The Bay Paddle is an epic, 200+ mile journey by standup paddleboard to raise awareness and funds for Oyster Recovery Partnership. You can help by donating $10, which plants 1,000 oysters back into Bay waters. DONATE HERE or text BAYPADDLE to 44-321.
57 miles complete / 240 total planned miles (24 miles today)
$135,500 raised / $200,000
13.5 oysters raised / 20 million
“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty. And in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
(As noted by Bay Paddle partner Bryan Kent Gomes, Educational Director, ClearSharkH2O)
Today was much improved compared to yesterday. The three Ws - wind, waves, and weather - were much more accommodating. The weather was GREAT, in fact!
We headed out from Gratitude Marina in Rock Hall. We were joined for the day with Chris “Goose” Norman (of Capital SUP) and friend and Bay Paddle sponsor, Dr. Milford Marchant Jr. It was great to have two enthusiastic guys on the water with us after a rough first day.
Due to an early, hard wind we opted to skip the Bay Bridge side and shot through Kent Narrows instead - that made all the difference! A few of Chris’ friends and family were at the restaurant/pier along the Narrows to cheer him on - it was nice to see the support!
After Kent Narrows, we opened up into Eastern Bay and had some late afternoon chop as we moved towards our destination of Clairborne Landing in Talbot County.
Bay Paddle documentarian, Katie Sheridan, lost her drone - RIP flying machine :(
With 7 days of paddling ahead of us, I've already got a gnarly blister on my thumb - ouch!
Shout out to all the support of folks along Kent Narrows today, to our safety/support boats, and big thanks to Captain Dale from Tow Boat US.
FOR THE MIND
WildlifeSsightings: Bald eagles - juvenile and adult, lots of jellyfish, cormorants, and two osprey (which is surprising this time of year - they are stragglers who haven’t flown back to South America.)
Trash Pick-up: Not much at all - just a can that I plucked out of the water at the very end fo the day.
INTERESTING BAY FACTS
Rock Hall was originally called "Rock Hall Cross Roads." Its main street was part of the first road cut in Kent County in 1675. Later, the village became the Kent County terminus of a ferry that ran between the Eastern Shore and Annapolis in colonial times; and both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson passed through it several times on their way to and from the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Source: County of Kent Maryland
Annapolis’ last remaining oyster cannery, the McNasby Oyster Company, is now home to the Annapolis Maritime Museum. From the museum’s website, “After the Revolutionary War, the smaller, shallower Annapolis Harbor gradually lost most of its shipping business to the growing Port of Baltimore. The large, ocean-sailing ships that once packed Annapolis Harbor were replaced by smaller boats that were used to harvest oysters, crabs, and fish in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake. Oysters were the biggest money-maker from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. Watermen gathered oysters with dredges and long-handled shaft tongs and brought their catch to one of the many oyster packing plants surrounding the harbor. Men and women, and sometimes even children, shucked the oysters and packed them in cans.”
Kent Island was the location of the first English settlement in Maryland, established in 1631 by William Claiborne. Source: Kent Island Heritage Society
The Kent Narrows was once the heart of the seafood industry, with 12 packinghouses in operation along its waters. In its heyday in the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of boats arrived daily to deliver their catch to the seafood houses. Today only two packinghouses remain, but the Narrows still boasts numerous seafood restaurants. The waterway is regularly dredged to prevent it from silting closed. Source: Kent Island Heritage Society
OYSTER RESTORATION PROJECTS NEARBY!
Operation Build-a-Reef Severn River: The Severn River Association and Oyster Recovery Partnership recently celebrated a boatload of juvenile oysters being planted in Annapolis’ most iconic waterway, the Severn River. Fully grassroots funded by generous donations from local communities, businesses, foundations, and Bay-lovers, 16.9 million spat-on-shell were deployed in the Severn's Weems Creek on July 23, 2020. This would not have been possible without the dedicated staff at Horn Point Laboratory, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and, of course, our good friends at the Severn River Association. Watch the event livestream for great interviews and action shots. Visit buildareef.org to donate, or learn more about hosting a campaign in your community!
Want to see how the process for large-scale oyster restoration unfolds? Check out this story map, which features info on the science, planning, hard work, and gorgeous places involved! http://bit.ly/oysterstorymap
Fort Carroll Oyster Restoration Partnership - Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Blue Water Baltimore, Maryland Port Administration and many local business and schools have been restoring oyster reef around the historic Fort Carroll for over a decade. Oyster spat are grown in cages throughout Baltimore Harbor and outplanted by school groups. See images of the restoration here!
Annapolis' Eastport Yacht Club (EYC) is located in a very busy waterway that experiences heavy swell from boat traffic and storms. To buffer wave action in the marina, EYC and partners (CBF and Capital SUP) established a unique bulkhead structure that is populated with live oysters. As the oysters grow, the shells form clumps that act as a buffer to wave action. The bulkhead is comprised of a series of concrete shelves, which hold concrete triangles seeded with baby oysters. EYC is committed to oyster restoration and also participates in the Marylanders Grow Oysters program! Learn more.
The paddling crew will pick-up at Clairborne Landing and hope to get to the southern end of Tilghman Island (hopefully Mother Nature will play nicely). Tomorrow’s song/artist of the day: “At or With Me” by Jack Johnson. The line “are they laughing at or with me” rings true for this expedition. When you play/stream this song tomorrow, turn it UP, sing ALONG, and think of the Bay Paddle Crew!