News, recent developments, and useful information from around the Chesapeake.




January 18, 2015


Annapolis sailor Terry Hutchinson is US Sailing's Yachtsman of the Year


Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis, Md., and Stephanie Roble of East Troy, Wis., have been named US Sailing's 2014 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. A total of ten men and seven women had been shortlisted for the 2014 honors based on nominations submitted by members of US Sailing, with these two sailors then selected for the distinction by a panel of sailing journalists.

In 2014, Hutchinson reached the top of the leaderboard at major regattas more times than any other American sailor. The 2014 award is Hutchinson's second; he previously earned the honor in 2008 following his win of the TP52 World Championship.
As tactician on Alex Roeper's Plenty, Hutchinson won the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. He also won the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship and the California Cup and took class honors at the Rolex Big Boat Series. He also reclaimed the World Championship title in the TP52  class, collecting a class win at Quantum Key West Race Week as well as the TP52 U.S. Championship title. His success in one-design classes did not stop there. In the RC44, he won the Oman Cup as tactician; in the J/70 class, he drove to the win of the Fall Brawl in his hometown; and he finished second at the Melges 32 Gold Cup, again as tactician.

In winning the Yachtwoman of the Year award, Roble was cited as a member of the Etchells World Championship winning team. She also crewed on the seventh-place finisher at the J/70 North American Championship, and the fifth-place finisher at the Melges 20 North American Championship.  As a skipper, she won the U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship and placed third at the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship.  Based on her 2014 match racing results, she begins the New Year as the top American match racer, with a ranking of number three in the world.

January 16, 2015

Angler Lands Record Chain Pickerel


Long-time chain pickerel fisherman, Lee Haile III, of Towson, Md., was fishing on a pond near Salisbury, Md., when he landed "the big one," an eight pounder-a new Maryland record. Haile was using light spinning tackle with eight-pounded braided running line, a 20-pound monofilament leader, and a minnow/jig combo lure. The previous state record-holder was a seven-pound, four-ouncer caught in 1976 and the world record is nine pounds, four ounces (caught in Georgia in 1961).

If you think you've got a winning catch, contact DNR at 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. The agency recommends anglers "keep their fish immersed in ice water to preserve its weight until it can be checked, which can be done at a seafood retailer, a grocery store, or tackle shop with a certified scale." The Maryland State Record application and a list of records can be found at http://dnr2.maryland.gov/fisheries/Pages/default.aspx


January 16, 2015

A Prize Bite


Much to her delight and amazement, when Virginia Beach resident Karen Morelli bit into a littleneck clam purchased at the Great Machipango Clam Shack in Nassawadox, Va., she realized there was a prize inside-a lovely, lavender 4.5-carat pearl worth about $3,000. The grower, Billy Bowen of B&E Seafood in Willis Wharf, Va., says he has never seen a pearl in an aquaculture clam in his 25-year career, though they are not that uncommon (at least small ones) in natural clams. He estimates the age of the clam to be one-and-a-half to two years old. Like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate that has been deposited over a period of time in concentric circles. Natural, non-cultured, gem-quality pearls are quite rare, regardless of what species of mollusk produces them.


January 16, 2015

Marine Trades Summer Internship Training Program


The Marine Trades Association of Maryland is offering a pre-apprentice program for the summer of 2015. The program includes a maritime immersion workshop taught over the weekend of May 1-3 at Camp Letts in Edgewater, Md. Following the completion of the weekend course, applicants will be eligible for placement into a six-week paid summer internship that will start at various times after Memorial Day, depending on the discretion of the hiring organization. Information and application at http://www.mtam.org/jobs-career-training/training-for-the-marine-trades/application.


