Have fun planning a visit to the historic town of St. Michaels, Maryland, while you’re flattening the curve of coronavirus
Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes – *SBFL 8 – PLANNED – It may feel surreal reading a travel blog such as mine about trips, coastal living, and boating in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic that we’re currently in. Let’s face it, social distancing is here to stay for much more than a few weeks. It will upend our way of life, in some ways forever. One of our social obligations is to help flatten the curve of it, as much as we can. However, let’s also hope that with every passing year, humanity, and especially politicians, makes sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. An eerie blueprint of the events and the echoing cries of the 1918 flu pandemic has been passed down to us. Coming from 100 years ago, one of its stories is in a 2018 article, here. We had collective knowledge as to what to expect from another pandemic that would break out in our time, just as we know to expect the “mother of all earthquakes” that will shake California sometime in the future. However, as I said in my March post, looking at the trends and reality, the current Covid-19 disease will continue to grab headlines for perhaps the next 18-24 months. We will be on a bumpy roller coaster ride.
Meanwhile, life will go on. We are continuing our Slow Boat to Florida planning and covering interesting tidbits and topics of coastal and waterfront living. Also, let’s count our blessings that we were not the ones who named the new line of power catamarans of the Lazzara Yachts Group, “Corona 85,” an $8,500,000 truly gorgeous, fantastic power catamaran. However, it is the type of boat that I’d be willing not to have its brand name bother me if I could have one, really.
Corona or no corona, my humble hope is that you, my avid readers, continue reading my posts here and share them with your friends, dreaming and planning together with me. We will make it on the other side and do our planned trips. Remember, if you have no dreams, your dreams cannot become true. Even if it’s for a few short minutes, for now, join me as one of my armchair travel companions, won’t you?
Our Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) trip planning continues—next stop, St. Michaels, Maryland
Get ready for the famous Log Canoe Races (See top photo. Photo: courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.) This year, they’ll be held on September 12, 19, and 20. All you have to do is take your place on an affordable Log Canoe Cruise on the day of the race. We are planning to do our trip on our 26’ SeaRay Sundancer, Life’s AOK. However, remember, you can do the same trip by boat or by land, it’s totally up to you. Anywhere that we’ll be stopping is also accessible by land. The next stop in our journey is St. Michaels, Maryland, home of the Log Canoe Races.
As I mention in all of my SBTF* series of blogs (you’ll notice this acronym next to the estimated reading time at the top), my wife and I are on a mission to find out about life on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). We’re comparing then and now, based on observations made by the late Dorothea and Stuart E. Jones in their 1958 National Geographic article titled, “Slow Boat to Florida” (hence the title of my SBTF* series here) and a 1973 book published by National Geographic, titled America’s Inland Waterway (ICW) by the late Allan C. Fisher, Jr.
Tracing the authors’ routes, one of the spots that we hope to visit later this year is St. Michaels, Maryland. It’s located on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, in charming Talbot County.
St. Michaels, or as locals call it, “the town that fooled the British” during the War of 1812, is another wonderful spot to visit for a day, a week, or just have your vacation in while taking a step back in history. In the dark morning hours of August 10, 1813, the British attacked St. Michaels to destroy the town’s 6 or 7 shipyards. Legend has it that the residents of the town, forewarned, hoisted lanterns to the tops of the trees, tricking the British by causing the cannons to overshoot the town.
As for tracking the footsteps of the National Geographic authors, only Allan C. Fisher, Jr. has a 5-photo spread in his book with a group caption saying, “Clustered on narrow springboards over water, the crew of a log canoe balances the fast but unstable craft during a race from St. Michaels to the Wye East River…” However, knowing that both authors back then were based in Annapolis, Maryland, I am reasonably sure that they had visited St. Michaels many times.
This was formerly a town of boatyards, then became the home of many of the Bay’s oyster watermen, then turned to crab picking houses, and finally, today has turned into a premier tourism spot. St. Michaels has numerous charming inns and B&Bs available for every budget. One of the high-end resorts of the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay is the Inn at Perry Cabin. Another high-end waterfront resort is St. Michaels Harbour Inn & Marina and Spa. If you want to learn more about the town and the rich heritage of the Chesapeake Bay and its Eastern Shore, be sure not to miss visiting the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
Well, that’s it for now. Stay well. I hope to say hello to you if you spot my boat, Life’s AOK, in one of the locations that I’m visiting during 2020.
I bid you Fair Winds and Following Seas.
4 things I learned
- Life will go on, coronavirus epidemic or not. We need to adapt and do our best until these choppy seas settle down.
- St. Michaels, MD, has its famous log canoe races which are worth watching.
- Over the past 30 years, St. Michaels, a charming historical town, went through a great transformation and became a tourist magnet. The town’s history is a very interesting one.
- One of St. Michael’s former crab businesses, Coulbourne and Jewett, was founded in the early years of the twentieth century. It was notable as a black-owned enterprise, and it early came to specialize in crabmeat. As a means of marketing crabmeat, owner Frederick Jewett devised a five-level grading system (regular, claw, special, backfin, lump), which is still used by the industry today.
5 things I recommend
- Main street St. Michaels will give you an idea about the main street of St. Michaels
- St. Michaels Guide
- Visitor Guide
- Town Map
- A book: The Town that Fooled the British: A War of 1812 Story (Tales of Young Americans) An audio version
*SBFL stands for Slow Boat to Florida. It is a series of my blog posts, which started with a posting that had the same title. Each numbered heading has two parts. The first is “Planned,” and when I visit the planned location, a “Visited” label appears at the beginning. The series represents part travel, part current and historical anthropological highlights of the locations. I invite you to visit the same locations by boat or by land, or simply follow my slow journey. I love to hear from you on any current or past insights about the locations that I am visiting. Drop me a note, will you?