I captained a C&C 36 sailboat from this Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum to Port Huron Yacht Club. It took about 3 days to prepare for the long journey so I spent a few days exploring the marina and surrounding area.
The staff of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is professional and very helpful. Every restaurant we ate at was very good but St Michel’s is a tourist town so traffic is very heavy and the little village is always crowded.
The museum has a few historical displays that will delight and educate visitors of all ages. In the Working Shipyard, you can watch the restoration of the Bay’s traditional vessels and talk with a shipwright, apprentice, or visiting captain.
CBMM’s Special Exhibitions change throughout the year featuring unique collections, maritime artists, and world-class photographers.
1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse
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.
Small Boat Shed
Displayed in the Small Boat Shed is a variety of working and recreational Chesapeake small watercraft. Several log canoes illustrate the adaptation of this Native American design by the English into a workboat they used for oystering, fishing, and traveling. Here you will also find simple skiffs used for oystering, fishing, and crabbing.
Discover the maritime history of the Chesapeake. Explore the culture of the Native American inhabitants who named the Bay “Chesapeake.” Learn why the first English explorers in North America placed their settlements along the shores of the Bay, and how this region later became linked with a new nation’s fight for independence, subsequent growth, and its fracture and reunion at the time of the Civil War.
At Waterman’s Wharf, a recreated crabber’s shanty, try your hand at several of the seafood harvesting activities of a Chesapeake Bay waterman. You can watch crabs shed, check an eel or crab pot to see if you’ve caught anything, or tong for oysters. Outside the shanty are the waterman’s boats – the Hooper Island draketail Martha, the Pot Pie skiff, and the Volunteer, a replica Smith Island crab scrape.
Oystering on the Chesapeake
Step onboard an oyster harvesting skipjack, the E.C. Collier, and enter the world of the working watermen on the Chesapeake Bay. Eavesdrop on the captain and crew as the captain shouts orders; the cook talks about lunch; the crew brings in the dredge, sorts the oysters, talks about the captain behind his back.
For years, the practice of shoring up an eroding shoreline with a wooden bulkhead or stone rip-rap was widespread on the Bay. Bulkheads’ vertical walls don’t provide the living spaces for plants and animals that natural shorelines do. By constructing this living shoreline – a protective stone sill with sand filled in behind it, planted with bay grasses – we are preventing erosion and creating a place where plants and animals can live.
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Lat / Lon: N 38° 47.250′ / W 076° 13.150′
Hours: 9 to 6
VHF Monitored: 16
VHF Working: 9
Phone: +1 (410) 745-2916
Largest Vessel: 229 ft.
Transient Slips: 20
Dock Type: Fixed & Floating
Approach / Dockside Depth: 8.0 / 6.0 ft.