What the Bay Can Learn from Jimmy Buffett

Photo courtesy of John Potvin.

By Meg Walburn Viviano 

Did you hear? Iconic singer Jimmy Buffett was in Annapolis this past week. Word (and social media posts) spread like wildlife when the entertainer made his way down the Chesapeake Bay with yachts, planes and water toys in tow. 

After he first surfaced on the C&D Canal in his custom, aquamarine sportfisher, he went stand-up paddleboarding in Havre de Grace. He landed his sea plane at Tower Point in Chesapeake City. His sailboat (also sleek and aquamarine) lay in wait in Annapolis, where he appeared just a couple of days later. For what? Nobody knew, though locals took great delight in peeking at Buffett’s boats from the Eastport Bridge. 

It didn’t take long to find out (on Facebook, of course) that the Margaritaville mogul had come to the Bay to shoot music videos. Buffett, whose net worth was last estimated at $550 million, visited the equally iconic Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse.  

The Annapolis landmark just finished a structural restoration to ensure it’s sound for decades to come (complete with paint job), so the lighthouse was ready for her closeup. Manager John Potvin, who spent the day at the lighthouse with Buffett, tells Bay Bulletin, “He loves lighthouses and congratulated us on our restoration. He was there for several hours, and produced two songs which will be aired in a live stream in the near future.” 

What is it about the Bay that inspired this artist more commonly associated with tropical island locales? Undoubtedly, the boating opportunities have something to do with it. As one of our Facebook followers pointed out, Buffett would usually be on a concert tour around this time of year, playing outdoor venues to thousands of “parrotheads.” Maybe Jimmy Buffett has realized, like the rest of us, that Chesapeake boating is the perfect pandemic activity. 

And what is it about Buffett that captivates Chesapeake country? Perhaps it’s the sense of pride that comes with knowing that a half-billionaire who could spend his time anywhere has chosen the Bay, of all places. Hometown pride runs strong here, after all (Old Bay! The Maryland flag! Crab cakes! We love it all). 

But perhaps the excitement comes from what Jimmy Buffett stands for: a waterfront escape, a relaxing drink, and general contentedness. Maybe a visit from Jimmy Buffett is just what we needed in 2020: a reminder to let it all go and adopt the “five o’clock somewhere” philosophy. 

In this issue of CBM Bay Weekly, we’re finding more ways to help you let it all go, and no, our ideas don’t involve margaritas. We’re taking you on a fall colors tour of Maryland (visit https://bayweekly.com/autumn-in-maryland/ to see when you can find different parts of the state at peak foliage) and giving you a plan for how and when to get the best fall rockfish bite. And we’re gathering up your best bets for weekend events in our Bay Planner. 

We don’t know where Jimmy Buffett is cruising off to next, but we’re going to hold onto his enjoy-the-moment vibe for at least a little while longer.