When you go to sea with one of America’s southernmost lobstermen, it’s best to just stay out of the way

By Bill Newcott
Photograph by Jay Fleming
From the April 2023 issue


The lobsters keep their secrets,” says Wes Townsend almost absentmindedly, pointing us straight out to sea, the soft gray glow of a pending sunrise just beginning to define the dark horizon. 

It is 4:45 a.m. The good ship Paka has been pushing through 4-foot seas and battling 20 mph winds for the past hour, ever since we emerged from under the Indian River Inlet bridge.

Paka rises and falls rhythmically: Sploosh … sploosh … sploosh. Every once in a while, the hull rides a particularly high wave, hesitates at the crest, then freefalls to the trough: SPLOOSH!  

In May 1945, a German submarine surfaced off Cape Henlopen. The officers and crew couldn’t have picked a better place to give themselves up.By Bill Newcott

From the April 2023 issue


Imagine you’re waging war from a submarine, patrolling the enemy’s coast 4,000 miles from home. Suddenly you get a radio flash: “Hey, guys, we’ve just surrendered. The war is over.” 

What do you do? Do you turn around and cruise across a stormy ocean to a defeated homeland? Try to find a port in some neutral country?

Or, you might do what German sub captain Thilo Bode did off the East Coast on May 10, 1945: surface, reveal your position via a distress signal — and have your 44-man crew stand in formation on deck, hoping against hope the approaching U.S. warships won’t sink you.

Finally, you just might end up seeing your captured sub towed into the harbor at Lewes — and docked alongside the pier at Cape Henlopen. 

Fundraiser donates 100% of profits

By Maddie Laurie
Photograph coutesy of Winter WonderFest
From the Winter 2022 issue


As in winters past, tens of thousands of people from across Delaware and beyond are expected to visit Hudson Fields near Milton this year to immerse themselves in the sparkling colors of the holiday season. More than a mile of light displays, featuring six dozen classic holiday and “Small Wonder” Delaware-centric scenes, will light up the night during the seventh annual Winter WonderFest. An early evening New Year’s Eve fireworks show returns, as well.

Not only does the event’s “Light Spectacular” literally light up visitors’ eyes, but it’s also a dedicated effort to lift up the community.