OysterFest Stew Competitors, Bands & Activities Announced

On Saturday, October 28, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St Michaels, Md. will host two live stages of music and an oyster stew competition as part of OysterFest.

Oyster stew competitors include Sunflowers and Greens of Easton, Md., Bistro St. Michaels, Gourmet by the Bay, Billie’s Catering of Crisfield, Md., at t at the General Store of Royal Oak, Md.

Festival goers are encouraged to sample oyster stews beginning at 11:00 a.m. and while supplies last. Participation is limited to the first 500 on a first-come, first-served basis, with a commemorative OysterFest mug and the tastings offered for $10 per participant. This stew competition takes place on CBMM’s Fogg’s Landing and is sponsored by Hair O’ The Dog Wine & Spirits.

The blind taste test awards bragging rights to the chef with the most votes, with the People’s Choice winner announced at the festival and later to the public. Bistro St. Michaels Executive Chef Matt Robbins has been awarded first place for the past two consecutive years.

The band Blackwater will be bringing their eclectic blend of funk, rock, reggae, rhythm and bluegrass to the Tolchester Beach Bandstand for a live performance from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by the Eastern Shore’s Justin Ryan performing pop, rock, country, folk an alternative music from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Performing from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from the Steamboat deck will be The Freewheelers bringing their breezy, melodic vibes to Fogg’s Cove and the Miles River.

Family activities include Chesapeake cornhole, giant oyster reef jenga, face painting, build-a-boat activities, and children’s storybook readings. Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s Fishmobile will give guests an opportunity to explore fish, terrapins, horseshoe crabs, blue crabs, oyster toadfish, oysters, eel, box turtles, and more.

Lead OysterFest sponsors include Kelly Distributors, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, George’s Bloody Mary Mix, and Eastern Shore Tents & Events. Chesapeake Landing is sponsoring the oyster shooter bar, and Lyon Distilling Company is sponsoring spiked cider, which will be served with other libations at Rosie’s Tavern. OysterFest is partially funded by the Maryland State Arts Council.

At the Tolchester Beach Bandstand, festival-goers can watch or participate in an oyster slurping contest, with preliminary rounds taking place on the hour from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with the final contest at 1:45 p.m.

This year’s OysterFest also features the 2016-2018 restoration of the log-hull sailing bugeye, Edna Lockwood, which is now underway and in full public view at CBMM’s boatyard. In 1889, at the age of 24, John B. Harrison of Tilghman Island, Md. built Edna E. Lockwood, the seventh of 18 bugeyes he was to build. As a workboat, Edna dredged for oysters through the winter and carried freight, such as lumber, grain or produce, after the dredging season ended.She was donated to CBMM by John R. Kimberly in 1973, and named a National Historic Landmark in 1994, representing the last historic log-bottom bugeye still under sail.  Project updates and more about the historic bugeye’s restoration can be found at ednalockwood.org.

Special exhibitions include Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, Potomac Waterfowling: Gunning the Nation’s River, and Bob Grieser’s Lens on the Chesapeake.

Admission to OysterFest is $5 for CBMM adult members, or $18 for adults; $15 for seniors and students with ID; and $6 for children 6-17. CBMM members at the Family & Friends level and above also receive the $5 discounted admission for two adult guests. Food, drinks, and boat rides are an additional cost, with carry-on alcohol prohibited. For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM festivals, with leashed dogs permitted during non-festival dates. Proceeds from the event support CBMM’s education, restoration, and exhibition programs, with advanced tickets and more information at cbmm.org/oysterfest.

CBMM Offers Women’s Woodworking November 3-5, 11-12

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., is offering a women-only intermediate woodworking class in its boatshop from Friday, November 3, through Sunday, November 5, and Saturday, November 11, through Sunday, November 12, from 10am to 4pm each day. Participants should plan to attend all five sessions.

Led by Boatyard Programs Manager Jennifer Kuhn, this woodworking opportunity will teach participants to build a stool, focusing on the importance of layout and good joinery, while deepening their understanding of woodworking. Basic tools and materials are provided. Prior woodworking experience is required, with class size limited and advanced registration needed at bit.ly/CBMMBoatshopPrograms.

The cost for this five-day workshop is $250 for CBMM members or $275 for non-members. Participants must be 16 years of age or older, unless accompanied by an adult. For more details, contact Jenn Kuhn at 410-745-4980 or afad@cbmm.org.

