Registration Now Open for Free Swimming Lessons

 

Free swimming lessons are available this summer for children 18 months to 15 years old at two Talbot County pools, thanks to SOS Sink or Swim and the St. Michaels Community Center.

This is the fourth summer SOS is offering these free lessons. This year’s goal is to teach 1,000 local children to swim and be safe in the water.

“Talbot County is surrounded by 600 miles of water, and it is vital that our children know how to swim, for their safety and for fun,” SOS President Elizabeth C. Moose said. “Swimming is a lifetime skill that can save a life.”

Three, two-week swimming sessions will be held at the George Murphy Community Pool in Easton and at the Bay Hundred Community Pool in St. Michaels. Lessons are free, but registration is required, with an initial deadline of June 12. Deadlines for the second two sessions are July 3 and July 17. Registration forms can be found at www.sossinkorswim.org, at the St. Michaels Community Center or through the Talbot County Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, contact the St. Michaels Community Center at 410-745-6073. All applications must be mailed to the St. Michaels Community Center, P.O. Box 354, St. Michaels, Maryland 21663.

SOS recently re-structured, with the non-profit Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum coming aboard as its fiscal sponsor. To help fund SOS’s mission to teach children how to swim and be safe in the water, go to www.sossinkorswim.org and click “SUPPORT,” or send a check to SOS Sink or Swim, 606A North Talbot Street, Suite 109, St. Michaels, MD, 21663.

Skipjack “Stanley Norman” Docks at CBMM Beginning April 28

Stanley Norman. Photo courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The skipjack Stanley Norman can be seen at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., from Friday, April 28, to Monday, May 8, 2017, with public tours available from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5.

Built in 1902 in Salisbury, Md., the Stanley Norman, is a single-masted, Bay-built sailing vessel designed to harvest oysters with a pair of dredges that are dragged across the bottom of the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation acquired the Stanley Norman to play a unique and active role as CBF’s most distinctive “floating classroom.” The skipjack is a part of Bay history and a platform for students of all ages to learn about oysters, the life of a Chesapeake Bay waterman, and Bay-related issues of the past, present, and future.

Tours are free for CBMM members or with general admission, which is good for two days and is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $6 for children ages 6-17, and free for active military and children ages 5 and under.

For more information, or to learn about any of the vessels visiting CBMM’s waterfront campus, visit cbmm.org.

SOS Invites Contributors to Stay Home

In the middle of the busy spring social season on the Eastern Shore, SOS Sink or Swim, the local charity dedicated to teaching children how to swim and be safe in the water, wants you to stay home and relax. SOS is not holding a fundraising event this year, so all donations can go straight to teaching more life-saving skills to children.

“For the last few years, we have raised money by inviting people to dinners and holding auctions,” said SOS Development Chair Bev Pratt. “This year, rather than paying for dinner and an event, all of the donations we receive will go into the pool with the children. As one of our 7-year-old swim graduates so smartly reminded us, ‘If you swim, you don’t drown.’”

Since it was founded in 2014, SOS, working with its administrative partner, the St. Michaels Community Center, has taught more than 1,400 local children how to swim. The goal this year is to teach another 1,000 children. Three, two-week sessions will again offer swimming lessons for children aged 18 months through 15 years at the George Murphy Community Pool in Easton and the Bay Hundred Community Pool in St. Michaels. Lessons are open to all, but registration is required. Registration forms are available for download at www.sossinkorswim.org.

SOS recently re-structured, with the non-profit Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum coming aboard as is its fiscal sponsor. To donate to SOS, visit www.sossinkorswim.org or send a check to: SOS Sink or Swim, 606A N. Talbot Street, Ste 109, St. Michaels, MD 21663.

CBMM’s Rising Tide Summer Camp Begins June 19

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Rising Tide program is offering five weeks of summer camp at CBMM teaching students basic boatbuilding skills in a welcoming, relaxed environment. Sessions will be held June 19-23, July 3-7, July 24-28, August 7-11 and August 21-25.

A full-day, hands-on program for students entering grades six to nine, campers will create, explore, and have fun through Bay focused activities. Each week-long camp includes woodworking and boatbuilding, on-the-water activities, and adventures to locations such as Wye Island and Tuckahoe State Park.

