VIDEO: Last Historic Bugeye gets First Female Captain

The historic sailing bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s “queen of the fleet,” is kicking off a special Bay tour with a female captain at the helm.

The 1889 Tilghman Island-built oyster boat will begin a heritage tour, partly funded by the National Park service, to bring free programs to ports around the Chesapeake. The tour runs from May to September, teaching people about traditional Bay boatbuilding techniques and the oystering industry.

The captain for this tour is Capt. Rose DiMatteo, who has a U.S. Coast Guard 100-Ton Master’s Licence and a college degree in experiential education and wilderness leadership, She has worked on multiple tall ships, including serving as first mate of the schooner Sultana.

“Rose’s background with tall ships and experiential education made her a natural fit to captain this project, bringing Edna Lockwood to ports around the Bay as an ambassador of CBMM and our mission, to preserve and explore the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and make this resource available to all,” says CBMM President Kristen Greenaway.

The tour begins at the annual Chestertown Tea Party Festival in Chestertown, Maryland. from May 24–27th. 16 other ports will follow, with pop-up stops to be announced along the way, all weather-dependent.

Edna Lockwood dredged for oysters for many owners, mostly out of Cambridge, until 1967. She was donated to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in 1973, and became a National Historic Landmark in 1994. CBMM shipwrights just finished a two-year restoration of her log hull and she was re-launched in fall 2018. She is the last of more than 600 working bugeyes in the world.

“I can’t wait for us to get underway and begin sharing Edna’s story with more people who have their own tangible connections to the Chesapeake Bay,” says Capt. DiMatteo.

In the CBMM video below, DiMatteo shows off the final steps before the tour begins:

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum video

To see the full list of stops on Edna’s heritage tour, click here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano