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Old 04-11-2012
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Re: Transient Slip in Norfolk

I've been traveling to Cape Charles for the past 40 years or more, mainly to go fishing. The absolute best tautog action can be found on the east side of the Concrete Liberty Ships that make up the Kiptopeke Breakwater, I've caught and released black drum to 90 pounds at the Cabbage Patch, which is a sharp drop-off just west of Cape Charles Harbor, caught red drum to 60 pounds there too. Some of the best shark fishing in the mid Atlantic region takes place during July through September along the bay's eastern channel edge between Cape Charles and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT). Bull shark to 600 pounds, lots of spiny dogfish in the spring to 45 pounds, dusky shark to 150 pounds are not uncommon, and there's an occasional blacktip shark that shows up near the Inner Middle Grounds.

The area is rich in history, and the Inner Middle Grounds is where thousands of British ships met their fate. The shoal is less than 3 feet beneath the surface, yet it is situated near the middle of the bay. Consequently, the Brits thought the water was deep because of it's proximity to land, and ended up running hard aground. It's one of those places you must avoid when sailing across the Chesapeake's mouth or you could end up meeting a similar fate. The entire bottom is littered with millions of pounds of ballast stones from those British ships.

Just a short sail offshore, approximately 12 miles, is where you'll find Chesapeake Light. At one time there was a light-ship anchored there, but it was replaced with a lighted tower. Beneath the tower are roving schools of monster amberjack and jack crevalle. Additionally, some monster cobia to 75 pounds are taken from between the legs of the structure every year. A live spot long lined toward the tower legs is like rolling a wine bottle through a jail cell--it gets lots of attention.

The town itself has some incredible buildings, many of which date back to the late 1920s and 30s. The architecture is incredible and sometimes quite Gothic. An old friend, Captain Monty Webb, lived in the center of town many years ago and I had the opportunity to pay him a visit at home. The ceilings of he home were 12 feet high, it had a spiral staircase that resembled the one Clark Gable walked down in Gone With The Wind and all the windows were nearly floor to ceiling height. What an incredible home.

Cape Charles is definitely on my bucket list for this season,

Gary
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