When Capt. John Smith came up the Chesapeake in 1608 and rounded what is now Howell Point into the Sassafras River, he was met by dugouts filled with armed Tockwogh warriors. Although he had been trading with Iroquois raiders, the Tockwoghs’ mortal enemy, the locals thought he had been fighting the Iroquois, and he did not attempt to convince them otherwise, making friends. It may have been then that the saying “Relax, you’re on the river,” was born, and to this day it remains good advice, particularly in the fall.
There seemed to be many more sailboats gathering in the Crawford Bay anchorage at Mile Zero than last year.
Watching the crew prepare to haul the tack line, a passenger asks, “Don’t you use gloves?”
As I write this, the top of the Ditch is pretty quiet, with only the occasional yacht transiting. As you read this, however, the snowbirds will be gathering.
During World War II, the Army Transportation Corps needed a vessel that could serve a multitude of purposes on every body of water, in every theater of the war. Some were borrowed, some were bought, and some were created. One of the latter was the T-boat, a vessel that served in several capacities, including as a tugboat and lighter. It was designed by the legendary Eldredge-McInnis Co. of Boston and laid down with a 64-foot, 10-inch LOA, a 16-foot, 6-inch beam and a 6-foot draft.
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Jack has been cruising Chesapeake Bay and writing about the region for more than 25 years. His critically acclaimed book, "Maryland's Vanishing Lives," was published by Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University Press and is now in its second printing. Before joining Soundings, Jack was a feature writer at the Washington (D.C.) Star for nearly 20 years and a senior editor at Chesapeake Bay magazine from 1995 to 1998. His monthly Bay Tripper column focuses on the Chesapeake.