Feature Stories

Chesapeake Bay Culture

  • Adventure on the Half Shell
    A pair of college chums en route to Boston oyster hop the Bay looking for locally grown bivalves and the beer to wash them down. 
  • Bay Lady
    In the early 1930s, a sailboat brought a young couple to St. Michaels. So began a love affair with the region that sparked the Chesapeake's first museum dedicated to the Bay. [7.04 issue]
  • Beauty and the Beasts
    Don't let the  bikini fool you, Dr. Julie Ball means business when it comes to game fishing.  
  • Between a Rock and a . . . 350-Pound Oyster Tong
    In this excerpt from a new memoir by Maryland’s “waterman in chief,” Larry Simns of Rock Hall, we learn that even a hard-headed, hard-charging young waterman can be knocked out of the game, if only temporarily, by 350 careening pounds of oyster tong.
  • Critical Areas
    Maryland's law regulating development around the Bay garners criticism from all quarters. [2.08 issue]
  • Flight of the Buccaneer
    He was flying high with Dad, until they landed on the Chester and promptly ran aground--with a crowd of picnickers watching. 
  • From Water to Wine
    A guide to wineries around the Bay that we think will be easiest to get to by boat.
  • Going with the Grain
    Creating model kits of historic Bay boats keeps Tom Willey's heart on the water and his feet in wood shavings. [10.05 issue]
  • Going with the Grain
    Chesapeake Light Craft’s John Harris has spent a lifetime dreaming up beautiful boats and encouraging others to become boatbuilders themselves.
  • Got a Light?
    They're the ultimate in waterfront real estate, and historic to boot. But owning a decommissioned Chesapeake lighthouse is not for the faint of heart . . . or wallet.
  • Have Wet Lab, Will Travel
    Custom-built for science, and for shallow water, the Solomons-based Rachel Carson is the go-to vessel for Bay researchers of every stripe.
  • Home Style at Harrison's
    Whether you have serious fishing on your mind or just serious fun, there’s a place on Tilghman Island where both are served up with a big helping of home.
  • Iron Chef: Battle Chesapeake!
    Our resident food-obsessed boater, managing editor Ann Levelle, makes the rounds to the cook-off competitions around the Bay--and gives us all the details on four of the Bay's biggest (and tastiest) cook-offs. [4.10 issue]
  • Island Dreaming
    Chartering a cat in the BVI seemed like a good way to get a taste of full-time cruising life. That was our excuse, anyway.
  • Let There Be Pirates!
    The roar of cannon! The panic of invasion! What could be more glorious than Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend in Rock Hall? Aargh! [7.11 issue]
  • O Say Can You Celebrate!
    In "O Say Can We Celebrate," we are ready to continue our 2-year bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812. See, the war lasted two years around the Bay in 1813, and 1814.
  • Of Time & Tide
    When an unusually low tide revealed a treasure trove of empty bottles, the neighborhood kids saw cash on the barrelhead. [3.04 issue]
  • Phased Protection
    In its two-decade rollout of laws protecting the Bay's edges, Virginia puts the onus on designated Tidewater towns and counties. [4.08 issue]
  • Pick 'Em Like the Pros
    Nobody liberates the lump meat faster than a professional crab picker. Want to see how they do it? . . . Want to see it again? [6.05 issue]
  • Remembering Mr. Goertemiller
    We take a look at the wonderful watercolor paintings of Dick Goertemiller, which graced the pages of CBM for over 40 years.
  • Reporting for Duty
    Dad was an Eastern Shore poultry man; mom was a reporter for the Sun. Is it any wonder Tom Horton ended up writing about Bay country? [1.08 issue]
  • Rock Hall's Red Glare
    A spectacular high-tech fireworks display is only the jumping off point to Rock Hall's big-time, small-town Independence Day celebration that includes an uber-fireworks display, an old school parade and a day to honor its watermen. [7.10 issue]
  • The Electric Slide
    Dodging hurricanes, sunken rocks and food poisoning, the author celebrates middle age with a solo cruise on an electric boat. It’s a trip he’s not likely to forget.
  • The Homecoming Queen
    What does it take to get a 90-year-old Chesapeake Bay buyboat home from the Caribbean? A lot of ocean miles and a little bit of madness.
  • The Magic of Oz
    No yellow brick road or Emerald City in this tale, but there is a Dorothy, a Toto and companions a’plenty, launched on an epic crusade to keep a family boat afloat after its skipper has passed away.
  • The Watermen's Jamboree
    Once a year, in midwinter, watermen from up and down the East Coast get together to talk fishing, form alliances and have fun--not necessarily in that order. [12.07 issue]
  • What Lies Beneath
    Manmade structures from modern to ancient, vast to humble, lie under the surface of the Bay. [10.07 issue]

