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Dress warmly if you want to get in on the nighttime bite

Darkness had fallen. The scattered fishing boats had headed home with little success. I was alone on the water, and it was a good deal colder than a few minutes earlier, when the sun was shining its last.     But I had dressed well. Zipping up the neck of my fleece turtleneck under a flannel-lined shirt and closing my foul weather coat around me, I settled down to wait.

Maritime historian Richard Dodds tells us how the era of recreational boating rose and flourished

From lighthouses to skipjacks, amphibious landings to speedboats, all that and more is in Richard Dodds’ portfolio as Calvert Marine Museum’s Curator of Maritime History. Inside the Solomons museum, runabouts, cruisers and speedboats that look both modern and classic illustrate how that chapter of maritime history rose and flourished in Southern Maryland. Visit the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis this weekend, and you’ll see the vast diversification of their descendants. It all happened in a very short time.

30,000-horsepower Healy makes the nation’s first solo visit

Satellites snatch glimpses of the North Pole effortlessly, but human visits remain a rare achievement — and a dream. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy reached the pole on September 5. Healy’s was the fourth ever visit by a U.S. surface vessel and the first to reach the pole unaccompanied.

You’re missing out on the fun if you don’t have a boat

It’s almost impossible to look out over our Chesapeake Bay without also gazing at a graceful waterman’s workboat or anglers in a skiff speeding to the next honey hole, a family in a cuddy or cabin cruiser slowly trolling for trophy rockfish or heading for dinner at a waterfront restaurant. Sometimes all of them at the same time.     The plain fact is that if you live in our area and don’t have a boat, you are missing out on enjoying one of our nation’s largest maritime playgrounds.

How I resurrected a 1971 sailboat

Making old things new again is part of my family history. When I was a boy, my mother furnished our home with used furniture purchased at auction. I would often help her strip the paint or varnish from the wood and apply a new finish.     So I wasn’t daunted by the challenge of restoring a 1971 24-foot Ventura MacGregor sailboat. Wife Clara has long had a desire to own a sailboat. When we were offered this one, with trailer, for $1,400, I tested the hull for soundness and purchased it.

Sometimes you have to sail across the ocean and to faraway lands to get back to where you started

Until you don’t have a home, you don’t think about exactly what it is. At least I didn’t. Is it a house you know well in a familiar neighborhood? Someplace close to your friends and family? Maybe it’s no specific place. Maybe it can be anywhere as long as you’re with the one dearest to you.

60 years later, this Chesapeake shipwreck remains a cautionary tale

Much has changed in the maritime world in the 60 years since the sinking of the Levin J. Marvel topped the Chesapeake’s disaster charts. The key to maritime safety hasn’t changed — aboard the Levin J. Marvel in 1955 or the recreational craft we use today.

Leg 8 gives women their first win and Abu Dhabi Racing the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race trophy

It has been a long time coming, but an all-woman team has won a leg of the modern Volvo Ocean Race.     English skipper Sam Davies and her largely rookie crew of Olympic champions of Team SCA had won some in-port races but not an offshore leg.

When every ounce is a drag on speed, how to provision for 5,500 calories per sailor per day?

In the nine brutal legs covering the 38,739 nautical miles of the Volvo Ocean Race, every ounce matters with the evenly matched, one-design boats. Sailors have been known to shave down their toothbrushes, and drinking cups often double as dishes.     So what would the grocery list on a Volvo-65 look like on one of the longer legs, say from China to New Zealand?     Here in his own words is the food order that Stefan Coppers for Team Brunel sent to the shore crew for the 4,500-mile fourth leg to Auckland.

A firsthand account from the Volvo Ocean Racers

After sailing the earth’s five major oceans, the Volvo Ocean Race sailors have delivered their verdict when it comes to pollution. Humans are using the oceans of the world as a dumping ground for everything from plastics to chemicals to human waste.     Every four years, when the Volvo veterans sail the world anew, it gets worse. Much worse.