MD - Western Shore Upper Chesapeake - 2014/09/29 to 2014/10/03 - 74 miles

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The J's do another in their series of yearly trips by paddling half way down the Chesapeake Bay from the top.


J2, at 70 the senior member of the Adventure Duo and still a chronic business traveler, awoke in the wee hours plagued by thoughts of potential difficulties paddling the Chesapeake. Lacking the comforts of home, he rolled over on the ‘Best Western’ bed and reached into the night stand for the ubiquitous Gideon hotel bible hoping to draw a little comfort from its pages. He flipped open the ‘Good Book’ placing his finger randomly on the page. To his horror he read;

The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.

Jonah’s story had a happy ending, but would the Adventure Duo??? Keep reading!!!


The Adventure Duo, Jays Mackley and Doering, aka, J1 and J2, have been smug in their conviction that their home water on the Susquehanna was the eagle capital of the east coast; but just one day of paddling on the Chesapeake was all that was needed to restore some avian humility. And that’s just one of many surprises. This bay and its shoreline is not only the “Land of Pleasant Living” for brewer National Bohemian but it has designer conditions for kayak cruising; beautiful scenery, abundant ‘niches’ for over nighting, waterside restaurants and even hotels for breaks, rich history to contemplate, and local color courtesy of the watermen. With the Susquehanna, Erie Canal, Hudson River, Delaware Bay and Jersey inland waterway for comparison, the duo wanted to expand their open water experience but at the same time stay close enough to home so that ‘getting there’ could be accomplished with minimum pain. So a plan was hatched to navigate the coast of the Eastern Shore from the northern most point on the bay, North East Maryland, down to Cape Charles at the mouth.

With responsibilities unchanged, J1 food, J2 navigation, the date was set for a late September, early October sojourn. Factors for choosing dates are mainly personal schedules overlaid with an early autumn preference when;

  1. boating activity has diminished,
  2. temperatures have dropped,
  3. the biting insect population may have diminished,
  4. north (TAIL) winds are more likely, AND
  5. … the hurricane season is beginning to wane.

A little more care was taken in preparation than the casual efforts of recent years due to the greater expanses of water that would be transited but otherwise it was business as usual; boats were readied, transportation arranged, and batteries charged for another annual adventure.

Day 1 – Don’t Eat the Bacon – 18.5 miles

Primitive is not an objective for the Js, but more often than not it’s an unavoidable fact. So, when opportunity for comfort is at hand … why not partake? Pier 1 Restaurant in picturesque North East Maryland was such an oasis, and more importantly it was open early enough to accommodate the J’s departure. Accompanied by their driver, J1’s generously accommodating sister Deb, the Duo executed their launch before the launch, into a sumptuous breakfast. “Don’t eat fatty meat, remember the heart burn!” preached J1 but then ordered an ample serving of sausage. J2 followed suit ignoring the warning and downing a plate of bacon. It was an investment which would provide paybacks throughout the day.

The launch area at the public park in North East is ideal; a small sand beach dedicated exclusively to canoe/kayak launching and just feet from the parking lot. It shouted, “Welcome to the Chesapeake, you’re going to love it here!” For all appearances this very spot was the northern most reach of the bay, perfect for the Duo’s intent to kayak its entire length north to south. The launch was later than planned due in large part to a more leisurely breakfast which was also a harbinger of things to come, this trip being a possible turning point as the Js strategize on how to keep the adventures rolling even as the aging bodies mount growing protests to the physical challenges.

Goodbyes were said to sister Deb and the fully loaded kayaks were urged into the calm water. There’s a unique quality when shoving off at the beginning of a long journey. In a way it shares some of the emotion experienced at the other end. In fact it does mark the end of planning, preparing, warding off doubts, and reassuring one’s self that this is still a rational pursuit; all that remains is dipping the paddle in the water and tugging … about ten thousand times!

The morning was spent pleasantly in sheltered waters of the upper bay passing such land marks as Camp Mack, well-loved in Boy Scouting circles, and Sandy Cove Retreat Center. It’s no accident that this region is home to those seeking a pleasant diversion from life’s rigors. In fact the only spoiler, and that not much, was the active memory of the bacon!

At noon a stop was made at Turkey Point marking an intersection with the 2005 Adventure “Delaware and Beyond” itself a sequel to the “Brule Decent” down the Susquehanna.