January 16, 2015

Discount on Maryland Fishing License


If you haven't bought a tidal or nontidal fishing license in Maryland since 2011 now's the time to dust off the tackle and buy a license for the 2015 season with a special 50% discount from MD DNR. The promotion is designed to promote all the great fishing to be found in Maryland waters. You'll have to move quickly though-the offer expires January 31. http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2014/12/19/7807/


January 11, 2015

Here is some very timely advice from CBM contributor Tom Hale:

Cold weather leads to shore power cord damage and boat fires

During the cold weather this week there have been several boat and marina fires including one in Kinsale, VA. The cause has been attributed to the heater in the boat.  The heater is probably not the real culprit. The culprit is the heater and all the other devices in the boat drawing a lot of current through a corroded shore power cord inlet. I urge each of you who live aboard, to go outside and check your cord.  The end of the cord should be no warmer than the ambient temperature.  Put a hand on it.  If it is warm, you have a problem.  If the dock end overheats and catches fire, you MAY have a marina fire.  If the boat end overheats and catches fire your boat WILL burn! Please check it right now.  Check it again this evening when the day cools off and the heaters kick on.  Check it again in the morning when the heaters have been running all night. The cord end should not be getting hot!  While you are out checking, check on your neighbors' cords too.  The boat you save may be your own.

The pictures attached show a hull inlet that is melted and burned.  The other shows a dock receptacle that has started to show discoloration.  This receptacle has already experienced some overheating.



 

January 10, 2015

Boats lost in Port Kinsale (Va.) Marina fire

A fire early Friday morning destroyed a number of boats under a cover-dock at Port Kinsale Marine on the Northern Neck of Virginia. Here are some of the details from Terry Moss. The photo was taken by Jeffrey Moss.

Four boats and the covered boat shed were destroyed. Only one of the boats, the sturdy old wooden SUBEK remained above the waterline after the fire, according to Moss. Investigators began work Saturday morning.

Two Moss family boats were destroyed, SUBEK and Pamela Sue.


The SUBEK was built in Deltaville, Va., in 1961 for Jimmy and Scottie Moss's Uncle Ben Moss.  Ben's brother, Joe Bill Moss, and then Scottie Moss carried fishing parties on SUBEK for many years.  She was signed over to Jimmy after her commercial use was discontinued. Since then, family and friends have enjoyed fishing parties aboard her. SUBEK was named for Ben's daughter Susan and his collie, Becky.  "The boat is a big part of the Moss family's heart So many good memories," Terry said. Scottie's current fishing boat, the fiberglass Pamela Sue, also was lost in the fire.  

According to Terry, two of the other boats that were burned were a vintage Chris Craft called the Pentimento, owned by the late Peter and Julia Williams, and Revelation, owned by Bob and Hollie Lovelace.

Terry said the fire was contained to the covered boat shed with no damage to the campground, the Mooring restaurant, the Skipjack Inn or therental units for rent thanks to the efforts of a pump-boat from Cobb

Island, the fire boat from Kinsale, Kinsale firefighters and firefighters from Callao and Montross.




January 7, 2015


Photo courtesy of Shawn Kimbro

Rockfish Roundup

Spawning Numbers Remain Below Average, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Cuts Harvest

Commonly known around much of the Chesapeake Bay as "rockfish," the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) has had good years and bad all along the Atlantic coast since a moratorium on the harvest of the species ended in 1990. Ask pretty much any angler about the state of the fishery during the last five or six years, however, and the response you'll likely get is, "Meh." Two bits of recent rockfish news generally support Chesapeake anglers' apathetic views of the fishery.

On October 20, 2014, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released its Juvenile Striped Bass Index, which measures the spawning success of the fish in Chesapeake Bay by collecting and counting juvenile striped bass from beach seine nets each year. Although the DNR described the index results as "healthy," the numbers actually show below-average reproduction. The 61-year average for the DNR index is 11.7, while the 2014 index clocked in at 11.0. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science's similar Juvenile Striped Bass Seine Survey returned slightly better results, showing 11 fish per seine haul versus the historic average of nine. While scientists generally agree that striped bass reproduction is highly cyclical, there have been more below- than above-average years over the last decade.

News that might help reverse that trend came on October 29, 2014, when the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Council (ASMFC) met in Connecticut. The ASMFC is made up of commissioners from every Atlantic Ocean state and is tasked with managing 25 near-shore fish species, including striped bass. ASFMC commissioners voted to cut the Chesapeake Bay striped bass harvest by 20.5 percent in 2015. The goal is to return the striper population to target levels within two years.

The decision was based on the last scientific stock assessment, which was completed in 2013. It confirmed that overfishing of the species had been occurring at least six of the previous nine years. What this likely means for recreational anglers in Maryland and Virginia is a bump in the minimum harvest size of 18 inches to 20 inches with a two fish per angler/per day limit during the regular summer season. Maryland and Virginia have differing geographic, harvest and minimum size regulations in the spring and fall seasons, but expect to see changes to those regulations, too. Most notably, the minimum 28-inch size for stripers during the Maryland spring trophy season will likely go up to 36 inches.

The harvest restrictions will affect only the 2015 fishing season for both the commercial harvest and recreational anglers. Both Maryland and Virginia were supposed to submit plans for new regulations for approval by late November. Finalized size and harvest regulations were expected to be out in December.


January 7, 2015

Bay Restoration Worth Billions to Chesapeake Economy


It turns out that restoring the Chesapeake Bay is worth more than $22.5 billion to states in the Bay Watershed annually, according to a recently released, peer-reviewed Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) report. And the benefits to your own wallet just might surprise you.

So what, exactly, is that $22.5 billion number all about? The numbers in the report assume the successful and complete implementation of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. The Blueprint is an effort by the District of Columbia and the six states (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia) that lie within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to reduce the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediments that flow into the Bay. The Blueprint's goal, CBF says, is to "Ensure pollution reduction and result in the 'fishable, swimmable' waters promised by the Clean Water Act of 1972." All six states and the District of Columbia signed the Blueprint agreement last year.

In 2009, before the Blueprint was put in place, the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed provided natural economic benefits worth $107.2 billion annually. Successfully implement the Blueprint and that number goes up by $22.5 billion, the report says. It's that simple. Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania would benefit the most-by $4.6, $6.2 and $8.3 billion per year, respectively.

Other benefits would include improved water filtration, increased agricultural and seafood production, and enhanced property values. Pre- serving and augmenting wetlands and woodlands would help filter out airborne pollution and contain floodwaters and storm runoff. For boaters, the benefits include safe and pleasant waters. Anglers and crabbers would enjoy better fishing.

The report states that if we simply maintain a "business as usual" stance, maintaining the current, pre-Blueprint level of Bay restoration, the economic value of the Bay watershed will decline by some $5.6 billion.

While the report addresses the benefits, not the cost of implementing the Blueprint, CBF reports that an earlier estimate pegs Blueprint implementation at roughly $6 billion per year. Given that the do-nothing approach costs the region almost the same amount, doing the right thing seems like a no-brainer.

For more information visit cbf.org.


January 7, 2015

A Note from Jody


As Moment of Zen was pulling out of Golden Isles Marina on St. Simons Island, Georgia, this winter, I spotted a well-worn steel workboat with a Tarpon Springs, Florida, homeport. A long way from home for a sponge boat, I thought. Aqua Quest, I soon discovered, was far more interesting than a sponge boat. "We're diving a wreck here," crew member Kelly "BooBoo" Garrett told me. Turns out they are treasure hunters! And rather well-known ones at that. "Aqua Quest International has dived wrecks from coastal Maryland to Bimini," Garrett said. The wreck they were diving off St. Simons was called the Elizabeth City.

"Maybe you read about us or saw us on television," Garrett continued. "We were put in jail in Honduras for diving illegally, even though we were asked by the government to come."

Aqua Quest president Bob Mayne took over at this point and explained that they had been in Honduras to dive river oxbows, looking for the lost cargo of old ships bound for England. "The ship timbers are long gone," Mayne said, "but their cargo of mahogany, which was harvested to rebuild London after the fire, is still there and more valuable than ever." The wood becomes even harder and more beautiful for its time in the water, he said. "Each log is worth about $30,000." (They'll be heading to Honduras again.) If you'd like to read more about Aqua Quest, go to aquaquestinternational.com.

-Jody Argo Schroath, Moment of Zen


January 7, 2015


Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

Tall Ship Eagle Gets the Spa Treatment at Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay


There's no doubt that $28 million is a lot of money, but when you're talking about a four-year complete refit of the U.S. Coast Guard's 295-foot tall ship USCGC Eagle, maybe it seems like a relative bargain. And that refit is taking place right here on the Chesapeake Bay, at the U.S. Coast Guard's Curtis Bay Yard in Baltimore.

The three-masted barque, originally built in Hamburg, Germany, and surrendered to the United States in 1946 as part of reparations for World War II, slid into dry dock at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard at Curtis Bay this past September, after taking part in the Star-Spangled Banner Spectacular festivities in Baltimore Harbor. Once she settled down into a custom cradle, the steel-hulled giant was rolled ashore by diesel tow tugs and locked in place so that the $7 million first phase of the refurbishment could begin.

The most laborious and time-consuming aspect of the first phase is removing all 200 tons of the sailing ship's lead ballast, coating it to protect crew members from lead poisoning, and then returning each lead ingot to where it came from within the ship. In addition to the ballast work, crews also will strip down and recoat the USCGC Eagle's three 137- to 147-foot tall masts, rework her steering gear, and assess the condition of her hull. Additional projects to add another 30 to 40 years to the ship's life will continue over the next four years at the yard as she sails in the summers and is taken out of service during the winter months.

The USCGC Eagle is no stranger to the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay. She was in the yard for repairs there as recently as 2011, and was in dry dock more than 30 years ago for the last major refit to extend her useful service life.


January 7, 2015


Photo by Mark Talbott

Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show Rolls into Charm City


If you're like most Bay boating enthusiasts, winter likely has you looking for an excuse to get out of the house. Lucky for you, the Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show is on the way, filling the Baltimore Convention Center with boats, fishing tackle and all things nautical from January 29 to February 1.

Now in its 61st year, the 2015 show promises to be bigger than ever, thanks to the efforts of show manager Tara Davis, who has managed to build the event into one of the fastest growing marine shows in the country. Her innovative touches include establishing on-site opportunities to "get your learn on," with seminars and workshops covering everything from fishing tips and tactics to sessions on seamanship and diesel mechanics.

Meanwhile on the showroom floor you'll find displays from major boat, gear and marine electronics manufacturers, as well as representatives from marine services companies like insurance and finance providers. It's also a great place to shop for a place to keep your boat, plan your next charter vacation, or get your boating questions answered by the pros.

Admission to the show is $12 for adults; children 15 and younger are admitted free with a paid adult admission. Show hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. January 29 and 30, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. January 31 and February 1.

Pre-purchase tickets at baltimoreboatshow.com with code CBM and receive a 33% discount!


January 7, 2015


Photo courtesy of L'Herminone Project

Frigate L'Hermione to Visit Five Chesapeake Bay Ports This Summer


Five Chesapeake Bay ports will play host this summer to the newly commissioned French tall ship frigate L'Hermione, an accurate replica of the same vessel that carried Frenchman Marquis de Lafayette to America in 1780. In total, the 213-foot ship will visit 12 North American ports as part of a voyage that takes her from the coast of France across the Atlantic Ocean, up the Eastern Seaboard from Yorktown, Va., to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and then back to Brest and Ile d'Aix in France.

Construction of the replica ship took 16 years and was completed using drawings taken from L'Hermione's sister ship, La Concorde. More than three million people have donated funds to support the ship's construction and voyage across the Atlantic.

The voyage is a celebration not only of the ship, but also of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, known more familiarly as Marquis de Lafayette, the French major general who volunteered his services to the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Both L'Hermione and Lafayette played many roles in the war, particularly in and around the Chesapeake Bay region.

