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Stories of Boat Related Mishaps and Experiences | Soundings Online Column

Pitching shoes with a new friend

Some friendly boater decided somewhere at some time to hail a stranger on the water.

When that stranger returned the wave, a nautical tradition began that is now considered de rigueur.



The annual rite of autumn at City Dock

As a sailboat-weary veteran of all 40 October sail shows at the City Dock in Annapolis, I have never been discouraged by snow squalls, gale-force winds, torrential rain, 100 degree temperatures, super-high tides with workers rowing about in dinghies, super-low tides with risky boarding on boats hard aground, and invasions of stinging honeybees.

Even after boat show owners suspended the good old freebie press luncheons of beef and booze at the Fleet Reserve Club on Ego Alley, I persevered and continued my habitual attendance.



Lump crab on the hook and helping hands

My frequent sailing activities on Chesapeake Bay sometimes fit into a category of bits and pieces of this and that taking place here and there, now and then.

Here are a few vignettes:

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A Chesapeake matriarch turns 90

“Hartge” has long been a boating name to reckon with in the land of pleasant living called the Chesapeake.

Jane Hartge grew up in a sailing family and married into one.Through the decades, this working clan of watermen, farmers, boatbuilders, designers, restorers, painters, riggers, carpenters, engineers, mechanics, barnacle scrapers, sailors and powerboaters has looked upon Galesville, Md., as home port.



Bay Tripper

Visions of crab cakes dance in my head

Crab-pickers at the J.M. Clayton Seafood Company, founded in 1890.This was going to be a column about my first cruise of the season, which was delayed many weeks by frequent outbursts of rain that began in April and went through May. I had intended to cruise to the Eastern Shore, but strong southerly headwinds on Memorial Day weekend caused me to sail north to Gibson Island, at the mouth of the Magothy River on the Bay’s upper Western Shore.



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Jack Sherwood, Writer-at-Large

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.