In the last quarter of the 20th century St. Mary’s County Maryland still had outhouses, tobacco farms, fishing villages and plantations. One of the last live radio stations in America carried the only available daily news. There were a couple of traffic signals, a couple of dress shops, small community grocery stores and a Navy base that most military personnel considered a hardship posting.

Still, just as the first English settlers had determined 350 years before, there were always some who saw the remote and marshy peninsulas for what it is: a marketable paradise.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Dee of St. Mary's Leaves Home

All red markers to port leaving Island Creek.

The Dee of St. Mary’s left home today.

For 30 years her port of call has been Sea-Fruit Oyster House on St. George Island.

This morning she headed out to Calvert Marine Museum on Solomons Island, MD and docked early afternoon at the museum's Lore Oyster House exhibit.
It has taken the past 12 years for the Dee of St. Mary's to find a safe harbor to see her beyond this generation. A two-year renovation funded by members of the Chesapeake Bay Field Lab and the Maryland Historical Heritage Administration now coupled with an outreach from Calvert Marine Museum still isn’t a guarantee. It is not merely that skipjacks are relics of a bygone era, their supporting industry gone. Public and private funding suggest that historic artifacts no longer carry the intrinsic cultural value they did even a decade ago. Skipjacks, in a blunt assessment recently put to me, are passé.
Be that as it may, the Calvert Marine Museum remains committed to preserving the maritime heritage of the Chesapeake Bay. The organization is welcoming the freshly renovated and re-certified Dee of St. Mary's for an extended visit. In cooperation with the Chesapeake Bay Field Lab, the 501(c)3 that owns the Dee of St. Mary’s, the museum is exploring future opportunities for this youngest member of the last commercial sailing fleet in North America.
Please keep in touch with both organizations ( Calvert Marine Museum, Chesapeake Bay Field Lab ) for ways to help.

1 comment:

  1. Rough sailing out there on a day like this. Hope all goes well and more 'smoother sailing' ahead. judy goddard