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Boating

Wooden boats require constant maintenance, and for the Mary Lois, it’s a family affair

Even a landlubber could tell this boat was different. Sitting on the hard at Herrington Harbour North this spring, it turned heads. It was old, it was wood — and something more. The lineage that defined that something more would stump even a sailing expert.     For more than 60 years, this custom-designed and home-built wooden boat, the Mary Lois by name, has sailed the Bay, owned by the same family who designed and built it. The Egelis are a dynasty of world-famous painters who planted their roots in Maryland almost 100 years ago.

This year’s U.S. Sailboat Show has something for you

The newest thing about this year’s United States Sailboat Show is innovative, but not exactly new.     For the first time in its 45-year history, the annual Annapolis sailing extravaganza will debut Brokerage Cove, a section of previously owned yachts for sale. Offering a used-boat option was such a success in its debut at last year’s U.S. Powerboat Show that organizers expanded it to the sailboat show as well.

The drama of big-boat sailing scaled affordably

Some Bay-area sailors own their own yachts and race in spirited regattas, all without spending thousands of dollars — or even getting wet.     Model yacht clubs offer the drama of big-boat sailing on a much smaller, more affordable scale. Enthusiasts take small-scale sailing quite seriously and hold competitive regattas.

The fishing is great; the ­dangers of hypothermia grave

Finally I had to face it; with morning temperatures in the low 50s, socks are a necessity. With regret, I moved my fishing shorts and warm-weather shirts into winter storage last week. Hauling my insulated long-sleeved undershirts and heavyweight long pants from the back of the closet broke the final link with summer. It’s going to be pretty much a cold-weather game from here on out.

No walk in the park in Chesapeake Country

Water, water everywhere in Chesapeake Country. Getting to it is the trick — as I found when I tried to locate Southern Anne Arundel County’s two new water access points.     Both are at public parks in Shady Side. Shady Side Park opened last month; Jack Creek Park a year ago.     My first goal was to locate the launch at Shady Side Park. Heading down Shady Side Road, I saw one small sign indicating the park straight ahead. What I found was a baseball field. No sign identified it as a park.

Buying local? Try vinegar lulled for five months in a skipjack’s hull

     The taste of place is about the best translation English can give to the French word terroir. The idea comes from the vineyards of France, so it doesn’t have to jump far into the vinegar barrel.     Still, it’s a bit of a leap into the hold of the skipjack Rosie Parks, a ­vintage Eastern Shore oyster boat.

Captain a STEM crew this summer

Many good sailors believe sailing is an art. All great sailors know that sailing is about the science, math and engineering that go into designing, building and piloting a modern sailboat. That’s not news at the National Sailing Hall of Fame in Annapolis.     “Sailing has a large crossover with science, engineering and math. Sailors constantly use these disciplines for navigation, racing strategy and boat design,” Hall of Fame educator Geoff Cuneo told Bay Weekly.

20 minutes to better boating

I take my boating safety seriously. For the past 20 years, I have signed up for Coast Guard Auxiliary safety inspection. My spring ritual assures I will be safe, legal and prepared should the Coast Guard or Natural Resources Police choose to stop me for a random on-water inspection.     Every year I pass the formal inspection, but the inspector always makes multiple recommendations for improving my safety. This year I wanted to pass with no recommendations.

In this white world, I seemed to be staring at heaven

I never considered myself the cruise-ship type until I woke up in a luxurious cabin well below 60 degrees south latitude — in Antarctica. The view out the window was so bright and dazzling that I might have been staring at ­heaven, for I could not look too long.     After watching Cape Horn disappear the night before, I had fallen asleep as we clove grey seas into thick fog. Now the curtain had parted to reveal this icy Shangri-La, a splendor of mountains and ice gleaming all around us.

I learned from the best

I was 16 months old when I went on my first fishing tournament, joining my grandfather Bill Burton, at the Waters and Woods Ball Fishing Tournament he staged for more than 50 years in the last weekend of April. I didn’t get to fish until my third tournament, and then I was skunked.