CBMM Offers Free Admission for Military Families this Summer

For the 7th consecutive year, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. is participating in the national Blue Star Museums program to offer free, general admission to all active-duty military personnel and their immediate families from Memorial Day, May 29, 2017 through Labor Day, September 4, 2017.

Blue Star Museums represents a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. This year’s participating museums are listed at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Located near the nation’s capital on the Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore, CBMM’s 18-acre waterfront campus offers 12 exhibition buildings to explore in a few hours or over multiple visits. Highlights of the experience include climbing and exploring the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, interacting with shipwrights restoring authentic, wooden Chesapeake boats, renting a small craft to paddle the Miles River on your own, taking a river cruise on the 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle, and engaging in numerous hands-on exhibitions, family-oriented activities, and other programming and events.

“The Blue Star Museums program is a great opportunity for the NEA to team up with local museums in every state in the nation to support our service members and their families,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “It means a lot to offer these families access to high-quality, budget-friendly opportunities to spend time together.”

This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts and maritime museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums.

While at CBMM, guests can see progress on the log-hull restoration of the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, now underway in the boatyard through 2018. Special exhibitions include Potomac Waterfowling: Gunning the Nation’s Rivers, and Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, featuring 80 photographs curated from the more than 10,000 by de Gast in CBMM’s collection. Potomac Waterfowling continues through March, 2018, with Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake continuing through April, 2018.

The free general admission program is available at CBMM to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card, a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard—as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps – and up to five family members. Festival admission is not included. CBMM also offers year-round free general admission to all active military individuals. General admission is otherwise good for two days and is free for CBMM members and children ages 5 and under.

Located on the harbor and within walking distance to the shops, restaurants, inns, and other attractions of historic St. Michaels, CBMM’s campus includes the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse and numerous exhibition buildings, a floating fleet of historic Chesapeake boats, small craft rentals, and scenic river cruises aboard the 1920 buyboat, Winnie Estelle. Free parking is available, with more information at cbmm.org or by calling 410-745-2916.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

CBMM’s Floating Fleet Gets Spring Spruce-Up

Under the guidance of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Shipwright James Del Aguila, the maintenance season for CBMM’s floating fleet of historic vessels is once again in full swing, with all work done in full public view.

Shipwright James Del Aguila and RPM Foundation Shipwright Apprentice Michael Allen work on the 1909 crab dredger Old Point.

As is typical this time of year, work proceeds with the most-used and popular vessels, including the 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle, which received some system upgrades and a fresh coat of paint, thanks to the generosity of CBMM’s dedicated volunteers and staff. The Smith Island crab scraping replica Volunteer and crab dredger Old Point are each receiving minor carpentry repairs, along with fresh coats of paint in advance of their busy seasons.

The skipjack Rosie Parks is next up on the railway, where a leak in the forward staving will be eliminated, and her Cummins-powered pushboat will be recommissioned. Additionally, a rebuilt transmission has been installed on the draketail Martha, which is in the water awaiting a final solution to her cooling system.

Martha, a 1934 Hoopers Island draketail or dovetail, sits in the Miles River.

Over the summer, CBMM offers on-the-water opportunities including Miles River cruises aboard Winnie Estelle, and small craft rentals of CBMM-constructed sailing vessels, rowing vessels, and wooden kayaks. Throughout the year, CBMM also sells boats through its Charity Boat Donation Program.

From now through 2018, CBMM guests can watch the progress on the log-hull restoration of 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, with photos, project updates, and more information at ednalockwood.org.

CBMM’s floating fleet is part of the largest and most important collection of Chesapeake watercraft in the world, with 92 vessels built from the 1880s to the 1980s, including wooden sail, power, and row boats. All of the region’s waterfowling boats are represented, along with most of the major types used in the region’s fisheries, along with a good sample of recreational watercraft. CBMM’s working boatyard maintains the floating fleet in working condition, and stewards all objects in CBMM’s watercraft collections. All work is done in full public view, with woodworking, boatbuilding, and other maritime-related educational programs offered in the boatshop throughout the year. To learn more, go to cbmm.org.

May 21 Community Day Activities Announced

On Sunday, May 21, free admission, boat rides, and fun for the whole family come to Community Day at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, with the day’s activities, performances, eats, and treats just announced.

This year’s event includes the opportunity to see the schooner Sultana dockside, along with numerous family activities and special exhibitions, including the recently opened Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake.

Guests to CBMM’s free Community Day this Sunday can enjoy a ride on the Miles River aboard one of CBMM’s floating fleet of historic boats, including Winnie Estelle and Old Point, shown here.

Festival highlights also include the opportunity to meet and take photos with Maryland Public Television’s Daniel Tiger. Joining in the spirit of community, MPT & Daniel Tiger are encouraging guests to bring unused arts & crafts supplies and non-perishable food items for donation to the St. Michael’s Community Center at the event.

