DNA X #8

August 7th, 2010 by
N38 47’1 W76 13’20
Weather- Hot
90F, wind E, 10KThe Chesapeake BayDNA-XWe leave Assateague Island and it’s remote beauty behind and decide to investigate nearby Ocean City Maryland. I’m not sure if there is a more stark contrast so close together. Just across the inlet we enter a confusion of high-rises, restaurants, amusement parks, mini-golf resorts and droves of people. Every inch of land is covered with concrete. If you want to see how many people are currently trampling the city check out the Boardwalk Cam for an idea. We make a quick about face and head inland to a historic town along the Miles River called Saint Michaels. Established in 1677, this town attracted settlers who developed a thriving shipbuilding industry and grew tobacco. During the war of 1812, St Michaels was attacked by the British and managed to survive the barrage by dimming their lights and hoisting lanterns high into the trees away from town. Earning the title “the town that fooled the British” this quaint village has maintained its unique charm throughout the centuries. We find a wonderful inn to hang our hat; the Inn at Perry Cabin offers great food, service and accommodations within walking distance of town.

DNA-XThere are many shops and boutiques waiting to be explored here but we head over to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. This 18 – acre site has interpretive exhibits of maritime history and culture from Native American life to the present. It is also an active boatyard that has ongoing restorations of classic boats and the local skipjacks, which are the only remaining commercial fishing vessels that use sail power. These boats sail down river to fish in the magnificent Chesapeake Bay. 35 million years ago a cataclysmic impact event blew a massive hole in the earth creating the bay. Two hundred miles long and incorporating the watershed of 6 states, this is the largest estuary in the United States. The submerged crater was not discovered until 1983. The bay’s rich estuarine waters support a myriad of wildlife as well as a wealthy fishing industry.
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Native Mood…

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Today the Bay is under attack from all directions. Sprawling development, sewage pollution and excess nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture have resulted in the loss of half of the forested shoreline, 80% of sea grasses, and 98% of the coveted oysters. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is working with the surrounding states and governments, industry and residents to help Save The Bay. Progress is slow and time is running out.

-Nelia