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See the Bay

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Solomons 38.319, -76.448

S

olomons Island is strategically located near the midpoint of the Chesapeake Bay, 40 miles south of Annapolis and 40 miles north of Deltaville, a good day’s run for boats going north and south. For snowbirds, Solomons is an easy-in, easy-out rest stop for boats transiting the Chesapeake. Consequently this town sees a lot of transient boaters. Add to that its proximity to Washington, DC, and you can understand why this has become a cruising Mecca here on the Chesapeake. Inhabited since colonial days, the island grew into a major boat-building and seafood fishing harbor. It was a remote backwater village until World War II. In 1942 the U.S. Navy established a base for training Marines in amphibious assault. Overnight, the town grew. There were 2000 men stationed there in 1942, and by the end of the war, the base housed 10,000. Men who passed through the amphibious training base saw action all over the world, particularly in France on D Day and also in the Solomons Islands of the Pacific.

##The Drum Point Lighthouse at the Calvert Marine Museum.

38 September 2015 PropTalk.com

by Tom Hale

After the war, the town drifted back into obscurity. Until the bridge over the Patuxent River was constructed in 1977, Solomons had been “the end of the road.” With the completion of the bridge, Solomons took on new life. The seafood and boat building core businesses remained strong, and tourism and recreational boating expanded. As the seafood industry dwindled, the boat builders converted to yacht yards, and Solomons’ place in Chesapeake boating was firmly established. Today there are six boatyards and at least 10 marinas, 16 restaurants, including eight dock n’ dine facilities located on Back Creek. In addition to good boat repairs, good food, and good drinks, there are several other interesting facilities for you to explore while you are in town.

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science The first interesting site to your right as you enter the harbor, is the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. The long pier extending out from the shore has an interesting story of its own. As you enter the harbor, you may see Rachael Carson, the flagship research vessel of the Marine Biological Laboratory. Commissioned in 2009, she was specifically designed and built to provide a platform for marine biologists to study the Bay. To access the shore here, you can land your dinghy at the waterman’s landing right next to the Biologic Laboratory docks. The facility was founded by Reginald Truitt in 1925 as the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory at Solomons. Dr. Truitt’s research established a scientific backing for the need to monitor and manage the gathering of the Bay’s seafood, including oysters, fish, and crabs. His laboratory later was incor-

PropTalk Magazine September 2015  
PropTalk Magazine September 2015  

Chesapeake Bay Boating