The beach was unchanged, a collection point for giant driftwood, much probably entering the bay through mouth of the Susquehanna River on the opposite shore. J1 worked his food magic kicking off another food adventure, punctuated on this trip with a few ‘store bought’ meals. The relaunch was made into a light rain but since the day had grown warm, the precipitation was a welcome refreshment so no foul weather gear was donned.

The original strategy was to ‘coast’, point to point along the Eastern Shore but as paddling confidence quickly returned, rooted in over a thousand miles of journeys over the last 12 years, the Duo did a change up and decided to head straight for the furthest visible point which was typically around five mile, only taking care to spend as little time in the shipping channel as possible. As it turned out, deep water ships were very infrequent and easily avoided. The local watermen tended to be courteous, minding their own business. But private boaters frequently altered course, probably to satisfy their curiosity about the kayaks, creating concern until curiosity satisfied, they resumed their mission.

The plan was for a shorter first day as rusty paddling muscles got their wake-up call, so a landing was made at the first likely spot south of the Sassafras River. At first it appeared to be a public beach but soon it became obvious that it was privately owned, probably by some kind of fish and gun club although there was no signage. In any event, the vacation season was past, the duck hunting season yet to come, and there was a dearth of footprints so it was designated ‘home’ for the night by the Js. This is stealth camping, and what makes it successful is courtesy, first by only selecting suitable locations, and then treating the area with utmost respect leaving no trace when departing, and in fact, if there was trash already present, collecting it and improving the grounds. Since the rain was persisting and the temperature beginning to take a seasonal dip, the pavilions, completely open and accessible, were selected as the tent sites adding another roof to ward off mother nature. After a good meal it was necessary to retire to the tents early to avoid the onslaught of small but nasty mosquitoes. Apparently the temperature hadn’t dropped enough to quell their vicious appetites for blood.

Day 2 – Home Sweet Home, for J2 – 22.1 miles

Day 2 began with an early reveille sans bugle. When uncertainty prevails regarding a stealth camp, it’s best to clear out by dawn. It was good sleeping with the exception of a noisy owl that seemed to have joined the campers under the roof. A kayaking breakfast was prepared which consists of plenty of oatmeal and NO greasy meat. The daily allotment of oatmeal is one of the J’s secrets; it fills the fuel tanks without uncomfortable side effects, a growing malady for these ‘elder paddlers’.

Another refinement giving the nod to seniority was added this trip … wheels! It all started while Mrs. J1 (Cheryl) was guiding her Prius down a York County road when suddenly her hubby-passenger shouts, “Stop the car!” His practiced eye spotted a rejected push-pull golf cart. In an instantaneous stroke of genius, where others would see only junk, J1envisioned portaging wheels … and … the end to the backbreaking task of lugging kayaks from shoreline to campsite and back. Trash picking is second cousin to stealth camping so the cart was quickly rescued and whisked off to J1’s mountaintop workshop. Hacksaw in hand and an idea in his head was all that was necessary to produce a device that may add many paddling years for the Duo.

At first J2 voiced a heathy skepticism to the idea but there has to be a certain amount of give-and-take in a team for a lasting relationship so he went along with the idea. The obvious problem is stowage; after all hull space in a nineteen inch wide yacht is a premium and essentials such as food, water, clothes, and gear must compete for a precious allotment. To make it work, only the frame was stowed below; the wheels were carried as deck cargo.

What was needed to vindicate the eccentric genius was a test, a real nose-to-nose contest of John Henry proportion. It was agreed that the day 2 launch offered the ideal venue! Tension mounted as J1 laboriously assembled the carriage from the dismembered golf cart, a tedious effort that would be greatly refined by journey’s end. A coin was tossed, the lot falling to J2’s steed to which the wheels were attached. All was ready and when the judges gave the signal to begin, backs strained lifting J1’s boat, and with loud groaning and oaths it was muscled to the shoreline. Wiping the sweat from their brows, the Duo returned to the starting line to put the wheels to the test. Stop watches were set and again the signal given. Off they flew virtually gliding across the soft sand, at first as a two man effort but then discovering that one sturdy kayaker was all that was necessary. Within seconds the beach head was gained. Clearly decided, J2 mentally awarded the Blue Riband to his kayak adventuring partner of 12 years. An amazing step forward for the Duo!

