Dock of the Bay
Vol. 9, No. 41
October 11-17, 2001
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photos by Mark Burns

Admirers at this year’s U.S. Sailboat Show walked the docks to browse and dream over 270 sailing vessels of all sizes and styles.

Vendors, like Ken Ader of Longshore International, found that people were showing up to spend in spite of troubled times.

In Annapolis, 270 Sailboats — Minus One

Nearly 300 sailboats packed Annapolis last weekend, but what may have been the oddest ship in the fleet missed the date.

Dry-docked was an 18-foot, Viking-style sailboat, made entirely of 200,000 bottle corks held together by rubber bands and fishing net. The 2,000-pound dreamboat of skipper and shipwright John Pollack, a former Bill Clinton speech writer, was to set off on its maiden voyage from Truxtun Park’s boat ramp on Sunday, October 7.

But the sheer proportions of the boat flummoxed the boat mover, and it remained in a DC alleyway.

Thus Annapolis was left to fixate on a more conventional spectacle, as the 32nd United States Sailboat Show kept all the limelight for itself. Admirers walked the docks to browse and dream. Nine-year-olds in cashmere sweaters followed moms and dads onto the next family yacht. The occasional scent of freshly doffed dock shoes carried on the breeze. Tinkerers fiddled with new GPS toys off to the side. Moods were positive, if softened a bit by Sunday’s news of strikes against Afghanistan.

All signs pointed to a healthy turnout for this year’s show, held October 4 through 8. Even shoe sales were bullish as Speragos to spinnakers picked up a strong headwind of commerce. In the end, this year’s show was only slightly less traveled than the last — and almost as lucrative.

“It’s a little under last year, but considering the economy this year and what’s recently happened, we’re very, very pleased,” said Mike Lechelop, vice president of sales for Beneteau USA. The French-owned boat manufacturer made 66 sales of its premium-priced boats during the five-day show, compared to 69 last year. Catalina, another major boat builder, was expected to sell 50 by show’s end, according to show spokesman Rick Franke.

“We’re pleased,” said Franke. “Everybody came in pretty apprehensive. These are obviously some troubled times. But the public wants to continue what they want to do. And that’s go sailing.”

Ken Ader, of Annapolis boatbuilder’s facility Longshore International, echoed the fact that boat buyers are showing up to spend in spite of troubled times. “We were in Newport just days after September 11, and people were still buying there,” he said. Visitors arrived from all over. At Annapolis, he welcomed aboard visitors from California, Seattle and Colorado.

International visitors stayed the course as well, though in fewer numbers. “We’ve had people come down the gangplank from Sweden, Italy, France,” said Russel Mills, staffing Chesapeake Yacht Sales’ booth with wife Kim, “but the majority are from this area.”

Spectacle will again return to City Dock October 11 through 14 with the United States Powerboat Show. Keep an eye out for John Pollack as well; you’ll see him on the water near Truxtun Park just as soon as he finds a bigger trailer.

— Mark Burns

Anne Arundel Faiths Unite for Peace

In the wake of September 11’s terrorist attack, local people of Middle Eastern descent have been subject to both bigotry and support. Hoping to encourage more of the latter, leaders of Annapolis’ many faiths came together October 8 in a press conference called by Anne Arundel Peace Action to show support for people of Middle Eastern origin.

“This land must be America the beautiful for all that dwell here,” said Rabbi Robert Klemsin, of Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold, summing up the spirit of the gathering. Echoing those sentiments were leaders from local Jewish, Christian, Muslim and even Bahá’í communities (Bahá’í is a religion grown from Islam that regards the teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as progressive revelations).

Mohammed Arafa, director of the Islamic Society of Annapolis, spoke of receiving 100 calls of support and two of hatred after the attacks. The two negative calls carried threats against safety and accusations of enjoying the attack’s results. The 100 positive calls, however, showed the finer side of the community.

“Our beautiful neighbors called to say, ‘If you’re going shopping, and you’re afraid, then I’m coming with you,’” said Arafa.

