On the islands

Tylerton, Smith Island, MD

Three Juvenile Osprey on channel marker 11

Three Juvenile Osprey on channel marker 11

First View of Tylerton, Md. on Smith Island

TylertonThe “Port of Entry” is at the dock by the crain.

We’ve left Virginia behind and headed to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This stop is on Tylerton one of three villages on Smith Island, Md, a small cluster of islands on the Maryland Virginia border. Smith Island lies about 9 miles east of Crisfield, the currently the only place to catch a boat that will take one to Smith Island. The other half of the cluster of islands is Tangier Island, Va. about 10 miles south. Listening to native familys takes one back in time, the dialect comes from Cornwall, the language is English but at times can be hard to understand. “Smith Island” consists of many pieces of land, the largest town is Ewell, then the town of Rhodes Point, and the smallest is Tylerton. Each on its own island.

The necessities

The "Welcome Center". It's the first stop after fetching baggage from the "Caption Jason II", the only way on and off the island.

The “Welcome Center”. It’s the first stop after after fetching baggage from the “Caption Jason II”, the only way on and off the island.

Tylerton does have its own Market and Post Office.

Tylerton does have its own Market and Post Office.

The Drum Point Market supplies the necessities of life as well as delicious sandwiches for made to order.


Yes, those antique PO Boxes are still used.

What’s in Tylerton

The main “industry” of the island is crabbing, though crabs are not as plentiful as they once were. Almost everywhere one looks you can see “crabpots“. Crabpots are one of the methods used to catch crabs.


5-oystertongs_4003Oyster tongs, used to pull Oysters from the bottom during the open season.

Getting around in Tylarton

With a population of about 50 the longest street, Tylerton Rd is less than 1/2 miles long. Two Firetrucks, One Ambulance, and one Pick-Up truck make up the fleet of vehicles. However, Golf Carts abound, as well a bicycles. Most of the bikes I saw were “Beach Bikes” , one speed with coaster brakes. Long distance biking just isn’t done in Tylerton. The few I saw up close were wearing a Huffy Logo.

Outside the Drum Point Market at lunch time, plenty of parking space

Outside the Drum Point Market at lunch time, plenty of parking space

Crowded parking at the dock just before the morning run to Crisfield.

Crowded parking at the dock just before the morning run to Crisfield.


Not a Yellow Cab, or even an UBER Car.



Staying on the island

Before I take a photo stroll I want to mention, there are places to stay, one is “The Inn Of Silent Music“. The inn, a B&B serves wonderful breakfasts and dinners. Lunch are available at the Drum Point Market. If you time your visit right the Inn might serve a Smith Island Layer Cake. On the night I was lucky enough to have a piece, one of the layers included Peaches.


Sunset from the Inn Of Silent Music

Sights while just walking around Tylerton








Are there any OLD ships here?

So far my wanderings have been on the Western shore of Maryland, and into Georgia, Virginia and Pennsylvania. For this month’s article I’ve ventured into the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Chestertown, the county seat of Kent County. The latest census counted a bit over 5000 residents. Chestertown sits on the Chester River and is home to Washington College. Chestertown has a rich maritime history. What follows is a small collection of photos that show the some of the town when it is not having one of many festivals.



In the fall Chestertown is home to the Sultana Project’s Downrigging Weekend, one of the largest annual Tall Ship and wooden boat festivals on the East Coast. The Pride of Baltimore II‘s home is just across the bay, in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor also makes it’s annual appearance, taking time off from visiting other ports of call. The Downrigging has become a celebration of maritime culture, wooden boats, and everything else that makes the Chesapeake Bay great.


The Priode of Baltimore II in the Chester River


The Sultana under sail in the Chesapeake Bay

What’s next?

I’m not sure where my travels will bring me next, but I’m planning on somewhere more inland. Anyone with suggestions is encouraged to send them along as a comment.

I guess I could sign off with TTFN (who knows what that means?)

The South River runs West, the West River runs South

This trip brought me to the village of Galesville, one of two village on the West River about 10 miles south of Annapolis. There are a couple small rivers below Annapolis, MD the South River, which runs west from the bay and south of that the West River, which runs mainly south off the bay. Got that straight? South is west and West is south. I’m focusing my travels to small towns and villages, mainly in the mid-Atlantic states, looking for really small, tiny towns in out-of-the-way places.

All along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay one can find small villages on the rivers and creeks. One that I saw many times in my younger days is Galesville. My father’s passion was sailing so after a day’s cruise, when my brother and sisters were not busy on the boat we’d row ashore and explore. If it was a Sunday morning we’d row ashore and walk about half a mile to attend Mass said by a priest that rode “the circuit” from one village to the next. Not many Marylanders know about Galesville. Most of them that do approach this small town on the West River by boat.

Arriving from the Chesapeake this is the first view of Galesville

Here’s a bit of history I found when searching for a Geocache. yes I found the cache on this trip.

Nestled between Tenthouse and Lerch Creeks on the north and south, and Route 468 and the West River on the west and east, Galesville has always held a special place for those who have visited here. Galesville is a village which encompasses not only residential but commercial, recreational and industrial areas. Some of the businesses are still run by descendents of the founders — Hartge Yacht Yard, Hardesty Funeral Home, Smith Brothers Pile Driving, and Purner Well Drilling. Watermen and farmers have long populated the small village of Galesville and we welcome you to our home on the West River.

I didn’t know how to get to it by road for most of my life, I’d sailed into it with my parents on their Kings Cruiser. and here My dad’s boat had “US 45” on the mainsail. We would anchor in the West River then row the dinghy ashore to a fantastic restaurant, well anytime we went ashore to eat it seemed better than the food cooked over a 2-burner Primus stove on the boat. Today that restaurant is the Pirates Cove Restaurant. I’ll admit that I haven’t eaten there since the late ’50s.

Today I mainly go to Galesville launch my kayak for a paddle up the West River or across to Shady Side. Or I bicycle to Galesville with the Annapolis Bicycle Club. Most of those rides had one destination, a General Store for fresh Cranberry Muffins right out of the oven, but that store has closed, now it’s a Real Estate office. It was the only source of groceries for miles. I remember the charm of the Potbelly stove with the Barber Chair in the back where people would gather to eat, and the lever operated Coke machine. I wish I had some photos of it, but alas the easy to use digital camera hadn’t been popularized yet.

What follows is a few photos from a Photo Walk on a recent trip to Galesville.

Boats waiting high and dry for next season

Stuff in the boatyard, these are the stands that boats will rest on while ashore

“I wish I was out there”

Waiting for the crews to row out to sailboats moored in the harbor.

Old buildings now used by yacht brokerages.

Pier used by visitors and fisherman.

A nautical themed sculpture in the town park.


The garden in the Galsville Heritage Center

A few old buildings

A shady land on one of the stately mansions (does this one really need a capton)

The Quaker Cemetery at the east end of Galaville.

Where will I end up next time, I’m not sure yet. I normally keep my camera handy, or I’ll take note of an interesting place and head back soon. I have some ideas, if you have a favorite place you think would look good here, let me know in a comment.