Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

 



 


CRUISES, MAINLY IN THE BAY
OF THE CHESAPEAKE.
R. Barrie & G. Barrie


 

TWO ON THE CHESAPEAKE
George Barrie, Jr.

Reprinted from "The Yachtsman," London

MY brother ruined me! As far back as I can remember he always had a boat and used to take me along with him; short sails at first, longer ones as I grew older. He led me on the downward path by taking me to boat shops and shipyards, so that before long the faintest whiff of cedar or tar would drive from me all desire to follow in the footsteps of the busy little bee. He made models for me with which I sailed miniature Volunteer-Thistle races against those of a chum. The craving for salt air and seaweed, bright days, and sparkling waves came upon me.

My first sail alone was in a small rowboat in which I drove before the gentle breeze under full press of an old umbrella until I got a hundred yards to leeward and then slowly rowed back for another run. Next, I made a sail out of burlap for a sort of a sharpie belonging to my brother's wife's cousin's husband, and had a terrible scare one day when I got too far out of the mouth of the Mystic River. Then came a fourteen-foot Barnegat sneak box given me by my brother -- again he led me on. Now came the taste for scraping and painting -- many blisters I had and much paint on hands and clothing. A whole day's trip was the greatest adventure in this craft. A twenty-one-foot naphtha launch came a few years later, but lasted only a short time: too monotonous and noisy; and in two years I was back again to sail, with a Lark, and won a first or second from a fleet of six in every race in which I started. Three other vessels have followed, each of which will be described later in the accounts of cruises made in them, each successor a little larger than the former, but I think I am now at the top size, and if ever I change it will be down the scale.

This year, 1900, the aforesaid brother being abroad in the pursuit of the elusive simolian, I was compelled to get a vessel of my own and be my own boss for this year's expedition to what Leonard Calvert called "these delightfullest of waters."

The last day of June went out with a fierce squall, which left a fine northwest wind, just the kind for leaving the club early in the morning and anchoring in the Bohemia River in time for supper, with a chance before dark to feast the eyes on clear blue water, hills covered with green woods and tilled fields, a chance to breathe real air, not the foul, gaseous, dirt-laden air of the cities; to stand on deck leaning over the boom, with the gentle breeze fanning your cheeks, and an odor of supper coming up from the galley, and feel almost as care free as a South Sea papalagi tafea.

We just missed doing it this time by not being ready on Saturday, July 1st, but on Sunday morning at five thirty the keel bugeye Corona, A.G., owner, twenty-eight feet over all, four feet six inches draft, and my own little yawl Seminole, twenty-eight feet over all, four feet six inches draft, each containing many stores, one owner, and, much to our regret, one paid hand, left their moorings at the anchorage of the Corinthian Yacht Club.

There was a light west-northwest wind, so we had to make one leg over to the head of Chester Island and then back to the Pennsylvania shore before being able to stand down the river, then it was close-hauled to Edgemoor, the wind gradually freshening; anchored a little below the New Castle range lights at about ten o'clock; went ashore to get some milk and visit the lower light, having quite a chat with the keeper. About two o'clock got up anchor, and ran down to Delaware City under mizzen and jib. We anchored just below the mouth of the canal, while the Corona ran alongside one of the piers. By-and-bye her owner came over and stayed on board all night, sleeping on the floor, as he decided it was too hot, and that there would be too many mosquitoes in alongside the pier.

Ran into the lock next morning at four o'clock, had breakfast, made purchases, and started off at half-past seven, Corona towing us -- I forgot to say that Corona had a one and a half horsepower gasoline engine. Reached St. George's before nine o'clock. Just after getting into the deep cut we met a long line of timber rafts, so tied up to the bank to let them pass, there being not more than a foot between the logs and our sides. When A.G. went to start the engine it refused. He moved various cocks, then turned the flywheel, moved more cocks and did more grinding, but it still refused. After waiting for about ten minutes I went on board and did a little grinding myself, the thermometer was about ninety-two degrees, then A.G. used language and ground again, but all to no purpose; so, taking a line ashore, I began to tow. Once the boats got started it was not hard work. When a mile had been gone over this way the engine suddenly started to cough, and we were off once more. Reached Chesapeake City after one o'clock, had lunch, bought ice, and started down Back Creek under power. On reaching the Elk River set sail, but, as there was very little wind, had to fall back on the power; anchored in the Bohemia about four o'clock. Had a swim, supper, and a row up the river before turning in.

