For many, the Chesapeake Bay has an aura of historical romance and high adventure. Like the great Atlantic Ocean of which it is an extension, the bay also has its dark and treacherous aspect. Marine archaeologist Donald Shomette shares his great interest in the tragedies and disasters that occurred in the bay and its tidewater region over a 370-year period. He lists more than 1,800 of these events between 1608 and 1978, but elaborates on a few of the more significant catastrophes and military losses. Some stand out for their effect upon the course of human events, while others are notable for their immense toll on life and property. Included are tales of incredible bravery, courage, and fortitude, and stories of cowardice, stupidity, and ineptitude. The text is liberally illustrated, and there is an extensive detailed chronology of all known disasters on the bay.
Donald Grady Shomette has authored fourteen books and many scientific and popular articles that have appeared in such publications as National Geographic, History and Technology, and American Neptune. He lives in Dunkirk, Maryland.