Rising Tide Expands Weekly Options

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Rising Tide After-School Boatbuilding Program is officially back in session, and has expanded its offerings for students this fall. Classes are typically held Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in CBMM’s Boatshop, with participants welcome to sign up for multiple or individual days.

The free program is open to students in grades six to nine, although students in grades 10 to 12 may still apply for admission.Transportation is available between Easton and St Michaels before and after class.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Rising Tide will offer its signature boatbuilding classes. Participants are building two Smith Island outboard skiffs this year, with a plan of launching them at CBMM’s Community Day in May 2018. Students have the opportunity to participate in all phases of construction, from milling lumber from a log to adding the finishing touches.

Rising Tide will also offer various workshops and events throughout the year, including model making, canvas building and painting classes, girls’ workshops, holiday gift workshops, and more. When weather conditions allow, classes may be held on the water, learning boat safety, handling, navigation, and fishing skills. These classes will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.

Rising Tide teaches students basic boatbuilding skills in a welcoming, relaxed environment. The program works to inspire participants to develop a sense of self-confidence and pride, and facilitate mentorships that provide guidance and support. Students of the program will be encouraged to become more academically prepared to achieve long-term success, whether on a college track or vocational emphasis, having gained skills in mathematics, engineering, team building, and project management.

Registration is required for boatbuilding classes and individual workshops and events. Sign up for offerings and for the Rising Tide newsletter to stay informed of upcoming programs at cbmm.org/risingtide. To learn more, contact 443-550-1173 or risingtide@cbmm.org.

CBMM’s Fall Speaker Series Begins October 18

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., begins its Fall Speaker Series on Oct. 18 and continues on select dates through Dec. 6, 2017. All of the sessions from the four-part series will explore topics related to CBMM’s latest exhibition, Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, on display in CBMM’s Steamboat Building through April 8, 2018. All sessions take place in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium, with advanced registration needed, as seating is limited.

Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake includes 80 matted and framed exhibition prints principally drawn from his three books The Oystermen of the Chesapeake(1970), The Lighthouses of Chesapeake Bay (1973), and Western Wind, Eastern Shore: A Sailing Cruise around the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia (1975), and are shown in a manner that enhances the stark aesthetic, artistic perspective, and intimate familiarity of his work.

Photograph by Robert de Gast, 1970, collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

De Gast’s classic work, The Oystermen of the Chesapeake, documented scenes from the last days of the Chesapeake’s golden age of oystering. On Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 5pm, join Tom McHugh, director emeritus of the Mainstay in Rock Hall, and Ron Fithian, Rock Hall town manager, Kent County commissioner and former waterman, as they share their documentary, “Those Were the Days: Golden Age of Rock Hall Watermen, 1945-1972,” and the reflections of 18 watermen and women who worked on the water in the mid-20th century.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 5pm, award-winning photographer Dave Harp will discuss the legacy of de Gast, whose evocative, understated photographic style and mastery of observation influenced generations of Chesapeake photographers, writers and artists.

“After de Gast: The Chesapeake Transformation Since 1972,” will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Dr. Bill Dennison, professor of marine science and vice president for science applications at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, will discuss how the Chesapeake has changed since de Gast captured its landscapes and people in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the impacts on the Chesapeake’s fisheries, industry, and culture.

The final offering in the speaker series will be “The Life and Work of Robert de Gast” on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 2 pm. CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher, curator of Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake,will explore the remarkable life and work of de Gast as told through the museum’s extensive collections of his photography, writing, and oral histories.

Discounted online tickets for CBMM members are $6 per session, or $20 for all four sessions. Non-member rates are $8 per session, or $30 for all four sessions, with tickets at bit.ly/CBMM_FallSpeakerSeries17. For more information, call 410-745-2916 or email aspeight@cbmm.org.

Shipwrights Start Next Phase of Restoration CBMM

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Boatyard Manager Michael Gorman reports that a major step has been made in the historic restoration of 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, with her existing topsides lifted by crane to sit directly above her new nine-log hull. Edna Lockwood represents the last of her kind, as the oldest historic log-hull bugeye still under sail.