CBMM’s Rising Tide program is made possible through the generous, lead support of the Wallace Genetic Foundation and Seip Family Foundation. Major support is also provided by Sandy and Bruce Hammonds, the Bryan Brothers Building Dreams for Youth Foundation, and the Dock Street Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by the Arthur H. Kudner Jr. Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Penny and John Albertine, Martha and Alfred Sikes, Ellen and Richard Bodorff, and Wiley Rein LLP.

The program is free, with participation limited and advanced registration needed.

To register a student, contact risingtide@cbmm.org or 410-745-4974. For more information about CBMM’s Rising Tide program, visit bit.ly/CBMMRisingTide.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the Chesapeake Bay, with values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. More information is at www.cbmm.org.

May 13 brings 7th annual Elf Classic Yacht Race to Chesapeake Bay

 

The 1888 racing yacht Elf, shown here, is the flagship for the 7th Annual Elf Classic Yacht Race. Photo credit: Russell Levi

Launching early from Annapolis and ending in St. Michaels, Md., the 7th annual Elf Classic Yacht Race brings the centuries-old tradition of yacht racing back to the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

The Classic Yacht Restoration Guild, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and Eastport Yacht Club are once again sponsoring the annual race, which includes a fleet of antique and classic sailing yachts, both large and small. Race proceeds benefit CYRG and CBMM, where race participants will be greeted along CBMM, where race participants will be greeted along CBMM’s Fogg’s Cove and the winners announced at a trophy reception later in the day.

Organized by CYRG, the race features America’s oldest active racing yacht, the 1888 Elf. Restored to historically accurate condition and re-launched in 2008, Elf is a Lawley-built 30-foot class cutter. Elf pioneered offshore yacht cruising in 1893 by being the first small craft to race round-trip from Marblehead, Mass. to Halifax, N.S.

The May 13 race features a nautical Le Mans start, beginning with a captain’s meeting on land, followed by the sound of a whistle, signifying each yacht captain’s mad dash to a tied-up dinghy, or tender. Next, the captain’s row out to their moored vessels and waiting crews, before tying up their tenders and raising anchor, with up to 30 yachts racing off from Annapolis in a cloud of white sails across the Chesapeake Bay.

“It’s very unusual to see a single classic yacht on any given day, so watching a fleet of them sailing away from the anchorage and into St. Michaels is an incredible experience,” said CYRG President and Elf skipper Rick Carrion.

The event begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Eastport Yacht Club, where spectators can watch the fleet depart Annapolis against the scenic background of the U.S. Naval Academy. The race can be seen as it crosses the Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Shore and into the Eastern Bay, and the Miles River.

The sandbagger Bull charges ahead during the Chesapeake Bay’s 6th Annual Elf Classic Yacht Race.

The race concludes at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where onlookers will greet the fleet of classic racing yachts as they arrive along CBMM’s Miles River waterfront, anchoring off in Fogg’s Cove.The race ends when all captains have rowed to shore, and signed the race log on land.

In addition to custom-made awards, a special award for the winning boat is also up for grabs. Carrion says Fordham Brewing of Dover, De. is generously donating the winning captain’s weight in beer.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with Fordham again for the race,” said Carrion. “They are great supporters of CYRG and CBMM, and they help give our captains one more reason to win.”

To see a documentary and race footage of the Elf Classic, go to bit.ly/ElfClassic. To register a yacht for the race, download a complete registration package at cyrg.org, or contact CYRG’s Rick Carrion at cyrg.elf@gmail.com or at 443-566-2212. The racing fleet is limited, with early registration recommended, giving preference to wooden, classic, and traditional yachts.

CYRG is a non-profit, member organization dedicated to the preservation of maritime heritage through the maintenance and operation of Elf. She was designed by George Lawley & Sons of South Boston, Mass., and built in 1888 for William H. Wilkinson. Over the warmer months, she can be seen dockside at CBMM, and under sail along the Miles River and Chesapeake Bay.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving more than 78,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings and historic structures. For more information, visit cbmm.org.