By five o'clock next morning we were up and had breakfast preparing; in an hour we were under way. Wind, southeast, light, set all sail, the Corona trying her topmast-staysail, but it seemed to hold her back. Passed Turkey Point at nine o'clock, having drifted nearly all the way. Corona gradually dropped astern, and, much to our surprise, did not use her engine; the reason, we afterward found out, being that it would not run. But this was the last time that it refused during the whole cruise. Had to anchor in the middle of the Bay off Howell's Point, as the wind had died out completely. Did a little log-writing and fixed up below; about eleven o'clock the wind came up from the southwest, the usual afternoon breeze. On the first leg we made the north point of Still Pond; the next leg, the south point, or Plum Point, as it is called; and in another we made red buoy No.2, off Worton's Point, and then stood out until we could lay up the cove. Just as we started in it commenced to breeze and get up a sea.

On the north shore of the cove, about a half mile outside of Mill Creek, there is a steamboat wharf, where I anchored, and went ashore to get chickens. After a good deal of persuasion, succeeded in getting them to part with two. The people had lots of them, but were too lazy to make an effort to catch them. By the time I got on board again Corona came in sight past the point. We then got up anchor and beat up Worton's Creek, anchoring in eight feet. On the way passed a pungy aground, but she soon backed off; there is plenty of water here, a steamboat coming in every day from Baltimore. At the narrowest part, or just before getting to Mill Creek, the bowsprit can almost be put over the bank before going about. Went up to a farmhouse for ice and more chickens, the two I had bought not being enough for both boats. That evening rowed about half a mile up the creek before turning in.

 




CORONA TOWING SEMINOLE IN THE CANAL.



A.G. EXPLORING TILGHMAN'S CREEK.


Worton's Creek is one of the snuggest anchorages imaginable. Seven feet can be carried up the creek to where it is completely landlocked. The wind can blow from any direction and one does not get a breath of it. This I can vouch for, as the night we spent there was as bad as the Black Hole of Calcutta is said to have been; the banks are very high, and on the top of them are high trees. It would be a grand place to lie on a winter's night with a hard northwester blowing. One could sit peacefully near the cabin stove with no fear of dragging.

Up bright and early next morning in the hope of getting to Annapolis in the afternoon. After breakfast we got away with light northwest breeze, set all sail to beat out the creek. When we got into the cove the wind shifted to west-southwest, which compelled us to head over to Poole's Island. Quite a little "bobble" left from the squalls of the night before.

From the middle of Poole's Island made the mouth of Fairlee Creek, and from there passed south of the island. Corona passed to the northward, and, the wind dying out, she came down the narrow channel to the westward of the island under power. Strange as it may appear, the engine ran beautifully then and forever after. We stood over close to Miller's Island; then, the wind shifting again to northwest, came about and headed for Rear Light, on the north point of the Patapsco River. Here we had a fine piece of sailing; as the wind freshened we ran along with the rail awash and sometimes under. From the Patapsco were coming all sorts of craft -- steamers, bugeyes, canoes, skiffs; in short, anything that would float, all laden with mortals bound for Tolchester Beach, to spend the Glorious Fourth and their money.

 




CORONA: ELK RIVER.



SEMINOLE.


Off Seven-Foot Knoll Light the wind lightened, and we caught up to and passed Corona. In a good breeze she could hold us, but in light airs we walked away from her. Going down the western shore from above Poole's Island to the Patapsco is not safe for a boat drawing more than six feet, as there are some unbuoyed lumps. The regular channel is close to the eastern shore.

