“Clam Power” read the T-shirt on the sturdy woman carrying gear from her pickup to her no-frills work boat tied to a ramshackle dock in Patchogue, on the South Shore of Long Island.

The woman, Flo Sharkey, 72, works full time on the bay, and on Wednesday morning, she and her son, Paul Sharkey, 36, a bayman himself, loaded rakes, hip waders and bushel baskets into the boat and headed out through Swan Creek into the open bay.

People who make their living on these waters are known as baymen, and it’s a dwindling profession. A woman doing it for a living is nearly unheard-of.

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