Easter Sunrise Service on Miles River

The public is invited to attend Easter Sunrise Service at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, which is situated on the Miles River in St. Michaels, Md. Coordinated and led by Bay Hundred Covenant Churches, the service is scheduled to begin at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 16 at the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand, as shown here. Officiating at the service will be the Reverend Tonya McClain of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in St. Michaels, Md. Covenant Churches work to unite the Town of St. Michaels and surrounding Bay Hundred community by connecting African-American and Anglo-American churches from throughout the area.For more information, visit www.cbmm.org.

CBMM hosts Homeschool Day April 12

Homeschool students and their chaperones are invited to St. Michaels, Md. and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for a Homeschool Day on Wednesday, April 12. The programs start at 10:30 a.m., with individual homeschool families and cooperative groups invited to participate.

In the morning, students will be divided into small groups to conduct a hands-on exploration of the water quality of the Miles River, including dissolved oxygen, salinity, and water clarity tests, and an oyster cage biodiversity survey.

homeschool day 1Homeschool families can bring a bag lunch and picnic on campus, then explore CBMM’s exhibitions at their own pace as part of a Campus Challenge scavenger hunt.

CBMM’s 18-acre waterfront campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats, 12 exhibition buildings and numerous historic structures, including the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, all situated in a park-like setting along the Miles River and St. Michaels harbor.

The cost for Homeschool Day is $4 per registered participant. Accompanying younger siblings ages five and under are free. All participants must register in advance at bit.ly/CBMMHomeschoolDay.

CBMM’s Rising Tide After-School Boatbuilding Program Expands

Due to an increase in attendance, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Rising Tide After-School Boatbuilding program is expanding from two to four days per week—Tuesday through Friday. Teaching middle school students in grades six to nine basic woodworking, boatbuilding, and related safety skills, the current session runs now through June.

“It’s inspiring to watch these young men and women develop skills and embrace learning in new, engaging ways as they progress through the program,” said CBMM Shipwright Educator Matthew Engel, who leads the program. “I’m so happy we’re able to expand this program to be able to reach more students.”

CBMM’s Rising Tide program began in November 2015 as a pilot initiative in collaboration with the YMCA of the Chesapeake. The program began with a six-week after-school boatbuilding session offered to Talbot County sixth-grade students. The ongoing sessions have limited participation, with the YMCA of the Chesapeake generously offering transportation to and from the program from its Easton location for YMCA and non-YMCA members.

To help with CBMM’s Rising Tide expansion, Lauren Gaunt has been hired in a new position as a Seip Family Foundation Rising Tide Program Apprentice. A former shipwright apprentice on CBMM’s 2016-2018 Edna Lockwood log-hull restoration project, Gaunt has taken the position after developing an interest in shipwright education. Her boatbuilding interests began while studying art at Michigan’s Kalamazoo College, and later as an intern at the San Diego Maritime Museum.

Running from March through early June, students in CBMM’s Rising Tide After-School Boatbuilding Program are offered the opportunity to apply all they learn on woodworking in the boatyard to build a boat under the guidance of CBMM’s shipwrights and volunteers. These classes include on-the-water sessions in boater safety and proper handling, along with learning navigational skills. The finished skiff will remain waterside at CBMM for the students to take out on the Miles River on subsequent visits.

In addition to the after-school program, CBMM also offers Rising Tide summer camp, a full-day, hands-on program for students entering grades six to nine, where campers create, explore, and have fun through Chesapeake Bay-focused activities. Each week includes woodworking and boatbuilding, on-the-water adventures, and ecological excursions. Summer camp sessions begin June 19-23; registration is required to risingtide@cbmm.org.

“We are very grateful for the growing philanthropic support necessary to fund this program, to help make a huge difference in the lives of our youth,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “By expanding to four days per week, we can provide even more students with valuable support in mathematics, engineering, team building, and project management, not to mention their confidence as skills become mastered.”

CBMM’s Rising Tide program is made possible through the generous, lead support of the Wallace Genetic Foundation and Seip Family Foundation. Major support is also provided by Sandy and Bruce Hammonds, the Bryan Brothers Building Dreams for Youth Foundation, and the Dock Street Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by the Arthur H. Kudner Jr. Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Penny and John Albertine, Martha and Alfred Sikes, Ellen and Richard Bodorff, and Wiley Rein LLP.

