Tag Archives: Skipjack Nathan

Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race Plans Underway

choptank heritage skipjack race (193 x 146)Preparations are underway for the 2013 Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race, to be held on the Choptank River off Cambridge on Saturday, September 21. The annual race began in 1997 and, with Deal Island’s Labor Day race, is one of only two skipjack races still held on the Chesapeake Bay.

The Cambridge race offers spectators more accessible views of the competing vessels than are possible at the Deal Island race. The start/finish line is just off Long Wharf, and the mid portion of the race can be viewed from Great Marsh Park. About eight skipjacks are expected to compete this year, with additional boats possible if their condition and schedules permit.

The nonprofit Dorchester Skipjack Committee has been organizing the race for the past few years, with a commitment to keeping it alive to support the skipjacks and the community. The boats compete for pride, not prize, with each participating skipjack receiving equal show-up money, derived from sponsorships and donations. The skipjack Nathan of Dorchester, acting as host vessel for the event, donates her portion back to the race to allow larger awards to the other skipjacks.

The winning skipjack and her captain’s names are engraved on the permanent Choptank Heritage Cup Trophy, established and sponsored by the National Bank of Cambridge. The trophy is kept on display at the Dorchester County Visitor Center. The winning captain receives a smaller version of the trophy to commemorate the win. Capt. Ed Farley won the 2012 race with his skipjack, H.M. Krentz.

In addition to the National Bank of Cambridge, other major annual sponsors are the Nathan Foundation and Snappers Waterfront Café, where the post-race luncheon, trophy presentation and this year’s Captains and Crew Reception take place.

Craig’s Drug Store is sponsoring once again both the reception and the race t-shirts. Tri Gas & Oil has signed on as a Boat Sponsor. Other early sponsors include Cambridge Rotary Club and The J.M. Clayton Company. Additional sponsors and donors are needed to help support the event and the skipjacks. A range of sponsor levels offers various recognition opportunities, from banners on participating boats to program ads and listings.

Bleacher seating is provided for spectators at Long Wharf, where there will be food and gift vendors and exhibitors during the morning race. Bill Smith will fire his cannon to salute the vessels as they parade out from Cambridge Creek and signal the official race start. Thomas Parker is bringing his traditional buyboat, Thomas J, down from Chestertown to serve as the race committee boat.

For those who like skipjacks on a smaller scale, there will be a regatta for radio-controlled skipjacks, held by members of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Model Skipjack Club.

The public can meet and greet the skipjack captains and crews on Friday evening, September 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Snappers in Cambridge. Reception tickets are $25 if purchased in advance or $30 after September 14 and are available online through the current-race page of the Nathan’s website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.

Race programs, skipjack race t-shirts and 50/50 raffle tickets will be available all weekend, at the reception, during the race at Long Wharf, and at the Nathan’s booth at Sunday’s Dorchester Arts Showcase. Proceeds benefit the Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race.

For more information, to become a race sponsor or to make a donation, contact the Dorchester Skipjack Committee at 410-228-7141 or visit its website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.

Volunteers Needed For Skipjack Nathan’s New Season

The skipjack Nathan of Dorchester is accepting new volunteers for sail crew, docents, maintenance and administrative positions for her 2012 sailing season.

A volunteer orientation session will be held on Monday, March 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Dorchester County Public Library meeting room in Cambridge. Registration for the session is required by March 12. Light refreshments will be provided.

Owned, operated and maintained by the nonprofit Dorchester Skipjack Committee, the Nathan sails late April through early November from Long Wharf in Cambridge. In addition to a regular public sailing schedule, charters are available for all occasions. The skipjack also offers heritage theme and educational sails and participates in special events throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

Sail crew volunteers must be at least sixteen years of age and fit enough to handle physical challenges such as hauling on lines, raising sails and hoisting the pushboat. No prior sailing experience is necessary, as all crew members undergo extensive training before serving on passenger trips.

