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The 1768 schooner Sultana on the Chesapeake Bay (Photo: Chris Cerino)
The Sultana was a Boston-built merchant vessel that served for four years as the smallest schooner ever in the British Royal Navy. Manned by a 25-person crew, it patrolled the coastline of colonial North America from 1768 to 1772 enforcing the hated Townsend Acts or “tea taxes.” Its journeys took it to the Chesapeake Bay, and in 2001 the Sultana Educational Foundation in Chestertown, Maryland, launched a reproduction of the schooner as a key tool in its work to bring the maritime history of the Chesapeake region to life, as well as in its environmental science programs.
A 2 1/2-hour cruise on the vessel is part of regional historian Hayden Mathews’ full-day exploration of the rich heritage of Chestertown, located in Kent County, the oldest on the Eastern Shore. Step aboard the Sultana, one of the most accurate 18th-century replicas in the world, for a vivid picture of working life on the water, including a glimpse at navigational tools and original log books. The cruise also offers an opportunity to learn about the ecology of the area and the importance of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
On land, Chris Cerino, Chestertown’s mayor and vice president of the Sultana Education Foundation, leads a walking tour of the town’s National Register Historic District, which includes many restored Georgian-style homes. History abounds on these charming streets: The town served as a port of entry during colonial times, and is also the home of Washington College, the oldest liberal arts college in Maryland.
The group enjoys a local lunch at the Fish Whistle.
Fringe stop at about 8:25 a.m.
Departs from Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C St SW
(corner of 6th & C Sts) Fringe stop: New
Carrollton Metro, Rte 50, East-side Kiss&Ride