Page 143

Island Redux

by Gary D. Crawford

Sharp’s Island Light We circle, motoring at dead slow. As I work the boat back and forth over the designated position on the chart, we gaze off into the distance, northeast to Black Walnut Point on the southern tip of Tilghman’s Island, then due east to Cook Point in Dorchester County. We can make out Chesapeake Beach across the Bay to the west, and down south lies James Island. Despite the landmarks all around, it is a strangely isolated spot. As we rock in the light chop, the haze makes every shore seem a long way off. One feels rather distant and alone in this place. Yet suddenly, there just at hand but momentarily forgotten, looms a vast, rusting iron tower, as if about

to tap us on the shoulder to remind us of something long forgotten. It seems to be straining to free its massive Entish feet from the mud, in the hope of resuming a long interrupted march up the Bay. The sense of isolation here is all the more curious since there’s an island just below us. It is wise to watch the depth-sounder hereabouts, if the tide is low and you have any draft at all. Actually, these are the remnants of an island, all the rest of it having washed down the Bay long since. It’s more romantic, of course, to imagine it sinking slowly beneath the waves. I begin to sense images of that now vanished island, whose name is kept alive only by the rusting and bird-whitened lighthouse – Sharp’s Island. Once upon a time, this location in the Bay was solid land. One could stroll through fields and forests, admiring the farms, the orchards, and children at play. There used to be a land here, then. Like our boat moves on the ebbing tide, my mind begins to drift back over the years and decades, to stories read and tales told. Just as Poplar Island away to the north is emerging once again from the Bay, so, too, Sharp’s Island now be-

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Tidewater Times October 2012  

Tidewater Times October 2012

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