Aerial view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. 17.6 miles long, it spans the waters where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Ocean-going freighters, nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, fishing trawlers and small pleasure craft alike, ply these historic waters. In 1607 three English ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, sailed past here…
“…after a tedious Voyage of passing the old Way again, between the Carribbee Islands and the Main, he, with Two of his Vessels, luckily fell in with Virginia itself, that Part of the Continent now so call’d, anchoring in the Mouth of the Bay of Chesapeak.”
– Robert Beverley, The History and Present State of Virginia, 1705
In the distance is the north-end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel where it connects with the “Eastern Shore”; view is from Cape Charles, looking southeast towards the open Atlantic.
Plumes of smoke rising from fires in villages and clearings in the forests were a constant feature of the New World. For many travelers and mariners it was the first sign that their long oceanic journey was almost over. Dutchman David Peterson DeVries visited Virginia in 1633 and observed; “When the wind blows out of the northwest, and the smoke too is driven to sea, it happens that the land is smelt before it is seen.”