We asked FishTalk contributor Peter Turcik about his photo of Mallows Bay that ended up on a U.S. Postage stamp. Here’s what he had to say:

mallows bay
This sunset photo from Mallows Bay will be on a U.S. Postal Stamp. Photo by Peter Turcik

What’s your connection to Mallows Bay?

I worked for the Chesapeake Conservancy from 2014–2018, and during that time I helped with advocacy work to designate Mallows Bay as a National Marine Sanctuary. I worked on a paddling guide that showed historical information on a number of shipwrecks, along with historical photos and present-day photos that I took.

Tell us about the day you took the pic.

I took the photo in August 2016 on a very hot and muggy day. I planned the trip so that low tide would coincide with sunset to see more of the shipwrecks sticking out of the water and have gorgeous soft light. The sun was setting. I had just finished photographing another wreck, when I saw the wreck… It sat triumphantly out of the water. I knew I needed to get the shot. I lay flat on my kayak so that I could get down to the water level and drifted into position while flies bit my legs. When the framing looked right, I clicked the shutter. I took about 10–12 shots.

How did it end up on a stamp?

The U.S. Postal Service planned to release a series on National Marine Sanctuaries to celebrate the 50th year of the system being established. Mallows Bay–Potomac River is the newest sanctuary, designated in 2019, and my work with the Chesapeake Conservancy put me on the ground floor for high-quality photography. They reached out to me about using my photo.

When’s the best time to visit Mallows Bay?

May to June: The weather is usually nice, and the underwater grasses have not grown in yet. April is a great time if you like to fish, because the largemouth bass spawn during that time, but the weather can get rough. Check the tide charts for lower tides and weather reports to make the most of the trip. 

Find an article Turcik wrote by searching “ghost fleet” at findyourchesapeake.com.