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Beating the Heat

Cool Tips for Hot Weather

    How hot are you?
    Sweltering, sweating, suffering and swearing. That’s Chesapeake summer in the year 2013.
    How do you endure it?
    As the heat index rose, we had a burning need to find answers to that question. Bay Weekly reporters posed the question to neighbors who, for one reason or another, have had to learn to beat the heat.
    We met some hot people and learned some cool tricks.
    But have we exhausted the fires of this particular hell?
    By no means.
    I bet you’ve got the story to top every one of these.
    Bay Weekly readers are burning to hear it.
    Send your hot-as-Hades stories and cool-as-a-cucumber tricks to [email protected] or post to Bay Weekly Facebook.
    –Sandra Olivetti Martin, Bay Weekly editor and publisher

Peter Abresch of Prince Frederick lives a cool life as a writer.
But he’s known heat …

    “I have traveled the world for the federal government as a geodescist tracking satellites, and this mostly in hot countries. I’ve worked in Thailand, Japan, Guyana, Liberia in venues not always air-conditioned. In New Guinea we worked in tents.
    “In Calvert Country since 1966, I have published 10 books with another coming out by the end of this summer. I write in a cool cellar with air conditioning. And I moderate the Writers by the Bay fiction workshop at cool Calvert Library in Prince Frederick.
    “I stay indoors except when I go to the gym, which is also kept cool. But when you work out, you sweat anyway.”
    –Elisavietta Ritchie

Jeff Copsey of Prince Frederick and Paul Foster of North Beach are carpenters for Copsey and Copsey Contractors. They have put up new siding on the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons Island and are now replacing the downspouts.

Carpenters Jeff Copsey and Paul Foster.

    Copsey, shirtless and in shorts, says “I drink a lot of water and try to get in the shade as much as possible.”
    Foster, covered head to foot including white sunscreen, says “I wear a long-sleeve shirt. If the sun’s off you, you stay cool. You perspire and the evaporation works.”
    Copsey: “I’ve heard that if you wear a shirt all the time, your body moisture keeps you cool. I’m just a Southern Maryland boy. Been on the water all my life. Just keep yourself hydrated. They’ve got a good water fountain here, ice-cold water.”
    Foster: “If you get too heated and drink the cold water, it will cramp you up, but you don’t want to drink hot water. I’ve got coffee in the car, but that’s not a good idea.”
    Copsey: “You’ve got to take a few breaks. The breeze today makes it fairly decent, and we can live with it.”
    –Sandy Anderson

Zachary Cox.

Mike Cox and son Zachary, Mennonite farmers and owners of White Oak Point Farm in Prince Frederick, take advantage of what nature has to offer to cool off after a long day’s work on the farm.

    “We get out early,” Mike Cox says. “Sometimes, we break open a watermelon while we work. Straw hats help. Until this past week, we jumped off the pier, fully clothed, except for our shoes, into Buzzard Island Creek, which is in our back yard. Zachary is our lead leapfrog. But now, the jellyfish are back with the heat and warm waters.”
    –Michelle Steel

Elliot Anderkin Jr., Ikjot Walha and Patrick Conrad at Diehl’s Produce in Severna Park.

In Severna Park Diehl’s Produce workers Ikjot Walha, freshman at the University of Maryland, and Patrick Conrad, sophomore at Old Dominion, both of Severna Park, and Elliot Anderkin Jr. of Pasadena work outside at Diehl’s Produce. So how do they keep their cool?

    “Distractions,” says Ikjot. As cashier, she spends a lot of time in the shade of Diehl’s tent. “I look for things to do around the stand. After work, I stay inside.”
    “I drink a lot of cold ice water. I think it’s the safest thing to do when you’re out in the heat all day,” says Patrick, tossing a watermelon from a truck to Elliot.
    “Snowballs are great,” Elliot says, adding the melon to a stack. “But you don’t want to have anything dairy. Those tend to go bad in your stomach. I speak from experience on that one. And avoid polyester clothes because they just don’t breathe as well.”
    –Marilyn Recknor

Robbie Dillon of Chesapeake Beach is a waterman and captain of the Chesapeake Beach crabber Marlee Jade.

    “Crabbing is very, very draining this time of year, so I drink lots of water and Gatorade and stay hydrated. If it’s too overwhelming, I jump overboard, except right now there are sea nettles, lots and lots. More sea nettles than I’ve seen in a long time.  
    “With the boat turned some directions, we’re in the sun; some we’re not. We don’t have any choice; there are a lot of crab pots to get fished. We have a canopy, but depending on the hour and where the sun is, we either get shade or not.
    “The oilskins that we wear are very hot. We wear them to protect our clothes from getting wet and dirty and to keep the sea nettles off.  But the oilskins are made of rubber. To handle the crabs we wear rubber gloves with padding. They are also hot. We also wear rubber boots to keep our feet dry. It’s brutal.
    “You release heat through your head, hands and feet. Your hands and feet are covered with rubber, so we sweat a lot through our heads.  Some of the guys on my boat wear hats, some to protect ears and nose from skin cancer, being in the sun. But you’ve got to release the heat somehow. Me, personally, I’d just go nuts wearing a hat so long.
    “I’m grateful I’m in the captain’s seat. I have the option to take my gear off. The most important thing: Stay hydrated. Short of getting bait for the crab pots, water and Gatorade are my next priorities.”
    –Sandy Anderson

Erin Miriam Duffy, educator and mate on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation skipjack Stanley Norman, is outside almost all day every day on an old wooden sailboat.

    “So how do I beat the heat? I first start with a mental embrace (the beauty of summer is in salty skin). Next I find every excuse to play in the water. But of course I also do hats, sunscreen, tons of water and hair up. But one of the biggest ways is that I bike around town a lot, which keeps my temper, as well as my insulation, down. On the boat we spray our students with a garden hose. Watch out!”
    –Emily Myron

Toby Fultz and Patrick Grimes.

Toby Fultz’s Herrington Harbour Travel Lift crew suffer most, says Fultz, of Mason’s Beach, when they’re “power-washing big, huge nasty boats.”

    That’s a job repeated “25 or 30 times a week” this summer when marine propellers are foul with barnacles to a degree Fultz has never seen before. Another crew delivers boats to the marine well where Fultz’s three-man crew picks them up in a Travel Lift, drives boat and lift onto a wash ramp and hoses away in an operation called short-hauling.
    To beat the heat, “We’ve got ice in our cooler and lots of water,” says Patrick Grimes of Deale. “And we try to find some shade.”
    “We wear sunglasses and hats with wet towels underneath, around our heads,” says Jon White, of Tracy’s Landing. “It’s hot, but working is how we get paid.”
    Today Fultz’s crew has got it easy. They’re clearing out chairs after a weekend pool party. Another crew is doing the short-hauls.
    –Sandra Olivetti Martin

Joyce Howard, pirate and Renaissance Festival fan, dressed up to celebrate her birthday at Big Mary’s Dock Bar at Pirates Cove in Galesville.

    “We pick fabrics that are cotton-like, no nylon. I do Renaissance festivals nine weeks out of the year; have for eight years. I have traveled in the festival to Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New York and as far as Texas. The hottest festival was in Virginia over Memorial Day Week, so we are just freaking used to heat.”
    –Maggie Stamets