A misty drizzle at dawn gave way to a pleasant morning with a light, following breeze out of the northeast adding a few tenths of a knot to the leisurely paddling. Commercial shipping traffic in the channel, which had been crossed the day before, provided some diversion as did the busy crabbers. It must have been the end of the season since crab traps were being hauled from the water and stacked on the top of the cabin roofs in a very top heavy looking configuration. Whenever a wooded point of land would be approached, eagles would begin emerging from the trees, sometimes as many as six to eight. Osprey had already headed south as they were conspicuous by their absence. Small fish frequently broke the surface … conditions were idyllic!

The bay was perhaps ten miles wide at this point and the distant shoreline in the west was still lightly shrouded by the thick air but a few landmarks were visible just the same. One far off landmark drifted in and out of the visual field as the Duo headed south eventually revealing itself as an industrial structures of large proportion. After studying the tiny silhouette for several minutes J2 came to the delightful realization that he was viewing none other than ‘Big L’, at one time competing for the title of world’s largest blast furnace, used for the manufacture of iron. It was located at the now defunct Bethlehem Steel works at Sparrows Point, Maryland and what made it special for J2 is that this behemoth, built in the ‘70s, sits on the land that once held his hometown, Sparrows Point, the steel mill’s company housing which was dismantled to make room for Big L’s giant foot print. An entire village once alive with steelworkers, houses, schools, kids, stores, and even the church recorded on J2’s 1943 baptismal certificate, was all sacrificed for steel in classic Joe Magarac tradition.

Big L wasn’t the only silhouette to emerge from the mist. It was soon followed by the great arch of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the third longest span of any continuous truss in the world. The bridge carries traffic over the Patapsco River, entrance to Baltimore harbor, at the very location from which the British fleet bombarded Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Key, a well-established Washington lawyer and an amateur poet, was able to transform the dreadful scene into stirring words, … Hmmm … a kindred spirit! Before the mist reclosed on the distant shore, the skyline of Baltimore briefly appeared, a reminder of that great city’s prominent role in Chesapeake Bay history.

Lunch is the favorite break of the day and was accomplished on a sand and peat beach, one of many types of shoreline encountered on the bay. Geologically the Chesapeake estuary is the Susquehanna River valley, and was formed over the last 10,000 years as the sea level rose some 300 feet from glacier melt, flooding the valley; in fact the Algonquian Indians named it Chesepiooc meaning ‘big river’. In addition to the shoreline created by the encroaching water, other mechanisms were at work forming and constantly changing the shape of the bay. For the first 99% of that global warming period, no one worried about shoreline erosion, in fact, for those of us living in the last 1%, we’re glad it all happened because it gave us the bay we have today that the Duo was enjoying for a speck of that epoch. But with the modern invention of property lines and rights, large scale agricultural, and maritime activities which exceed paddling a canoe, shoreline erosion and formation, still a very natural phenomena aided in part by continuing sea level rise, has become a major concern, at least for property owners with a view. The result is the scarring of the natural estuary features with bulkheads and equally unnatural piles of rock which obviously had to be trucked in from distant quarries. In some areas, this ‘protection’ is extensive and must be having a devastating impact on estuary life and ultimately the health of the bay … and from the kayaker perspective it is a sad loss of natural beauty. Fortunately there are still many miles of very natural and living shoreline.

An early afternoon arrival in Rock Hall was planned, and after many false starts, Swan Point was rounded and the harbor came into view, or rather the harbors. Rock Hall is marinas and boats, and eventually dry land. From the three feet above sea level elevation of the kayaker’s eye, it was all very confusing so a call was made to the ultimate destination, The Mariners Motel. While the owners have an intimate familiarity with the region, the young lady on the other end of the call obviously lacked a maritime paradigm. So the confusion was multiplied resulting in dozens of additional paddle strokes as the Duo searched for their destination. An inquiry at one fueling dock failed to even garner recognition of the motel’s name. To resolve the confusion, a landing was made at a restaurant dock and their destination was quickly identified. The newly tested wheels were rigged and the kayaks transported to the first ever hotel the Duo had stayed at while in route … in 12 years and over 1.000 miles. Was it a new chapter? It may sound like it but in fact they always longed for comfort beyond their tents but until the Chesapeake, they never found it! Showers were taken, a change of clothes made, and a good seafood dinner colored by a beautiful sunset set the stage for a good night’s sleep between clean sheets.

