“When we see land (and water) as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect” -Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
DAY 6 RECAP: September 23, 2020
Crocheron, MD to Crisfield, MD
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.
134 miles complete / 240 total planned miles (20 miles today)
$145,430 raised / $200,000
14.5 million oysters raised / 20 million
(As noted by Bay Paddle partner Bryan Kent Gomes, Educational Director, ClearSharkH2O)
Chris is pretty badly sunburnt, hence all the zinc oxide all over his face and ears. He's also dealing with leg pain and soreness all over - THANK YOU to AllStar Pain Management and Brenda ShaefferPT for making the two-hour drive to Crocheron to help him manage!
We saw lots of brown pelicans throughout the day - watch the daily wrap video above to see them, too!
We got split up after a couple hours out on the water - Chris and I sometimes need to track sections of the water differently due to kayak versus SUP. But we each had a support boat with us and radio communication in between - such an important part of our safety out on the water!
No lunch stop today - all mobile all the time ;)
At one point I had what I thought was a tanker creeping on me (AND wasn’t in the channel) ... but, on second look it was a tug pushing a barge - again, check the wrap video!
Wind was LIGHT most of the day! The waves were moderate but now the several days' worth of practice in paddling them is starting to make all the difference. Practice makes perfect. Thankfully, the weather was again warm and sunny!
We got off the water around 3 pm in Crisfield's Somers Cove.
FOR THE MIND
Water Quality Data at CBF's KNC Turbidity = 68cm, pH = 8.4, Salinity = 22ppt, Temperature =21C (70F)
Wildlife sightings: cormorants, gulls, many brown pelicans (see video) New species: two banded water snakes (in the canal cut at Jane's Island State Park). What happened to the jellyfish?
INTERESTING BAY FACTS
Crisfield, MD has a long and sordid history with oysters. According to this What's Up Magazine article, "The year was 1880 and Crisfield, Maryland’s second largest city at the time, was thriving. Thanks to the oyster, Crisfield was a boomtown; raucous, greedy, and vice-ridden with con men, gamblers, and prostitutes. More sailing ships than anywhere in the world—about 600 of them—filled the harbor, eventually bringing to this salt marsh peninsula (known as Somers Cove since its settlement in 1663 by Ben Summers) the title of “Seafood Capital of the World... The boomtown would become the “Queen City of the Oyster Trade.” And the Chesapeake Bay would become ground zero for the vicious Oyster Wars between legal hand tongers and illegal pirate dredgers..."
Crisfield is now the self-declared Crab Capital of the World. “When we say we are the crab capital of the world, we mean it,” Conway says. “We sit right in the center of the confluence of perfect water and temperature conditions in just the right point in the Bay where blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) tend to congregate. The world’s love affair with the crab started right here. Crisfield introduced the soft-shell crab to the world. The community pioneered crab cakes and pasteurized crab meat. Everything we do here is authentic.”This PropTalk article shares the interesting stories of some of the town's long-term crabbing residents, as well as its culture and spirit. Most importantly, it includes recommendations for the best spots to stop and enjoy a bite!
A unique feature of Tangier Sound is Smith Island, which is one of two islands still inhabited by people in the Bay. This PBS Documentary, An Island Out of Time, features Mary Ada and Dwight Marshall whose lives personify the Chesapeake Bay’s seafood-harvesting culture and history, and their four children who chose to break with that tradition. The film is both a celebration and elegy for a place beset with erosion, dwindling population and vanishing economic opportunities."
OYSTER RESTORATION PROJECTS NEARBY!
NOAA Chesapeake Bay Program's "blueprint" for restoring oyster reefs in the upper St. Mary's River calls for a total of 60 acres of healthy oyster reefs. As of the end of 2019, there were 35 healthy acres there. Learn more.