The wind was almost dead before we got to Stony Point, so we hauled our jib to windward and went below for lunch; by the time we were finished Corona came along, and we passed her a line to tow us into the Magothy River. We decided to give up Annapolis, as the wind was light, and, besides, we knew the town would be filled with fireworks. Just west of black buoy No.1 Corona stuck, evidently on a piece of wreck, as there was deep water all around. She soon got off, and we proceeded up to Deep Creek, anchoring in nine feet outside the mouth. Just as we anchored the breeze came up, and a canoe came along loaded with farmers. After passing us she gybed; the fore boom was so long that it caught on the mainmast; we expected to see her go over, but in an instant they raised it up, thus allowing it to swing clear.

After setting awnings we collected our various water jugs and went ashore to a spring, where A.G. washed a few clothes; after we had filled our jugs: then rowed up the creek to where an old canoe was being tarred by a still older man. Just as we got back on board a miniature squall came out of the northeast; had to pay out chain and take in awnings. During the evening rowed up to the head of navigation of the creek, passing an old yacht laid up, evidently owned by some well-to-do farmer. Walked about a mile over a sandy road to a farmhouse, as A.G. wanted some milk for his porridge next morning. House shut tight, old nigger in the barn milking a cow, whose tail he had wrapped around his neck to keep her from switching out his eyes; inquired why he milked into a cup, and were informed that the cow always waited until the pail was three-quarters full, then kicked it over. The owner and family were away celebrating, and he would not sell any milk. About ten o'clock went below to sleep; cabin felt like an oven, so, after tossing for half an hour, tried the cockpit, but had to double up like a jackknife; dozed off and on in various places until morning.

Needless to say, we were up early. Had breakfast at four-thirty, getting under way immediately after. Still hot; light northwest wind, which died out when we got to the red buoy at the mouth of the Magothy. Corona came along under power and towed us to Sandy Point, where, the gasoline giving out, the engine expired; we tried towing with the small boats, but we also nearly expired, so anchored and had a swim. Water was fine and clear. Soon a light southerly breeze came up, and we slipped quietly down past Hackett's and Greenberry Points into Annapolis Harbor, anchored off Heller's shipyard at noon. Had another swim, after which we put on "store" clothes and went ashore for letters, provisions, and ice. Visited Heller's before supper, and A.G. arranged to have his sails altered and I purchased ten yards of canvas to put on the deck, being tired of seeing it open in a fresh place every two or three hours, while more rain came inside than ran off through the scuppers. Went on board and commenced to tack it on, A.G. superintending. Found we needed three yards more, so I dashed over for it, but on getting back found supper ready.

Had a fine night's sleep. Quite cool, and, being dead tired, slept like the proverbial log. Immediately after breakfast we took our cameras, two apiece, and rowed around the harbor to photograph some bugeyes. Were very much taken with one about sixty feet over all; so much so that if the owner had been there would have made offers. Ordered a large awning at Heller's, then rowed over to the town, where we bought two niggers to carry the cameras. Photographed several of the old houses, including one occupied by the Sisters of Notre Dame, twelve in number and all over fifty, where, when A.G. showing his handsome person at the door, we were allowed to pass through the hall into the garden at the rear. This is supposed to be the Carvel House of novel fame.

At ten o'clock we arrived at McCusker's shop, in the back of which is a work room, with an old sofa and easy chair for lounging purposes. Bought a few small articles, and chatted for about two hours, and then, by superhuman effort, succeeded in getting A.G. up from the sofa. The heat was terrible, and we consumed many glasses of soda at a drug store, where our numerous appearances afforded much amusement to the clerk; also sampled every pump, of which there are not a few, in the town. In the afternoon climbed several hundred steps to the top of the State House tower, where we sat for a considerable time enjoying the cooling breeze and the magnificent view up and down the Bay. Visited McCusker's again, from there to Heller's to get the awning, and then back to the town once more to get poles for same. Supper over, we went at the canvas again, and did not finish until long after dark, having to work by moon and lamplight. Corona also got her altered sails, and ordered a new suit to be ready when we returned next week.

