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Oysters and socks

Within every community there are events that mark the passage of time. We recognize such changes in different ways in different cultures. Children grow into adults – though some of us may never have quite made it. . Individuals retire from working careers. And sailors, who pay special attention to seasons, recognize the arrival of Spring and the beginning of sailing season. Traditionally on the Bay we do so with the ‘burning of the socks’.  By losing the socks that provided winter warmth, we prepare for the warm months of bare feet and boat shoes.

Many organizations hold sock burning parties close to the Spring equinox throughout the Bay. Such event was held yesterday (March 24) at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Appropriately, the event was an all-you-can-eat Oyster Roast, with entertainment by Them Eastport Oyster Boys providing great music! 

While it turned a bit chilly and wet, none-the-less the fire was lit and socks were burned.  Although it took a bit of scrounging to get the fire started………

Thanks to the AMM for another fine event – to paraphrase Them Oyster Boys,  good food, good music, good times …. and welcome to another sailing season!

Spring equinox …

….at least for me, the official start of the sailing season!    In honor of the celestial event, I motored out of the slip if only briefly.

Spent four days on the boat working through the Spring engine maintenance routine including checks of zincs, impellers and filters, topping coolant level and changing oil. Checked all the fitting and tightened nuts where needed, inspected all the sheets and halyards for wear, and organized gear below deck. Finally, tested all the navigation lighting and instruments. All that remains of the Spring check list is to clean and fill the fresh water system, and just received word that the marina will turn on the dock water tomorrow.

The very mild winter and early Spring has made it possible to ready the boat more easily and quickly this year. Hoping that all this nice weather will continue through the summer and late into next Fall making for a long season on the Bay.

Next post should include pictures under sail! Some are perhaps a bit impatient to be underway…….

miss Addison looks ready to go .........



An equinox occurs twice a year (around 20 March and 22 September), when the tilt of the Earth‘s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth’s equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name “equinox” is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day have approximately equal length.

At an equinox, the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator (i.e. declination 0) and ecliptic intersect. These points of intersection are called equinoctial points: classically, the vernal point and the autumnal point. By extension, the term equinox may denote an equinoctial point.


Mid-Atlantic Coast Wind Development

For interested sailors, the lease parcels lie 8+ nautical miles off shore. The link to maps provides a good look at the potential distribution………. reprint from Maryland’s Chesapeake & Coastal Service News – March 2012.



Leasing Process for Commercial Wind Development Initiated for Offshore Maryland



Kentish Flats wind power farm, in sunset.

Photo by Vattenfall.

On February 2, 2012, the Department of Interior announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is moving forward with the process for wind energy lease sales off the coasts of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.  BOEM’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment found that there would be no significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts from issuing wind energy leases in designated Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas off the mid-Atlantic Coast.


The environmental assessment considered potential environmental impacts associated with site assessment activities, such as geophysical, geotechnical, archeological and biological surveys and the installation and operation of meteorological towers and buoys.  BOEM will use this environmental assessment to inform future leasing decisions in the Mid-Atlantic, including those emerging from BOEM’s recent Call for Information and Nominations (Call) for Maryland’s Wind Energy Area (WEA). Through this Call, BOEM is soliciting additional lease nominations and is requesting public comments about site conditions, resources and other existing uses of the WEA off the coast of Maryland. Once a lease is obtained and the developer proposes a wind energy generation project on its lease, BOEM will prepare a separate site- and project-specific analysis under NEPA of its construction and operations plan, and provide additional opportunities for public involvement.


The Call Area offshore Maryland contains nine whole OCS blocks and 11 partial blocks. A map of the area of interest can be found at:


For more information on Maryland’s efforts to plan for offshore wind and to help the State to balance multiple uses in the ocean, visit

Messing about in (with) boats….

Ever wonder where the expression came from ?

`Nice? It’s the ONLY thing,’ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. `Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING–absolutely nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: `messing–about–in–boats; messing—-‘

`Look ahead, Rat!’ cried the Mole suddenly. It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air. `–about in boats–or WITH boats,’ the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. `In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter.

Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not. Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?’

Kenneth Grahame  [Childrens story writer – Scottish, died 1932]