"Thought into action," my old traveling buddy (and fellow geographer) Mike used to say, whenever we actually followed through on some talked-about adventure, whether it be spelunking in Virginia or our 8,500-mile jaunt to Ensenada in his old VW.
But his colleague Dr. Miller was able to take classes to one of his study areas -- the nearby Chesapeake Bay. I took a whole course on the bay, reading Beautiful Swimmers and hearing from local experts who came to our class. A real highlight was going out on the bay itself, on a research craft operating from another University of Maryland campus. Little did I realize back then how important experiential learning would become in my own work as a geography educator.
A couple of years ago, I found out that only a few skipjacks -- which I had learned about in the course -- were still sailing, and that it was sometime possible to go aboard, in or out of oystering season. I have grown increasingly interested, as I continue to learn about the maritime history and coastal geography of my adoptive home from the seats of replica whaleboats. "Some day," I thought, "I'll do that." As I prepared for our latest visit to family in the area, I decided that this would be that "some day," and I put thought into action. As a bonus, I was able to bring my brother along, as we had the same day free.
We went to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's, from which we departed on a two-hour cruise aboard the H.M. Krentz. (Museum admission is included with the price of a sailing tour, but not vice-versa, of course.) The H.M.Krentz is one of a very small number of craft that continues to harvest oysters under sail, and its captain is a font of knowledge about the maritime history, ecology, and economy of the Bay. This is a very nice way to support regional ecotourism, learn about local fisheries, and get a bit of fresh air at the same time.
|The H.M. Krentz is berthed aside a classic Chesapeake Bay lighthouse, many of which once dotted the shallow waters of the Bay. They were specially designed to be stable in soft sediments. This was the last of a couple dozen photos I took on board, all of which are in my Skipjack 2016 folder on Flickr.|
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