Day 3 - Skirts Aren’t for Sissies – 21.0 miles

Each adventure has a day when things seem to all come together. This was that sort of day. The Mariners Motel had been delightful digs, highly recommended for overnighting. The Duo relaunched at the utility dock maintained for motel guests. It is perfectly configured for kayakers including a rack at the top of the ramp. If the guest prefers keeping their craft by their room that is easy to do with a short carry across the street. Motel rates are reasonable for a resort town and the owners are a delightful and accommodating couple who expressed interest in expanding their kayaker trade.

When exiting the Rock Hall harbor, the Annapolis Bay Bridge, one of only two crossing the bay in its entire 200 mile length, was a prominent landmark. Beyond the bridge the tall twin radio towers marking Annapolis were also visible. Annapolis is another city which has heavily impacted the Chesapeake over the last 3 centuries and, in addition to being the seat of government for Maryland, it is the boating capital of the Chesapeake if not the whole east coast. It garnered some kayaker attention in the weeks following the Duo’s initial foray down the bay when ‘The Kayaking Grandmother’ stopped there on her 2500 mile paddle from the Gulf of Maine to Guatemala to raise money to educate poor children living in a dump in Guatemala City. ( Radically unlike the Duo, her expedition is very well planned, sponsored, publicized, and supported … and it has a noble cause. When J1 discovered the news of this special, 63 year old lady, he and J2 struggled with a kayaker inferiority complex for days!

Although the forecast for day 3 promised livelier wind conditions, the decision had been made to forego skirts which had not yet been donned on the trip. Comfort and convenience is the biggest argument against their use. The southerly heading took their track no more than a mile from the shoreline of Eastern Neck, but that mile was enough to allow the fresh east wind to begin kicking up some aggressive whitecaps abeam turning cockpits into shallow bathtubs. A short detour to make a landing on the wildlife preserve at the end of the neck was necessary to correct the error of not using skirts prior to making the 4 mile crossing of the Chester River to the Kent Narrows. The skirts did their job as the wind continued to rise and the chop began sweeping the decks. As it strengthened, the breeze shifted towards the northeast funneling straight into the Narrows, opposing the flooding tide. The result was a surprise (at least for the Duo) set of very large, steep standing waves in the Narrow’s entrance. This unanticipated obstacle hoisted J2’s stern high in the air burying the bow at a steep angle. J1 broached and was thrown directly across J2’s bow but because the latter’s half submerged kayak had halted abruptly as it aimed at Davy Jones’ Locker, a nasty collision was narrowly avoided. Furious paddling and several well executed braces saved the day for both adventurers and an embarrassing event was avoided. The whole episode was witnessed by a waterman exiting the Narrows. When equilibrium was regained he gave a broad smile, shake of the head and friendly wave.

Once past this Kent Island Maelstrom, transiting the narrows is pleasant with a variety of impressive boats to ogle. As the waterway broadened once again, a course was set for Parsons Island with plans for a lunch stop. While the wind was now diminishing slightly, it still produced a healthy boost. To take advantage of it the Duo resolved to bypass their planned destination for that evening, the village of Romancoke on Kent Island, and, after the Parsons Island lunch break, continue the five mile crossing of Eastern Bay.

Parsons offered a pleasant beach for lunch but napping was a challenge due to biting black flies. The island appeared to be a hunting preserve (later confirmed) with a large field of unharvested corn presumably supplying food and cover for game. A person was busy cutting grass around the edge of the corn fields but seemed oblivious to the picnickers. In addition to spotting a flock of turkeys, deer hoof prints, and many eagles, it was noted that the island appeared to be a breeding ground for horseshoe crabs, the remains of which were plentiful. Horseshoe crabs are allegedly cousins of trilobites giving them ancient roots. J1 seemed intent on trying one on as maritime alternative to a coon skin cap.

