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Monday, August 23, 2010

Celebration Cruising

Old man rhythm is in my shoes
No use t'sittin' and a'singin' the blues
So be my guest, you got nothin' to lose
Won't ya let me take you on a sea cruise?
Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Oo-ee, oo-ee baby
Won't ya let me take you on a sea cruise?
Lyrics from Sea Cruise written by Huey “Piano”Smith

This weekend, Grenville & Beatrice celebrated their  -- hard to believe it already – 11th  wedding anniversary and, as promised, Grenville took Beatrice on a cruise. No, not a sea cruise, but a Chesapeake Bay cruise. And no, not to an exotic island, but still to an island – Smith Island, MD. This was a drive and cruise as we travelled 90-minutes to the departure port of Crisfield, MD.

condos crisfield (3)Crisfield was originally called Annemessex after a local river and it was a small fishing village. It was later renamed Somers Cove, after Benjamin Summers. When the business potential for seafood was discovered, the little fishing town grew into a city, due to the efforts of John W. Crisfield P1030142who brought the Pennsylvania Railroad to the town and another name change followed. Crisfield was briefly the second most populous city in the state of Maryland and known as the “Crab Capital of the World.” Today, it’s a tourist destination and hosts many annual events and festivals, including the popular National Hard Crab Derby.  P1030086Crisfield has a protected harbor which encourages fishing and cruising vessels. Crabbers and oystermen bring in their catches of the day via this harbor which is lined by seafood packing plants.  There is a large city pier which hosts numerous events. Our friend, Patty. hosts a great photo blog about happenings in and around Crisfield. Check it out for terrific photography.
BACK to the Smith Island cruise – I digress (as usual). Our ship was the Chelsea Lane Tyler. Yes, Lois, just a tad smaller than Freedom of the Seas.
cruise ship (3)cruise ship (1)  ship sides (3)
The passengers relaxed on the top deck and sides. Some really got into the experience. Meet our local versions of Jack and Rose -- think Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic – use your imagination!
passengers (2)
passengers (4)
passengers (5) 2Rose-Jack (1) 1Rose-Jack (1) 3Rose-Jack (1)  2Rose-Jack (4)
We passed lots of ships along the cruise . . .including another cruise ship boarding for Tangier Island in VA (been there, done that).
other cruise boats (2) P1030338 P1030110 deadriseP1030156P1030165 P1030149
P1030210 After 45 minutes of cruising, we approached Smith Island, which is Maryland's only inhabited Chesapeake Bay Island that is unattached to the mainland by bridge or causeway. Smith Island is about 12 miles off the shore of Crisfield. The island was first mapped by Captain John Smith in 1608 and is named for Henry Smith of Jamestown, who was granted 1,000 acres in 1679.  Less than 300 residents live on Smith Island and boats ferry visitors, residents, mail and supplies back and forth from the island daily.
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P1030182Smith Island is a collection of small islands, most of which are not inhabited. There are three distinct communities: Ewell, Tylerton, and Rhodes Point.  Ewell is the largest, and is where the boats bring touring visitors – like us P1030250and the mail boat brings supplies.  Ewell is also where the visitor center and the island's 2 restaurants are located. Finding a place to stay on Smith Island is not easy as the lone motel was closed as so was this B&B – and it was also for sale.
Getting around is mainly by cycle and golf carts; we brought our own.
bikes-ours
Prior experience with rentals on Tangier Island left much to be desired in comfort and rideability.bikes (2)
Many buildings are in disrepair and riding around the island.
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 P1030252 P1030202  P1030213  P1030199 P1030212
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P1030215 Two that are TOO far gone for repairs.P1030220
 P1030159 Some real estate had waterfront access with a welcoming committee.
shack on water (4)  shack on water (1)The Smith Island way of life is tied to the Chesapeake Bay; watermen harvest fresh seafood – crabs, clams, and oysters.  P1030148P1030147
After a day exploring the island not once, but twice, by bike we were hot and tired and ready for a relaxing (and cooling) boat ride back to Crisfield – NOT on this boat P1030161
wake (3) And we got a surprise after docking. Patty, a blogger friend we met a couple of months ago at the Marion Strawberry Festival (she does the wonderful Crisfield blog) and her husband, Larry, were looking for the Boyds.  Larry was at the Somers Cove Marina (where we docked) and Patty was at the city dock and rode her scooter to meet us. We went to dinner at The Watermen’s Inn, specializing in fresh, local seafood.dinner0810 (1) dinner0810 (2) dinner0810 (3)

Dessert was ice cream cones at the city dock where we watched a beautiful sunset – the perfect end to a wonderful celebration!
crisfield sunset (1) crisfield sunset (5) crisfield sunset (6)
An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow. 
Author Unknown

4 comments:

Elaine said...

Looks like you had a lovely day on Smith Island. It looks like it is not very prosperous what with all the abandoned buildings. It made for a great photo tour for us though and I'm glad you took us along. How lovely to have Patty and Larry meet you and go to dinner. It looked delish, but I think the best was the ice cream cones watching the gorgeous sunset. What a wonderful anniversary cruise. Grenville did well to plan this for you.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Elaine, Unfortunately, Smith Island does have many abandoned or falling down buildings, but we are glad we made the trip before it's all gone. Dinner was lovely with good company and the ice cream and sunset watching were perfect endings to the day. Yes, Grenville is a dear, I agree!

Patty said...

Beautiful photos. I enjoy photographing Smith Island and the waterman who work there. It was a pleasure to dine with you. We had a great time. Hope to see you soon. We are going to try to get down about crab derby. Get the tofu out!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks Patty. Nice compliment coming from you and much appreciated. We had a good time as well and it was a great way to cap off our special day. Maybe we can get to Crisfield for the Friday events - depends on weather and other stuff.

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