Hoping to foster more understanding, the Annapolis congregation has held an open house to great success and has plans for another in the near future. Also, Arafa and Klemsin have opened a dialogue between their congregations, sparked by Klemsin’s attending a service at the Islamic center with son Jacob, 17, on September 30.

Calls to end bigotry and open minds poured from each speaker. Dick Kommers, representing Annapolis’ Bahá’í community, spoke to the theme by reading a Bahá’í prayer. Taking it a step further, the Rev. Mamie Williams, district supervisor of the Baltimore-Washington conference of the United Methodist Church, and Marcia Ormsby, of the Annapolis Friends Meeting, issued calls for pacifism.

Williams said that we should err on the side of forgiveness and mercy. “We must be diligent to make sure hatred does not reap more hatred or destruction reap more destruction.”

— Mark Burns

photo by Andrea Daniels
Everyday Heroes: For New York’s Finest, College Manor Sold Cupcakes

How many cupcakes does it take to raise $550? Not many, residents of College Manor in Arnold found, when people come together in a spirit of giving.

To raise funds for United Way’s September 11 Fund, two dozen neighbors donated cookies, cupcakes, breads and cakes, some festively decorated with American flags. Raising the ante were raffled tickets for Six Flags’ Fright Fest and a Longaberger pottery piece. Girls made patriotic pins, bows and flags to sell. Eight-year-old Holly Daniels brought a tape of patriotic music. Four-year-old Emma Trew and her little sister Bess made lemonade. One young man kept emptying his pockets of pennies until he had produced a big handful. “Now may I get a cupcake?” he asked. Baked goods were sold for a donation only, but many people handed over checks.

“People just took the idea and ran with it,” said organizer Lauren Trew. “It was wonderful to see so many people from the community out laughing and enjoying one another.” Trew wanted, she said, to do something tangible to help those directly involved in the terrorist attacks and in the clean-up. “Everyone I talked to felt the same way, so the idea for a community event emerged.”

Co-organizer Nancy Kierstead agreed that people liked the idea of doing something positive in the wake of the terrorist attacks. “Especially for the kids,” she said, “it was a great way to have an outlet.”

Children made cards, many decorated with American flags, expressing their thanks and good wishes in messages like “Thank you fire rescuers for saving lives,” signed Evan, four years old; “Thank you rescue heroes for saving the people in New York,” signed Logan, 5; and “God bless the USA. We love your deeds,” signed Sarah, 4.

The cards and a banner with more words of thanks were sent to a firehouse in Brooklyn, New York, that has lost over 100 firefighters in the search and rescue. Contributions to the United Way’s September 11 Fund go to victims and families of victims of the terrorist attacks.

— Martha Blume

Breezy Point Yard Sales Close to $1,000

Festooned in red, white and blue, the Kearney home at 3406 Meadow Lane in Breezy Point has turned into a flea market the past two weekends. The sale in aid of the New York relief fund continues this Saturday and Sunday.

“People are really responding,” said Joe Kearney. “We’ve made over $800 so far.” That’s apart from the wheelbarrow that’s brought out each of the sale days to collect spare change. It’s fast filling up.

“People have been generous,” added Christine Kearney, the force behind the endeavor. “I come home all the time and find stuff on the front porch or the back yard.” The goods brought over from nearby attics and basements are diverse, and the prices bargain. Bikes, for instance, have been going for just $5. Among the sale items this week is a motorcycle simply in need of timing adjustments.

On the first weekend, Saturday brought in $340, but Sunday only $60 because of the blowing wind. Last weekend the stalwart yard-salers were prepared. With roll plastic anchored by a neighbor’s bricks, Christine Kearney turned a yard lean-to into a thrift store. More neighbors helped build another little lean-to for furniture. Thus protected, they netted another $400 despite rain and competition from the Calvert County Fair.

