Steve Earley in Spartina near Elizabeth City 

 (Photos and text, video to come.)

Eighteen months ago it was the Elizabeth River. Now Elizabeth City. Steve tells me his home port of Chesapeake originally was to be called Port Elizabeth. There are other Elizabeths in his life even closer. HIs world seems thick with Lizzies, and he seems rather fond of them all.


Elizabeth City from the water


I’d never been to Betsy Town, as he calls it. Elizabeth City was never quite on my way to somewhere else. I’ve been missing out, apparently, and will have to come back. Shores are lined with cypress and gum and slash pine, and at one time large tracts of Atlantic White Cedar, prized for shipbuilding and shingles. The water is steeped in the tannin-filled effluent from the Dismal Swamp, the color of strong black tea.


The Dismal Swamp Canal

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The Ballad of Holland Island House

The Ballad of Holland Island House from Lynn Tomlinson on Vimeo.


This is a lovely piece. You’ll remember last year, while sailing near Deal and Crisfield, I wrote up the story of Holland Island. It has been one of my most visited and favorited posts.

This animation on the same story, made with clay on glass and set to music, is really well done, and the medium lends itself well to the subject.

A nice post on Colossal is here, with additional links:

This is Colossal: Holland Island House







Hudson Icebreaker


My father-in-law’s family was in the chandlery and barge business on the Hudson in New York, for a century or more. His mother’s family was in the tug business, a match made on commerce, as it were.

A fine article and video on the icebreakers of the Hudson. Many communities along the river still rely on barges to supply them with essentials, like heating oil, salt for roads, and bulk staples.

Icebreaker Sturgeon Bay on the Hudson