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Stories of Boat Related Mishaps and Experiences | Soundings Online Column

A warm welcome is an old Solomons Island tradition

baywatchWhen John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay, he found five rivers along the Western Shore. In his words: The fift [fifth] river is called the Pawtuxunt, of lesse proportion then the rest; but the channel is 16 fadome deepe in some places. Here are infinit skuls [schools] of divers kinds of fish more than elsewhere. More than 400 years later, boaters and fishermen still enjoy the Patuxent, and nowhere so much as on Solomons Island, at the mouth of the river.

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El Niño, oysters and the term ‘Down East’

bottom_bayIt was a lovely fall and mild start to winter here at Mile Zero. The cruising rallies to the Caribbean got off pretty much on schedule from Portsmouth and Hampton, Virginia, and I didn’t hear about any catastrophes en route. Hurricane season on the East Coast was quiet, though marred by the tragedy of the freighter El Faro off the Bahamas with the loss of all hands.

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‘Relax, you’re on the river’

baywatchWhen Capt. John Smith came up the Chesapeake in 1608 and rounded what is now Howell Point into the Sassafras River, he was met by dugouts filled with armed Tockwogh warriors. Although he had been trading with Iroquois raiders, the Tockwoghs’ mortal enemy, the locals thought he had been fighting the Iroquois, and he did not attempt to convince them otherwise, making friends. It may have been then that the saying “Relax, you’re on the river,” was born, and to this day it remains good advice, particularly in the fall.

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Dragons invade as cruisers head down the ditch

bottom_bayThere seemed to be many more sailboats gathering in the Crawford Bay anchorage at Mile Zero than last year.

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The Kalmar Nyckel celebrates seamanship, 17th century-style

baywatch1Watching the crew prepare to haul the tack line, a passenger asks, “Don’t you use gloves?”

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