>A visit to St Michaels


Yesterday, to take advantage of a beautiful fall day, we decided to spend a lay day in St Michaels MD, the home of the Chesepeake Maritime Museum.  The air was clear and a bit chilly. Of course, when Brenda asked me if it would be cool on shore, with great confidence, I said no, it would be warm.  Not quite and we both ended up wishing that we had jackets.  However, a bit cool wasn’t bad at all.  What a beautiful day.

We went for a walk through town and enjoyed the sights including many beautifully kept homes in the historic district.  It was nice to see streets lined with quaint homes so well kept and tidy.  And it was refreshing to see a neighborhood where the homes hadn’t become bloated and overbuilt as has become the norm in so many areas over the last decade.   Nice to see some order to zoning to keep things looking the way that they should.  

You just have to love this front porch.  A great place to sit and have a g&t on a cool evening.   We have a great front porch on our home in Upper Saddle River and hope to again in our next home down the road. 

This one was particularly nice and while it had been updated, it still retained an appropriate scale to the neighborhood and look of the period.  

The Chesapeake Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the area.  In particular they focus on the fisheries, oystering and crabbing.  Brenda and I killed a few crabs when we had some terrific, if overpriced, crabcake sandwiches at a waterfront spot too.  Unfortunately, the declining water quality means that oysters are a lot less plentiful than in the past, but crabs are abundant.   No point in denying those hard working fisherman an opportunity to sell their catch, right?  We are in a recession you know and everyone must do our part, we did.

There are a number of historic buildings on the property and these two house the administrative offices. Very nice and beautifully preserved.

A well kept oyster buy boat in the collection.  What a sweet sweeping shear line.  
Prior to power becoming standard in the fleet, fishing for oysters was done under sail but after allowing virtually unlimited fishing under power, the stocks had become so depleted that once again the only way to fish oysters are under sail or with hand tongs off of an open boat.  It’s boats like these that are sill used today.
What great lines these boats have.  Very simple construction (easy for me to say).  This is actually quite an old boat but much of the material is new.  You could see that the keel was old but most of the rest had been replaced.
It seems that these two boats at the museum take passengers out on the bay for afternoon sails.  Note the push boat on the back of the boat on the left. These oyster boats can’t have their own power so they have small push boats with massive engines that push them around.  These push boats are just big enough to hold the engine and there isn’t even a cockpit to sit in.  Someone fires up the engine and jumps back on board the big boat.  Sounds a bit hair raising to me.
The centerpiece of the museum is this screw pile light that was moved after being decommissioned back in the 60s and placed on the museum grounds.   Check out this link for info on how these lights are constructed.  Quite an amazing feat when you think about the technology that they had back when they were being constructed.   Imagine a group of horses on an anchored barge turning a screw around and around out in the middle of the bay. It’s the nautical construction equivalent of  “when I was your age I had to walk to school up hill both ways…in the snow”. 
A view south from the top of the light. It’s not that high but the view was really impressive.
A view to the north.  Pandora is just behind the big red building.  We were anchored in a very nice little cove.  Very convenient to town and Rip loved being that close to shore.  When you need to go, you need to go…now.
A view from the back door of that red building of Pandora.  Every posting deserves a shot of our boat. Right?
This seems to be a popular spot to sit and enjoy the local activity.  This buoy was just off to our stern.  Yes we were anchored too near the channel. 
Every weekend the local sailing club has races off of the museum docks.  There were about 6-8 of these radio controlled skipjack sloops zipping around the course.  They are substantial boats and measure nearly 50″ overall.   In order to be “legal” and able to race, each boat has to be made from the exact same plans and have a minimum weight of 20 something pounds.  My friend Dick, who lives right next door to Pandora’s slip in Annapolis was there as he is building one to race himself.  One of these would certainly be a much less expensive alternative to big boat racing, it seems to me.
Today we head back to Annapolis and home again.  A very busy week at work and a trip to Atlanta.  I hope that we can steal a few more weekends here prior to getting Pandora ready for the winter.

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