Letters to the Editor
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Danger on the Water
Dear Bay Weekly:
The incident I describe occurred on a beautiful fall day. It was a perfect day, as it turned out, for careless decisions.
Rescue at Sea: Heroic Efforts by Local Residents Avert Catastrophe Chesapeake Bay never looked better. Bright sunlight sparkled off the water. A steady, gentle breeze blew toward the open sea. The waves rolled gently with the tide. The seascape was replete with billowing sails, and a flotilla gathered for a regatta. Motorboats winked along the horizon. Being at sea was never more satisfying. My kayak and I had escaped the daily routine. I was in control of my own destiny.
A sudden jolt woke me from my reverie. Where was I? Where was I going? Whitecaps thumped against the hull. I didn’t need to be warned. I headed home, but the tide had changed, and I struggled for what seemed to be an eternity.
The shore I reached was protected by a six-foot bulkhead. A formidable sight. The waves smashed up against it and sprayed the dock. Two more kayakers offered to help, but none of us was sure how I could climb up. Then a couple of homeowners tossed me a rope. They had me and the kayak up and out of the water in a few minutes.
As I rested on the dock, I thanked Tom and Laura, who helped me reach dry land, and Doug and Terri Sisk, who pulled me out. Though my adventure was over, I won’t forget Doug’s advice: “Bill, the next time you want to exercise, take a walk.”
As a result, I have several recommendations for others who might be tempted as I was:
• Don’t go out kayaking without a helmet. I actually hit my head on the dock pilings a couple of times before I made it out.
• Always wear a life jacket. However shallow the water is, waves and rocks are a bad combination.
• Take a cell phone.
• Take careful note of your surroundings when you first go out. Houses and trees lining the shore can look very different when the wind comes up and you’re heading the other way.
I, for one, plan to swallow my pride and take a basic kayaking course. I won’t always have friendly neighbors to toss me a line when the tide turns.
William F. Culhane, North Beach
Reply to Woman Seeking Fishing Friends
Rather than wait for you to call back to see what we've learned about women's fishing groups, we print your answers for all to see.
For women 18 years and older, Maryland Department of Natural Resources runs the program Becoming an Outdoors-Woman, with outdoor skills workshops including fishing. Workshops may include a two-day canoe trip down the Potomac River with an overnight camp, a one-day fishing clinic or an outdoor survival skills weekend. Each workshop showcases that areas’ resources and opportunities: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife. Search Bow.
Fly-fishing women will find sisterhood at Chesapeake Women Anglers: http://www.chesapeakewomenanglers.org/.
Sandra Olivetti Martin,
Bay Weekly Editor