Crew training begins in late March and continues throughout the season, with trainees participating at their own availability and pace. Once full crew status is earned, volunteers are expected to serve on at least a few passenger trips each month, as well as participate within the all-volunteer organization. As a Coast Guard certified vessel, all sail crew are subject to initial and random drug testing. Captains with Masters Licenses and Sail Endorsements also are needed.

Docent crew enhance the sailing experience for passengers. These volunteers need not complete sail crew training. Sail crew may also train as docents. Docents receive instruction in skipjack heritage and other areas of local interest to share with passengers on public sails and on charters where a docent is requested.

While the Nathan is the youngest skipjack on the Chesapeake Bay, built by volunteers in 1994, as a wooden boat she still requires constant maintenance. Carpenters, riggers, engine mechanics and those who enjoy scraping and painting are all welcome as volunteers.

Administrative help also is needed. The organization can use one or several individuals who have computer access and time to answer phone and email reservations and requests, along with someone to help at the dock during public sails. Except for the times at the dock, most of the work can be done from home.

The Nathan’s public sailing season begins on April 28, when she will sail to Oxford to offer free trips during Oxford Day. Her regular schedule of public sails from Long Wharf begins Saturday, May 5. Two-hour sails are offered each Saturday the skipjack is in port, from 1 to 3 p.m. The Nathan offers two one-hour sails one Sunday each month, beginning May 20.

To register for the orientation session, call 410-770-9410 by March 12. For more information or to charter the boat, contact the Dorchester Skipjack Committee at 410-228-7141 or visit its website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.

In photo: Some of the trainees and crew who served on the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester last year include, left to right, Tom Kish, Lari Caldwell, Lou Hyman, Michael Hoff, Brian Cassidy, Mike Schneider, Lucy Lewis and Craig Caldwell.

Plein Air Painting, Nathan Style

A dozen volunteers from the Dorchester Skipjack Committee braved the recent heat wave to spruce up the skipjackNathan of Dorchester. She was hauled out at Generation III Marina in Cambridge for her annual bottom work.

The crew spent a week scraping, sanding and painting the hull and sides of the skipjack, getting her ready for the second half of her sailing season, which runs through early November. The Nathan is now back at her dock at Long Wharf, where she offers public sails on weekends and private charters for any occasion.

In addition to sails from her Cambridge home port, the Nathan will travel to Baltimore for that city’s Defenders Day Celebration in September and to Solomons Island for Patuxent River Appreciation Days in October.

She will also participate in both the Deal Island Skipjack Race on Labor Day and the Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race in Cambridge September 25.

The nonprofit Dorchester Skipjack Committee owns, operates and maintains the Nathan, which was built in 1994 by volunteers in Cambridge. She is the last skipjack on the Chesapeake Bay that was built to be a dredge boat.

For more information, to charter the boat or to volunteer, contact the Dorchester Skipjack Committee at 410-228-7141 or visit its website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.

Skipjack Public Sailing Season Begins

The skipjack Nathan of Dorchester begins her 2010 public sailing season on Saturday, May 1, from Long Wharf in Cambridge. The vessel is owned, operated and maintained by the volunteers of the nonprofit Dorchester Skipjack Committee.

The Nathan will offer two-hour public sails every Saturday she is in port and not otherwise committed. Adult fares are $30, children 6-12 $10, and under 6 free. Reduced fare, one-hour sails are offered one Sunday each month beginning May 23. Charters are available for any occasion throughout her sailing season of May through October.

The Nathan of Dorchester is the youngest skipjack on the Chesapeake Bay built to be an oyster dredge boat. She was built by volunteers in 1994 in Cambridge and travels throughout the Bay as a sailing ambassador for the City of Cambridge and Dorchester County. She recently was featured in a Maryland Public Television production, Chesapeake Bay by Air.

A Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network site, the Nathan introduces about 1500 people annually to the skipjack heritage of the Bay and the Eastern Shore.

For more information, to charter the boat or to volunteer, contact the Dorchester Skipjack Committee at 410-228-7141 or visit its website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.

