Summertime in Baltimore means one thing, Maryland Steamed Crabs. My favorite memories involved the family gathered around a picnic table with a bushel of crabs spread over newspaper and Chuck Thompson on the radio calling the O’s play-by-play. It didn’t get any better than that. All that changed in 2009, when I began my boycott of crabs. What would make a red-blooded Baltimorean swear off crabs? Crab Pot Interference!
It was our first full season with our Contour 34 trimaran. Wanting to see how she would race, we registered for the Northern Bay Race Week sponsored by Glenmar Sailing Club. The start was very intimidating with 11 multihulls unwilling to give the newbies an inch. With an F-31 trimaran about to t-bone us, I closed my eyes, felt Clint put the helm down, heard the gun sound as we accelerated across the line. We led heading to the first mark.
White, red and yellow styrofoam floats marked the crab pots littering the course like a well designed grid. Approaching the mark, I took the helm while Clint prepared the spinnaker set. Still in the lead, we rounded the mark with great speed, popped the spin, then immediately came to a screeching halt. Our rudder had snagged a wayward crab pot. We went from first to last trying to untangle ourselves. The very next race the same exact thing happened! Seriously? That season the Bay was so littered with crab pots, we stopped eating this staple in silent protest. We held out for three years before savoring that sweet meat again.
It appears the Chesapeake is not the only body of water littered with pots. Robert Beringer, another lover of steamed crabs, explores how to navigate the minefield without getting tangled and what to do if one wraps around your prop.
Summertime also means exploring the waterways and quaint towns that line the shores. Vickie Lathom takes us on a journey up the Potomac river to Washington D.C. She writes, “Anchoring in the shadow of the Washington Monument is a humbling and exhilarating experience.” For a slower pace Jody Reynolds explores the southern charm of Belhaven, North Carolina. The uncrowded marinas and new restaurants sounds like the perfect get-away. And if you are looking for adventure, go treasure hunting in central Florida. Rafael Liam tells you where “X” marks the spot.
Ann Eichenmuller made me laugh when I read her story “Stop Yelling at Me.” Ann shares her secret to staying married while anchoring and docking a boat. Also with more boats on the water, learn some tips on how to effectively talk on the VHF. It could save your life.
No matter what you do this summer have fun and most importantly be safe.