Aladdin and Miss Suzzie

I could start this “Once Upon A Time” but I think not. So how do I start this? A long while ago Blue Crabs, Oysters and Rockfish were plentiful on the Chesapeake Bay. That’s when the water was cleaner than it is today. Back in the 1940s and ’50s I remember boats loaded till the gunwales were awash. Today a couple dozen bushels of crabs is a good catch.

Over harvesting and pollution is holding down the crab, The crab population count in 2014 is one of the lowest in history. But the Rockfish seems to be staging a small comeback

So where does Miss Suzie and Aladdin fit into this story. They were two of the many work-boats plying the waters of the Chesapeake. Today they lie rotting on the shore of the West River, near Shadeyside, Md. I discovered them, and the remains of a few more while kayaking from Galesville

. These decaying hulks most without names serve as a reminder of what riches the Bay once provided. In the middle of the last century one could find ghost of old work-boats like this in many of the marshes along the shores of the Bay.

About all that’s visible of Miss Suzzie.

More remains of Aladdin. Her bow resting on shore amidst weeds.

While I was paddling around here I shot some other remains.

Though not a hull, it definitely belongs to a piece of sunken wreck. The water here is just a few feet deep but the water is too turbid to see what it is connected to.

Sailing vessels were used mainly for hauling in Oysters, and nets full of fish. The extreme rake of the mast was designed to hoist the cargo to and from the hold.

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A few days Off The Grid

Have you ever wanted to spend a few days Off The Grid? Would you call a fast channel crossing a cruise? We did both! Aboard the Capt. Jason II we crossed the Tangier Sound in the Chesapeake Bay to Smith Island where we had a few days Off The Grid, well not fully, but with very limited cell phone and no Internet we came close. Smith Island is served by boats from Crisfield, at the southern most tip of the Eastern Shore in Maryland. Another island nearby
is Tangier Island, about 10 miles south of Smith Island in Virginia.

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Birds, Birds, Birds at Wilde Lake

From time to time I take my camera to Wilde Lake and wait for some god photos to happen. Earlier this week was one of the good days; Woodpeckers, Great Blue Herons, Black Crowned Night Herons, and an Osprey. Unfortunately the Black Crowned was hiding and I didn’t get a chance to shoot it. There was also a reported sighting of a Yellow Heron, and of course plenty of Canada Geese. The Osprey just made one turn overhead, not a good photo-op. So I’ll just leave you with what I think are some good shots.

Adult and Juvenile Woodpecker

Adult and Juvenile Woodpecker

Great Blue Heron fishing

Great Blue Heron fishing

Heron and Canada Geese

Heron and Canada Geese

6-gbhon island_3642

There are two nests of Green herons, with about 4 or 5 chicks in each of them. Today they were big enough to fly, but still stayed around ‘home’. I was able to get some shots of one of the nests while the chicks were just fighting for the best place on the tree branch to get fed. While the adult just stood by and watched.


Adult and Juvenile Green Herons Adult and Juvenile Green Herons

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On the Water on the 4th

The heavy work finished last night, the racks installed and the kayaks loaded. The gear bags sorted, and everything checked.we were ready for the Fourth of July. So when the morning dawned and the Weather Underground forecast was for sun and clear sky the only thing left was to consider the wind and decide where to launch.

Based in central Maryland we have many choices, so let’s see: Piney Run Park – too small, Baltimore harbor launching at the Canton Waterfront Park Well. there’s Fort McHenry across from the Canton put-in, but the Potapsco River is always busy and the crossing would not be comfortable. Annapolis – again it would be busy with lots of powerboats and confused water. Ok, look north. Lake Marburg in Codorus Park, Pa. but we’ve been there a lot and there are lots of pontoon boats – I call them party barges, way too busy for our tastes. There’s not much to the west, so we looked south. The Potapsco River at Daniels (see some my earlier posts), good, but it’s a short paddle upstream before we hit rapids that neither of us wanted to attempt, and we had a lot of rain in the previous couple of days – fast-moving water with lots of mud. Further south is Seneca Lake in Black Hills Park. That’s good when no one is fishing, but when fishermen are active so are the power boats. Add to the fact that we covered most of the lake about a month ago helped us decide against it. Only one convenient place left to paddle, Tridelphia Lake. Yes, we paddled there only 2 weeks ago but there is very little power boat traffic. Our last trip to Tridelphia opened up a new vista for us, unlike open water, it would have plenty of shade, So we decided another visit was in store.