Light westerly breeze, a clear, cool, sparkling morning, one of the kind you remember for years. Just as we were about to get under way A.G. discovered he had left one of his cameras in McCusker's, which necessitated his going on shore and routing McCusker out of bed to get him to open his shop; so it was eight-thirty before we catted our anchors. Ran down the Severn with nice beam wind; when halfway between Tolly Point and the black buoy off it, I saw that the chart showed six feet over the shoal, so decided to cut across. Hauled in sheets and told the man to keep her as close as possible and yet keep her moving, then I began to put finishing touches to the canvas on the fore deck; had driven about six tacks when she suddenly jumped in the air, and stopped as though she had run against a stone wall, which was true, as on looking over the bow I saw the bottom two feet under water and covered with large stones, while over the stern were two fathoms. Paid out all the sheets, and, between the flood tide running against us and my pushing with an oar, we slipped off. During the whole operation the man stood looking on, seeming too surprised to move.

Before getting to Thomas Point Light I finished the deck and put poles in the awning (breaking one). It began to get very flat, the wind gradually petering out, till, when opposite the light, we had hardly steerageway. Soon we saw the dark blue line of the southwest breeze advancing up the Bay, then sparkling patches appeared here and there, schooners and bugeyes to the southward suddenly awakened, and, with the gradually increasing breeze, got on their courses once more. Now we feel a puff, then another, and finally we heel over, headed for red buoy No.2, south of Thomas Point. During lunch, before getting to the buoy, had to sit on the floor, as the little boat was rail under and jumping over the short waves. Ran well over to the shore above Saunders Point, then came about and stood south; headed as close as possible for black buoy No.1, off Curtis Point. A few more tacks and we were off the mouth of the Rhode River; paid out the sheets and tore into the narrow channel, passing to the westward of the cedar bush which marks the bar running out from the eastern point. Ran in close to a wharf and inquired through the megaphone where a friend lived; receiving the information, we went a half-mile further, dropping our anchor in seven feet off his tobacco storehouse; furled sails and set the new awning. What a fine mass of shade! From main to mizzen and six inches over each side, with a five-inch flap all around. By the time this was done Corona came in; she had gone to the eastward of the bush and had to jump over the bar. We made good use of our lead line coming in here. There are few things on a boat which are as much used and by which as much knowledge may be obtained as a lead and line. It can never be used too often.

After a swim (look out for sea nettles!), A.G. and I went on shore, walked up to an old well, where we stretched ourselves out on the grass in the shade of some chestnut trees, having filled ourselves with blackberries on the way. While lying here admiring the view across the Bay we got to talking about the hands, and decided that there was not a greasier, dirtier being in existence than his, and that mine was of a disposition similar to that of a chronic dyspeptic, finally concluding to discharge them when we returned to the head of the Bay.

At seven o'clock we rowed around the point to the house, where we were very kindly asked to join at supper, but we had to regretfully decline, having unfortunately just supped. Spent a most enjoyable evening, returning on board about ten o'clock.

I was up shortly after five o'clock on Sunday, had breakfast, and then got in the small boat to row about a mile up the river on a search for an old tombstone which I had been told marked the grave of a British officer who was drowned in the river while rowing with his wife. After some search, found it in a clump of bushes in the middle of a field. The name, Major Thomas Francis, and the date, 1685, were just discernible; made a photograph, and started back; on the way ran into a shoal of porpoises; expected to be heaved up in the air at any moment, so I put on a burst of speed to get out of them.

This was another fine morning, bright and clear, fairly cool, and the water a deep blue; when one thinks about mornings like these it causes an intense desire to throw dull care to the winds with an extra strong throw and make tracks for the land where trolleys, gas meters, and oil works are far away. On returning to the boat had a swim, put on shore clothes, gave my hair an extra brush, and with A.G. started for the house to go to church with the family. After a pleasant drive of about ten miles we arrived at the church, having passed through one of the prettiest pieces of farming country to be found anywhere, tobacco here, corn there, wheat in the sheaf waiting to be thrashed, snug little farmhouses, and best of all, now and again a peep at blue water. Church over, we were asked to dinner. My! how good it was to get real fresh vegetables and ice, real ice in the glasses. In the afternoon made some photographs and sat under the trees; were also asked to supper, and, although we refused at first, we did not have the strength to withstand their kind urging. In fact, we almost followed in the footsteps of the Frenchman and his wife, who, while traveling through Virginia in its palmiest days, stopped for a night at one of the numerous manor houses, and were so hospitably entertained that they stayed several months, but about nine o'clock we reluctantly took our departure for the boats.