Each sale day, the front porch becomes the Kearney Café, serving hot dogs, coffee, and cinnamon buns baked fresh each morning. Weather permitting this weekend, the front yard will take on a carnival atmosphere. Featured will be an old-fashioned kissing booth, where you pay for kisses from girls with different color lipstick. Also planned: a craft corner for moms to park their children.

Kearney’s patriotic yard sale emerged as her antidote to helplessness. Neighbors felt the same way. She and Dottie May mobilized the neighborhood. Even young people have been helping make signs. All proceeds go to New York through the Salvation Army.

“The more I started to help, the better I felt,” said Christine Kearney.

— Patricia Kirby

photo by Christopher Jensen
Young women from Plum Point Girl Scout Troop 2006 help clean up along the Patuxent River in Calvert County.
Bagging Trash for a Cleaner World

“Anybody know how long it takes for a glass bottle to decompose? One million years.

“A disposable diaper? Four-hundred fifty years.”

With that, cleaner-upper Candace Morrell led Plum Point Girl Scout Troop 2006 to the Calvert County shore of the Patuxent River, at Kings Landing, to begin one small part of International Coastal Clean-Up Day.

The International Coastal Clean-Up started in Texas in 1986. Year by year, the notion spreads that the world would be a little nicer if there weren’t so much garbage on our shores. Last year, it had spread to 73 countries, where 840,000 volunteers collected over 13 million pounds of junk from over 20,000 miles of shoreline. The Ocean Conservancy leads the whole shebang, with the support of the national Environmental Protection Agency.

This year, the Academy of Natural Science Estuarine Research Center in St. Leonard took on the challenge of organizing the effort on a bit of our Bay’s Western Shore. Local Optimists pitched in, bringing plastic bags and gloves plus refreshments.

But it was the Girl Scouts who dug out and picked up ancient soda bottles and sloshy beer cans. They found stands of bamboo, cigarette butts, plastic wrappers and netting, more cigarette butts and dams to prevent soil runoff. The dams, Morrell explained, “help our favorite friend, the oyster.” If anyone found any 449-year-old experienced diapers, they kept it quiet.

Amidst the trash, they found tiny animal tracks, dewy spider webs and touch-me-nots, the antidote for poison ivy, of which they also found plenty.

“The birds just love the white berries,” said Morrell. “They eat them and then deliver the seeds as little pre-fertilized pellet all over the place, just ready to go.”

But it’s people who spread cigarette butts, twist ties, sheet iron, and even a drill bit along our shores.

And people who picked up, filling 15 plastic bags before the centuries could decompose it.

— Christopher Jensen

Way Downstream …

Along the Potomac River, Maryland and Virginia are cooperating to develop a 100-mile-long water trail from Great Falls to Chesapeake Bay. The project will yield a packaged set of maps that guide boaters with locations of attractions like the homes of George Washington and Robert E. Lee as well as wildlife refuges, state parks and other appealing sites, according to Bay Journal …

In Norway, they’ve finally figured out what to do with 3,000 tons of rotting, frozen fish sitting in the bottom of a sunken ship since summer: They’re making electricity at six different biomass power plants, Reuters news service reported this week …

In the Yukon, this hunter’s story is no bull. He shot a moose with horns that turned out, on closer inspection, to be an animal of both sexes. Moose biologist Rick Ward confirmed the rarity: “It was a hermaphroditic moose; a female with antlers,” Ward said, adding that he hadn’t seen such a creature in 25 years as a biologist …

Our Creature Feature comes from Boston, where even a pair of cuddly koalas are feeling the uncomfortable squeeze of a world full of hostility. The pair, Kiley and Pendicu, have been waiting for weeks to get a flight back to the San Diego Zoo, their home.

But airlines have had trouble scheduling flights in part because their cages must ride in the plane’s main body. Searching the cages poses another problem in the new no-nonsense world of flying because searching the cages could fatally stress the sensitive marsupials. Remarked one zookeeper: “Searching their pockets is out of the question.”

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly