Category Archives: Chesapeake Bay

National Geographic Traveler “Best of the World” for 2016

Tangier and Smith Islands—This entry explains why Tangier and Smith Islands in the Chesapeake Bay are “must-see places.” The hard-copy magazine format is online here; the web version with lots of tips and links is online here.

NGT.WB.Dec15. Pic


Thomas Point Lighthouse


Just southeast of Annapolis sits the last working screwpile lighthouse in its original location in the Chesapeake Bay: Thomas Point Shoal Light. Once dozens of these graceful structures guided mariners in the bay, and two are in museums, but “TP” is the only one left doing its job. The lighthouse is an iconic symbol of the state of Maryland, a beloved waypoint for sailors, and was saved from the wrecking ball by a public-private partnership. This article in the August 2015 issue of Cruising World take a look.

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The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal

Soundings, Dec-14

Soundings, Dec-14

The C&D Canal, linking the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, is one of the busiest in the United States. Although seemingly peaceful and quiet, the currents, weather, and marine traffic here can be deadly.

This article, in the December 2014 issue of Soundings, tells the story of the canal and provides some tips for a safe passage. It received a Merit Award in the  2014 BWI annual writing contest in the Travel & Destinations category.


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Video: Thanksgiving 2011 Transit of the C&D by the ATB Nicole Reinhauer, Capt. Bill Brucato on helm and video


Poplar Island: Success on the Chesapeake Bay

The New Poplar Island

Poplar Island, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is one of the rare environmental success stories in the Chesapeake Bay–and perhaps the most spectacular. Big enough to support farms and a town in the 1800s, it had eroded to less than three acres and was functionally gone by the 1980s. An extremely effective cooperative effort by federal, state and local governments has rebuilt the island to its 1800s footprint using clean dredge spoil from the bay’s approach channels to Baltimore–keeping the city’s docks (and jobs) open to shipping, while recreating a critical nature reserve for rare and threatened Chesapeake Bay wildlife.

The story of Poplar Island is in the July 2012 issue of Soundings.

Click here for a NASA/Landsat satellite timelapse of the island being built.

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East Coat Sailor Goes (Mid-)West: The Chicago-Mackinac Race

The voyage of Blue Chip, a 36-ft. Mariner and its crew of eight, in the 2010 Chicago-Mackinac Race. “The Mac,” as it’s known, is the longest (333 miles) and oldest (102 years) annual freshwater sailboat race in the world. It is an experience it itself, but a whole new boating experience for a saltwater sailor on a freshwater sea.

Details appear in the January 2011 issue of Soundings magazine (pg. 1, left), online here.

This article won an honorable mention in the Boating Writers International 2012 writing contest for Adventure story (Sec. 5).

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Boating in Baltimore

Soundings, Nov-10

Baltimore is one of the most historic and boater-friendly destinations on the Chesapeake Bay. The city’s legendary Inner Harbor, guarded by Fort McHenry, has great marinas, more boat museums than you can visit in a day, and some great neighborhoods — as described in the November 2010 issue of Soundings magazine.

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Destination: Tangier Island, VA

Soundings, Sept-2010

Tangier Island, VA, is one of only two remaining watermen-inhabited islands left in the Chesapeake Bay, and both are doomed by global warming: With its highest point only 4 ft. above sea level (lower then the Maldives), and in an area with the fast relative sea level increase on the U.S. East Coast, inundation models show Tangier permanently submerged within 30 years.

This destination story on Tangier Island and its people appeared in the September 2010 issue of Soundings magazine, online here.

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