Up at daylight, and before we were finished with breakfast one of our host's men came down with a large piece of ice, and a horse for A.G. to inspect, after which we got under way for St. Michael's. Had a light northwest wind out of the Rhode River and then close-hauled to the northward to get around the black buoy off Curtis Point. By the time we were squared away once more, headed for Bloody Point Light across the Bay; the wind had become very light and there being considerable "bobble" from squalls the night before, we jumped around, gybing several times; once the boom knocked off the man's hat. When about two-thirds across, the Corona started her engine; ran alongside and we passed her a line. Were towed for about five miles up to black buoy No.3, where we got a northwest breeze, which gave us a nice piece of sailing up to St. Michael's, first running with the wind on the starboard quarter to red buoy No.6, then close-hauled on the starboard tack to black buoy No.7, then free to buoy No.8, from there to No.10 had it on the starboard quarter, and so on up to the harbor, anchoring at noon off the oyster houses in about the same spot where we anchored in the Mona two years before.

Went on shore for ice and provisions. While at the shipyard I made a photograph of a bugeye at anchor; while doing so two beautiful young ladies, who had been hovering around in a small rowboat, got almost in line. As I turned away one of the workmen remarked with a smile, "Did you get them ?" "I was taking the boat," I replied. He seemed quite surprised, having been used only to the ways of summer boarders.

By three o'clock the wind had increased considerably, but, being sheltered by the land, we did not notice it until outside, bound for the Wye River. Corona was under full sail and we under mainsail and jib; once past Deep Water Point we got it after a ten-mile sweep up the river against the ebb tide, and I have never before seen such steep seas. Being over canvassed, we took them green over the bows, and they ran six inches deep along the weather side of the cabin house; the fore hatch leaked, the chain pipe also, and the lee deck, which was under water, leaked like a sieve in spite of the canvas, which had not been painted; with all of this the water was soon over the floor. The man was scared: I believe he expected that she would capsize, or else that the planks would drop off, for he turned to me with a scared look and said, "She's straining bad." The Corona took in foresail on passing Deep Water Point, and we could see her jumping up and down at a great rate. On entering the Wye we were in comparatively smooth water.

Reaching the upper end of Bruff's Island it was necessary to gybe in order to run into Shaw's Bay, but, as it was blowing so hard, came about instead; just as we were around a harder puff than usual came along, tearing the jib sheet out of the man's hands, and the sail slatted at a great rate. Between it and the pressure of the mainsail I expected to see the mast go, and thought surely it had gone when I heard two loud cracks, which we afterward found out were caused by the gooseneck band twisting around the mast. Anchored in three fathoms of water close to the eastern shore of Bruff's Island, a little to the north of the gut between it and the land. Below was a fearful mess, water had come in until it was over the floor, on top of the water was a layer of oil, as the stoves had upset; pots, glasses, matches, dishes, and odds and ends floated or sank in this mixture, cushions and blankets were soaked. A pair of the man's unmentionables, which had been placed under his cushion, came out a beautiful thunder squall blue. Pumped out and spread things out to dry. Soon the Corona came in under mainsail and jib. The crew were soaked, but below everything was dry, while we were dry but soaked below.

After supper A.G. and I rowed ashore and stood on the bridge that connects Bruff's Island to the mainland, watching the puffs driving across the river; saw some canoes beat down under all sail and then run for St. Michael's; they threw a good deal of spray, but otherwise did wonderfully well. After walking up a lane and getting some blackberries we went on board and turned in.

 




SEINE FISHERMEN IN SHACKLE'S CREEK



NEAR BELLEVUE: ON THE TRED AVON.


Next morning we started up the Wye on the Corona, under power, leaving the men on the Seminole. The Wye is one of the prettiest rivers emptying into the Chesapeake; woods, pastures, tilled fields, and colonial houses, line its banks, while numerous little creeks open out everywhere, each one well worth exploring.

