Sunday, December 19, 2010


Both Seb and I recently read James Michener’s Chesapeake so we had high romantic expectations of the Chesapeake Bay.  The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States spanning 180 nautical miles from the Susquehanna river in the north to the  Atlantic Ocean.  Chesapeake is an epic book spanning several generations, between 1583 and the Watergate scandal,  from England, France and all over North America but focusing on a few families living on the Choptank river of the Chesapeake Bay.  

We spent our time on the North Chesapeake floating from anchorage to anchorage keeping our eyes out for Chesapeake watermen, geese, crabs, oysters, large Steed mansions and Skipjack boats. Turner Creek offered us a huge marsh, beautiful (very shallow) anchorage and the odd waterman heading out for the catch.  Swan Creek was full of reeds and marshland and you could hear thousands of geese calling to each other as they headed south.  There was also a tiny 2-room waterman’s museum with photos and fishing/crabbing/oystering paraphernalia from times gone by.  St. Micheal’s was a lovely little town with charming restaurants and a good outdoor maritime museum with an old pile lighthouse, wooden skipjacks and a gallery explaining the more recent friction between the pleasure boaters and the watermen of the Chesapeake Bay.  

Finally, we anchored in the Dun Cove on the Choptank river, close to Michener’s house and on the river upon which much of the book is set.  The banks of the river were afire with a spectacular array of reds, oranges and gold autumn leaves.  We tried to enjoy the quite surroundings and some good  ‘leaf peeping’ while sitting with a drink in the cockpit but the cold drove us inside to our warm heated living room and a cup of tea. 

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