CMM

Solomons Travel Blog

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boats in the river

Erin parked in the public lot near the Catholic church.  We walked down the boardwalk to a restaurant near the end.  One of Erin's students recognized her as we entered Solomons Pier.  This worked to our advantage when she seated us next to the window.  We browsed the menu for a little bit before both choosing from the sandwich section.  My water tasted really good after the hot sun at the beach.  (The food was good too :)

After lunch we trekked up a side street to avoid the traffic on the main road since the sidewalk ended just past the public lot.  It was nice not having to worry about any cars coming up behind us quickly.

We walked down the drive to the main Calvert Marine Museum building (there are several buildings on-site although only a few were open the day we visited).

starfish
  We entered and paid our admission fee (I got a dollar off thanks to my AAA membership :)  We first headed into the children's Discovery Room which is a really neat place.  Kids can dig for fossils and even keep one of the fossils that they find.  They can sit inside a lighthouse or a small boat, two icons of bay life.  Two tanks display a variety of aquatic animal life in the area.  The volunteer was very knowledgeable about the critters and eager to share.

From the Discovery Room we followed the map into the Paleontology gallery.  A huge, swirly diagram that filled a long room charted life from the Big Bang to now.  Along the way fossils and pictures helped trace the story.  A shorter wall displayed bones found in Calvert County at the cliffs, a magnificent repository of ancient sealife.

megashark
  Turning a corner we looked straight into the wide open mouth of a skeletal but gargantuan shark.  The placards explained that the rebuilt structure was one of only two representations in the world of what the long-dead megashark may have looked like.  We peeked into a little lab where workers are still processing fossils.

This gallery led into the Estuarine Biology area aka the aquariums.  Erin and I had fun trying to find all the waterlife listed by each tank.  Some were much easier than others!  I think my favorites were the practically-glowing jellyfish and the tiny seahorse.

Past a display about invasive species, we ducked outside to look at the otters.  Squeaks and Bubbles were crowd pleasers as they swam.  They would come up to the glass, flip over, and push off the wall like human swimmers.

curious otter
  Tiny bubbles flowed behind them, not escaped breaths but air trapped by their fur.  Sometimes one of them would bump a neon pink ball floating on the surface.  One of them scampered up onto the bank and then dove back into the pool.

We didn't linger too long over the Maritime History area although the wood carvings were neat.  I also really liked viewing the cases on life in Solomons during World War II since the Navy significantly changed the face of the town.

Outside the Exhibition Hall, we walked along a boardwalk past several boats over to the lighthouse.  Drum Point Lighthouse was originally built over a period of 33 days in 1883 near the entrance to the Patuxent River.  For almost eighty years, the lighthouse keepers would live in the two floors of the structure until 1962 when the light was automated.

me with lighthouse
  Thirteen years later the lighthouse undertook a journey to its current location at the museum.  As Erin and I climbed up the ladder to the living quarters, we had to watch our heads in the tight opening.  We looked at the little rooms and their unique shapes to fit the hexagonal form of the lighthouse.  We thought it would be neat to live in a place like this--until we realized that the bathroom was limited to chamberpots and an outhouse that hung over the water.  We got a good view of the area from the cupola from where the light had shown; however, we also got a good reminder of how hot the day was in the confined space!

We finished our visit with a look at the Feature Exhibit Gallery which showed off rays and skates.  While the adults flew through their tank, infants incubated in special tanks.

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boats in the river
boats in the river
starfish
starfish
megashark
megashark
curious otter
curious otter
me with lighthouse
me with lighthouse
Catholic Church
Catholic Church
fire hydrant
fire hydrant
horseshoe crab
horseshoe crab
timeline
timeline
fossils
fossils
clamshell reef
clamshell reef
Erin looking at jellyfish
Erin looking at jellyfish
seahorse
seahorse
dive!
dive!
ship decal
ship decal
lighthouse sign
lighthouse sign
lighthouse dining
lighthouse dining
lighthouse floorplan
lighthouse floorplan
lighthouse bedroom
lighthouse bedroom
looking from the cupola
looking from the cupola
lighthouse
lighthouse
light up map of Solomons
light up map of Solomons
display on rays and skates
display on rays and skates
Solomons
photo by: diisha392