Of particular note, Lafayette and L'Hermione participated in the Siege of Yorktown, in which Lafayette organized guerilla attacks against British supply units. The subsequent naval blockade squeezed Cornwallis and his troops to the point of surrender after the defeat of the British Navy in the Battle of the Chesapeake, which took place near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in September of 1781 (the struggle is also known as the Battle of the Virginia Capes).

L'Hermione will embark from the mouth of the River Charent in Port-des-Barques, France, on April 25, 2015, arriving in Yorktown around June 5. The ship will then visit four additional Chesapeake ports before heading to Philadelphia and New England.

For more information visit hermione2015.com.

L'Hermione's Chesapeake Ports of Call: June 5 to June 7: Yorktown, June 9: Mount Vernon, June 10 to June 11: Alexandria, June 15 to June 17: Annapolis, June 19 to June 21: Baltimore


January 7, 2015

Goooo Team CBM!


November is tournament rockfish season here on the Bay and this year Chesapeake Bay Magazine got in on the action! The magazine sponsored a team of anglers from Annapolis to fish in the annual Fish For a Cure Tournament ( www.fishforacure.org), which raises money for the DeCesaris Cancer Institute at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis (and raises quite a lot of it . . . over $250,000 in 2014!).

Our crack team consisted of Captain Tom Weaver, Captain (and boatowner) Dave Wood, Ian Gordon, Scott Snyder and Matt Beck. Fishing from the Eastport 32 Sea Toy Jr., Team Chesapeake Bay Magazine reeled in the tournament's 7th place rockfish, which weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces. The anglers, who have fished together for six years in tournaments around the Chesapeake and beyond, also raised an impressive $3,050 to support the DeCesaris Cancer Institute. The group was proud to donate the funds in the memory of Captain Steve Dodson, a friend and fellow angler who passed away this summer after a battle with brain cancer.

Team CBM wasn't the only member of the magazine family out fishing for a cure that day-our favorite fishing guru John Page Williams also participated, snagging the tournament's top ranked perch!


January 2, 2015

Kent Narrows Bridge security zone


Mariners are advised that to facilitate planned bridge repairs to the Kent Island (MD-18B) Draw Bridge, a Coast Guard safety zone will be established in Kent Island Narrows from December 15, 2014, through on February 16, 2015. The work involves the removal and replacement of the bascule span bracing members and retrofit the bascule span stringers located over the federal navigation channel.

The safety zone includes all waters of Kent Island Narrows within an area bounded by position latitude 38°58'14.5"N, longitude 076°14'50.2"W; thence easterly to position latitude 38°58'14.1"N, longitude 076°14'48.4"W; thence southerly to position latitude 38°58'12.3"N, longitude 076°14'49.0"W; thence westerly to position latitude 38°58'12.8"N, longitude 076°14'50.8"W; thence northerly to the position of origin, located in Queen Anne's County, MD (reference Datum NAD 1983). This area, which applies to the entire width of the federal navigation channel, allows for the placement of marine equipment that will remain in the federal navigation channel 24 hours per day for the 63-day period. This safety zone will be enforced from 6 a.m. on December 15, 2014 through 6 a.m. on February 16, 2015.

With the exception of Maryland State Highways Administration support vessels, entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) Baltimore. Persons desiring to transit the area of the safety zone must first obtain authorization from the COTP Baltimore or his designated representative, which can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio VHF-FM channel 16. Vessels and persons transiting Kent Island Narrows outside the safety zone do so at their discretion. It is crucial mariners operating near the work site eliminate wakes.

During the period of the bridge repair project, USCG bridge opening regulations for the draw bridge will remain unaffected. Interested mariners can contact the Kent Narrows Bridge Tender via marine band radio VHF-FM channel 13 or at telephone (410) 643-5963. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore Waterways Management Division can be contacted at telephone (410) 576-2674 or (410) 576-2693. Charts 12272, 12270.

