow, alongside the American Stars and Stripes and a host of fluttering, little blue flags featuring lively red shrimp. A large wooden cross rises over the wheelhouse. Signs that read “I ♥ shrimp” and “Safe Harvest Requires Incredibly Meaningful Prayers” (SHRIMP)—painted on bed sheets by Todd—will be added later. A few days ago, he painted Sundown’s mast, dangling high above the deck between the two outriggers, one foot planted on each as if he was doing a split, with a brush in one hand and a safety rope in the other. “If you fall, you’d be pretty lucky if you walk away with your life,” he says, but that’s what it takes to keep a boat shipshape. Plus, Sundown, a 20-meter-long, white-hulled trawler with black rigs, is about to lead a parade, so it has to look its best.    Read Full Story

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