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The Doxsee boat with Bob Doxsee Sr. c. 1950. 
The Doxsee boat with Bob Doxsee Sr. c. 1950
Bob Doxsee: Deep Sea Clamming
by Nancy Solomon

 

Bob Doxsee, the owner of Doxsee Sea Clam Company, carries on the traditions of his family, one of the older families to settle on the south shore of Long Island. The Doxsees began as farmers and fishermen, including James H. Doxsee who was born in Islip in 1825. In 1865, the Doxsees opened the first Long Island clam processing plant in Islip, which ran until c.1900. In 1900, one branch of the Doxsee clan moved to North Carolina, where they continue to make Doxsee can clam juice and clams. Bob’s grandfather John C. Doxsee opened the Deep Sea Fish Company in Islip, setting ocean pound traps off Fire Island. In 1919, Bob Doxsee Sr., who later became the mayor of Freeport, moved the family operations to Meadow Island near Point Lookout, where the Doxsees and their workers lived in bay houses. In 1933, the company moved to Point Lookout, where it remains today.

The Bright Eye Fish Company, as the company was known then, continued the tradition of setting ocean pound traps, where they caught and sold flounder, fluke and many other local species of fish. The company was so named because fresh fish have bright eyes. Today, the Doxsee Sea Clam Company, also known as Off-Shore Seafood, sells mostly raw clams that are caught offshore on their two boats, the Day Star and the Bright Eye IV. You can find daughter Beth Doxsee at the Union Square Market in New York City on Saturdays. They also educate the public and fellow fishermen on the pressures that large fishing companies put on small family-owned operations. At the same time Bob Doxsee preserves his family history through photographs that have been passed down through his family, along with poems that capture the spirit of commercial fishermen. Long Island Traditions salutes Doxsee and others like him for their perseverance and dedication.


"Maiden Voyage" by Bob Doxsee

stood out from Horn Island - on our way
across the Gulf on a straight line tract
two thousand miles from N.Y. U.S.A.
a one way journey - we won't be back

beautiful weather and slick calm seas
trip across was peaches and cream
slipped around the Florida Keys
picked up four knots in the swift Gulf Stream

ship fast and able with a willing crew
we were really making fine time
boiling up that long road so blue
fourteen knots on the hundred fathom line

southerly breeze began to blow
fair wind astern and following sea
wind blew harder aloft and slow
sea built up precipitously

head up astern then roar thundering by
every sea drives us closer to home
on the crest of each wave we'd take wing and fly
then be left behind in a smother of foam

sped along by a mountain
running wild - running free
we lunge and surge like a thing alive
charged with high velocity

here comes a big one
bow up UP! SUNNYSIDE!
the good ship knows far better than we
couldn't pitch pole if she tried

off Diamond Shoals came northerly line squalls adriving
gritted our teeth and took it - what could we do
all wind and water - we did some diving
beat to windward and weathered on thru

during the blow we held fast
wind and sea subsided after a while
two days to home port at long last
sailed up to the dock in fine style

they say "the sea is so large and my boat so small"
there are days when time and tide batter us
faced a gale wind and gave it her
all and cut her eye teeth rounding Hatteras