Ran close up to Wye Landing, anchored and went ashore with the cameras. The granary on the wharf was being filled with wheat from a farm on the hill to which we rode in an empty wagon. Made some photographs, and then tried to get someone to drive us to Wye Mills, but all were too busy, so we returned on board, got up anchor and ran up through the Narrows to the drawbridge, which was in the same condition as it was two years before -- not working -- so we had to return the way we came, instead of circumnavigating Wye Island, as we had intended. When we got back it was lunch time, after which we started for St. Michael's, the wind having died down to a fitful breeze, first shifting to southwest, and then varying back and forth from east to west. On rounding the island, the Corona started her engine and in an hour we saw her disappear into St. Michael's Harbor, while we were only at Herring Island. After the wind had played with us for about two hours we managed to drop anchor close to Corona and in no humor for more sailing that day. There seems to me to be no more annoying condition in sailing than a baffling wind. When A.G. came alongside and proposed running back to Tilghman's Creek for the night I positively refused, but after considerable coaxing and noting that there was now a nice breeze from the southeast, agreed. By doing so it would shorten the next day's run to Annapolis and perhaps allow us to get in before it commenced to blow so hard as to make it uncomfortable to be in the Bay in small boats. Afterward I was glad we had done so, as we ran into a snug little harbor.

A fair wind carried us there in about an hour; as we did not know the channel, I went ahead in the small boat with the lead line; just as I found it the Corona came along under power, threw a line to my man, then followed after me until we reached the bushes which mark the narrow entrance; ran inside a short distance and anchored. While supper was preparing we rowed along the shore, making photographs here and there. In the evening we rowed up the creek about a mile, where we landed and inquired the way to Claiborne on Eastern Bay, to which we came after a mile walk; posted letters, bought eggs, then walked back to the boat and slowly drifted down the creek in the moonlight.

How pleasant and peaceful to anchor in one of these out-of-the-way creeks where the air is laden with the odor of pines and wild grape. Listen to that faint ringing of cowbells coming from that little marsh. Cowbells? No! Thousands of small turtles at "even song." A sunset of marvelous coloring over the wooded hills. Hear the whippoorwills on starboard, then on port, now very faint from the other side of the river. Now a boat load of tired, lighthearted niggers row slowly past, returning from their day's berry picking, some singing, others talking in a low tone, now and again a loud peal of laughter. Happy-go-lucky outfit! There is a side of bacon at home and crabs or fish for the catching.

Over yonder is a bugeye slowly drifting down the river with her load of berries and truck for the Baltimore market. Soon the moon rises and the soft night breeze rustles the foliage on the neighboring bank, but the daylight starts and the unused-to abundance of fresh air makes one soon crawl below to the hard bunk which feels like eiderdown to one's tired out frame.

Up before daylight and got under way by light of the moon. Fresh breeze from the south. Ran out of the creek under mainsail and jib just as a gray streak of dawn appeared in the east. Took a long while to find red buoy No.4 off Tilghman's Point, but finally spied it just as we were certain it had been moved from its position. Jumped around quite lively, the which caused much strong language from the man who was below cooking breakfast. As we neared the buoy I went below, squatted on the floor, gobbled down a couple of eggs and scalded my mouth with some hot coffee. After rounding the red buoy, hauled in the sheets for a beat down Eastern Bay. The Corona was a short distance behind, we having passed her halfway from the creek to the point. On the wind we drew away from her rapidly, but when off Claiborne it commenced to breeze, which made a short, steep sea into which we dived, taking green water over the bows, a good deal of which found its way down the fore hatch and chain pipe; came about off the Kent Island shore, opposite Wade's Point, set mizzen and took in mainsail into which we put two reefs during the leg across to Wade's Point, where we came about and set the reefed mainsail. During the operation the Corona passed us in great style, carrying all sail. In about two more tacks we passed the black buoy off Kent Point, but, before getting to it, got in a bad tide rip which gave us a tossing. From the buoy to Bloody Point Bar Light had the wind on the quarter, but gradually lightening; off the light Corona set spinnaker, we shook out reefs and headed for Thomas Point Light.

