Posts Tagged ‘Cape Charles VA’

Cape Charles’ Inaugural Clam Slam Festival

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

What do a Shriner’s Parade, a crab skiff race, a fishing boat docking contest,  paintings  of whimsical mermaids  and prancing horses have in common ?   Surprisingly, they were all a part of a new Eastern Shore Virginia festival, the 2012 Clam Slam in Cape Charles, an inaugural event held last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The Clam Slam  blasted off  Friday evening  at the harbor with a huge Harbor Party featuring live rock/blues music music from 6-10 pm performed by John Baldwin and the Original Sinners, a well-known Virginia Beach  band.  I’m still a Glenn Miller-Tommy Dorsey-Benny Goodman-Artie Shaw  fan myself but I’ve spoken to several people who went Friday night and commented that they really enjoyed the music.


10am Saturday morning brought a  complete change of pace as the Shriner’s Parade and Car Show.  led by the smartly stepping Color Guard from the  US Coast Guard’s  Cape Charles Station, began winding its way along Bay Avenue  and then down Mason Avenue.  Following was a colorful assortment of participants including the ever popular fire trucks from Cape Charles and nearby Cheriton throwing candies to the crowd and then what I think was  litttle Miss Chesapeake Bay.  Everyone loved the crab racing skiffs which would be struting their stuff  in the harbor later in the day, a colorful collection of oranges, greens and blues,  rolling past sidewalks crowded with on-lookers.

But of course it was the Shriners who  highlighted  the day, going all-out as usual in their efforts to raise money for their 22 hospital network where children are treated for free for a wide variety of very serious issues, including burns.  Dressed in costume, the Shriner contingent led off with marchers, then a good sized marching band attired in teal slacks, white shirts, gold cummberbunds and their traditional red fezes, playing with  plenty of volume and enthusiasm,  followed by their top attractions, horses,  clowns, mini-trucks and of course, the laugh-out-loud, crazy-driving  miniture cars, probably the Shriners most famous parade unit.

Envision exuberant drivers, stuffed into tiny cars   barely big enough to hold them, careening  around in apparently randomly wild configurations. Further imagine  what appears to be total mayhem, with these big guys in minuture cars, zipping every which way but Sunday, about 6 ways on this 2 way street,  all to huge laughs from an appreciative  audience and you’ve pretty much got the picture. The clowns were tons of fun too- dressed up like  Beverly Hillbillies, one of the fellows was doing his antics in  bare feet.  Given that hot, hot pavement, I’d say, Wow, that’s really dedication.  Following all of that fun, a string of sweet antique cars.  A  fellow standing beside me kept pointing to one yellow beauty, saying I had one just like that, exactly like that  just as the Kedive motorcycle group roared into view, first you hear them, then you see them.

Next up,  horses and riders from Triple M Ranch.  Located just outside Cape Charles  on 150 acres overlooking historic King’s Creek, a saltwater inlet from the Chesapeake Bay,  Triple M has a dedicated group of riders and they have consistantly added a lot of interest to local events by bringing their gorgeous mounts to participate.  Their  horses were so cute last Christmas at the Cape Charles Grand Illumination at Central Park.  Adorned in holiday bells, red bows, plush reindeer horns, red and green saddle blankets, etc., they certainly brought a lot of extra smiles to that special evening.  Following the horses, a cute golf cart sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Charles Library advertizing their book sale and then, last but definitely not least, a long string of antique Corvette’s,  buffed and shiny, clearly well treated by their proud owners.

I didn’t have time to stick around for the other festivities down at the harbor which included games for kids, a  horseshoe contest,  a crab pot cork race and the wildly popular  Smith Island crab skiff race.  I did however take a quick stroll down Mason Avenue to see what the sidewalk art booths had on display this year.  Looks of good stuff, paintings, crafts, political buttons, you-name-it,  for sale along the sidewalk.  And at the very end of the sidewalk appeared a little tent filled to the brim with the most adorable mermaid dolls and whimsical paintings, prints and original oils both,  all beckoning  me  in, singing sweetly  like the Sirens to Ulysses, come  in, come in, see me,  touch me, take me home with you……  Created by talented Shore artisit,  Katherine Kiss, who said she has been working in the fanciful genre for a long time,  the  mermaid dolls were so absolutely gorgeous,  I’d have loved to have bought every one !

P.S.  I didn’t attend any of the Sunday events but  the Boat Docking Contest was the clear favorite– over 800 tickets for the event were sold, the proceeds to be used for the prizes and to help off-set  fuel costs for the boat owners.  However, Jennifer Ingram from Blue Heron’s  Cape Charles office did attend, ( had a ticket in the VIP section no less )  and she was kind enough to supply me with the following pictures for this post.

