National Geographic : 1967 Dec
Five hundred years of combined ex perience makes for nostalgic remi niscing by veteran captains of sail. Here on a pier at the village of Chance, they recall bristling storms, bitter cold, and oyster rocks with names like Love Point, Tea Table, Snake Rip, and Daddy Dear. Off season, many skippers raise strawberries or trap Maryland's famous blue crabs. Scene from the past: White wings lifted, a bevy of oyster boats crowds a rock in the 1930's. Half a century ear lier, close to 15,000,000 bushels were taken from the Maryland waters in one season; the 1966-67 catch, best in 26 years, totaled only 3,000,000 bushels. down from the north and settled on the sheltered bays with a noise like distant applause. The first frosts rimed the wheat stubble, and in the rising winds the nodding masts of the skipjacks beckoned at their moorings. It was once again the time of the oyster. The winds of winter are heavy winds. Cold air is denser than warm, and a 15-mile breeze in January has a lot more weight than the same breeze in summer. The sky was leaden and the water like pewter as the skipjack Rosie Parks sailed out of Cambridge. Even the waves slapping against our bows had a wintry sound. The great mainsail bellied to the quartering breeze, and soon we were pitching in a short, steep sea. Shallow waters enclosed by land have only one way to go in a blow-up. Unlike the open ocean, shoal water can get rough very quickly. And the sudden Bay squalls have caught many an unwary yachtsman and some watermen.