Coast Guard proposing to add AIS Synthetic Aids to Navigation in the Chesapeake


The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to add AIS Synthetic ATON marks to the following aids:

CHESAPEAKE BAY (VIRGINIA) - CHESAPEAKE BAY ENTRANCE - CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL Chesapeake Channel Lighted Buoy 13 (LLNR 7105) at position 37-02-26.000N / 076-04-17.000W

CHESAPEAKE BAY (VIRGINIA) - CHESAPEAKE BAY ENTRANCE - CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL Chesapeake Channel Lighted Buoy 14 (LLNR 7110) at position 37-02-31.001N / 076-04-02.876W

SEACOAST (VIRGINIA) - OCEAN CITY INLET TO CAPE HATTERAS Chesapeake Bay Entrance Lighted Whistle Buoy CH (LLNR 405) at position 36-56-08.329N / 075-57-26.543W

SEACOAST (VIRGINIA) - OCEAN CITY INLET TO CAPE HATTERAS - CHESAPEAKE BAY SOUTHERN APPROACH Chesapeake Bay Southern Approach Lighted Whistle Buoy CB (LLNR 410) at position 36-48-59.743N / 075-45-36.013W

CHESAPEAKE BAY (VIRGINIA) - CHESAPEAKE BAY ENTRANCE - CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL Chesapeake Channel Lighted Buoy 40 (LLNR 7240) at position 37-21-49.490N / 076-04-27.768W

CHESAPEAKE BAY (MARYLAND) - COVE POINT TO SANDY POINT - CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL Chesapeake Channel Lighted Buoy 78A (LLNR 7682) at position 38-34-42.000N / 076-25-53.000W 

CHESAPEAKE BAY (MARYLAND) - SANDY POINT TO SUSQUEHANNA RIVER - UPPER CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL Upper Chesapeake Channel Lighted Buoy 45 (LLNR 8870) at position 39-22-10.839N / 076-07-45.462W

CHESAPEAKE BAY (MARYLAND) - SANDY POINT TO SUSQUEHANNA RIVER - UPPER CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL Upper Chesapeake Channel Lighted Buoy 46 (LLNR 8875) at position 39-22-05.831N / 076-07-41.366W

CHESAPEAKE BAY (MARYLAND) - SANDY POINT TO SUSQUEHANNA RIVER - UPPER CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL Upper Chesapeake Channel Lighted Buoy 47 (LLNR 8895) at position 39-22-50.744N / 076-06-10.205W

CHESAPEAKE BAY (MARYLAND) - SANDY POINT TO SUSQUEHANNA RIVER - UPPER CHESAPEAKE CHANNEL Upper Chesapeake Channel Lighted Buoy 48 (LLNR 8900) at position 39-22-45.337N / 076-06-07.068W

CHESAPEAKE BAY (MARYLAND) - SANDY POINT TO SUSQUEHANNA RIVER - ELK RIVER CHANNEL Elk River Channel Lighted Buoy 1ER (LLNR 8925) at position 39-23-51.238N / 076-03-16.828W

What is an AIS ATON?

AIS is an internationally adopted radio communication protocol that enables the autonomous and continuous exchange of navigation safety related messages amongst vessels, lifeboats, aircraft, shore stations, and aids to navigation (AIS ATON). AIS ATON stations broadcast their presence, identity (9-digit Marine Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number), position, and status at least every three minutes or as needed.

Synthetic AIS ATON's signal can be received by any existing AIS mobile device, but they would require an external system for their portrayal (i.e., AIS message 21 capable ECDIS, ECS, radar, PC). How they are portrayed currently varies by manufacturer, but the future intention is for the portrayal to be in accordance with forthcoming International Standards (i.e., IEC 62288 (Ed. 2), IHO S-4 (Ed. 4.4.0)).

Comments on this proposal in writing, either personally or through their organization, may be sent to: Commander (dpw)

Fifth Coast Guard District 431 Crawford Street, Rm.100 Portsmouth, VA. 23704

Or email to: CGD5Waterways@uscg.mil


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