Photos by Bob Grieser
Have you ever wanted to be a chicken necker — that is, try your hand at being a Chesapeake Bay crabber for a day, even if you’re without a boat, basket, crab net or trotline rig?Get thee to Charlie Schnaitman’s Wye Landing seafood compound, a family operation squirreled since the late 1940s near the head of the fabled Wye River off the Miles River on Maryland’s middle Eastern Shore. Here reside in elegant repose and growing fat the monster “Number One Jimmies” — males that can measure 8-plus inches across their hard shells.
The Miami River, known in times past as the Sweetwater River or Lemon River, is just 5-1/2 miles long, but it packs a lot into those few miles. Reputed to have been a lawless drug haven during the “Miami Vice” era of the 1980s, the river has since settled down while remaining very much an urban waterway that reflects a diverse population and a kaleidoscope of backdrops.
Photos by Robert L. Drake
Soundings contributing writer Mary Drake and her photographer husband, Bob, have profiled 150 destinations for Soundings since 1986. Traveling every year between their homes in Hodgdon, Maine, St. Simons Island, Ga., and Big Pine Key, Fla., the couple are gifted with a restless curiosity that keeps them poking around and looking for unique, historically rich, friendly waterfront communities that are steeped in maritime tradition and heartily embrace boats and boaters.
Photo by Robert L. Drake
Millions of years ago, geological forces created Maine’s Somes Sound, steep-sided Northeast Harbor at its mouth and superb sailing waters all around. A century ago, John D. Rockefeller and other wealthy summer residents made Northeast Harbor the yachting center of Mount Desert Island. Today, their descendants and Morris Yachts’ service yard keep this protected bight filled with impeccably maintained sailing and power yachts.
Although the harbor may seem full when you arrive, hail the harbormaster agents on channel 9, and they’ll direct you to a mooring. Several facilities in the harbor offer fuel, water, ice and pumpout.
Photo by Robert L. Drake
When you cruise into Marblehead’s magnificent harbor it seems as if all of the sailing yachts in the world are here. A forest of masts towers above the busy harbor. Like water bugs, club launches dart here and there, yachts slip in and out of the 2,000-plus moorings, dinghies dodge obstacles, and kayakers paddle unperturbed. As you enter, hail a yacht club dockmaster for a vacant mooring (with launch service).
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