Lots of schooners in the Bay bound up and down, it being a nice whole-sail breeze for them. Shortly before getting to Thomas Point the breeze and sea increased, which caused the dinghy to try and board us, or harpoon itself on the bumpkin. Gybed around Tolly Point buoy to run into Annapolis, where we anchored off Heller's Yard at twelve-thirty. The Corona got in about fifteen minutes ahead of us and anchored on the Annapolis side, but afterward moved close to us. Went ashore for provisions and to see McCusker.

About five o'clock the Zeeland, a C.Y.C. boat, came in with peak dropped, as by this time there was a good stiff breeze. The oyster police boats were in harbor for repairs; which, together with schooners running in for shelter all afternoon, gave the place quite a lively appearance. One feature was a seventy-foot bugeye sailed in by one man, who had beat her down the Bay. He handled her splendidly until he got inside, where he became entangled with a schooner, not getting free before he carried away her main topmast. About four o'clock had to take in awning and get out large anchor and cable, but did not have to use them, as at sundown the wind lightened.

Next morning we went on shore to look at the Academy, and on our way back stopped at McCusker's, where we stayed nearly all morning. Used up the afternoon by rowing up Spa Creek to photograph an old place called "Acton," and one or two others. Turned in early, as we had arranged to start up the Bay next day.

Weighed anchor at four-thirty, slipped out before a gentle northwest wind; passed several canoes beating in, one of which contained two men and a calf. Made an easy run to Sandy Point, there had to haul in sheets and head up as close as possible in order to stand up the western shore. Wind headed us more, so had to take a short tack off the Magothy; gradually it lightened and became baffling. Died out completely a little below Bodkin Point, where we boxed the compass until the Corona came along to take us in tow. When off the point we could see a dark line of breeze coming down the Patapsco, which turned out to be a brisk northwester. Had a fine run across the mouth of the Patapsco, past Miller's Island, Poole's Island, and then over to Worton's Cove.

Seminole touched bottom on the south side opposite the steamboat wharf, but on gybing slipped off. Just inside of the mouth of the creek anchored in eleven feet, had a swim, made some photographs, and rowed up Mill Creek, where we discovered an old slave burying ground. On returning had supper in the cockpit, but were interrupted in the middle of it by a steamer coming in, the swell of which caused everything to fall off the table; one cup must have become suddenly possessed of a pair of legs, for it made a clean jump off the table, over the cockpit rail and almost overboard, while roars of laughter came from the Coronas, a who were further away, and who besides could not boast of the luxury of a real table. In the evening visited a farmhouse up the creek, the owner of which insisted on giving us a basket of apples. Very pleasant rowing home in the moonlight.

During the night the wind came out quite fresh from the west, so we put in a reef for the beat out of the cove, but were able to carry full sail once we laid our course for Howell's Point; from there we ran to Betterton to leave the men, whose homes were in this locality. Anchored there about ten o'clock and were off again at eleven with good northwest breeze, which died down off Grove Point. A.G. then started his engine and towed me up to Turkey Point, where we anchored and had lunch. Before we were finished a breeze came up from the southwest, enabling us to make a nice run up to the anchorage at Back Creek. Had a swim, supper, and went to bed.

Sunday morning we put everything on deck so as to scrub below decks, in order to get rid of the grease left by the men. In the afternoon slept and read until about four o'clock, when A.G. went ashore to get chickens for our suppers.

Up at four o'clock next morning and towed up to the canal, where we got four mules to tow us through to Delaware City; arrived there at twelve-thirty; had lunch and then caught the last of the flood, which, with the strong westerly wind, rushed us up past New Castle and Wilmington. Off Cherry Island Flats it died out, and we drifted up to Marcus Hook, where it came out fresh from the south. At the head of Chester Island the tide turned and the breeze lightened, but we managed to anchor off the club in time for dinner. The Chesapeake cruise is over for another year, and both of us are eagerly looking forward to the time when those blissful days will once more be at hand. 

Next  

 


.. 
© 2000 Craig O'Donnell, editor & general factotum.
May not be reproduced without my permission. Go scan your own damn article.

Go to: • Barrie & Barrie TOC • the Cheap Pages • Sinepuxent Ancestors •