Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sharps Island/Tilghman Island Fathers Day Trip

A great way to spend Fathers Day. This was the first year that we ran a trip on Fathers Day and it was really a great experience.

We traveled out of Knapps Narrows into the Bay and South to Sharps Island Lighthouse. The families were entertained with narrative about the Bay, The Poplar Island restoration project, local fishing and crabbing methods and our abundance of Bay Wildlife and waterfowl. The younger children were quite interested in the Captains helm station and had many questions about how he knew where we were. You're never too young to learn the fine art of navigation!

After traveling around the lighthouse and telling some of it's tales and history we ran up the Choptank River and the East side of Tilghman Island and came in under the drawbridge.

The nesting Osprey population has provided us with ongoing entertainment this season as we have the privilege of watching them build the nests, wait patiently for the babies to hatch, fiercly protect the new babies from the gulls and ever threatening passing vessels. Now the babies are big enough to sit up on the edge of the nest and call eagerly for the next meal. Soon we will be treated to first flights...both failed and successful!

Thanks so much to the families who shared Fathers Day with us.

We are always happy to consider private bookings for special family events, reunions, office outings...just give us a call to discuss rates and your date.

Capt. Mike

29 June 2008 Thomas Point Shoal Light Tours

Another beautiful day on the Chesapeake Bay!
A fantastic group of folks came aboard for the chance to visit Thomas Point Shoal Light up close.
We were treated to some of the amazing weather that has hit us this summer...sunshine and a fantastic Bay breeze. We were also able to take in some fantastic shots of the Sailing vessel 'Woodwind 2" as she came out of the Annapolis Harbor.

No matter how many days you spend on The Chesapeake she is never dull...ever changing and full of surprises.

We will continue to take interested folks, history buffs, curious visitors to Maryland and Lighthouse fans alike, out for the chance to climb aboard Thomas Point Shoal Light through the end of September. Call us now to reserve your spot for this unique opportunity!

Captain Mike

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

07 June 08 Great Circle Route

The Bay never fails to provide us with new and exciting ways to see her and this trip was no exception.

If you have spent anytime on our web site then you already know that The Great Circle Route is the trip for our true 'die-hard' lighthouse enthusiasts. This trip takes in 10 lights of the Bay plus a chance to see some of the smaller shipping channel range lights in action as we travel north above the Bay Bridge.

When we left the dock on this morning the visibility was extremely tight....we were socked in with heavy wet fog ...not uncommon for a hot summer morning. We headed north up through the Poplar Island Narrows towards the Eastern Bay expecting the fog to lift at any moment but on this day it wasn't going anywhere.

While this made the navigation fairly tricky it also lent a sense of excitement to the trip. Our passengers were really great fun....and participated fully as look outs on the foredeck. The lack of visibility made every light that we approached a real surprise as they would loom up at us out of the fog in a way that we have not seen before.
The conditions remained this way through the morning....our approach to the shipping channel and under the Bay Bridge was unbelievable...we were actually under the bridge before you could see any of the structure.

We stopped at Tolchester for our lunch and by the time we had eaten and headed back north around Pooles Island the fog had lifted and we were treated to an amazing sunny hot afternoon...the bow spray was a welcomed refresher.

We would like to thank everyone of the passengers from this trip....and invite them to send some additional pictures of our foggy morning together! It was a real pleasure having you all aboard!

Capt. Mike

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mother Nature runs the show 31 May 2008

Safety is always our number one priority...we watch the weather reports, keep a tight eye on the radar and tune in to the Coast Guard weather updates...but even with all of these measures sometimes mother nature still rules.
After we returned to the dock with the 9am passengers we could see that there was a storm front to the North. After much debate and review it seemed that we could still get in the 12 o'clock trip and not let down the 12 passengers who were waiting anxiously in the barge house.
We had a great run out to the light, passengers disembarked and we anchored off the shoal to wait for the completion of their tour. Within 10 minutes it became apparent that the storm was not going to hang North as we had hoped.
The lightning was absolutely incredible...a bit daunting but spectacular.
We secured the boat to emergency standards and just rode it out. The storm moved by quickly and the worst had passed by the time that the tour was finished.
We were most concerned about the folks in the lighthouse and the possibility that they might have been very uncomfortable or nervous during the storm.
When we docked at the light to pick everyone up we were met with cheers and a very jubilant group. They were all so excited to have been in the lighthouse for such a show. Jokes flew back and forth about having been the one and only group to have such an exciting experience. Someone commented that they were the 'first people to ride out a storm since the last lighthouse tenders had manned the light!'.
While this is not something that we would intentionally repeat we were certainly thankful to have such an enthusiastic group of passengers who were so willing to roll with the situation and come away with such a great attitude.
For these folks the once in a life time visit to the interior of Thomas Point Shoal Light really WAS once in a lifetime.
Capt. Mike

Thomas Point Shoal Light VIP Tour 31 May 2008

The 9am trip this Saturday was reserved for the Mayor and Council members. The Annapolis Maritime Museum invited these folks out so that they could have a full appreciation for what this historic landmark and it's restoration bring to The City of Annapolis. A great time was had by all!

The weather and visibility were perfect for this trip...allowing for the best views heading out to the lighthouse...and terrific photos as well.

The group was really enthusiastic and interested in hearing about the light, the growth of The Annapolis Maritime Museum and the fantastic opportunity that this light presents to the visitors and citizens of Annapolis.

Many thanks to Mayor Ellen Moyor and council members for joining us and for their support of this amazing landmark.

