"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

August 10, 2011

Aug. 9 - Ridge, MD

Day 144 - St. Clements Island
Point Lookout Marina

We woke to humid smoke filled air. There is a large fire burning in the Dismal Swamp in North Carolina and the southern winds have brought quiet a bit of smoke this way. By lunch the winds had changed direction and air quality got much better.

We stopped at St. Clements, a little island that is now a State park. Here is a little history I found about the island: On November 23, 1633 an adventurous group of colonists left England on two small ships, The Ark and The Dove. After a four-month journey across the Atlantic Ocean, they sailed up the Chesapeake Bay and northward to the Potomac River, they landed on a small island they named St. Clement, for the patron saint of mariners. They were the founding fathers of Maryland. It was here, on March 25, 1634, that they held mass, the first in the English-speaking colonies. On Maryland’s 300th birthday in 1934, a 40-foot memorial was erected on St. Clements Island to stand as a tribute to these brave Marylanders who risked their lives to bring their ideals to the New World.

For many years the island, then known as Blackistone Island, was the site of a lighthouse. The Blackistone Lighthouse was destroyed in 1956...an exact replica of the original lighthouse, using original drawings and specifications along with old photos, was completed in 2008. The island is only accessible by boat, so we were the only ones there today...besides a few maintenance workers. They opened the lighthouse and let us have a look around...views weren't as nice as they could have been. The smoke really made it hazy this morning. It was a fun stop and broke up our travel day.

The marina we are at this evening isn’t anything special…in fact it’s a dump. We didn’t have a lot of choice and it was too warm to anchor. We did have a beautiful sunset and visited with a couple on the dock, so it wasn’t all bad.

The front of Blackistone Lighthouse
The back of Blackistone Lighthouse
A view of the cross erected in memory of Maryland's founding fathers, from the top of the lighthouse. It was constructed of 50-gallon oil barrels filled with cement and a plywood frame covered with stucco.
Our beautiful sunset

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