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The Main Event

Any boat guy will find plenty to see and do at OpSail 2012 Virginia, to be held at multiple locations along the Virginia coastline from June 1 through 12. Commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, this multi-venue event will feature majestic tall ships, warships both foreign and domestic, and plenty of waterfront activities, including concerts, pirate festivals, sporting contests, and more. Best of all, boaters get prime vantage points for the best attractions: the tall ship parades of sail and air shows featuring the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.

For good or for bad, sometimes the world works in mysterious ways.

Who’da Thunk?

Illustration by Gil AdamsOkay, I’ll admit it. I’ve become a tad cynical over the years. So when the Deepwater Horizon exploded catastrophically on April 20, 2010,  killing 11 crewmen, I cynically watched developments on TV, day after day, feeling steadily more dismal over the resultant oil spill and what it was gonna do to the Gulf Coast and, more particularly (and selfishly perhaps), Panama City, Florida, the place where my wife and I were keeping our Grand Banks trawler Betty Jane. Having spent several of my youthful years working on oil-field boats in the Gulf, a job that put me cheek-by-jowl with big oil companies like BP, I figured I knew the score. Everybody was gonna lose … except BP! 

Electronics Update: GPS Invasion Slowed—For Now

FCC logoLast week, we discovered a company called LightSquared filed for bankruptcy protection. You may recall from coverage in the May issue of Power & Motoryacht that LightSquared is developing a 4G broadband cellular network that has the unfortunate side effect of interfering with GPS signals.

Good Night Irene

Hurrican IreneThe name Irene has been retired from the World Meteorological Organization’s list of storm names for the Atlantic Basin. Typically, names are recycled every six years—unless the storms they designate cause massive destruction. When Irene struck last August, she cut quite a swath: 48 deaths (40 in the US) and an estimated $15.8 billion in damages, not to mention devastating inland flooding in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

What’s Your Party Affiliation?

In an election year, the issues are up for debate. And one question may have Maryland boaters stumped: What will become of the great Bumper Bash of the Magothy River? Every July, hundreds of boaters have rafted up for a floating party off Dobbins Island near Annapolis, Maryland. But after a fierce legislative debate between organizers and local residents—the event may be coming to an end. In recent years, the state responded to the growth of Bumper Bash by increasing the number of police on duty.

Going Soft

While the briny tang of a raw oyster slipping across the tongue is a distant memory come summertime (for those who still abide by those rules), it’s high time to turn your thoughts to other seasonal delectations. Enter the softshell crab for an all-too-short visit: Flavor and texture are at their peak from now until August, and, as usual, the simplest recipe is the best with the freshest seafood.

Pocket Money

Ever wonder where your marina fees go—maintenance, repairs, maybe a new dock cleat every now and then? In Hawaii, about $100,000 in docking fees went to lining the wallet of a state boating official, according to police.

Well, I'll Be Blessed. And Betty, Too!

A few weekends ago, I was elbow deep in Betty Jane's annual oil-change (a day-long extravaganza that usually entails, besides the oil deal, a total swap-out of coolant and filters) when I heard something strange and seemingly far off.

A bagpipe? Playing The Marine's Hymn?

My Titanic Moment

Capt. Richard ThielOn the wall of my office, right above my desk where I have to look at it every day, hangs a large black-and-white photograph of a ship. It lends a nautical ambience to what would otherwise be a cold and sterile space. But this isn’t a photo of just any ship. It’s of the RMS Titanic, as she’s leaving Southampton, England, on her maiden voyage, almost exactly 100 years ago. 

The picture has been with me for a long time and adorned many offices because it has been a constant reminder of two rules that have been important to me, not only in magazine publishing but in life: Expect the unexpected, and you’re never as smart as you think you are.