The Ghost Fleet at Mallows Bay

The boat launch – Mallows Bay, Maryland

There is a hidden fleet of century-old ships on the Potomac River in Maryland – a fleet so vast that it’s hard to visualize. And yet this fleet of ships can’t really be seen at all… because it’s entirely underwater. This is the infamous Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay, where some 230 vessels – widely regarded as the “largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere” – were towed, burned, and sunk after Word War I. You can read more online about Mallows Bay via Google here, and see dozens of videos about it on YouTube here.

We visited Mallows Bay with our kayaks back when information about it was difficult to find, and the resulting video that Cindy created is one of her most popular, with over 138K views.

The only shipwreck still largely above the water is the remains of the SS Accomac, a Chesapeake Bay car ferry dating back to 1928, which was towed here and left to rot sometime after 1964.

The wreck of the SS Accomac car ferry – Mallows Bay, Maryland

However, virtually all of the other wrecks here are completely covered and hidden at high tide, which poses a severe danger to any boat that ventures close enough. Why? Because the last remaining timbers and metal bolts from the burned wooden ships are literally inches under the surface of the water, just waiting for the unsuspecting. You can see some of these in photo below.

Danger lurks just under the surface – Mallows Bay, Maryland

There are still a few of the deteriorating wooden hulls that can be seen and approached, but given they are in such a terrible state of rot, they should not be climbed upon.

One of the wrecked hulls – Mallows Bay, Maryland

Below is a photo of one of the keels of the wooden ships, and the many metal bolts that are covered at high tide. The bolts can – and will – rip the bottom out of any watercraft that ventures through them at speed when they are covered with water.

Size reference – Mallows Bay, Maryland

Once we finished our tour and headed for the shore, Cindy discovered a huge moth drowning in the water, which she rescued. Once the moth had dried out, we placed it in a bush along the shoreline.

Cindy with the moth that she rescued – Mallows Bay, Maryland
Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) – Mallows Bay, Maryland

All-in-all, Mallows Bay is a wonderful place to crawl through and slowly explore with a canoe or kayak. Highly recommended.

Photo info:
All photos taken with an Apple iPhone 5S
Video taken with a Sony waterproof digicam

Early Morning Ponies

Ponies in the early morning – Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

The ponies at Assateague Island National Seashore are always a draw for visitors, and we were no exception. Cindy and I had kayaked down Sinepuxent Bay from the ferry landing the previous day and put in at Tingles Island Camp for the night, then woke up the following morning to explore the surroundings before the heat and insects overwhelmed us. Our reward was in the form of seeing the ponies up close and personal in a natural settings, without the normal hordes of tourons clustered all around them.

Photo info:
Ponies in the early morning light
Tingles Island Camp
Assateague Island National Seashore
May 2009
Leica D-LUX 4 digicam

The Florida Keys – Day 5

The Pelican – Key Largo, Florida

On our penultimate day in the Keys, we decided to move further back up the coast – both to get a head start for when we actually headed home, and also to see and experience new sights and eats. We left our wonderful suite at the Gulf View Waterfront Resort in Marathon, and switched it up for The Pelican cottages in Key Largo. Whoa. There was barely enough room for us to park, let alone with a long trailer and two kayaks. The cottages were perfectly fine, but the entire operation was extremely cramped and short on space all around. And it wasn’t just this place – all of the other rental places around us were equally cramped and short on real estate. However, they did have nice landscaping to make up for the lack of space.

Tropical blooms – Key Largo, Florida

As soon as we got checked in and settled, we worked to get out on the water. It was a challenge, but we got there eventually – and Cindy was able to see all sorts of new things underwater.

The underwater bounty – Key Largo, Florida

We had a great time out on the water, exploring amongst the mangroves and seeing completely new critters under the surface – but eventually the weather turned on us and we had to run for shore, due to a pop-up squall. Once we got the kayaks secured, we walked to the end of the resort driveway to one of the highest rated seafood eateries on Key Largo – Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen.

Dinner at Mrs. Mac’s – Key Largo, Florida

Mrs. Mac’s was everything the glowing reviews said it would be and then some. The food was absolutely superb. So much so that we ate every meal there during our stay in Key Largo. When we finally pushed ourselves away from the table, we strolled down to the end of the dock at the resort for one last photo of the day.

Last shot of the day – Key Largo, Florida

Photo info:
All photos taken with an Apple iPhone 5S
Video taken with a Sony waterproof digicam