Chesapeake Bay History

  • Cruises Mainly in the Past
    In 1909, the Barrie Brothers published a book on their Bay cruises. one hundred years later, it's still the best you can find. [11.09 issue]
  • Cruises Mainly in the Past Part II
    At the turn of the last century, yachting brothers Robert and George Barrie, scions of a wealthy Philadelphia publishing family, were among the first to sing the praises of the Chesapeake Bay in print. One hundred years later, their tune is as beguiling as ever--and, you'll find, quite familiar. [12.09/1.10 issue]
  • Forgotten Fortresses
    Lost to obsolescence, obscurity and overgrowth, promontories along the lower Patapsco once had serious firepower: state-of-the-art homeland security of over a century ago.
  • Good Men Down
    The 1977 sinking of the Claud W. Somers left six men dead and an island community puzzling over what happened and why. [3.05 issue]
  • Jamestown's Big Bang
    Jamestown's 400th anniversary gives birth to a universe of activities across the Bay. [5.07 issue]
  • On the Brink
    Virginia's New Point Comfort Lighthouse has endured two centuries' worth of war and weather, but how much longer can it fend off the Bay itself? [11.03 issue]
  • Shifting Sands
    A new museum on Virginia's Eastern Shore tells the story of people who tried to tame the wild barrier islands. They never did. [12.04 issue]
  • Splash!
    These volunteers willingly jump into the notoriously goopy waters of the Bay . . . all in the name of marine archaeology. [2.10 issue]
  • Tales of the Lost Ark
    In the waning days of the Age of Sail, many watermen were true nomads, building their own floating homes and following fisheries around the Bay. [8.08 issue]
  • The Captain's Trail Part II
    In this installment of our report on the proposed Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail, we trace Smith's second voyage of the summer of 1608. [11.06 issue]
  • The Captain's Trail, Part I
    As Congress considers approving the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail, the nation's first maritime historic trail, we recount, in two parts, the good Captain's very busy summer of 1608. [10.06 issue]
  • To See the C&D;
    Watching big ships go by, exploring the past, and other complicated pleasures on the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.

Chesapeake Bay Nature

  • A Fish Called Menhaden
    More than a year after the ASMFC's decision to limit industrial-strength menhaden harvesting, the issue remains adrift in Virginia's political tides. [10.06 issue]
  • A Summer Guest
    Elusive and endangered, some of the Bay's most mysterious visitors are the thousands of sea turtles that arrive each spring. [4.07 issue]
  • Bugged Out
    Midges and chiggers and flies, oh my! Under way or at anchor, it's a buggy world out there on the Bay. [8.07 issue]
  • Cash Crop
    An oyster company tries a new approach to bringing back the Bay's beleaguered bivalves. [10.08 issue]
  • Enter the Brown Pelican
    Pelecanus occidentalis moves north to the Bay, choosing tiny Holland Island as its nesting ground. [7.10 issue]
  • Food Fight
    As regulators prepare new restrictions on the harvest of Atlantic menhaden, scientists, watermen, sportfishers and Reedville's biggest employer all weigh in on the issue.
  • Go, Terps!
    A long-term study is finding fewer diamondbacks where they've always been. But give them a fighting chance, and . . . [3.09 issue]
  • Limulus Lately
    Harvest caps appear to be doing the trick for Limulus polyphemus, aka the horseshoe crab, prized by shorebirds for its nutritious eggs and by humans for its unique and valuable blue blood. [2.08 issue]
  • Pump & Circumstance
    A year-round cruiser weighs in on one of boating's hot-button issues: marine sanitation devices, pump-out facilities and the lingering spectre of a Bay-wide no-discharge zone.
  • Show Me Money
    The Chesapeake Bay Commission has put a price tag on restoring the Bay: $18.7 billion. Assuming we spend it on the right things, it'll be worth every penny. [7.03 issue]
  • Stalking the Wild Persimmon
    With apologies to Euell Gibbons . . . the Chesapeake is home to many more native edibles than just crabs and oysters. And some are as close as a walk on the beach.
  • State of Our Bay: Pfiesteria Revisited
    Research at last provides a potential answer to the elusive secret of why this little critter could be so deadly to fish, but only sometimes. After ten years of study, educated guesswork and arcane controversy, researchers are close to solving the central. [10.07 issue]
  • State of Our Bay: Return of the Giant
    More and more these days, Atlantic sturgeon are showing up in Bay fishermen's nets. Scientists haven't dared to believe this behemoth, thought to have vanished from the Bay long ago, could be staging a comeback. [10.07 issue]
  • That Sinking Feeling
    With better imaging and better maps, it’s easier than ever to see the effects of sea level rise on the Chesapeake.
  • The Osprey Fix
    For our resident osprey junky, bird blogs and round-the-clock webcams have been a way of life. Now she takes it up another notch: a hands-on osprey banding expedition on Jug Bay. [5.06 issue]

