Last Nov. 1, after my eight days in the hospital ended, I made an April 4 entry in my 2014 calendar notebook that posed this question: “Will I be sailing on this day?” The question can now be answered: Yes.
The sad, complicated history of the original gaff schooner America, the famous yacht for which the America’s Cup is named, has long been associated with mystery and shame. How could it have happened that this once swift, black-hulled beauty was left to rot and die in Annapolis almost 70 years ago under the care of the U.S. Naval Academy?
The skipjack Rosie Parks, a Chesapeake Bay icon that almost disintegrated under the care of the very museum entrusted to save her, is about to begin a second life. A $500,000 restoration project of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum comes to a happy ending this spring when the 51-foot (LOD) Rosie sets sail after decades in a terminal, nautical coma.
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Jack has been cruising Chesapeake Bay and writing about the region for more than 25 years. His critically acclaimed book, "Maryland's Vanishing Lives," was published by Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University Press and is now in its second printing. Before joining Soundings, Jack was a feature writer at the Washington (D.C.) Star for nearly 20 years and a senior editor at Chesapeake Bay magazine from 1995 to 1998. His monthly Bay Tripper column focuses on the Chesapeake.