In St Michaels - Eastern Bay 38:47.18N, 076:13.04W
Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Wed 5 Aug 2009 16:38
On the move again, we spent a peaceful, if bug-infested night in Tilghmans Creek having crossed the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis into the Eastern Bay. Our current location is in St Michaels, one of the most popular stops in the whole Chesapeake. Local folklore suggests that when the English attacked the town in the early 1800s the locals fooled their attackers into firing over the top of the town from their anchored ships by simply showing bright lights well above the town whilst dousing the real town lights. The locals like this story but seem to be a little doubtful about its authenticity - so are we unless our forces at the time were complete idiots.
St Michaels is a nice spot where you can anchor off the town and dinghy in to enjoy the delights of some of the excellent restaurants. Last night we ate at the Crab Claw restaurant where we quietly shelled two huge platefuls of large shrimps whilst all around us the sound of cracking and hammering prevailed as the local crab population were literally 'taken apart' by hungry diners. At one point we could have been in a woodworking shop as each crab was smashed apart by the dinky little wooden mallets provided by the restaurant. On one table of 6 diners there was a 8" high mound of crab remains for the 'bus boys' as they are called to clear up. Their job is to get the tables cleared as quickly as possible and set for the next diners, which, in the case of a crab feast means literally rolling up the whole paper tablecloth and sticking it into a large dustbin that they take to the table. So far we have resisted the call of the blue crab feast. So much effort with the mallet for so little meat. Eat the wrong part and you'll regret it. But the shrimps, which in the UK would have been called King Prawns, were fantastic value. We will definitely go back again next time we visit.
One other feature of St Michaels that is difficult to miss unless you are stone deaf is the church chimes. There are two churches in town which cater for the various Christian sectors that predominate in the USA. One simply chimes the sound of Big Ben on the quarter hour which reminds us of home. The other is a little too quaint sounding, rather like a Bavarian church chime which on the hour takes nearly 8 minutes to go through it's repertoire of chiming tunes. It grates after a while. Time to move on again !