Through the Talbot County Public Library’s Imagination Library, children can participate in a storybook walk around campus featuring the book Olly the Oyster Cleans the Bay, by Elaine Ann Allen. A children’s foot race will be hosted by Chesapeake Sports Alliance, with three-legged races, sack races, and tug-of-war competitions presented by the St. Michaels Community Center.

The first 500 guests at this Sunday’s Community Day at CBMM in St. Michaels will receive a voucher for a free hot dog and chips, generously provided by the Easton Ruritan Club.

Around campus and in the boatyard, guests can watch a blacksmithing demo, help create a dugout log canoe, or learn about boatbuilding as CBMM’s Apprentice for a Day boatbuilding participants work on completing the draketail Pintail.

Radio-controlled model skipjack races take place from 11:00 a.m. to noon along CBMM’s docks and Fogg’s Cove, and at 1:00 p.m., festival goers can join as CBMM’s Rising Tide after-school boatbuilding participants launch the railbird skiff they’ve built over the school year.

The first 500 guests at this Sunday’s Community Day at CBMM will receive a voucher for a free hot dog and chips, generously provided by the St. Michaels Volunteer Fire Department.

The first 500 Community Day guests will receive a voucher for a free hot dog and chips, generously provided by the Easton Ruritan Club and St. Michaels Volunteer Fire Department. The St. Michaels Community Center is also providing free popcorn throughout the day.

Food available for purchase includes Old Bay bratwursts, clam strips, fried shrimp, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, and soft pretzels from the St. Michaels Volunteer Fire Department, along with fruit smoothies, hot dogs, chips, and an assortment of other drinks from the Easton Ruritan Club. CBMM will have a bar serving wine and beer.

Other treats include funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreos from Johnson Family Funnel Cakes, and soft-serve ice cream, sundaes, floats, Italian Ice, and lemonade from the Ice Cream Lady.

The Phillips Wharf Environmental Fishmobile will be on hand to help guests explore the Bay’s creatures, or you can tour an antique fire engine with the St. Michaels Volunteer Fire Department. Scavenger hunts with treasures awaiting are planned for children, along with balloon animals and an interactive Scales & Tales display from Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

This year, Community Day guests can enjoy a ride on the Miles River aboard one of CBMM’s floating fleet of historic boats, including Winnie Estelle, Dorothy Lee, Volunteer, Old Point, and CBMM’s Pot Pie Jackson skiff. A selection of CBMM’s small sailing craft and rowing vessels will also be available for festival-goers to take out on Fogg’s Cove. On-the-water activities are offered free for Community Day, with same-day sign ups, weather dependency, and limited boarding.

This Sunday’s Community Day guests can watch a blacksmithing demo, help create a dugout log canoe, like this shown here.

The day kicks off at 9:00 a.m. with a tent service with Bay Hundred Covenant Churches, followed by the festival grounds opening at 10:00 a.m. and continuing through 5:00 p.m.

From 10:00 – 1:30pm., Blind Wind takes the lower Steamboat deck stage, featuring fiddle tunes, bluegrass, country, classic rock, reggae, and more. From 1:30 to 5:00 pm. Skrybe takes the stage, bringing folk, rock, and country music to CBMM’s waterfront campus.

Event sponsors include CBMM’s Friends Board, Choptank Electric Cooperative, Curtis Stokes & Associates, Shore United Bank, Talbot County Free Library, and What’s Up? Magazine.

This Sunday’s free Community Day at CBMM includes the opportunity to see the schooner Sultana dockside.

Community Day guests can also explore all of CBMM’s 12 exhibition buildings and historic structures, including a climb to the top of the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse for views of the Miles River and St. Michaels Harbor. CBMM’s waterfront campus is a short walk over Honeymoon Bridge to numerous specialty shops, restaurants, inns, bed and breakfasts, and other attractions in St. Michaels’ historic district.

Festival-goers are encouraged to bring cash for purchases inside the gate, with carry-on alcohol prohibited during this rain or shine event. For safety reasons, only service dogs are allowed on CBMM’s campus during festivals. Leashed dogs are permitted during regular operating hours.

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 and historic structures. For more information, visit cbmm.org.

CBMM Small Craft Rentals Begin May 27

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s small craft rental program will launch for the 2017 season this Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28, and continues weekends and select weekdays through August 27. Boats will be launched from CBMM’s floating docks, located near the Steamboat Building. Participation is limited by the number of boats available, with drop-ins welcome but reservations encouraged.

Built over the years in CBMM’s boatyard through the Apprentice for a Day program, the fleet of boats includes small wooden sailing skiffs, single and tandem kayaks, and rowboats that are perfect for singles, couples, or families. For participants wishing to sail but without basic sailing experience, CBMM also offers private sailing lessons.

