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News notes – Mid Atlantic

Sail, power shows make return to Annapolis

The United States Sailboat Show and the United States Powerboat Shows are returning in October to the Annapolis City Dock and Harbor.

The Sailboat Show, featuring new racing and cruising boats from U.S. and foreign builders, will be open to the public Oct. 10-13. Press/Trade/VIP Day is Oct. 9.

Also on exhibit will be smaller boats from one-designs and trailerables to sailing dinghies and inflatables. Sailing equipment, rigging, accessories and maintenance products and services will be displayed.

The Powerboat Show rolls in the following week, featuring a variety of boats from motoryachts to center consoles and runabouts. The latest technology in navigation equipment will be on site as well as thousands of products, accessories, equipment and gear. Press/Trade/VIP Day is Oct. 16 and general admission is Oct. 17-19.

The shows are presented by United States Yacht Shows. For information, directions and prices, or to order tickets go to .

Virginia In-Water Boat Expo back again

The fourth annual Virginia In-Water Boat Expo and SailFest returns Sept. 12-14 to the Downtown Norfolk waterfront. The growing event caters to boating enthusiasts with a wide selection of the newest boats and cutting-edge marine products and accessories.

The three-day boating event will showcase hundreds of yachts, sportfishermen, center consoles, performance boats, personal watercraft, sailboats, engines and marine accessories.

The expo will also feature live entertainment, interactive exhibits and a Discover Boating pavilion, where experts will be on site to provide information for all boaters.

Hours are noon to 8 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., respectively.

For advance discount tickets and show information, visit www.Virginia or call (757) 441-2345.

Dates announced for 2009 Baltimore show

The 2009 Baltimore Boat Show, Maryland’s longest-running indoor boating event, is expected to pack all 300,000 square feet of the BaltimoreConvention Center Jan 21-25, 2009 with boats, exhibits and family fun.

In response to the success of the 2008 Baltimore Boat Show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, producers of the show, are significantly increasing the space devoted to SailFest, a section of the show dedicated to the sailing lifestyle, featuring the newest sailboats and sailing accessories, in addition to an impressive lineup of sailing seminars. Visitors will also find a wider selection of powerboats, ranging from personal watercraft to 45-foot luxury yachts, and an expanded list of exhibitors offering the latest marine accessories and technology.

The Baltimore Boat Show will also feature five days of family fun and entertainment, including educational seminars and kid-friendly activities. The show opens with its second annual Special Preview Night Benefiting Living Classrooms, an opportunity for guests to have an exclusive first look at the 2009 show, enjoy live entertainment and contribute to a local cause.

The Baltimore Boat Show docks at the BaltimoreConvention Center Jan. 21, 6-9 p.m.; Jan. 22 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Jan. 23 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Jan. 24 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Jan. 25 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

For information, visit or call (212) 984-7000.

Lightning strikes Spirit of South Carolina

As reported by Capt. Tony Arrow, at approximately 3 p.m. July 27, the Spirit of South Carolina, with 12 passengers and a crew of nine, was off the eastern coast of Block Island, R.I., when a strong line of squalls approached. The ship was struck by lightning, disabling most of the electronics on board and the engine power, which is controlled by electronic components. There were no injuries to passengers or crew.

At the time of the bright blast, the ship was operating in heavy weather mode with passengers down below and everything battened down with the captain keeping a close eye on traffic. Other vessels in the same area were also struck by lightning.

The Spirit of South Carolina is equipped with substantial lightning protection as well as surge protection in the electrical system. The ship was preparing to return to Newport, R.I., following an adult education voyage, and begin a scheduled maintenance period in August, which now included a thorough investigation to assess any and all repercussions of the lightning strike to the vessel.

“We had lightning all around us and all of a sudden there was a big, bright blast and I knew it had hit the ship,” says Arrow. “We lost radios, GPS, and engines, but thankfully were well prepared for the situation with a handheld GPS, handheld VHF radio and mobile phones.”

Following the intense blow, Captain Arrow and his crew assessed the situation and found that although the ship’s huge wooden hull appeared to be uncompromised, they immediately sent a Pan-Pan call to the Coast Guard, making them aware of the ship’s location and the current state of lost electronics and engine power. A Coast Guard vessel came to the ship to stand by for temporary assistance and kept in communication with the vessel overnight.

The ship will return to Charleston on or about Oct. 4 for its Sea Spray Scouts day sail program.

‘Smart buoy’ gives mariners critical data

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office recently deployed a “smart buoy” at the mouth of the RappahannockRiver to take observations of the Bay’s changing conditions.

A part of the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System (CBIBS), the buoy collects weather, oceanographic and water-quality observations and transmits this data wirelessly. These measurements, as well as historical and cultural information about the Bay, can be accessed at and by phone at (877) 286-9229.

CBIBS is the only operational buoy system in the Bay dedicated to maintaining the broad range of measurements necessary to track Bay restoration progress.

Museum taking part in lighthouse tour

The CalvertMarineMuseum in Solomons, Md., will participate Sept. 20-21 in the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge. Sponsored by the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society, the state of Maryland and the lighthouse organizations of Maryland, the sixth annual Maryland Lighthouse Challenge offers a weekend-long dash around the Chesapeake Bay to see all 10 of the land-based lighthouses. Volunteers will assist and greet visitors at each lighthouse from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ralph Eshelman will give a talk at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at the museum on “Guiding Lights: A History of Seamarks” about the lighthouses on Chesapeake Bay.

The War of 1812 North American Grand Tactical will also be held the weekend of Sept. 20-21. The CalvertMarineMuseum, in partnership with JeffersonPattersonPark and Museum, is hosting Tall Ships on the Chesapeake as part of this two-day event. For information, visit; to purchase a ticket on the public cruises aboard the tall ship Kalmar Nyckel, call (410) 326-2042, ext. 41.