Special thanks to Dale for sharing all of his photographs.

Capt. Mike

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend trips....a terrific time had by all!!!

25 May, 2008

A fantastic trip up the Bay. We did have to run against the wind which made for some heavy sea spray but at least one of our younger passengers took full advantage of this! Heading out to the bow several times and placing himself directly in the spray wearing a huge grin the entire time.

Our trip this day included two families with their sons and it was really a pleasure to have these young men on board. They were really well mannered and still managed to had a great time...of course at one point between light houses they discovered the best napping spot on the boat.

It was also lovely to be part of the birthday celebration of their grandfather...a momentous occassion to be sure. Hopefully the event will be added to his excellent collection of life memories.
A great thank you to Alan Romefelt and his family for their continued patronage!
Capt. Mike

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gunston Day School Passage Trip

21 May '08

Five light Passage Trip
Bloody Point Light, Sandy Point Light, Baltimore Light, Thomas Point Shoal Light, Sharps Island light

It was our privilege to be included in the list of fantastic year end events scheduled for the Gunston Day School (Chestertown, Maryland) end of year 'field week'.

We enjoyed the company of 10 of the students who participate in the camera club (as well as that of their two instructors.)

Sea conditions were a bit challenging but everyone trooped through.

We are looking forward to viewing the CD compilation of the 'best' of their photos from the weeks adventures and hope that we are able to have them join us again next year.

Wishing all of the seniors the best in their future endeavors.

The Captain

Thomas Point Shoal Light; first run of 2008

17 May 08

After a fantastic opening season in '07 in partnership with The Annapolis Maritime Museum we had been anxiously awaiting our first trip to The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse this year.

The weather was beautiful and tides and wind cooperated to make this first trip absolutely smooth.

We ran the noon trip with a full complement of passengers and museum staff.

If every trip of the '08 season comes out in this fashion it will be a stellar year indeed.

Join us out of Annapolis every other weekend this season to join the ranks of those who have witnessed the history and restoration of The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse first hand. The schedule of trips can be viewed on our website 'trip calendar' or visit for further details.

We look forward to having you aboard for this once in a lifetime experience.

The Captain

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Passage Trip of '08 under our belt...

10, May '08
WX: cloudy, w-NW @ 12kts
Seas: 1-2ft.

Saturday, May 10th marked the first Passage Trip out of Tilghman Island for Chesapeake Lights Tours.

There was some question of whether or not we would be able to run as mother nature had a mind of her own and the day began with cold temperatures and fairly significant rains.

At departure time the rain had eased off and all passengers boarded in eager anticipation.

We headed out of Knapps Narrows and up through the Eastern Bay on the leeward side of Poplar Island. Passengers were treated to some up close views of the nesting ospreys and The Chesapeake Bay waters.

Our lighthouse route began with Bloody Point, and then we proceeded north up the Eastern Shore of the Bay. Seas were rough but not unpleasant. Passengers were afforded photo ops of three tankers awaiting approval to enter the Baltimore Harbor, always and tremendous site just due the to sheer size of the vessels.

We passed under the Bay Bridge, visited Sandy Point Light and Baltimore Light and then headed back South to Thomas Point Shoal Light. At this point in the trip we were gifted with a shift in weather conditions as the sun came out, temps warmed and we traveled with the wind astern. Passengers enjoyed a new perspective taking in the sun and bay breeze from the foredeck.

We finished the trip with our visit to Sharps Island Light.

Timing was perfect on this trip as shortly after returning to the dock the weather turned foul again.

Thanks to the fantastic group of folks who joined us on Saturday. As always, the personality of our passengers makes a tremendous difference in the success of our ventures!!

"Dear Captain Mike and Kate,
A great big THANK YOU for an absolutely wonderful afternoon on Saturday May 10. The four of us had a terrific time. I have never in my life felt so totally comfortable so quickly with people I just met. I hope someday to travel the bay with you again. Have a great summer!


Monday, April 28, 2008

The Season Gets Underway...

Spring on Tilghman Island is defined a bit differently than in other spots...and we kind of like it that way.

The local watermen are busy on the boats, scallop rigs come off and clamming rigs go on, crab pots can be seen loaded on the back of pick ups and trailers on their way to the dock, there is painting and repair and new flags are run up.

The talk at the local fuel dock is of water temperatures and first crab catch.

The boat yard is buzzing with sanding and scraping and the smell of bottom paint going on. The travel lift is in constant motion as one Captain after another deems his vessel ready to go into the water.

The opening of local Rockfish season puts a new face on our Island as well. The harbor, quiet over the long winter months is suddenly filled with boat trailers and the ramp is a steady stream of visiting fishermen launching their boats.

All of this creates a feeling of excitement and anticipation of another beautiful summer season on The Eastern Shore.

We are not immune to this....I have eagerly anticipated the beginning of the boating season since about February...and now here it is.

The motor vessel Sharps Island was launched April 15th and we are quickly approaching the point we will call 'finished' and ready to carry passengers.

This Saturday, May 3rd is our first run. Leaving the dock on Tilghman by 0630hrs we will head over to The Annapolis Maritime Museum for a day of docent training aboard the boat and at Thomas Point Lighthouse.

The following Saturday, May 10th we run our first Passage Trip on the Bay, visiting 5 of the historic lighthouses.

I am looking forward to another fantastic season and the opportunity to share the beauty and history of The Chesapeake Bay and all she offers.

Welcome aboard!

Captain Mike