St Michaels

Stephen and Roberta Arnold
Sat 28 Aug 2010 01:27

Friday August 27, 2010 10PM


St Michaels is one of those must see cities on the Chesapeake. It’s a small Annapolis with a great museum.


Thursday we walked around town and caught the evening concert. It seems many towns have Thursday evening music, but St Michaels was different. The audience was drinking wine, not beer, they were eating better than I’d ever seen and the music came from an orchestra. Roberta and I had some discussion about whether we were listening to an orchestra or band. After some discussion I decided it was actually a band because, despite the conductor, it didn’t have a string section, but then what do I know about music. It was a local group and they played a variety of music from marches to Glen Miller. (No Lady GaGa tunes here.)




Today I visited the museum. Despite what I’ve said in the past about museums blending together, this one won’t – it is outstanding. They have a restoration section where volunteers are building/restoring the wooden boats of the Chesapeake. People who want to learn wooden boat building skills can come here and learn for free.


The museum also has a number of boats and an actual light house that you can walk through. Here is a picture of the lighthouse and one of the skipjacks. Notice the rake (tilt) of the mast. There was a skipjack on land that was being worked on and they were varnishing the mast. It’s a lot of area to varnish and to get it done in a day they use a technique I’d never seen.

1.       Send someone up the mast

2.       Wrap legs around mast so you stay close

3.       Send up a large bucket of varnish

4.       The person up the mast puts on a pair of gloves

5.       Dip hands in bucket and wipe hands on mast

6.       As the varnish goes on get lowered by the deck crew


It was certainly a quick way to varnish.




From the top of the lighthouse I took a picture of our boat



And another of our boat from dinghy level



For you hunters the museum had an exhibit of early 1900 duck hunting techniques. This from a time when hunters didn’t mind shooting ducks sitting in the water. Guns were mounted on boats  and looking closely at this picture you can see what was called a punt gun mounted on the boat. Notice I put my blackberry on the front of the boat as a reference.




The barrel is over 10’ long and the bore is 1 ¼” and it weighs over 100 lbs.. The trick was to sneak up on the ducks on the water and then let them have it. I imagine after firing, the boat slid back a ways. On the wall behind the boat are three smaller guns. The bottom item is the ram to load these muzzle loaders, next  up is a 2 gauge shot gun. (yes 2 not 12), and above that is a gun that was normally loaded with ½ pound of shot and ½ pound of powder. The top gun is another punt gun but it is less than 10 feet long.