Tag Archives: Boats

Cuba by Boat…or Not

Cruise_to_Cuba.DT-1-2.April 2015President Obama’s recent actions to restore normal diplomatic relations with Cuba so far do not extend to the sea: American boaters are still prohibited from crossing the 90 miles of water that separate the two nations. This article in the April 2015 Soundings explains why.


Boats and the Flag

Soundings, July 2009

Boats played a key role in the evolution of “the flag” as a national symbol. During the War of 1812, a fleet of British warships sailed from Bermuda to terrorize the Chesapeake Bay, sack and burn Washington, DC, and attack Baltimore Harbor.  It was the success of Fort McHenry in defending Baltimore in 1814 that led Francis Scott Key to write his famous poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” (from the deck of a sailboat). It took another hundred years before one stanza of that poem was adopted by Congress as our national anthem.

A separate and slightly less famous flag, “Old Glory,” was flown around the world on the stern of an American whaling ship.

The thread of Boats and the Flag is explored in the July 2009 issue of Soundings. This story won an honorable mention in the 2010 Boating Writers International writing contest.

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The U.S. Naval Academy

July 2008 Soundings

Of all the places to explore by boat on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is one of the must-see ports of call. And the real gem of Annapolis is the U.S. Naval Academy, where the Navy trains its officer corps.

The July 2008 issue of Soundings magazine provides a travel destination feature on the Academy and how to reach it by boat.

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Small Boat Cruising: Less is More

August 2007 Soundings

For the August 2007 issue of Soundings, I was asked to address the question: “Why this boat?” What is it about my boat that makes it special?

This article provides my answer.

The Dismal Swamp Canal & ICW Loop

August 2006 Soundings

In the summer of 2006, a friend and I completed a Little Loop (more manageable, since the Great Loop is 3,000+ miles): From Norfolk, VA, down the Dismal Swamp Canal to Albemarle Sound in North Carolina, and back north in the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW).

This adventure is recounted in the August 2006 issue of Soundings, along with a sidebar on doing a Little Loop, online here (download may be slow).

Chesapeake Bay Military Security Zones

May 2006 Soundings

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, security got a whole lot tighter around the many military bases and facilities on the Chesapeake Bay. Boaters are required to keep at least 500 yards away from U.S. Navy ships and other strategic facilities, and in some particularly tight quarters — notably the Norfolk Naval Base in the Elizabeth River — that has led to tense and potentially deadly confrontations.

Since most recreational boaters appear to have no clue what their obligations are on the water, this article in the May 2006 issue of Soundings was written to clarify the rules: Who’s supposed to do what.