The non-profit Bayshore Center at Bivalve is looking to crew its restored New Jersey Delaware Bay oyster schooner, the A.J. Meerwald, for the 2017 sailing season.

Captain Jesse Briggs, the center’s director of marine operations, said they have hired a captain and second mate. They are still looking for candidates to be chief mate, deckhands, onboard educators, and a cook.

The 85’x22.3’x6’,  59-ton oak two-masted gaff schooner carries up to 49 persons. Built in 1929 for the oyster trade by the Charles H. Stowman & Sons shipyard in Dorchester, N.J., it was acquired in 1988 by the Bayshore group, which embarked on an eight-year restoration.

The Meerwald began sailing again in 1996, and in 1998 was designated as New Jersey’s official “tall ship.” It carries passengers on public sail excursions, charters, family and youth sailing camps, and education cruises for adults and youth, throughout the Delaware River and Bay area and along the Atlantic coast.

The job openings include:

Shipboard Program Coordinator: Full time position with benefits.  Responsibilities include overseeing the onboard education program, presenting programs on board and onshore; hiring, training and supervising educators, interns, and volunteers, and curriculum and program development. The coordinator also does outreach to schools and youth organizations, ship’s scheduling, and managing the online ticketing system for public sails.  A relevant degree along with education experience is required.  Willingness to live aboard a boat with limited privacy, a strong environmental ethic, plenty of stamina, flexibility, great organization skills, and positive attitude are essential.  Salary is based on experience.  Meals (mostly vegetarian) are included when living on the Meerwald.

Chief Mate: Must work closely with crew members, volunteer crew, and office staff to ensure a high quality on board educational program. The chief is responsible for running a safe navigational watch during transits, supervising deck operations during day sails, and maintenance of the Meerwald.  Requires 100-ton mate license with sail endorsement (near coastal preferred), and diesel engine maintenance skills. Masters license a plus.  Depending on license and boat handling skills, may also be considered for relief captain.

Cook: Responsible for three vegetarian (some seafood) meals daily for 8-12 crew as well as occasional special events and/or light catering for up to 41 passengers.  The cook will purchase provisions, manage a galley budget, and oversee galley upkeep.  Applicant must be amiable, flexible, adventurous person with good cooking skills and strong environmental ethic.

Educator/Deckhand: Presents Delaware estuary-specific education onboard and onshore in addition to participating in shipboard maintenance and vessel operations.  The position requires environmental education experience, a degree in natural resources or equivalent experience, strong environmental ethic, stamina, flexibility, and a positive attitude.  Boat experience is a plus.  There is potential to be Relief Galley Coordinator or Relief Program Coordinator.

Interns: Same responsibilities as the Educator / Deckhands, but serve for a two to three month period with positions starting in April, June and August.  The position requires some environmental education (or equivalent experience), strong environmental ethic, stamina, flexibility, and positive attitude. Boat experience is a plus.

Applicants can download an application from the Bayshore Center website and submit it to Captain Jesse Briggs, via email or by mail to Bayshore Center at Bivalve, attn. Capt. Jesse Briggs, 2800 High Street, Port Norris, N.J. 08349.


Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.