KI Heritage Society celebrates maritime heritage with river cruise
KENT NARROWS — The weather could not have been more perfect on the evening of June 15, when the River Packet slowly turned in Kent Narrows and made her way to the Queen Anne’s County Heritage and Visitor Center to meet members of the Kent Island Heritage Society. The event was a celebration of the maritime heritage of Kent Island. About 50 society members and guests boarded the vessel and enjoyed a relaxing three-hour dinner cruise on the Chester River.
“Last year we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Kent Island Heritage Society with a special cruise on the River Packet. It was such a great experience that many members urged us to do it again this year. The Board agreed… and here we are,” said society President Jack Broderick as he welcomed the members and guests on the cruise. During the cruise, they were treated to an outstanding array of hors d’oeurves and a Chesapeake surf and turf buffet dinner prepared and served by Occasions Catering of Chestertown, with which the Packet is affiliated.
Periodic narrations on the history and heritage of the area, as well as wildlife and geographic points of interest, were shared by Capt. Greg Kimmel and Jack Broderick throughout the cruise.
“There’s been a lot of history here — 385 years worth of European history and nearly 12,000 years of Native American history in and around these waters,” said Broderick. Various stories and vignettes were shared about that history. “You get a really different perspective and feel about our history when you’re out here on the water where so much of it happened”.
The River Packet, based in Chestertown, is owned by the Chester River Packet Company and is in its third year of operation. The boat was refurbished as a 1920sera packet-style Bay area cruise vessel. She offers a variety of scheduled public cruises out of Chestertown, complete with meals and refreshments, and is available for charters and special events such as the Heritage Society dinner cruise.
“The Packet folks are a pleasure to work with, and the food is great.” said Broderick. “I think everyone who shared our cruise came away with a deeper appreciation of our rich Island heritage and had a good time in the process”. In the words of Heritage society board member, Alex Johnson, “the entire evening was delightful”.
Information on the Kent Island Heritage Society is available at kentislandheritagesociety.com and information on the River Packet is available at chesterriverpacketco.com.
Kent Island Heritage Society members enjoy a June 15 cruise aboard the River Packet celebrating the Island’s maritime heritage. From left, seated are Marcie Wachter and Lynnda Kratovil; standing are John Conley and Linda Collier.
The River Packet approaches the dock at Kent Narrows on June 15 where it picked up members of the Kent Island Heritage Society for a celebration of the island’s maritime heritage.