In mid-September, the topsides were successfully transferred to sit just above the new hull, which shipwrights finished shaping earlier this year. At the same time, Edna’s original 1889 hull was moved to the other side of CBMM’s campus, where it will eventually be put on display.

Boatyard Manager Michael Gorman, far right, looks on as Edna Lockwood’s topside is lifted from its 1889 log hull to sit atop the new one constructed by him and his team of shipwrights and apprentices.

The next phase in the restoration will see shipwrights begin the process of marrying the two sections of the boat, and jacking the bottom up to meet frames. New stems, hatches, additional structure will also be installed this fall, and sails will be sent out to have new ones made.

The team is restoring CBMM’s queen of the fleet and National Historic Landmark Edna E. Lockwood by replacing her nine-log hull, in adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation. Shipwright apprentices working on the project are generously supported by the Seip Family Foundation and the RPM Foundation. All work takes place in full public view through 2018, when Edna will be placed on the marine railway and launched at CBMM’s OysterFest in October.

To keep up with the project, including progress update videos, visit ednalockwood.org. For more on the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, go to cbmm.org.

Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival XXXIV Comes to St. Michaels

On Saturday, October 7, and Sunday, October 8, 2017, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will host one of the nation’s largest gatherings of small boat enthusiasts and unique watercraft at the 34th annual Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival.

During the festival, CBMM guests can marvel at the craftsmanship and innovation used in traditional and contemporary small craft while enjoying the museum’s waterfront campus and indoor and outdoor exhibitions. Hundreds of amateur and professional boatbuilders and enthusiasts come from all over the region to display their one-of-a-kind kayaks, canoes, and other traditional small craft.

Sailing skiffs, rowing shells, kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, prams, and one-of-a-kind boats will be on display and in the water throughout this family-oriented event. Small craft owners hailing from all over the country will also be available to share their knowledge and boating experiences with guests.

The festival was previously combined with CBMM’s Maritime Model Expo, which will now take place during CBMM’s free Community Day in May.

Scenic river cruises aboard the 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle, live music, along with food and beverages will be available to round out the weekend festival.

Participants arrive Friday night, while museum boatyard staff and Chesapeake Wooden Boat Builders School instructors will be on hand Saturday to offer boatbuilding workshops and maritime demonstrations. Beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, a lively Miles River race of small craft can be watched from CBMM’s waterfront and docks. Festival-goers can also vote for their favorite boat, with the People’s Choice award and others announced among participants on Saturday evening.

On Sunday, festival-goers are invited to bring nautical items to swap or sell at a traditional swap meet before heading home.

For safety reasons, dogs are not permitted on museum grounds during CBMM festivals, with the exception of certified service dogs. Leashed dogs from boat and land are permitted on CBMM grounds on non-festival days.

The Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival is free for CBMM members and children 5 and under, otherwise admission is good for two consecutive days and is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $6 for children ages 6 to 17, with all museum exhibitions open throughout the event. See photos at bit.ly/mascfphotos, and for participant registration and more information, visit cbmm.org/mascf  or call 410-745-2916.

See Lady Maryland in St. Michaels October 20-23

Guests to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. can see Lady Maryland dockside from Friday, October 20 through Monday, October 23.

Built in 1985 by the Living Classrooms Foundation, Lady Maryland is a replica of a Chesapeake Bay pungy schooner. Pungies were considered fast sailing vessels in the 1800s, and were primarily used as workboats carrying perishable cargo such as oysters, watermelons, tomatoes, fish, peaches, and grain.

Throughout the warmer months, CBMM’s marina is host to numerous visiting tall ships and vessels, with on-board programming and dockside tour opportunities. For more information about docking at CBMM, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916. For more about Lady Maryland and the Living Classroom Foundation, go to livingclassrooms.org.

CBMM Participates in Maryland Lighthouse Challenge this September

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is participating in the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge, which takes place September 16-17, 2017, with an early bird date of Friday, September 15 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse now at CBMM is one of 10 Chesapeake lighthouses featured in this year’s tour. CBMM celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Hooper Strait Lighthouse in its St. Michaels location on May 20 of this year.

