In our last exciting episode of The Adventures of Chesapeake Bay Magazine, starringChesapeake Bay Magazineas itself, we learned that rumors of a weak global economy have turned out to be true, that advertising dollars have shrunk to the size of laundry tags, and that two of our winter issues, those formerly known as "December" and "January," would become a single December-January issue (this one). And we learned that Judith is in fact the long lost non-identical twin sister of Penelope and is carrying Umberto's baby.
Of course I don't mean to be flip or casual about what can be fairly called a diminution in the value of our product. We have long recognized that for some readers our winter issues are very important, being the collective fantasy vehicle that carries them across the dreary steppes of wintertime. We know that. Indeed, it has always been our rationale for publishing monthly in the off-season, when advertising revenues inevitably ebb. But the decision was not made lightly, and I assure you that it was a truly necessary step to preserve the overall quality of our product. As I said last month, we'd rather give you 11 robust issues of the magazine than 12 comparatively weaker ones. Enough said, yes?
Speaking of the combined issue . . . it's fitting that our features this month bring a certain duality—a sort of something-old-something-new mojo. The new thing is not only new; it's whoppingly big. That would be the new National Harbor marina/resort/business district/shopping center/small city (really; it's in National Harbor, Md., with its own zip code) that has sprouted on the banks of the Potomac River below the Woodrow Wilson Bridge [page 22]. Going there in her little sailboat,Snipp, senior editor Jody Schroath gives us an ants-eye view of National Harbor—the bigness of which, she discovers, extends to its marina.
"There we turned in to look for our assigned slip, B17," Jody writes, unable to resist the wisecrack that the slip was in fact big enough to accommodate a B-17 bomber. "I roughly calculated that it would also hold eight of my Albin Vega 27," she continues, "if you rafted them up two deep. I don't mean to say we felt out of place—no place could have been more welcoming—I just mean that National Harbor is the kind of place where you have to keep readjusting your sense of proportion." Did we mention it's big? And new?
Now for the old: This month we also bring you a second helping of excerpts fromCruises Mainly in the Bay of the Chesapeake, a charming 1909 book by yachting brothers George and Robert Barrie of Philadelphia. Based mostly on magazine articles written by the siblings for the likes ofThe RudderandThe Yachtsman, it is one of the very first books ever devoted to the subject of recreational boating on the Bay—a waterway that in those days was devoted mostly to fishing and/or transportation. Still, it's all quite familiar, and, given the Barrie brothers' alternatingly earnest and playful writing style, it's an intriguing read. Best of all, while copies of the book itself are difficult to come by and a little pricey, we've found that you can read the whole thing online, courtesy of Craig O'Donnell atthecheappages.com. For a link that takes you directly to the book, go to our website (ChesapeakeBoating.net) and look for the Barrie brothers item in "Eye on the Bay."
See you in February!