Icy Kent Narrows Opened by Cutter

My posts on the Kent Narrows and ice-overs we’ve been experiencing received a lot of interest so I thought I’d share an update from what I’ve seen.

Back on the morning of February 25, 2015, one of four of Maryland DNR’s cutters, the 80-foot A.V. Sandusky, came through the Kent Narrows to relieve ice stress on the surroundings marinas, bulkheads, and bridges.

Maryland DNR Cutter, the A. V. Sandusky

Maryland DNR Cutter, the A. V. Sandusky

That afternoon when I did the Duck Dynasty photo shoot, I checked out the local Kent Narrows Watermen’s Marina that was previously locked up with ice.  I was glad to see the A. V. Sandusky had been down through it on its way by.

Kent Narrows Watermen's Marina

Kent Narrows Watermen’s Marina

The Chesapeake Bay watermen work year-round, no matter the weather, to catch and sell the fresh crabs, fish, and oysters the Bay has to offer.  They work long, hard hours for little pay to begin the process of getting that fresh seafood to our plates.  Soon after the cutter had gone through several times, tides pulled on the ice and water opened up.  Melting began occurring rapidly, allowing the watermen to finally be able to resume their work.  But I am sure it is treacherous with the floating ice.  As I watch them come and go this time of year, I wonder how they handle the frigid cold while hanging over and dealing with ice-cold water.

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We awoke this past Monday morning to ice from the previous night’s storm.  We had icicles hanging from our Osprey nest platform.  And to think our Osprey are usually due to return in a week!

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I wish I had been able to get out to photograph the ice when the sun was peeking through here and there; but it was too dangerous, so I had to settle with what I could take from my balcony.  Here’s a sample of how pretty it was.

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This same iced morning before the fog had burned off, watermen were again working the Kent Narrows southend channel for oysters.  I hadn’t seen them do this so close to us and in the channel before this winter.  I also wondered, just how could they have been out already so early with all the ice we had everywhere.

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After the sun popped out, the A. V. Sandusky appeared, making another trip through the Kent Narrows.


A. V. Sandusky making another run through the Kent Narrows and down to Prospect Bay, passing a local waterman


 An hour later, the cutter came through again.  He must have made a loop around Kent Island.

Maryland DNR cutter, A. V. Sandusky

Maryland DNR cutter, A. V. Sandusky

It was then that I saw the icicles hanging from the cutter’s railings.  Wow.

Ice Build-up on the deck

Icicles hanging from the railings

Yesterday, watermen were out again.  YAY!

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And again this morning.  🙂

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I have the utmost respect for our local watermen.

And for the birders, here’s a fly-by from today while we received yet another round of frozen mix and 5″ of snow.

Ring-Billed Gull

Ring-Billed Gull

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I liked the snow in this Gull’s photo op!  🙂

16 thoughts on “Icy Kent Narrows Opened by Cutter

  1. I’ll bet every one was glad to see the cutter go through, especially the waterfowl that need open water. Good news on the horizon, it’s finally supposed to begin warming up this weekend, which is even better than the cutter breaking up the ice1

    • We got another 5 inches yesterday, hoping that was the last of the cold weather. Spring has to be around the corner, our Osprey should be on their way back to us from South America, arriving in another week! Just doesn’t seem possible with this crazy late-winter weather.

  2. Quite interesting, probably saves al ot of things on the shoreline, never thought of it opening the channel for the fishers to get in there. Like the gull with the snow, too.

    • Most definitely saves our shoreline, everyone that has left their boats in the water over winter and/or have piers and bulkheads are worried about the damage the ice-locked waters did to them. The Maryland DNR has four cutters for the Chesapeake Bay, I know they have been busy busy this past couple months!

  3. I have enjoyed the posts about the watermen, the cutter, the nomenclature and action of your area. Those are tiny boats the watermen use…I to have respect for them, the others who work on the water, the birds and wild life of this area and for you as you share you wonderful world with us. hugs Oh, and the gull photos are great!

    • If it weren’t for the watermen, for one thing we wouldn’t get to enjoy on a daily basis through the summer those wonderful Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs the area is famous for. They are SO delicious! Have you ever had any steamed with Old Bay Seasoning? They’re almost to die for, lol. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Beth, thanks with hugs!

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