December 2003


Deconstructing Isabel   
From its inception as a swirl of tropical air off the African coast, Hurricane Isabel was an exceptional storm. Even though it had been profoundly diminished from its height as a Category 5 hurricane in the middle Atlantic, by the time it arrived at the Virginia capes meterological events had conspired to make it uniquely suited to slam the Bay. Executive editor Wendy Mitman Clarke explains the particular characteristics that made this storm so brutal on the Chesapeake.

Swept Away  
Hurricane Isabel brought a storm surge of more than eight feet into the Chesapeake, inundating the waterfront from Hampton to Havre de Grace. In some respects, it was very similar to the great August storm of 1933-with similarly devastating results. In some places, things are already back to normal. In others, they probably never will be. We assembled a team of reporters-Paul Clancy, Rob Hoff, Dave Schiller, Connie Bond, Marty LeGrand, Wendy Mitman Clarke, Joel McCord, Nancy Taylor Robson, Tom Dove and Jane Meneely-to find out what has happened to the Bay's marinas, restaurants, boatyards, parks and museums that took the brunt of the storm. This is their report




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Time Tested  Pacific Dreams-The Pacific Seacraft 34 Voyager is "a cruising couple's midsize dream boat." Tom Dove gives his seal of approval to a boat that sails well in the Bay but can cruise an ocean at the drop of a stern line.

Marina Hopping Go Back to the Woods-Worton Creek Marina near Chestertown, Md., provides a well stocked and equipped store for cruisers, and a friendly, quiet haven for boaters. By Katie and Gene Hamilton

A-Dock Confidential Penny Ante-When the piggy bank is nearly empty, Santa has to improvise to surprise the Dragon Lady. Good thing for Jerry Renninger that his dock mate Morgan knows a thing or two about metallurgy.

Cruise of the Month Where the Wild Things Are-Finding an untainted area of the Bay is always a delight. John Page Williams tells us of his day on the Honga River, where waterfowl, fish and scenic views are plentiful.

Angler's Almanac Tune Your Fishing Machine-John Page Williams helps anglers decide on the most necessary
and manageable winter projects to make sure your boat will be readier than ever for fishing come spring.

Stern Lines The Snow Queen-Nothing's worse than wanting to head south-and having the boat to do it - when it's the dead of winter, there's four feet of snow in the yard, and your spouse starts merrily singing snow carols as more of the stuff starts falling. It's enough to make Jane Meneely's husband Clint consider hara-kiri.

On the cover: Boaters batten down during Isabel. _ Photograph by Tony Belcastro