New students wishing to participate in the program are encouraged to contact risingtide@cbmm.org. For more information about CBMM’s Rising Tide program, visit bit.ly/CBMMRisingTide.

Exhibition exploring Potomac River waterfowling opens April 8

Washington, D.C.’s deep influence on the Potomac River’s unique waterfowling tools, traditions, and culture will be explored in a new exhibition at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., opening to the public on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Potomac Waterfowling: Gunning the Nation’s River follows the harvesting history from 18th century statesmen like George Washington—who wrote about memorable hunts of the Potomac’s stunning numbers of waterfowl—to the 20th century, when the combination of Washington, D.C.’s growing economy and the rich Potomac environment spurred both commercial and sport markets for waterfowl.

Through decoys, photographs, period objects, and historic documents, Potomac Waterfowling demonstrates Washington, D.C.’s influences on the waterfowling culture of the Potomac—especially the decoys carved for the region’s gunning clubs. Often commissioned from craftsmen who hailed from far corners of the Chesapeake region, the canvasback rigs displayed a remarkable diversity of form. Whether the work of James “Corb” Reed, whose Chincoteague roots are evident in his stunning naturalistic decoys, to James E. Baines, who carved decoys for gunning on the Potomac that were dead ringers for Upper Bay birds, the melting pot quality of Washington D.C. clearly extended to its waterfowling culture in creative ways.

CBMM_PotomacDecoyExhibit“The Potomac River decoy style is unlike anywhere else—it encompasses techniques and details found all over the Chesapeake Bay,” said CBMM Director of Education and Associate Curator Kate Livie, curator of the exhibition. “Decoy carvers were bringing the traditional decoy forms from their hometowns to the Potomac region when they moved to D.C. for work. So, you see it all—from classic Upper Bay birds to Chincoteague stools—all created to harvest the Potomac’s enormous waterfowl population.”

Potomac Waterfowling: Gunning the Nation’s River is generously sponsored by Judy and Henry Stansbury, and the world’s leading decoy auction firm, Guyette & Deeter. Entry to the exhibition is free for CBMM members or with general admission. Potomac Waterfowling will travel to the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Md.November 10-12, 2017, and return to CBMM’s Waterfowling Building through March 2018.

CBMM and East Coast Decoy Collectors Association members will be invited to a private exhibition preview reception on the evening of Friday, April 7, with light refreshments served. The reception is free for CBMM and ECDCA members, with space limited and registration needed by contacting Nancy Wells at nwells@cbmm.org or 410-745-4991 by April 1.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving more than 77,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated in a park-like, waterfront setting along the Miles River and St Michaels harbor. Charitable gifts to CBMM’s annual fund help support the non-profit’s exhibition, education, and restoration programs, with online giving and more information at cbmm.org/donate.

From now through 2018, CBMM’s guests can experience the log-hull restoration of the 1889 bugeye, Edna E. Lockwood, with more information at ednalockwood.org.

CBMM’s Sea Squirts Summer Camp begins June 19

Beginning June 19 and continuing through August 11, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. is offering its week-long, half day Sea Squirts Summer Camp, formerly called Kids Club, for 4-9 year-old children. In age-appropriate Chesapeake-themed sessions, campers will explore the magic of the Chesapeake Bay’s people, animals, and environment through creative, hands-on activities, stories, games, and crafts.

summer campCBMM’s summer camps for children 4-6 years of age are offered during the weeks of June 19, July 3, July 17, and July 31; camps for children 7-9 years of age are offered the weeks of June 26, July 10, July 24, and August 7. Camp themes include Chesapeake Critters, Time Travel Adventure, Clever Creations, and Bay Explorers.

Daily camps take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon, with campers meeting at CBMM’s Dorchester House and exploring CBMM’s 18-acre campus and numerous exhibition buildings as part of the program.

Participation is limited, with camps filling fast through pre-registration. The cost for the week-long camp is $125 for CBMM members, or $150 for non-members, with scholarships available. To register, go to bit.ly/CBMMSeaSquirts17, or for more information, visit bit.ly/CBMMsummercamp17.