Home Columns/Blogs Bay Tripper

Stories of Boat Related Mishaps and Experiences | Soundings Online Column

Workboat models keep a family’s history alive

Norman Gross is memorializing his family's workboats in models. This is his father's boat, Miss Myrtle.As a youngster, boatyard painter Norman Gross fished, crabbed, clammed and oystered with his father and uncles and cousins — all working out of a community of black watermen in Shady Side, Md. But instead of “following the water” like them, he became a yard worker and is now an accomplished professional in a demanding art.

A gentle, soft-spoken man who looks a decade younger than his 52 years, Gross never forgot his happy days on the water working with that lost generation of Gross watermen.

Comments (2)



Queen of the sailboat show was a princess

Hank Hinckley and his daughter, Sarah, were at the sailboat show with their elegant Great Harbor 26.Through many decades of tramping about the annual sailboat show in Annapolis, I always made it a point after entering to immediately pay my respects at the large, elegant Hinckley yacht on exhibit. That way, I’d get that fantasy out of my system before seeking reality elsewhere among lesser floating examples of the boatbuilder’s art. (Incidentally, I have never had the pleasure of sailing a Hinckley.)



The conspiracy that killed my cruise

The Bay Tripper's beloved Erewhon, all buttoned up for the surge that never was.Looking back on the way things were during “The Week That Was” in late August, it was not the best time to go off on a five-day cruise of the Upper Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. A local earthquake, Hurricane Irene and uncooperative winds all contributed to canceling my ambitious plans.



My fractured fairy tale at Mineral Spring Farm

Baba is right at home at the helm of her Duffy electric launch.My solo 12-hour cruising passages on Chesapeake Bay are over, replaced by 8-hour jaunts that are easier on us older, oddball loners, especially those unaccustomed to having crew on board to help with steering. My old 22-foot sailboat with a small cockpit and all kinds of control lines (14 at last count) and a cramped cabin stuffed with stuff are not fit for overnight company anyway. When I was younger, of course, I made exceptions.



The maintenance mantra: 'It's always something'

Those of us with older boats own the phrase "It's always something." I have used it to explain dark shadows under my eyes and additional furrows in my already furrowed brow. But hey, it's a 50-year-old sailboat, and I'm a cranky old(er) sailor. But whatever problems "my beloved" gives, without her I would be lost. She has become part of my life during the last 25 years, and the challenges she puts forth are paid back many times over in the pleasure, purpose and satisfaction she returns.



Page 11 of 18

fbtwit yt