Aug. 7th, 2005

Ars Poetica )

We drove over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Cambridge, home of the Richardson Maritime Museum and home port of the skipjack Nathan of Dorchester, which was out in the Choptank River instead of docked when we arrived. The Kalmar Nyckel, which we had seen previously at the Alexandria Waterfront Festival, was also cruising as we drove into town and we saw her for the first time under sail. Because the museum did not open until 1 p.m. and we had arrived before 12:30, we went to the Portside Seafood Restaurant and had crab soup and crab cakes before visiting the little museum, named for a Dorchester County master boatbuilder. It's obvious that during an earlier era Cambridge was a thriving town, with big Victorian houses, two 17th-century churches and a courthouse, but now it's more working class with the nods to interested tourists. In the museum were models of locally-built ships, equipment and tools from historic ships and lots of information on Richardson, who counted among his ships the replica Maryland Dove which we saw at historic St. Mary's City earlier this summer, and many of the bugeyes and skipjacks he worked on (the Nathan of Dorchester is the last skipjack built on the Chesapeake Bay). The Pride of Baltimore II, which we have seen often in Baltimore Harbor, was built locally as well.

After a visit to the beautiful Kalmar Nyckel, which has gorgeous carvings on its stern and over its gunports, we drove into Delaware to Bethany Beach, where we met my parents at the rental office for Sea Colony and checked in to the condo where we're staying for the week. It's about a mile from the beach in the wooded, lakeside area of Sea Colony, right up from the tennis courts which makes my father very happy. We unpacked, had dinner at the Cottage Cafe down Route 1 and then went to the beach in the early evening, where we saw mole crabs and the black-headed gulls that I've only seen near this part of the Atlantic Ocean. There were horseshoe crab and fiddler crab shells washed up by the tide line but we did not see any live crabs, and did not stay on the beach after dark to see the ghost crabs because we wanted to stop and get ice cream and necessities at the store. So we came back and the kids and grandpa played poker while the rest of us read and fiddled with these photos:


Chesapeake, Choptank and Atlantic )

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