Oxford on the Tred Avon River. Doesn’t that sound appealing? Are we in Maryland or England? We are on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay now and are surrounded by history.
Oxford was a busy port of entry for the tobacco trade in the 18th century and is now a quiet little town with charming homes and inns. Even the boatyards and marinas have a history- a Hinckley yacht yard and Cutts & Case Shipyard, where wooden boats are still designed and constructed. Of course Al spent some time meandering around there.
We visited the tiny little Oxford museum and spent time chatting with the friendly volunteer guide there. The Oyster Clock is a rare example of early 20th Century folk art.
Oxford has a lovely town park that overlooks the Tred Avon and is a cool place to sit and contemplate.
Oxford must be known for its white picket fences! They are everywhere. The sidewalk on the main street is all brick, usually in a herringbone pattern.
In fact, Saturday, Oct 12th is the 5th Annual Oxford Picket Fence auction. Artists paint on large outdoor fence sections or smaller indoor sections and select a charity to which they donate half of the proceeds from the auction. We did find some of the fence art as we strolled around town.
I was looking forward to checking out a particular bookstore I read about in the cruising guides – Mystery Loves Company. We found it, but it closed at 2:00 that day and was not going to re-open until Friday!
The Oxford grocery store is quite tiny, but the entire side was painted with a mural depicting oystermen. And, they had two beautiful REAL tomatoes that we had with fresh basil and balsamic glaze later for dinner (more about that dinner later!) I also could not resist buying a bag of Michele’s (one L) granola.
Now for the the very best part of Oxford — seeing Eleanor Q‘s crew again. Oxford is a special place for Frank and MaryMarie – they were married right here on the Eleanor Q.
Frank and MaryMarie consider themselves primitive crabbers, but we were very impressed with their skill! They invited us over for dinner later, if they were successful in their crabbing. Successful??? Wow! 15 crabs!! We stalked them for a bit so that I could photograph this. They tie hooks with raw chicken legs to a line and use empty little water bottles to float the line. The line is laid out and set and then they go back and forth checking to see if a crab has grabbed onto a chicken leg. If I got this wrong, let me know, EMs!
While Eleanor Q was gathering dinner for us, we went kayaking up the cove. Hard to believe that I was able to wear a bathing suit on October 1st. We enjoyed using our kayaks for the first time on this trip. It was so peaceful and soothing. The geese flew overhead as we passed lovely homes, each with a dock. What a life! Hey – Does anyone know what that “fruit” might be? Green, hard, heavy and hanging over the water’s edge.
We had a great dinner on the beautiful Eleanor Q, a Gozzard 41. China Doll, a sailboat from California also joined us. I added my tomatoes and a quinoa salad, but those crabs were the highlight. Frank has a deee-luscious way to eat them- dump Old Bay seasoning on the brown paper and dip your crab meat in that instead of butter.
We awoke to a peacefully calm morning. On one side of us was the town and on the other a glowing view up the creek.
We left Oxford to make our way, northward again (believe it or not) to St Michaels. There is very little wind predicted for today, so we will be a trawler again. We seem to have either no wind or wind on our nose. What is that tall stick and these gigantic triangular pieces of cloth for?????? I forget.
You described the crabbing process PERFECTLY! I’m stealing some of your great pictures of dinner!