The picture above was taken last summer off of Gwynn's Island, looking towards Deltaville. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be sitting at the end of that dock right now with no cares in the world. And no ants.
Speaking of Gwynn's Island, I am pleased to share another piece written by Mathews Mountain Man (aka MMM in the comments section). Here he shares some theories on how and why Gwynn's Island is doomed. I figure there's no more appropriate topic to kick off the work week than with doom and gloom. But let me stop talking now so you can read some real writing and not rambling nonsense.
Gwynn’s Island: The Final Chapter
by Mathews Mountain Man
"... if Mother Nature doesn’t wash her away in some turbulent frenzy, the steady rising tide of climate change will sink her, she will drift away (yeah, right), or, according to one seer she will disappear into a giant sink hole that is in the early stages of development at the intersection of Old Ferry Road and the Bay Haven Drives.
Regardless of the method, Gwynn’s Island is doomed.
Here’s the evidence:
James A. Michener wrote epics that begin with tectonic plates smashing against one another or creeping glaciers slowly carving relief into the face of the earth to make way for great bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay. He was considered an expert in evolutionary global geography. (He was?)
In his book Chesapeake, Michener meticulously detailed the many overlapping cycles of life that characterize the Chesapeake Bay. The disappearance of Devon Island and Rosalind’s Revenge represented the end of one such cycle. Devon Island was located on the eastern side of the Bay. On calm days the island was persistently licked away by the Bay waters; when a hungry storm with a northwesterly wind drifted across the Bay, the shoreline was bitten away in chunks. Michener chronicled the consumption of the island, not in one paragraph, page or chapter, but bit by bit, throughout the entirety of the book – the first generation of characters did not know what the final generation would witness.
On the last page of Chesapeake he wrote:
...On the spot where the finest mansion [Rosalind’s Revenge] on the Eastern Shore had offered its stately silhouette, nothing was visible. The final storm which overtakes all existence had struck: that relentless erosion which wears down even mountains had completed its work. Devon Island and all that pertained to it was gone.
Incessant waves which eleven thousand years ago had delivered detritus to this spot, causing and island to be born, had come back to retrieve their loan.... (James A. Michener, Chesapeake, pp. 865.)
Michener got it right, and to apply his certitude to other islands in the Chesapeake is to know that Gwynn’s Island will one day disappear.
My first observation of Mother Nature’s intentions for Gwynn’s Island occurred in 1969. The day after a fierce storm that swept over the island, several of my cousins and I walked south along the beach from Tin Can Alley. Before that day any healthy soul with mild ambition could walk the mile-and-a-half that led to the Hole-In-The-Wall; but, as we soon discovered, the storm that passed through only 24-hours earlier had washed out a small section of the peninsula. Everyone who wandered though the freshly cut, 20 foot wide, ankle-deep channel saw that Gwynn’s Island’s right leg had been severed from her body; and, each one of us has lived to see that that thin film of water passing out of Milford Haven and into the Bay has become a navigable waterway – 1000 feet across.
Other examples include the waters flowing in and out of Hill’s Bay that threaten to cut-off the island’s other leg. Those waters splash and spray against the fragile highway that squeezes through a narrow strip of land along the Island’s western shore. And, there are the large chunks of land and land-hugging trees that are reclaimed when a hurricane or nor’easter rolls up the Bay.
Slowly, but persistently battered and bruised by Mother Nature, Gwynn’s Island has become much smaller than the island I explored as a child. It’s only a matter of time before she succumbs to another fury of wind and water, unless of course a flood doesn’t creep up and sink her first."
Chesapeake Bay Woman adds
Stay tuned for the other Gwynn's Island Doomsday scenarios coming your way later this week. Gwynn's Island is on the list of sites we will be visiting during Blog Fest. Hopefully it will not have drifted away, sunk or succombed to a giant sink hole before then.