Whitehills on the Buyboat Winnie Estelle

August 25, 2012

Bringing Family Closer on an Oyster Buyboat

The Whitehills Enjoy a Cruise to Crisfield Aboard Winnie Estelle

Crisfield was filled with visitors who came to see the many different buyboats that had sailed into Somers Cove Marina.

If you are more a viewer than a reader, check out footage of the cruise to Crisfield aboard Winnie Estelle below.


My brother Michael met the grandchildren of Noah Evans, Winnie Estelle’s builder. And there was his great granddaughter, too! Not to mention a former employee who had worked aboard Winnie when he was a teenager. Today, he collects Social Security. All visitors were welcomed aboard the boats all day long. Later in the afternoon, there was a splendid crab feast, with a live band that could cover any song ever written.

The next day, early Sunday morning, Mary, Beau, and I trooped over to Winnie from our room ashore at 0500 hrs. We were soon under way. The sea state did not favor our heading at one point, causing a rough ride for all aboard. Beau off-loaded his breakfast, but afterward suffered no ill effect from the weather. As we bore more northerly back up the bay enjoying a beautiful sunrise, and beautiful weather, the water was more follower than beater.

At Kent Narrows, the bridge was slow to open, but we got through in good order, leaving no paint behind. The U.S. Coast Guard had some opinions about a boat showing Belize as her home port on the transom, and stopped us to look Winnie Estelle over. Except for some 1988 vintage flares, we were deemed safe and fit to carry on. And just in time.

The weather deteriorated, and we barely got to Winnie’s slip on the Chester River before ominous roll clouds topped with embedded convective cells snarled overhead.

This was such a great trip. My son Beau was able to participate in a historic homecoming for an important vessel from the Chesapeake’s maritime history. We learned that dinners together are a good length of time for a visit, but that a total of 28 hours on a boat might strain relations just a little bit, though with no permanent damage. All told, this was a tremendous cruise, a precious experience for all who came aboard.