When we arrived at the Tridelphia Lake Road boat launch ramp the lagoon calm, but we could see the water out on the lake was a bit rougher, nothing to be concerned about, so we unloaded the boats and gear then launched. The paddle up to the head of the lake was into the wind, and seas – lots of work. Once at the head of the lake we turned into a small stream, about 30′ across, and headed into very quiet water. The rains I mentioned earlier caused some run-off from the nearby farms and lots of turbidity so we couldn’t see much underwater. This stream continues for almost a mile and unlike the body of the lake, it is tree covered. We paddled in shade most of the way in pure “wilderness”. Not a sound of a car or truck could be heard, only the calls of many birds, and twice we spotted what we think was a Beaver, but with a loud Splash of its tail it disappeared underwater. The video gives a better feel to our day on Tridelphin Lake.

After tying off to a snag along the creek for lunch we turned back, into sun, and the main body of the lake. The chop that we fought on the outbound part of the trip helped push us along on our return to the car.

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A Plethora of Passwords


About Passwords – said better than I could have written.

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

There are a number of irritating things experts insist you must do for your own good: eat nine servings of veggies a day; maintain a diverse retirement portfolio; check your transmission fluid every month. Most of us ignore a lot of this advice, because there’s no end to it, and our lives are complicated enough.

Photo by Kit

Photo by Kit

As a habitual good advice ignorer myself, I realize that when I tell you I’m here today to talk about passwords, you’ll want to tune me out. But wait! Good password hygiene is more important than flipping your mattress.

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Comfort by Tom Witkin

Tom Witkin a San Francisco based designer and developer authored the following, but it could apply to any creative aspect of life, not just to any of the arts, but all of life.


Until recently, I felt that I had gotten a little too comfortable. I had grown a little too accustomed to assuming I’ll always be able to dictate the current situation. I had grown intolerant of anything that forced me to change my routine — my tightly held habits. I feared uncertainty.

One of the biggest realizations I’ve made is the need to be uncomfortable. I need to deliberately push myself into uncomfortable territory. I’ve been denying myself from really experiencing what’s around me, all in the name of being comfortable.

Sustained comfort leads to crippling stasis. When the work I do and the life I live is static, I don’t explore new things. I don’t take chances. I don’t venture from what I already know.

Often, what is known isn’t the best for the task at hand. To truly find the best, I need to explore the unfamiliar. I need to enter regions and thoughts that I haven’t dared venture into before. I need to have a willingness to put myself in uncomfortable positions. I need to let myself be in situations where I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

This can be scary. It can be scary in my personal life, where achieving comfort is seemingly the ultimate goal, and in my work, as it’s easy to believe that staying in my comfort zone ensures at least an ok product.

What happens when I do this, though, is an incomplete and less desirable outcome. I’m recreating what’s already been done, gaining no new ground. Instead, I must venture into the unknown. What gets me through isn’t the knowledge that the solution I’m pursuing has already been done, but the confidence in my ability and skills to think of a better solution. What gets me through is the knowledge that I can take what I’m given and make something great. I may pull my hair out along the way, but that’s the point; I need to be pushed into an uncomfortable state to allow the process of succeeding to push me back out.

That’s what makes a great design. That’s what makes a great idea come to fruition. That’s what makes a fulfilling life. When I can accept the fact that I need to be uncomfortable, great things follow.

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