For centuries, the hard-packed shoal at Thomas Point menaced Chesapeake Bay mariners. Even after two separate stone towers were built on the shoreline, sailors continued to request a light at the end of the mile-long shoal. When a new lighthouse was finally approved in 1873, experts deemed its novel design too fragile for the location—it was built anyway. Long overdue and of an inappropriate design, the iconic Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse was lit in November 1875 and continues to serve mariners. Thomas Point is the last Chesapeake Bay screwpile-style lighthouse in its original location and one of only twelve American lighthouses designated as a National Historic Landmark. Join Annapolis sailor David Gendell as he explores Thomas Point.
A lifelong Chesapeake Bay sailor, David Gendell is the cofounder of SpinSheet, the Annapolis-based Chesapeake Bay sailing magazine. He is a U.S. Coast Guard–licensed captain, an accomplished racing sailor and an aspiring fisherman. He is a Distinguished Alumni of St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis and, between sailing adventures, graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. He lives in Annapolis with his family.