St. Clement’s Island, a 62-acre state park in the Potomac River off the shore of St. Mary's County, MD, is accessible only by boat. If you take the water taxi from the mainland, you will have a faster and more pleasant trip than the English settlers who arrived there on March 25, 1634.
The dark, tannic water of Dragon Run slides downstream in an ever-tighter channel, taking us deeper into the tupelo and bald cypress swamp on a cloudy April morning. The dark water adds to my foreboding.
After all, this is a swamp where for centuries people have gotten lost — some purposefully, others unintentionally — never to be heard from again.
When Audrey returned to the shores of Kent Island last year with her new mate, Calico Tom, they once again enjoyed a devoted following as the subjects of an online reality show.
“This is not an oar. It’s a paddle, and you are going to be the power for our rafts,” Dave Fary of Richmond Outfitters told a small group of rafters, dressed to get wet on a September morning. They stood under a railroad trestle along the James River in Richmond. At 10 a.m., it was already 85 degrees. The day would be a hot one.
I’ve been writing about the Chesapeake Bay for more than a decade. I appreciate its beauty — and its fragility — and I try to stay attuned to its different moods and colors. Yet, after so many years, I sometimes feel that I’ve seen almost everything there is to see, at least once.