Completing the crossing of Eastern Bay was an absolute delight with a light following breeze and warm autumn air. As the search began for a tent site above the high water mark, J2 spotted a large power yacht speeding out of the Miles River headed for the open bay. It was throwing up a wake of such impressive proportion that it was actually breaking, and as it closed in on the shallower water occupied by the Duo the waves grew to a size that would have attracted a surfing crowd under other circumstances. It was necessary to swing into them to absorb the brunt of the full curl without capsizing. As the waves hit the beach, driftwood, rocks, and probably several tons of sand and soil were rearranged. The Js made note of this onslaught as they selected their tent sites. …The choice was made, tents erected, a sumptuous dinner prepared, followed by an exceptionally beautiful sunset, then the nightly mosquito attack, the retreat to tents, and down for the long count … except as J2 made a last minute check on the next day’s weather he was dismayed by a warning that the east coast was to experience an anomalous high tide that evening. That translated into fitful rest until the 11pm high tide had passed without carrying boats away or soaking the Duo.

Day 4 - Planet Tilghman Island – 11.1 miles

A relaxed start was the order of the day; the dividend from the gift of following breezes was being collected. In fact it was only the return of high tide crowding the Duo off the beach that provided any motivation at all to leave such pleasant surroundings. Having a reservation at the Harrison House on Tilghman Island, a mere dozen miles away precluded the need to start early and paddle hard for miles. This was the first trip in their paddling career where ‘reserved’ accommodations were part of the plan and it changed the daily dynamics. Instead of the late day debates on ‘how much further to paddle, their destiny was a foregone conclusion.

Tilghman Neck , as the unfolding shoreline was titled, headed west but soon turned more southerly opening a vista of ‘largeness’, a reminder that the Chesapeake also has aspects of a small inland sea, complete with antique lighthouses. Far back in history these were waters considered worth exploring, first by Spaniards in the 16th century with names like Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón and Pedro Menéndez de Márquez venturing north from their settlements in the Caribbean and Florida; then in the following century by the more familiar Captain John Smith who probed as far up the bay as the fall line on the Susquehanna bearing his name to this day. Given the name "Bahía de Santa María" ("Bay of St. Mary") by the Spanish, it later reverted to the original native name from which Chesapeake is derived. As an indication of the antiquity of European presence, “Chesapeake” is the seventh oldest surviving English place-name in the U.S. But even as the Spanish and English were obviously not the first humans to probe these tidal creeks and coves, exploration continues with appropriate names like Julio Perez and Hank McComas, sharing their experiences in journals1 for others to read, opening up further possibilities for the likes of J1 & J2. Exploration is more than historical events; it is the stuff that enriches life of folks with an itch to push a bit on the boundaries that surround them.

Knapp’s Narrows is a thread of a waterway which spares Tilghman Island the ignominy of simply being the lower end of Tilghman Neck. Approached from the north and handicapped by the kayaker’s diminished eye elevation, it would be easy to mistakenly paddle by. To the uninitiated that may sound like an unfounded concern but under similar circumstances on the Niagara River the Duo missed the entrance to the Erie Canal, inadvertently detouring in the direction of the cataract which makes the river famous. ……so on speculation that an early arrival had been accomplished, a left turn was made and soon a sign came into view vindicating the navigator’s decision. A moment later a venerable old drawbridge opened its iron jaw for the ‘umteen’ thousandth time revealing itself above the masts, decks, and cabins of the boats populating the many docks and marinas.

1!OpenDocument - Hank’s Trip

It was signaling a welcome, but with the understanding that passing beneath would warp the mariner into a world of different dimensions, a Brigadoon experience. The transit was brief and pleasant, and then with a turn south and a few more paddle strokes a small harbor came into view. Still smarting from the false starts entering Rock Hall, a call was placed to the Harrison House requesting directions for a maritime approach.

Again a young female voice and again the inability to provide ‘if by sea’ guidance, but a bartender came to the rescue who stated flatly, ‘you’re looking straight at us’, erasing all confusion. A landing was made on the front lawn, the boats extracted, and J2, trying to salvage some appearance, made his way towards the office. With what he interpreted as an ‘over the top’ welcome, a Bud Light truck appeared before his very eyes. Arrangements were concluded, wheels attached to hulls, and the landing was completed with a brief roll across the ample front lawn to room 310.

The first order of business was showers and shave, followed by donning ‘civvies’ and making for ‘town’ which entailed strolling north on the shoulderless highway cum main street to relaxing ‘Characters at the Bridge restaurant and Bar’ where a leisurely hour was spent surveying the boat traffic which kept the bridge tender in constant motion.