Calendar of Events Items from Skipjack Nathan

Saturday, May 1

Skipjack Sail on the Nathan of Dorchester, 1-3 p.m., Long Wharf, Cambridge. Adults $30; children 6-12 $10; under 6 free. Reservations: 410-228-7141 or info@skipjack-nathan.org.

Saturday, May 8

Skipjack Sail on the Nathan of Dorchester, 1-3 p.m., Long Wharf, Cambridge. Adults $30; children 6-12 $10; under 6 free. Reservations: 410-228-7141 or info@skipjack-nathan.org.

Saturday, May 15

Skipjack Sail on the Nathan of Dorchester, 1-3 p.m., Long Wharf, Cambridge. Adults $30; children 6-12 $10; under 6 free. Reservations: 410-228-7141 or info@skipjack-nathan.org.>
Saturday, May 22

Skipjack Sail on the Nathan of Dorchester, 1-3 p.m., Long Wharf, Cambridge. Adults $30; children 6-12 $10; under 6 free. Reservations: 410-228-7141 or info@skipjack-nathan.org.

Sunday, May 23

One-Hour Skipjack Sails on the Nathan of Dorchester, 11:00 a.m. & 12:30 p.m., Long Wharf,Cambridge. Adults $15; children 6-12 $7; under 6 free. Reservations: 410-228-7141 orinfo@skipjack-nathan.org.
Saturday, May 29

Skipjack Sail on the Nathan of Dorchester, 1-3 p.m., Long Wharf, Cambridge. Adults $30; children 6-12 $10; under 6 free. Reservations: 410-228-7141 or info@skipjack-nathan.org.

Monday, May 31

FREE Skipjack Sails on the Nathan of Dorchester, during Dorchester County’s Heritage Month. 12, 1, 2, & 3 p.m., Long Wharf, Cambridge. No advance reservations. www.skipjack-nathan.org.

Skipjack Looking For Volunteers On Board & On Shore

The skipjack Nathan of Dorchester is accepting new volunteers for crew, maintenance and administrative positions as she gets ready for her 2010 sailing season.

Owned, operated and maintained by the nonprofit Dorchester Skipjack Committee, the Nathan sails late April through early November from Long Wharf in Cambridge. She offers charters for all occasions, educational sails and special event trips throughout the Chesapeake Bay, along with a regular public sailing schedule.

A volunteer orientation session will be held on Thursday, March 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Dorchester CountyAirport. Registration for the session is requested by March 20. Light refreshments will be provided.

Special help is needed this year in handling reservations. The organization can use one or several individuals who have computer access and time to answer phone and email requests, along with someone to help at the dock during public sails. Except for the times at the dock, most of the work can be done from home.

Crew volunteers must be at least sixteen years of age and fit enough to handle physical challenges such as hauling on lines, raising sails and hoisting the pushboat. No prior sailing experience is necessary, as all crew members undergo thorough training before serving on passenger trips.

Crew training begins in early April and continues throughout the season, with trainees participating at their own availability and pace. Once awarded full crew status, volunteers are expected to serve on at least a few passenger trips each month, as well as participate within the organization. As a Coast Guard certified vessel, all crew are subject to drug testing. Captains with Masters Licenses and Sail Endorsements are also needed.

Docent crew are being recruited this year to help enhance the sailing experience for passengers. These volunteers will not need to complete regular crew training. Docent volunteers will receive instruction in skipjack heritage and other areas of interest to share with passengers on selected trips.

While the Nathan is the youngest skipjack on the Chesapeake Bay, built by volunteers in 1994, as a wooden boat she still requires constant maintenance. Carpenters, riggers, engine mechanics and those who enjoy scraping and painting are all welcome as volunteers.

The skipjack’s public sailing season begins on April 24, when she will sail to Oxford to offer free sails during Oxford Day. Her regular schedule of public sails from Long Wharf begins Saturday, May 1. Two-hour sails are offered each Saturday the skipjack is in port, from 1 to 3 p.m. The Nathan offers two one-hour sails one Sunday each month, beginning May 23.

For more information, to charter the boat or to volunteer, contact the Dorchester Skipjack Committee at 410-228-7141 or visit its website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.