Smith Island ~ Withholding Evidence


Silence since the trip to the Inner Islands is not without good reason. I returned with over a thousand of photos and video, better than most trips, and good stories to tell. A draft write-up and sample images were sent to Chris Cunningham, editor of Small Boats Monthly, and he wants to use them in an upcoming issue of the online magazine, probably July.

Chris rightfully wants first dibs on the photos and video, and I’m happy to comply. That means I won’t be posting whatever he doesn’t use until he’s made his final selection and the story is published. A longer delay than usual, even for me, but well worth it. A very good reason indeed.

The grid of thumbnails above is just a small sample – the first 24 – of roughly 200 select shots and video clips culled from over1126 photos, and more than an hour of video. A lot to look through. The article will display the full frame of whatever shots are used, and the story of what it took to get where the photos were taken.

Clearly, a great trip.

More on this soon . . .



The Inner Islands

Crab Shacks in Mailboat Harbor, Tangier Island


It’s been almost fifteen years since I took these photos on Tangier Island. The girls were small, my hair was not grey.

Tomorrow at sunrise I’ll be headed that direction. If the weather cooperates, I and about a dozen other fellows in small handmade boats will leave the Eastern Shore and head for these inner Chesapeake islands – Tangier and Smith. Never been to Smith Island, so this will be my first time.

Thursday night looks grim. Gusts to 30kts, big nasty seas in Tangier Sound, not to be trifled with in small craft. We may stay ashore that night. But the weekend looks very promising.

More later.

One way or another.





































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

Continue reading

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