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Chesapeake Bay Cruising

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Reading Lists - Long Island Sound and Chesapeake Bay:

Long Island Sound

Aside from the available cruising guides, very little has been published about Long Island Sound that is not a scientific work by the government or universities along its shores. In September of 1957, The National Geographic Magazine featured a 43-page article about Nomad sailing Long Island Sound by Thomas Horgan.  The amazing article featured 39 images and portrayed the Sound as a vibrant recreational playground for people from all walks of life from the Roosevelts to the young men at the Coast Guard Academy in New London . A year later, Fessenden Blanchard, a member of American Yacht Club, wrote Long Island Sound, the story of the “world’s most popular yachting area.”  In the summer of 1965, Morton Hunt’s The Inland Sea, “a sailor’s affectionate look at the people and places on Long Island Sound”, told of a lovely circumnavigation of the Sound. In 1974, Marilyn Weingold wrote The American Mediterranean, chronicling the environmental, economic and social history of Long Island Sound. 

It seems that it wasn’t until 1997 that the next significant book was written about this remarkable body of water; Margins by Mary Parker Buckles is a lovely naturalist’s encounter with Long Island Sound.  In 2002 Tom Anderson wrote This Fine Piece of Water which shed some light on the disturbing environmental issues.  Recently, in 2004, Marilyn Weingold updated her book, and released it with the new title of The Long Island Sound.   Most recently (Feb 2004), Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Germ Laboratory by Michael C. Carroll is a sensational account of the work being done on Plum Island;  I wish I could recommend it, but it’s repetitiveness and blatant errors (e.g., “Canadian” geese) caused me to be suspect of any of this author’s conclusions.  In the fiction arena, try Nelson DeMille’s version Plum Island , or Barbara Rogan’s Suspicion: A Novel; both authors use venues around Long Island Sound in their stories.

The cruising guides of choice include

Chesapeake Bay

With literature about Chesapeake Bay , it’s more difficult to limit the recommendations than it is to find them.  There are so many great books about the Bay, its people, heritage and natural history. I would start with Michener’s Chesapeake Bay .   The images he paints will be indelibly etched, especially when you have a chance to experience them personally.  Then of course, Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay by William W. Warner is the classic introduction and a Pulizer Prize winner. This Was Chesapeake Bay by R.H. Burgess and Water's Way: Life Along the Chesapeake by David W. Harp, Tom Horton are two classics.  One of my absolute favorites Muskrat: A Surprise Bid for the America's Cup is now hard to find; set in Oxford MD is tells the story of how the town mounted an Americas Cup campaign with a radical boat design and won. I have heard that Chesapeake Bay Blues: Science, Politics, and the Struggle to Save the Bay (American Political Challenges)  by Howard R. Ernst is well worthwhile reading but I haven’t gotten to it yet.  Chesapeake Bay Skipjacks by Pat Vojtech and Bay Country  by Tom Horton both chronicle the beauty and majesty of the Bay and the changes facing it today.

In the specialty category are Chesapeake Bay Cooking  by John Shields and  Chesapeake Bay Retriever: A Complete and Reliable Handbook by Stacy Kennedy.  Cruising the Chesapeake: A Gunkholer's Guide by William H. Shellenberger, Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay by Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Sea Kayaking Maryland's Chesapeake Bay: Day Trips on the Tidal Tributaries and Coastlines of the Western and Eastern Shore, by Michael Savario and Andrea Nolan are all highly recommended cruising guides, although there are many others.  The Longstreet Highroad Guide to the Chesapeake Bay (Longstreet Highroad Coastal Series) by Deane and Garvey Winegar is much better than the average guidebook and terrific for navigating life ashore. Don't forget the Atlantic Cruising Club Guide to Chesapeake Marinas by Elizabeth Adams Smith, et al.

In the fiction category, any of Nora Roberts books set on the Bay, including Chesapeake Bay Saga 1-4The Quinn Brothers: 2-in-1 (Chesapeake Bay), as well as any of the Jack Ryan novels by Tom Clancy set on the shores of the Bay, including The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan)Patriot Games (Jack Ryan), or Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan).

Further Reading (enjoy)


Additional Further Reading

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