Sponsored by the Chesapeake Chapter of the U. S. Lighthouse Society, the challenge is a bi-annual “road rally” held in September at participating lighthouses and lightships along the Chesapeake Bay. Other participating lighthouses for this year’s challenge include Concord Point, Seven Foot Knoll, Choptank River, Drum Point, Cove Point, Piney Point, Point Lookout, Fort Washington, along with the Lightship Chesapeake. Bonus lighthouses include Millers Island, Sandy Point Shoal, and Blackistone.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to participate by visiting all 10 lighthouses and the lightship, collecting specially-designed commemorative souvenirs from each. Participants can visit any number of lighthouses along the challenge route, but will have to visit all mandatory stops to collect a specially designed souvenir to mark the accomplishment.

The Hooper Strait Lighthouse, now standing on Navy Point, was originally built in 1879 to light the way for boats passing through the shallow, dangerous shoals of Hooper Strait, a thoroughfare for boats bound from the Chesapeake Bay across Tangier Sound to Deal Island or places along the Nanticoke and Wicomico rivers. Saved from demolition, the lighthouse was moved by barge to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. in 1966, one year after the non-profit museum opened. It now serves as a hands-on exhibition that explores the life of a lighthouse keeper, and a venue for CBMM’s Lighthouse Overnight Adventures program for youth groups.

As a “screwpile” lighthouse, it is built on special iron pilings which were tipped with a screw that could be turned into the muddy bottom for a depth of 10 feet or more. CBMM’s lighthouse is the second lighthouse constructed at Hooper Strait—the first one was destroyed by ice in 1877.

The 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse at CBMM will open at 8:00 a.m. as an early bird lighthouse on Friday, September 15, with $5 reduced admission for lighthouse challenge participants offered for the entire three-day challenge weekend. The lighthouse will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for challenge participants on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17, with more information at cbmm.org or cheslights.org.

Hanna, Walpole Hired at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Joe-Ann Hanna and Karen Walpole, both of Easton, have recently joined the staff of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md.

Hanna has been hired as a Staff Accountant and Guest Services System Manager, making her responsible for financials needs across CBMM’s departments and primary oversight of the Guest Services System (GSS) used for admissions, store inventory management and sales, group tour processing, advance ticket sales, education and marina reservation system linkages, store gift cards, and linkage to online store processing.

From Utica, Mich., Hanna moved to the Eastern Shore in 2001. She has attended both Howard Community College, with a focus in applications programming, and Chesapeake College, with a focus in accounting.

Joe-Ann Hanna (left) and Karen Walpole.

Hanna brings with her vast work experience. Her first job after moving to Maryland was with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington D.C., and her most recent position before coming to CBMM was as the office manager for Rathell Farm Equipment.

She has also volunteered extensively at local soup kitchens and with her church, both serving as its bookkeeper and participating in a mission trip.

Walpole is joining the CBMM team as the Administrative Assistant for the Charity Boat Donation Program. CBMM’s Charity Boat Donation Program accepts and sells all manner of craft year-round to support the non-profit’s education, curatorial, and boatbuilding programs.

“Working around boats and the water is a dream come true,” Walpole said of joining CBMM.

Walpole has previously worked at The Star Democrat, sold promotional products, owned her own marketing company, and been a marketing administrator at a yacht brokerage. Originally from Baldwin, N.Y., she earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism, with a concentration in advertising, from the University of Maryland.

After falling in love with the region during college, she decided to stay in Maryland, and has volunteered with Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton, Benedictine School, Integrace Bayleigh Chase and at CBMM, singing carols at the annual Christmas event.

August Boater Safety Course added at CBMM

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is adding an August 16-17 Maryland DNR-approved boater safety course after demand exceeded capacity for its July course.

The education program takes place from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. each evening in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium. The cost is $25 per participant, with space limited and pre-registration needed.

Participants completing the course and passing the test will receive a Maryland Boating Safety Education Certificate, which is valid for life. The certificate is required for anyone born on or after July 1, 1972, and who operates a numbered or documented vessel on Maryland waters. The course is also recommended for anyone looking to become a safer, more experienced boater or personal watercraft operator.

Participants must be 12 years of age and older, with early registration recommended as class is filling fast. To register, go to bit.ly/safeboating2017. For information on Maryland DNR’s boating safety program, visit dnr.maryland.gov/boating.

Charitable gifts to CBMM’s annual fund support the museum’s educational programs, with online giving and more information at cbmm.org/donate. More information about CBMM’s education programs is at cbmm.org/learn.