“We’re a museum that brings people closer to the Chesapeake Bay, so getting people out on the water for a first-hand experience is absolutely central to our mission,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “Come join us this summer and you too can mess about in boats that you’ll find nowhere else.”

The small craft boat rental program began in 2015 through the generous seed money support of donors to the Jim Greenaway Memorial Fund. The fund is named after CBMM President Kristen Greenaway’s late father, an avid sailor, furniture manufacturer and boat builder, who passed away in January 2015.

The program will be operating on weekends May 27 through June 18, and will expand to include Wednesdays through Sundays June 21 through August 27. Hourly and daily rental reservations can be made from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with all boats returning to CBMM’s docks no later than 5:00 p.m.

“You can take one of our boats out for as little as one hour to an entire day,” said CBMM Boatyard Program Manager Jennifer Kuhn. “For our guests it’s a unique chance to play around on the Miles River in a handcrafted wooden vessel.”

Private sailing lessons include up to four participants per session and are available to each participant at $50 per hour, or $250 per person for a full-day lesson from 10-4:00 pm.Advanced registration is required for sailing lessons.

Boat renters must be 16 years of age or older, with minors accompanied by an adult, unless a boater safety certificate is presented. All participants must be physically able to get in and out of a small boat without assistance. Life jackets will be provided.  In the event of small craft warnings or inclement weather, the programs will be canceled. Daily and hourly rates vary per vessel, with discounts to CBMM members; advanced reservations are encouraged by contacting Jennifer Kuhn at jkuhn@cbmm.org or 410-745-4980. To learn more, visit cbmm.org.

“Winnie Estelle” Cruises Return to St. Michaels

Miles River cruises aboard the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Winnie Estelle will begin running again for the 2017 season on Saturday, May 13. Guests can enjoy a 45-minute scenic cruise aboard the authentic 1920 Chesapeake buyboat May through October on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, departing from CBMM on the hour from noon to 3:00 p.m. Tickets for the cruise are $5 for CBMM members, $10 for non-members, $3 for non-member children ages 6-17, and free for member children and all children ages 5 and under. CBMM admission is required to cruise on Winnie Estelle.

Winnie Estelle is also available for private charters and special adult and youth education tours . Tickets can be purchased at CBMM’s Museum Store or Welcome Center, or online in advance. To learn more, visit bit.ly/winnieestelle.

Schooner “Sultana” in St. Michaels in May, June

The schooner Sultana — as seen along the Miles River in this photo, with the skipjack H. M. Krentz in the background.

The schooner Sultana will be at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. beginning mid-day on Friday, May 12, 2017 and continuing through Thursday, May 25, 2017. Sultana will visit CBMM again Friday, June 23, through Monday, June 26.

While at CBMM, Sultana will be hosting students in an under-sail environmental science program out on the Miles River during the weekdays, and can be seen dockside over the weekend.

The schooner Sultana serves as an on-the-water classroom for learning about the history and environment of the Chesapeake Bay. An almost exact replica of a British schooner that patrolled the North American coast just prior to the American Revolution, Sultana provides day-long programs as well as live-aboard programs for participants.

During Sultana’s visit, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s waterfront campus and 12 exhibition buildings are open 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m., with drop-in cruises available on the 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle Fridays through Mondays beginning Memorial Day weekend through October. For more information, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.

Public Reception to Celebrate Opening of Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake

Community members are invited to a public reception celebrating the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s newest major exhibition, Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, from 5 to 7 pm Friday, May 12, 2017.

With free admission, music, and a cash bar, the reception will give people a look at Robert de Gast’s photographs of the late 1960s and 70s, which document the Chesapeake’s oystering industry, shorelines, and lighthouses at a watershed moment, both for the Bay and for photography.

Robert de Gast rode the state icebreaker with Tilghman waterman Ben Gowe gingerly following in his deadrise workboat Gypsy Girl back into Knapps Narrows.

Deftly incorporating modern abstract elements into images that conveyed grit, humor, and atmosphere, de Gast masterfully represented a time of dramatic changes for the Chesapeake. This exhibition features masterpieces selected from more than 10,000 images in CBMM’s de Gast collections.

A limited-edition exhibition catalogue—which will be available for purchase at the reception and in the Museum Store—includes images from the exhibition, complemented by essays from journalist Randall Peffer, editor Robert Brugger, Chesapeake photographer David Harp, and CBMM’s chief curator Pete Lesher, who curated the exhibition and collected recorded interviews with the artist toward the end of de Gast’s life. Other de Gast-themed merchandise will also be available at the event.

The exhibition Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake is made possible by, Mr. &Mrs. Norman H. Plummer, Anne & Frank Mickey, Maryland State ArtsCouncil, Ashton Designs, and Elizabeth C. Moose.

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 75,000 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 preserve the objects in CBMM’s collection, with online giving and more information at cbmm.org/donate.

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.