Ah. Spring. Me likey. . . . I could leave it at that and make my point clearly and succinctly, if not eloquently. But, verbally generous fellow that I am, I will give you details. I like spring because it melts the ice and brings out the boats and fills sails with gusty but civilized wind. I like spring because it has dogwoods and redbuds and cherry trees and bright green grass, and because it brings back giant rockfish and peeler crabs and ospreys and newly fledged eagles.
And I like spring because it's the time of year when the Boating Writers International (BWI) writing awards are presented, affirming, year after year after year, what terrific writers we have at Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Once again our gang walked away with the most gold medals (four) and was second only to the fabulous Cruising World in total cash prizes. They had nine; we had eight.
Specifically, good old Marty LeGrand won both first and third place in the environment category--first place for "The Sting," her fantastic August 2010 profile of Chrysaora quinquecirrha, aka the sea nettle. She won bronze for her October article on the state of the Chesapeake oyster, "Salvation on a Half Shell."
Here's a name you might recognize: Wendy Mitman Clarke. Yes, our now-globetrotting former columnist/writer/editor came back to the Bay in the summer of 2009 to have a new engine installed in her traveling family's sailboat, wrote a story about it . . . and nailed first place in the boat/engine-care category. You may recall her "Great Chesapeake Engine-Break-In Cruise" in the March 2010 issue. I should also mention that Wendy also won a BWI certificate of merit for her Off Watch column in the aforementioned Cruising World. And of course since Wendy is, in our minds, merely on temporary loan to that magazine--until she returns to her senses and to the Bay--we consider that a win for us as well.
Then there's the inimitable Tom Horton, who, not surprisingly, won the gold in the boating columns category, for his invariably thought-provoking bimonthly column, Horton at Large. Nica Waters, a newcomer to our writing ranks (introduced to us by Wendy Clarke, I might add), won first place in the boating lifestyles category for her terrific November-issue story "There And Back Again," an account of her young family's year-long sailing adventure, from Deltaville, Va., to the Dominican Republic and back again.
Returning to the list of usual suspects, Jane Meneely earned a silver medal for her September article "Net Game," which told you--in Janie's always charming fashion--everything you should know about pound-netting, through the eyes of a veteran Virginia pound-netter. Tom Dove's excellent how-to article in the August issue, "Weathering a Bay Squall," won a bronze in the seamanship, safety and rescue category. And our own stalwart senior editor Jody Schroath, aka She Who Can Be Many Places at Once, took the bronze award in boating profiles for "Splash," her splendid profile of volunteer divers from the Institute of Maritime History.
My sincerest thanks and congratulations to all these gifted people.