Chesapeake Boating

  • Aye Aye Skipper
    Season One in the life of a new ship's dog. [05.08 issue]
  • Beating The Inner Bimbo
    When Clint brought Escort, a 42-foot Kadey-Krogen trawler, home one day, I knew it was way too big a boat for me to handle. [3.03 issue]
  • Bella Luna
    After 10 years and countless memories, Full Moon and her owner celebrate their anniversary with a new engine and a whole new set of stories in the making. [10.05 issue]
  • Captain Knievel
    A Potomac River cruise gets interesting (and scary) for a couple of newlyweds when a nearby boat attempts an idiotic feat. [12.07 issue]
  • Cross Traffic
    As many as 8,000 ships, tugs and barges transit the C&D Canal annually, and every move they make is carefully watched by a handful of dispatchers charged with keeping the traffic moving. [5.04 issue]
  • Dancing with Irene
    A Bay Pilot recounts his experience guiding a cruise ship on the Bay during a hurricane.
  • Deck boats, Buyboats - What a Show!
    With a growing community of devoted owners, and a crackerjack chronicler, these low-slung workboats are forming into a fleet. [8.05 issue]
  • Don’t Go There
    A CBM gazetteer of the Bay’s many military and/or restricted and/or prohibited and/or dangerous and/or you-might-get-blown-up zones.
  • Dragons on the Potomac
    A tradition dating back more than two millennia leads to an up-to-date competitive sport as well as a festive event for spectators arriving by land or water. [3.06 issue]
  • Fast Cat Fever
    The West River Catamaran Racing Association has been "raising hull" in Galesville, Md., for twenty years, attracting new sailors to crazy-fast catamaran racing. [1.09 issue]
  • Flatland
    An exploratory journey on the upper Bay—from Garrett Island to the Susquehanna Flats and Havre de Grace.
  • Hard Drives, Hard Drivers
    Tired of ogling luxury yachts and racing sailboats? Take a gander at some of the Big Girls that travel up and down the Bay….
  • He Dreams of the Ocean
    Donald Lawson wants to be the first African-American to finish an around-the-world single-handed race. [12.10 issue]
  • Island Dreaming
    Chartering a cat in the BVI seemed like a good way to get a taste of full-time cruising life. That was our excuse, anyway.
  • Join the Club
    On the rise for a decade, club boating has arrived in earnest on the Bay. [5.10 issue]
  • Kayak Karma's Gonna Get You
    In which our favorite fisherwoman goes 'yak fishing with the experts and is rewarded with Great and Profound Truths, not to put too fine a point on it. [8.09 issue]
  • Mr Yielding's Dream
    What happens to a wooden-boat dream when the dreamer dies unexpectedly? In this case it lives on, in the hands of a husband-and-wife restoration team in Rock Hall.
  • Oldies but Woodies
    There's plenty of life left in these wooden thoroughbreds of the waterways, and plenty of people happy to keep them in their stable. [11.07 issue]
  • Return of the Bow Rider
    Dual-console designs are making a comeback on runabouts, classy sportfishers and high-tech catamarans alike. [4.05 issue]
  • Sailing in the NOOD
    A pictorial preview of the Bay’s biggest and most prestigious one-design regatta.
  • Sailing with Pride
    It was all hands on deck—even the blistered ones—aboard the Pride of Baltimore II in last year's Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. [10.04 issue]
  • School of Hard Tacks
    Now bigger than ever on the Bay, high school sailing offers kids a stepping stone to collegiate, international and even Olympic competition. [3.10 issue]
  • The Great Outward Re-Bound
    Two friends retrace a defining Outward Bound journey in which frigid swims, a hauntingly beautiful creek and a song about a deranged uncle created a lifelong love of sailing and the Bay. [11.08 issue]
  • The Immortal Atomic Four
    Part of the sailing vernacular since 1959, it's the little engine that could, did, and still does. [3.07 issue]
  • To Make a Cup of Coffee
    Though the winds go wild and the waters rage, just call me Miss Hospitality .[2.03 issue]
  • To Richmond, James
    Virginia's capital city was the destination, but getting there on the lovely and winding James River was of course half the fun.
  • Veni, Vidi, Volvo
    They came, they sailed, they won our hearts: a photo album from the Volvo Ocean Race. [12.06 issue]
  • View from the Bridge
    The ships' pilots of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware serve as buffers between the commercial maritime traffic that feeds the region's economy and the recreational boaters who simply enjoy the Bay. [11.06 issue]
  • Vrrooom! Outboard Update
    Faster, quieter, cleaner, cheaper to run and EPA approved... What more could an outboard enthusiast ask for? [5.04 issue]
  • Weathering a Bay Squall
    An afternoon boomer on the Bay can quickly turn a lovely day into a topsy-turvy nightmare. But not if you know your boat, know where you are and know how to ride it out. Herewith, a primer. . . . [8.10 issue]