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VOYAGE INTO A ROMANTIC PAST
Carleton Mitchell
October 09, 1961
There is a colonial charm about the quiet villages and sprawling farms that border the Chesapeake. On these pages a famous yachtsman describes the endless variety of cruising waters in the bay's upper reaches
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October 09, 1961

Voyage Into A Romantic Past

There is a colonial charm about the quiet villages and sprawling farms that border the Chesapeake. On these pages a famous yachtsman describes the endless variety of cruising waters in the bay's upper reaches

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In the morning I thought out the day—back to the Miles, then into the Wye East branch for the whole length of Wye Island, poking into creeks, glimpsing the magnificent colonial splendor of Wye Plantation; in all, one of the most beautiful islands in the world, in its own way worthy of comparison with any in the Aegean, the Baltic, the Caribbean, the Pacific. So now it comes out, my favorite part of the Chesapeake—a rambling few miles of peace and solitude and quiet green lanes to seep into the soul after the boisterous blue wastes of ocean Finisterre and I have known together

It was a day when time was suspended. morning passing quietly into noon, when the water didn't seem too cold for swimming after all, afternoon sliding toward dusk and soft night. Faint airs carrying the essence of tilled countryside moved us for a few hours. When the breeze faded with the light we dropped anchor where we happened to be, for the whole estuary was a harbor, snug and safe.

There was no anticlimax when the morrow brought back the fair-weather cycle of southerlies. Finisterre recrossed the bay to a narrow entrance off the South River, barely two beams wide. Inside, Harness Creek opened, a haven no gale could even ruffle, a sanctuary to remember some screaming night off shore. Yet at its head was still another harbor, almost hidden. Finisterre finally dropped anchor in a veritable teacup, a true gunk hole, surrounded by land practically within stepping distance. Within two airline miles lay Annapolis—a lovely colonial city that had gracefully made the transition to the modern age, a seat of government, learning and culture, yet part of the stream of life: automobiles bumper to bumper, neon signs, the electronic voices of the hucksters. But here in Harness Creek nothing stirred or spoke, not even the trees holding us in close embrace.

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