These are the jetties at Tin Can Alley on Gwynn's Island.
Mathews County thankfully has several designated spots for public access to the beach and bay, and Tin Can Alley is one of them.
Tin Can Alley is not to be confused with Tin Pan Alley, although Chesapeake Bay Woman regularly does so, even though she realizes one refers to musicians and songwriters in New York and the other refers to a postage-stamp size beach on a sleepy little island in the Chesapeake Bay, worlds apart. Still, CBW is very easily confused and amuses her children by talking about their Xbox 350 (instead of 360) or XCube (instead of Game Cube or Xbox) or asking if they're watching Josh and Drake or Jake and Josh (a television show otherwise known to the rest of the teenaged world as Drake and Josh), among just a few examples.
These jetties have been here for decades, well before those summers in the 1970s when my paternal grandmother took us here to go swimming. We liked to walk along the top like a balance beam and then jump off into the stinging-nettle-laden waters only to quickly scurry onto the scorching hot sand, where we awaited imminent death from the blazing sun that sucked the life out of our skin which had been marinating in very dense salt water. And stinging nettles.
OK, it wasn't quite that bad. But I can assure you swimming here is not nearly as relaxing as it ought to be based on how tranquil and serene it appears.
These jetties are (or used to be) found everywhere around the island. Their primary purpose is to prevent erosion. Based on how long these have been here, I'd say they've done an admirable job. This side of the island, facing east, is on the receiving end of some of our more ruthless storms.
The on-line dictionary says jetties are "a structure extended into a sea, lake or river to influence the current or tide or to protect a harbor."
Looks like some of these jetties need some protection or reinforcement themselves.
Click here for a link to another Chesapeake Bay Family story I wrote in 2008 about Tin
Otherwise, have a great day and a great week.