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“Family fun cruising the bay!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Skipjack Martha Lewis

Skipjack Martha Lewis
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Attraction details
Owner description: The only remaining skipjack in Chesapeake Bay - still runs Oystering trips.
Delaware, US
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Family fun cruising the bay!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2010

The Martha Lewis is a v-bottom, two sail bateau built in MD in 1955 (so says the brochure). She is one of the few remaining working dredge boats that make up the Chesapeake Bay oyster fleet, and the last to fish commercially under sail in the US. The deck is 49' long and the beam 16.5' - so she is pretty impressive under sail. The crew members say that they enter her in sailing races a couple of times per year. She is housed in the City Yacht Basin of Havre de Grace, MD (it's pretty easy to find since she is the only large boat docked next to the restaurant). The Chesapeake Heritage Conservancy offers several programs on the Martha Lewis. You can see the current programs on their website listed above. They have programs for children, lighthouse and sunset cruises (during May through October) and actual oystering trips (when in-season - Nov.). Several times per week, they also offer general public cruises for $20 per person for about 1.5 hours. These meet at either 1:30 or 3:00 (I would call ahead to check availability). We went on one of these afternoon cruises and really enjoyed it. The skipper gave us a brief introduction to the boat and oystering. The boat motored out into the bay where one of the crew members enticed the visitors to help raise the sails. We then tacked back and forth around the bay and were shown some of the local sites (the gravel barges, the VA hospital, the local lighthouse). It's a relaxed tour of the bay for all ages. (If you have a hard time sitting still, you should probably go for the parasailing instead.) You can sit on the center section of the boat under the sail, but there is no protection from the sun or rain. The day that we went, the temperature was perfect, but we did get sunburned. They do have a small bathroom below the deck. The children were allowed to help take the wheel to steer the boat if they wished.

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