The Potomac’s “ghost fleet” will feature on one of 16 stamps launched Aug. 5 as part of a special series featuring national marine sanctuaries.
If you buy stamps in the near future, you might notice a local landmark.
Peter Turcik of Edgewater, Maryland, took the photo featured on the stamp in 2016. He was working as a media specialist at the Chesapeake Conservancy when he got an assignment.
“My job was to go out and take pictures of the ghost fleet at low tide,” Turcik said.
It was for a paddle guide as part of the effort to have Mallows Bay designated as a National Marine Sanctuary. The bay is home to the Phantom Fleet, which is the largest collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere.
The Phantom Fleet includes over 100 wooden steamers built for the US Emergency Fleet during World War I, according to the Chesapeake Conservancy.
Tucik’s photo was taken from a particular angle.
“I was on my kayak and I actually lay flat so I could put it in the frame and be just level with the water. And there was this beautiful sunset behind him,” Turcik said.
And the timing of the picture had to be right.
“There was this beautiful sunset behind him,” Turcik said. “One shot was horizontal, then to better fill the frame, I took a vertical one. And that photo was chosen to be the stamp,” he said.
It’s been more than six years since he took the photo, but Turcik said it was worth the wait.
“It’s about to come out and it’s extremely exciting,” he said. “We’ve been talking about it for so long that now that it’s finally out, it’s kind of surreal.”
It’s great, he said, that the Ghost Fleet is now a national marine sanctuary and that the photo reminds people that it’s there in the Potomac.
“Mallows Bay is my favorite place in the Chesapeake region. It’s absolutely amazing,” Turcik said. “It is a huge honor to have my photo commemorated for the foreseeable future.”
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