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Boating

After three years in Chesapeake waters, Pride of Baltimore II resumes her voyages of goodwill

How long can you stay at home before the urge to get out of the house overwhelms you? That restless feeling also afflicts one of our local treasures: the sailing ship Pride of Baltimore II. This year she is finally escaping her home waters of the Chesapeake Bay, off on the high seas to do what she was built to do: travel afar to represent Maryland and foster friendships and economic relations.     Since 1988, Pride II has been all over the world as Maryland’s ambassador. But she hadn’t left Chesapeake Bay in three years.

With this issue, we enter Chesapeake Country’s favorite season

How lucky are we?         Having lived the first half of my life landlocked in America’s great Midwest, I look at the Chesapeake each day with gratitude and awe.     Now comes the time when fair days invite all of us children of the Chesapeake to do more than look.

Teens compete in the Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta

The future of competitive sailboat racing is in good hands, judging from the teenage competitors in the Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta.     “It’s really exciting to move up to the keelboats,” said Kate Riley, 16, a sophomore at Severna Park High and the only female skipper among the seven crews racing. “We didn’t win, but we got better and better and ­finished second in the last race.”

I’m eager to learn the skills and expertise employed by sailors for centuries

After a lifetime of power boating on a variety of vessels, my wife and I decided to sell our 28-foot diesel powerboat and try our hands at sailing.     Reading those words, do you cringe or applaud? Those are the two reactions we get when telling our story. Whether we are leaving the dark side to enter the light, or vice versa, remains the subject of much controversy.

Paddlers approach fish and wildlife closely and unobtrusively

Lifting the slender red hull with one hand, I put the single-person kayak in the back of my pickup truck, securing it with a bungee cord and tucking in the double-bladed oar. Within an hour, I was floating over the placid waters of my favorite lake, casting my fly rod to any number of bluegills, pickerel, bass and perch.     Later that week, I would launch the same craft along a major Chesapeake tributary to pursue white perch and schoolie rockfish with a light spin outfit.

Dress warmly if you want to get in on the nighttime bite

Darkness had fallen. The scattered fishing boats had headed home with little success. I was alone on the water, and it was a good deal colder than a few minutes earlier, when the sun was shining its last.     But I had dressed well. Zipping up the neck of my fleece turtleneck under a flannel-lined shirt and closing my foul weather coat around me, I settled down to wait.

Maritime historian Richard Dodds tells us how the era of recreational boating rose and flourished

From lighthouses to skipjacks, amphibious landings to speedboats, all that and more is in Richard Dodds’ portfolio as Calvert Marine Museum’s Curator of Maritime History. Inside the Solomons museum, runabouts, cruisers and speedboats that look both modern and classic illustrate how that chapter of maritime history rose and flourished in Southern Maryland. Visit the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis this weekend, and you’ll see the vast diversification of their descendants. It all happened in a very short time.

30,000-horsepower Healy makes the nation’s first solo visit

Satellites snatch glimpses of the North Pole effortlessly, but human visits remain a rare achievement — and a dream. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy reached the pole on September 5. Healy’s was the fourth ever visit by a U.S. surface vessel and the first to reach the pole unaccompanied.

You’re missing out on the fun if you don’t have a boat

It’s almost impossible to look out over our Chesapeake Bay without also gazing at a graceful waterman’s workboat or anglers in a skiff speeding to the next honey hole, a family in a cuddy or cabin cruiser slowly trolling for trophy rockfish or heading for dinner at a waterfront restaurant. Sometimes all of them at the same time.     The plain fact is that if you live in our area and don’t have a boat, you are missing out on enjoying one of our nation’s largest maritime playgrounds.

How I resurrected a 1971 sailboat

Making old things new again is part of my family history. When I was a boy, my mother furnished our home with used furniture purchased at auction. I would often help her strip the paint or varnish from the wood and apply a new finish.     So I wasn’t daunted by the challenge of restoring a 1971 24-foot Ventura MacGregor sailboat. Wife Clara has long had a desire to own a sailboat. When we were offered this one, with trailer, for $1,400, I tested the hull for soundness and purchased it.