ST. MICHAELS — The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will host a new event in June, Maritime Day, to help celebrate the start of its construction of a new Maryland Dove and, more generally, the traditions kept alive in its working shipyard.
The museum’s shipwrights and apprentices are a tangible connection to the Chesapeake’s rich story of boatbuilding, and this event invites the public to be a part of it.
Shipwrights will give demonstrations of various maritime skills throughout the day, including steam bending mast hoops, shaping a dugout canoe, blacksmithing and splicing. All demonstrations will be held in and around the boatshop, and members of the museum’s floating fleet of historic vessels will be dockside.
At 10 a.m., the annual Blessing of the Fleet will be held, where newly constructed five-log canoe Caroline and the rest of the floating fleet will be blessed by the Rev. Kevin M. Cross of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Oxford. Cross also will offer prayers for a safe and bountiful boating season, and for those mariners whose lives have been lost at sea.
Shipwrights and apprentices began working on Caroline in fall 2018, building the Tilghman Island-style canoe from excess loblolly pine logs used in the historic restoration of Edna E. Lockwood. A daily blog detailing each step of the build can be found at cbmmshipyard.org.
Construction on Maryland Dove, a reproduction of the 17th-century trading ship that accompanied the first European settlers to what is now Maryland, will kick off in the afternoon following a brief ceremony. As part of the festivities, guests will have the chance to see the new ship’s design and help make trunnels, or large wooden nails, that will be used during its construction.
Maryland Dove is owned by the State of Maryland, and maintained and operated by Historic St. Mary’s City. The museum was selected to build the newest iteration of the boat, with construction starting in June and launch targeted for late 2021.
Running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Maritime Day festivities also will include discounted boat rides, and local food and drink. Admittance is included with CBMM general admission, which is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors (65 and up), college students with ID and retired military; $6 for children ages 6 to 17; and free for active military, children ages 5 and younger, and CBMM members.