Dinner that night was back at the Harrison House, the eatery of choice when any islander was asked for a recommendation. Mid-week and off season, the dining room was empty. Worried, an elderly gentleman sitting near the entrance was queried regarding the hours of operation. “They’re open now, go on in,” was the gravely but pleasant reply from none other than the venerable Buddy Harrison, owner, captain, fishing guide, and personal acquaintance of many famous personages including at least two presidents, all testified to by photos at the restaurant entrance. Service was by a very pleasant and informative Trinidad native of Indian descent. He was a wealth of information on the history of the Harrison House having been seasonally employed there for 19 years. The Js felt privileged and not a little humbled to have landed in the midst of such well known hospitality.

DAY 5 – The Sanity Test – 0.0 miles

The final day began in the wee hours with a discussion regarding the deteriorating weather. Small craft warnings were being posted with the wind forecast at 25+ knots out of the southeast. The planned route to Madison MD, the pickup point, would put the Duo in the teeth of that breeze for a good part of the day. A compounding factor was that AT&T cell service had decreased to the ‘occasional service’ level on Tilghman Island and should progress on Day 5 be slowed excessively, there was no assurance that a call to Pick-up Partner, Mrs. J2, would be successful, resulting in marriage stress, a condition to be avoided. Worse than the worry might be a call to the Coast Guard (it COULD happen) with attendant costs, embarrassment, and a tarnished reputation. Weather had once before caused a year’s delay in route but that was a hurricane which subsequently destroyed parts of the intended track down the Erie Canal. Balancing all these arguments for an early pickup was the Js’ penchant to ‘push on’ … ie, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and all that blather. As 2am passed, the tough decision was made, actually the only one that reasonably could be made; a call to Carol in the early a.m. would divert the pickup point to Tilghman Island, and some lost mileage would be picked up next year … sanity test passed!!!

The change of plans provided more time to ‘experience’ Tilghman Island. This began with another walk up to the drawbridge in order to spend a little more time with the locals at the small general store at the approach to the bridge, an obvious choice for the desired contacts. The mood was friendly and hospitable towards strangers, with ire being reserved for the county sheriff and just about anything else north of Knapp’s Narrows. The islander’s good will was not superficial. When J1 commented on a local in a golf cart departing the parking lot, the gregarious proprietor related a story of community charity. It seems the cart driver had experienced a stroke a couple of years before and in order to assist him with his mobility the community got together and purchased a substantial golf cart. Later, when the sheriff ticketed the cart and driver for taking to the road (thus the well-earned ire), the community again pitched in to make their gift road compliant. On the front porch a retired millwright, owner of a handsome homebuilt ‘Whizzer’ style bike proudly on display, confirmed the account adding his own testimony to the strong community spirit on the island.

Pride was another attribute, strong in the local psyche. There is not only a considerable presence of independent minded waterman, but an interesting subset of this profession still utilize Skipjack sailboats to ply their trade as part of the last fleet of sailing-fishing craft on the bay. On day 3, shortly before their exciting entrance into Kent Narrows, the Duo witnessed one of these picturesque craft hard at work dredging shellfish. The waterman were easily identified by their universal donning of white rubber boots, apparently a mark of their trade. Their importance to the island’s identity was amplified by the “Waterman’s Museum” .

On the return trip to Harrison House, a stop was made at the picturesque “Dogwood Harbor”, home to the Skipjack fleet … and after a brief survey, the designated departure point for the 2015 continuation of the Js’ Chesapeake Adventure.

By midmorning, just as finishing touches were being put on the preparations of boats and gear for the return to civilization, Mrs. J2, the veteran of many ‘retrievals’, arrived. The Duo, now Trio, retired to the highly recommended “Two if by Sea” restaurant for a sumptuous breakfast which included delicious baked goods prepared on the premises. Satisfied by this last taste of hospitality, departure was made.

As the Js crossed the bridge, the aura of Tilghman Island remained behind awaiting their return to ply deeper into this exceptional …

“Land of Pleasant Living!”

What is needed is a wind slightly opposed to the ship, for then tension can be maintained, and juices can flow and ideas can germinate, for ships, like men, respond to challenge.” 
 James A. Michener, Chesapeake




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