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Our view from the boat of the Calvert Cliffs, near the entrance to the Patuxent River and Solomons, dominate the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay for roughly 24. They were formed over 10 to 20 million years ago when all of Southern Maryland was covered by a warm, shallow sea. When the sea receded the cliffs were exposed and began eroding. Today these cliffs reveal the remains of prehistoric species Including sharks, whales, rays, and seabirds that were the size of small airplanes.
We've taken a few days to regroup in Solomons, MD. The boat needed a little attention: oil change, air filters, impellers, etc. so we have been enjoying this beautiful area of the Chesapeake on the west coast. Solomons, not Solomon as the locals will remind you, includes Solomons Island and mainland on the north side of the mouth of Patuxent River, where it meets the Chesapeake Bay. It is just across from the U.S. Patuxent River Naval Air Station (on the south side of the mouth of the Patuxent River). The northside of the island is filled with one marina after another. Not fancy marinas filled with yachts, smaller marinas filled with weekend sailboats, cruisers, trawlers and working fishing/crabbing boats. We stayed at Spring Cove Marina and the staff and people on the docks couldn't have been nicer. Lots of folks just getting there boats splashed in and busy with the spring boat cleaning routine of scrubbing off the winter dirt.
You can really tell that were getting farther north now because of the landscape. It's finally getting green. The marina, which is set back in a little cove along banks of trees and beautiful flower beds, was in spring mode and getting greener by the minute. It had a great pool and pool bar, but it was just a little too chilly even for these Minnesotans to swim ;)
On our way to Solomons, the Chesapeake was FULL of crab pots. I picked out one bright red one to show you what they look like. You can really see this one...most of the time they are much more difficult to see. They come in all colors. This one looks kind of like a bomb. The second shot is of the cage attached to that floating bobber and why you don't want to hit them. They'll wrap right around your prop and then you're not going anywhere!
On our last day in Solomons, we headed to the Calvert Marine Museum. It was super interesting and they actually moved the Drum Point Light House right into the museum cove. We toured both the museum and the lighthouse and learned the history of this little community on the Chesapeake. Just like all the communities along the Chesapeake it's history stems from the water that surrounds it. It was a safe, deep harbor in 1812, and helped harbor florilla's of ships prior to attacking the British. It was also the site of the Amphibious Training during WW II. It is still the home of the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Lab. And through the years it's existence was centered around ship building. Below are photos from around Solomons and The Calvert Marine Museum.
Mechanical Bell Striker located on the second floor of the lighthouse. It was used when the weather was foggy and the boats couldn't see the light. It would do a double strike every 15 seconds, so boats that couldn't see the light could atleast hear the bell and run aground on Drum Point.
If a light keeper was married and had a family, they were allowed to live at the light house too. The light house had two bedrooms, a sitting room, kitchen, bell room, study/telephone room. It was actually quite comfortable.
One of the things I was most impressed with with the photography display by Jay Fleming, entitled: Working on the Water. His photography catches the working fisherman on Tangiers and Smith Islands in action. An incredibly beautiful look into the lives of the fisherman on this bay.
More from St. Michaels later~
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.