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

A Bird ? A Plane ? Superman ? No, It’s A Flying Boat !!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Not A Bird Or A Plane Or Superman. It’s An Incredible Flying Boat On The Beach In Cape Charles,VA!

Last Saturday I was cruising the beach for a  few pictures  to be used in  the new Blue Heron Realty Co.  catalogue of prime Eastern Shore Virginia waterfront properties when I saw what appeared to be a gargantuan yellow butterfly floating in the Chesapeake Bay out near the breakwater.   Definitely not a butterfly though,  it was a flying boat,  FIB for short,  a flying inflatable dingy to be exact,  bobbing in the shallow waters just off the Cape Charles, VA beach as its owners readied it for take-off.   Curious about the craft,  never having seen or even read about one before,  on the spur of the moment  I took off my shoes and waded out ,  fully dressed including  slacks,   to take a closer look,  introduce myself and ask a few questions.  Owners Erin and Sophie Harvey  were kind enough to tell me all about their astonishing  craft– in fact,  I learned that it was Sophie’s maiden voyage.   (Not sure–   in a FIB,  is it  a maiden voyage or a maiden flight ?  )  Anyway, it was her first time to travel aboard  their  FIB and she was busy screwing her courage to the sticking point because Sophie,  like me,  is not that crazy about heights.  But at least  she was game to try,  I fear you couldn’t get me into that little thing for love nor money.

Getting Ready For Lift-off On Sophie’s Maiden FIB Flight

One of the first things I wanted to know was how high Erin would be flying her.   ( Is a flying boat even properly referred to as a  “her” ?  )   Apparently its  wing span of 36 feet enables the pilot to achieve a maximum height of 10,000 feet and the 64 horsepower motor offers a maximum speed of 50 knots,  roughly 58 miles per hour.   Which to me  is a pretty scary thought- –  traveling 10,000 above ground,  at almost 60 mph,  in what more or less is a flying  11′ 6″  by 5′ 5″  bathtub with seats.  But for Sophie’s  maiden flight/voyage,  Erin was planning a staid 300-500  foot  max altitude which would have been a comfort to me,  I don’t even like to peek over 3rd story balconies.  Sophie’s take on the situation was that either everything would go pretty well and they’d follow a course south to land at the Sunset beachfront pub for dinner  or we’d all hear her let out a blood-curdling scream and see Erin make an immediate landing,  she wasn’t taking any bets either way.


Airbourne In A Flying Inflatable Boat-Scary, Thrilling, Astonishing !

By now a little crowd of curious people had gathered around to see what was happening.  Erin was ready to began his pre-flight checklist which was stored on his cellphone,  not the fat clipboard one sees in the cockpit of a  Boeing  747.   Donning her intercom radio- equiped helmet,  Sophie climbed aboard and got settled into her  seat, a seat  which resembles the booster seat of a two child stroller more than anything else.  Countdown to liftoff  began, checking battery connections,  checking propeller,  fuel lines, wing pulley lines, testing intercom connections, etc., etc.  Finally satisfied that everything was ready to go,  Erin grabbed the tow line to pull the craft out into the Bay beyond the area where beachgoers were enjoying the water, climbed aboard and  started the motor,  which sounds very much like a  lawnmower on steroids.  Apparently only about 200 feet is normally required for FIB  takeoff  but Erin had told me that he might have a little trouble with the liftoff because of  lack of wind and weight of a passenger aboard.  But the wind gods were with him because just as he started the motor,  a breeze came through and up  they went !   No bloodcurdling screams,  just 2 big, lazy circles around the beach and then a beeline south,  next planned stop  a landing in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake Bay at Sunset Beach.  I watched until they were just a tiny speck in the sky,  Erin and Sophie flying into the wild blue yonder in their intrepid craft,  the  astonishing,  amazing,  postively incredible  flying boat.


P.S. I want to give a shout-out to the LL Bean Company.  After wading out further and further,  trying to get a better view of the take-off,  my slacks were soaked up to the fanny but I had 2 other stops to make and there was no possibility of going home to change first. To my surprise and delight, by the time I walked back to the car, got my camera stowed away and drove 10 minutes to the first errand,  my LL Bean crease-resistant slacks were basically dry.  But best of all, they looked fresh as a daisy, nobody could ever have guessed that 15 minutes before I had unexpectedly decided to wade  into  three feet of  Chesapeake Bay saltwater.

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)



PPS.  If you want to learn more about FIB’s,  click on the following link to  a US FIB distributor.