Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cruise, Day 24

By 0800, we had pulled from the slip and were underway from Back Creek. Humidity was still 100-percent and everything below was wet. We were shortly under full main and jib, and fifteen minutes later cleared Mkr. “1AH” at Tolly Point. There were several fishing boats around Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, so I had to tack to and from the light several times before I could get a clear picture. The current was ebbing pretty good, and there at the shoal I was getting the combined current of the bay, Severn River and South River all trying sweep me past the light, so to get the picture I wanted, ended up having to tack back up the bay against the current.

Thomas Point Light is undoubtedly the most photographed light on the bay. A stone lighthouse was first built nearby in 1825 on the shore of Thomas Point, designed by John Donohoo, who also did Concord Point Lighthouse and Turkey Point Light. Constant erosion around the point required it to be replaced by another stone tower in 1838. Both stone towers have long since been undermined and have collapsed into the bay. An appropriation was obtained in 1873 to build a screw-pile lighthouse directly on the shoal, and it was commissioned two years later. In 1877 the ice floes were shaking the lighthouse so violently that the lens toppled from its top. The light was replaced, more screw-piles were sunk, and riprap was stacked around the structure’s base to protect it from ice. By 1964 it was the last manned lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay, but it was automated in 1986. It is the oldest unaltered cottage-type screw-pile lighthouse on its original foundation in the United States.
At 1040, we sailed past R “4” and entered South River. We gunkholed through Selby Bay, Limehouse Cove, and then anchored clear of the cable area at the head of Brewer Creek for lunch. Afterwards we sailed through Glebe Bay and headed for Almshouse Creek. Both the chart and signs on both shores warned of dangerous submerged obstructions across the channel entrance. There were boats inside the creek, so there was obviously a way in, but I was not about to continue in without local knowledge, so came about and continued on for Warehouse Creek, Gingerville Creek, Church Creek, and Crab Creek where I couldn’t avoid taking a picture of this beautiful house there.

We then went on to Aberdeen Creek, and finally anchored for the night in Harness Creek on the north shore of South River. As I entered the cut, I saw a Kaiser Gale Force, a serious cruising boat that was built in Wilmington, DE, for a number of years before the company went out of business. It was always one of my out-of-reach dream boats. Once anchored, I went over to meet the skipper. He was in the middle of preparing dinner, but graciously invited me aboard for a drink and visit. Not wanting to overstay my welcome, I congratulated him yet again on his beautiful vessel, thanks him for his hospitality, and rowed the half-mile back to Thistle.

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