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Look for Chessie Ruckus and his partner Officer First Class Jake Coxon in Annapolis

A barking good time for all at Quiet Waters Park

Becoming a Riverkeeper was my way of helping change ­people’s lives

After three years in Chesapeake waters, Pride of Baltimore II resumes her voyages of goodwill

Byway meadows help pollinators thrive

It’s just a game for Senior Olympic billiards player Blaine Jacobs

Sporting Life columnist Dennis Doyle wrote last week that the newly elected president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, Robert T. Brown Sr. of St. Mary’s County, was apprehended by Natural Resources Police illegally setting nets off of Chapel Point State Park.     Those were fighting words to Mick Blackistone, executive director of the Association.      Blackistone:     The Maryland Watermen’s Association and members are...

Six destinations to remind you we are not meant to live on land alone

These are six of 99 stops in Simarski and husband Guy Guthridge’s six-year voyage of Chesapeake discovery aboard Bright Pleiades. Other journeys appeared in Bay Weekly between 2007 and 2008 under the title Voyages of Discovery.   Pilgrimage to the Top of the Bay     Our trawler curved along the channel of the Susquehanna Flats toward the very top of the Bay. Bedazzled by ducks, I had long wanted to see the flats, a legendary waterfowl hunting ground whose depths once...

John Maounis marked the trail for you

The Chesapeake Bay is not any old park. When is the last time you saw a park that was entirely on the water?     When John Maounis started work as superintendent at the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay office seven years ago, he had never seen such a thing either. His job was to find the best way for the National Park Service to be a part of Bay protection.     Maounis was no stranger to parks. He’d worked at parks and historic sites across the country...

30-year-old Bay-built has no fear of “young and modern boats”

The brotherhood of Dickerson sailboats stretches far and wide.     Built on the Eastern Shore under three owners from 1946 to 1987, Dickersons became so beloved that afficionados compete in the Find a Lost Dickerson Sailboat contest to complete the registry of every Dickerson ever built.     So it’s big news that Polish Sailor Krystian Szypka plans to race one of the Chesapeake-built boats across the Atlantic in OSTAR 2013. The challenging single-handed...

Bridges to become waterway access points

As cars rumble over newly built bridges, Marylanders will be paddling beneath them. As soon as 2014, bridges will no longer be only routes over rivers. They will also be places where Marylanders can safely get down to the water to fish, canoe and kayak.     That’s the result of one of more than 350 bills passed by the Maryland General Assembly this year. Passed almost unanimously, only three nays were cast, all in the House, one by Calvert Del. Tony O’Donnell....

New and seasonal favorites bring flavor to spring

I grew up in a bucolic part of northern Delaware near the Brandywine River Valley, dubbed Chateau Country for its lush countryside riddled with duPont estates, rolling hills and horse farms. Greenville is the town center, just down the road from Nemours and Hagley Museum, the estate and gunpowder mill that was the beginning of the duPont dynasty. My father’s family has been part of the community for many generations, though we plowed a different path than the duPonts. My great-grandfather...

This week read how each in our different ways, gets back to the water

The water is calling, and throughout Chesapeake Country we hear and answer.     With the windows open for the first time this spring, I woke to watermen’s voices rising uphill through cherry blossoms. Crabbers Steve Smith and Billy Scerbo, both at the job for decades, lifted bright red and yellow unfouled pots onto their trucks, joking their way into the new season.     Sure, as Smith told me a cold week earlier, the scarcity and the high price of the best...

If I can leave my garden long enough to launch my boats

The Bay Gardener has difficulty deciding which is more relaxing, spending days in the garden, spending hours sailing his 24-foot MacGregor swing-keel boat, building boats or resurrecting an old boat or tractor.     When it is too cold, windy or wet, resurrecting an old boat or antique tractor in the warm garage provides hours of challenges and satisfaction. Now that spring is here, there is competition for my time. The garden needs to be planted, and the sailboat needs attention...

When the forsythia bloom, the hickories start running

Pulling into my driveway this week, I caught the briefest  flash of bright yellow out of the corner of my eye. A neighbor’s forsythia bush was beginning to bloom. My mind returned to this exact time a year ago.     Late that morning, a friend and I were pussyfooting up to a riverbank on the upper Choptank. We had already spent a number of fruitless weeks chasing elusive yellow perch and again feared failure. What we saw in the water restored our hope. Fishfinder...

Aboriginal singers fight racial profiling with soul

In 1967, the Australian government classified the land’s native Aboriginal tribes as “Flora and Fauna.” To help the indigenous people, the government took to inspecting Aboriginal settlements, looking for fair-skinned children. Such children were taken from their tribe and families and sent to a special school, where they were taught to pass as white and to abandon their culture.     Because of these laws, the Cummeraganja Songbirds, an aboriginal country act,...