Sample Watch Presentation Issues for Warner, pp. xv-119

  1. Speech of watermen as W's motive for writing--wisdom of the community vs. wisdom of isolated expert scientists (xvi-xvii).
  2. Size of the Bay: 200 miles long x 30 miles wide (at the widest, below Annapolis); 4,000 miles of shoreline--the largest estuary in the United States (3-5)
  3. Water structure: "salinity gradation" as crucial to species reproduction, feeding, survival: salt heavier than fresh, flows below the outflowing rivers: Susquehanna, Potomac, Patapsco, Chester, Pawtuxent, Choptank, Severn, Charles, etc.  Crabs navigate the entire length of the Bay twice a year (53).
  4. Crabs' instincts (19-20) as part of how watermen catch them with traps (seeking to escape by swimming or climbing up); sight hunters (but with very good sense of smell--see Horton on crab mating--recent science on pheromones); shun pots that contain only one dead crab (24).
  5. Fall migration: females south to the mud bottom at Bay mouth (dredging from VA side); males to deep holes in channel and off Annapolis (43-45).
  6. "Right of Free Plunder": watermen's belief in natural law over state or federal law (77 and 89).
  7. Crab survival rates: 1 in a million eggs produces an adult crab / 2 million eggs per female = 2 crabs per surviving female per year (101).
  8. Crab life span = 3 years (109)
  9. "Sea run crabs": return after cycling through ocean gyres, covered in barnacles, etc.--live longer than 3 years? (110-119).

For additional help visualizing the Bay as the crabs know it, here is the NOAA chart in an online version: