You can smell it from 500 feet at 90kts

There is the Garmin, pilotage, dead reckoning and now the nose. My flight was to the eastern shore of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and a little town called Crisfield. I had read about Crisfield and thought it would be a perfect place to locate my boat for the season and fly there for mini vacations. All of the descriptions I read about Crisfield commented on the charm of a "salty" fishing village. At 500 ft a different tale was told - something missing from the descriptions. Crisfield smells. As I was circling low over the town with the vents open, it hit me and filled the cockpit.

W41 in Crisfield is a nice little airport with a very small building and a few hangars. I always seem to find the nicest people at these places and Crisfield was no exception. There was the remarkable WWII pilot of 89 years and still flying. He was really interested in the Golden Zen because " he might have to go LSA before his next medical." May we all live so well to be going LSA at 90!

Another older gentleman (note to self: start writing down these people's names) offered me a ride into town and gave me the full tour and recent history. The town was targeted by two big land developers to be gentrified into a resort community. They built two large condominium buildings on the waterfront and developed their own plan for the town's future. We drove by the two buildings now involved in bankruptcy proceedings with units available at bargain prices. "What happened - bad timing" I asked? No, it seems the townsfolk didn't like the idea of these developers controlling their town. They voted out the politicians that let them in and the anti-growth politicians wouldn't support the infrastructure needed to further the development. Now there are two pristine buildings standing bankrupt and empty on the waterfront among the remaining few commercial concerns downtown and the smell.

Driving back through town we passed a local lunch spot favored by the watermen. Gathered in front were a collection of the toughest, most weathered humans I have ever seen. They didn't want retirees and tourists in their town.

I finally asked when we returned to the airport, "uh, what is that smell?" " It is chicken manure" said my host. The main industry besides plying the waters is raising chicken for Perdue and Tyson. "Does it always smell like this?" "You get used to it."

My conclusion: the watermen would rather tolerate chicken manure than the likes of me and my boat! I think I will be docking elsewhere.

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Comment by Brad DeMeo on May 29, 2009 at 9:41am
The nose knows! A nice story JG. Thanks for sharing.

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