Baltimore Waterfront

What a change a century has seen. One hundred years ago the waterfront all around Baltimore harbor was all industrial and commercial. There is still some of that but now there are office buildings, condos, marinas, restaurants and more. Large companies and small have helped shape the change.

One example is Baltimore Railings & Stairs who does metal fabrication. They built a metal roofed patio cover for a swimming pool next to the water. They have also created glass and metal entranceways for restaurants and a variety of railings and stairs for condos around the waterfront. This is just  one example of many of a variety of companies changing the face of Baltimore.

At one point if you were at the inner harbor you couldn’t see the water. Why you might ask. There were buildings two stories high lining the harbor with piers going out into the harbor from the buildings. Ships would sail in and later power in and tie up at the piers. In some cases they were transporting people who would disembark and the people waiting in the waiting room of the building would then get on board. Other ships would unload their goods which would be stored temporarily in the buildings surrounding the harbor until they were transported to other locations or sold.

A lot of what came in was food from all over the Chesapeake region and up and down the East Coast. It was far easier and cheaper to transport goods by ship than by wagon. The roads were poor and you couldn’t fit that much in a wagon or the early trucks. The waterways were in essence the superhighways of today.

Unfortunately, the mindset back then was that nature was inexhaustible and the Bay was a great place to get rid of things. So if they noticed rotten food it got tossed in the harbor. On summer days it apparently could have an exceedingly ripe smell to put it mildly.

What a difference to today. There are boats designed to go around the harbor and scoop up trash. There are floating wetlands to recreate some of the wetlands that have been lost around the harbor. These help absorb some of the pollution that runs into the harbor. Plus there is that crazy water wheel at the mouth of the Jones Falls that picks up trash from Jones Falls before it can make it into the harbor. There is a long way to go, but what a difference in attitude from 100 years ago.

Annapolis Sailing & Party Capital

Annapolis is known as the sailing capital of the US or at least one of the best places for sailors anyway. And we all know sailors like to party. We were invited to a party at the Annapolis Yacht Club so we rented a limousine for the occasion.

What a limousine. Have you rented one recently? Wow have they changed. Sure they still have the very staid Lincoln town cars but some are just incredible. Some of the party buses are even more amazing. We had a Hummer that had flat screen TVs, amazing color coordinated interior with a wild LED lighting scheme. Then of course there was the bar area. We must admit we did get the party started a bit before we got to the party. Heck, we could have just stayed and partied in the limo.

Then the party was amazing. There was a great band playing a mix of music. The location is just incredible. Even if you are inside, there are large windows so you can see the water and all the boats on moorings or moving around the harbor. There are balconies wrapping around the building. It was a lovely evening and it was fun to just go out there and look around. It was also a bit quieter and easier to talk.

The appetizers that were passed around were amazing. There were some potstickers, appetizers with smoked salmon, roasted figs with blue cheese, scallops wrapped in bacon and more. Plus there was someone shucking oysters for anyone who wanted raw oysters.

Then there were the drinks. Of course, all the usual drinks were available. But they also had jello shots. Best of all though was the ice luge. Not like in the Olympics, but for the tequila. There was a big ice sculpture and they would pour the tequila down a path in the ice and you would hold your glass at the end and get chilled tequila. But, before you did that, there was a salt lick, like they use for cows. It was a large block of salt that was somewhat hollowed out and moistened. You would turn your glass upside down and coat the rim with the salt. Then you got your shot of tequila. Not surprisingly, a few people were a bit too enamored with this and had a few too many.

The only thing I have heard of that tops this was a birthday party for a friend who is a urologist. Much to his embarrassment, his wife ordered an ice sculpture. Except this was an ice sculpture that looked like a penis and had a hole drilled down the middle. They were doing lemon vodka shots so when you poured the vodka down the hole and it came out, it looked like it was peeing.

In any case, it was a phenomenal party and we all probably drank and ate too much and were very glad we had decided to take a limo. Didn’t have to worry about driving and everyone got home with no problems. Sailors definitely know how to party.

Oh, and besides being a sailing and party capital, Annapolis is the capital of Maryland. From what we understand, politicians like to party too. And you may not know that Annapolis was the capital of the United States for a short while.

Clean Clubhouse

We belong to a boat club in the Annapolis area. We just got a new cleaning company because of our new Vice Commodore. They are great, Annapolis Clean Carpet  ( And this was just one of several things. Here is how it happened.

Our club is a fun place, and it is nice to hang around there and relax sometimes before or after going out on the boat. We recently got a new Vice Commodore who has been doing a bang up job. To a large extent it is the luck of the draw. All the board positions are volunteer. No one is paid. So we have had some bad ones who don’t do anything, but this time we lucked out and have a great one.

He started looking at the different people we use and how much we pay them and were there any savings to be had. There had been some complaints about the effectiveness of the cleaning service, so he looked there first. He got bids from different companies and decided to go with Annapolis Clean Carpet . We are all so glad he did. We hadn’t realized what a poor job the old service was doing because the decline was gradual.


They came in and cleaned the carpets and they look like new. That wasn’t all. They waxed and polished the tile flooring and it sparkles now. They also have a window cleaning service and we are getting a lot more light in now. It was always great because who doesn’t like being near the water, but it is such a pleasure now to walk into the clubhouse.


Next the Vice Commodore looked at the company that was providing our oil. He found that we were paying for servicing and no servicing was being done. They hustled over that week. He also found they were charging us a high amount. They had never dropped prices when prices came down and we were paying 30% too much. They hemmed and hawed and prevaricated and then they dropped the price.


Next he tackled electrical. We have a large project to rewire our entire pier along with some other work. He got bids from a couple of people. The electrician we have been using bid twice as much for the same work as the other guy.

At this rate, we could afford to pay the VC a salary he is saving us so much money. If you belong to a club, you might want to check into various things and see if you can save some money. You might be surprised.

Crazy Winter

Man we had a brutal winter. It is amazing how quickly things changed and now we have warm weather and flowers and cutting the grass once a week.

Floating Light Houses

But remember, large sections of the Bay were frozen over. Icebreakers were having trouble keeping the channels clear. That brings back memories of stories from the 1800s of some severe winters. So severe that ice flows picked up a light house and carried it along with the ice for a distance.

This had to have been a spider light and not a caisson light. I can’t imagine any ice being able to move a light house like Baltimore Light or Sandy Point Light. Actually Bloody Point light was affected by a winter storm in the late 1800s. Not because of ice but because the wave action undercut the foundation on one side and caused the light house to tilt. They tried different things to fix it. The first couple tries didn’t work. They then tried an extreme solution. They dug out under the foundation on the side that didn’t have a problem. This caused the light house to straighten some. and then they put down a scour apron of large rocks to prevent any more erosion. That has worked to this day.

Boating Ban

The ice was so bad this year that on March 9th the Coast Guard said there could be no boats above the Bay Bridge without Coast Guard permission and this ban was in effect until April 15th. APRIL 15th!!! That is a lot of ice and that is late in the year. The ban upset some people because the striped bass season started 3 days later on the 18th.

 I would love to put up some pictures I found on line but they have copyright. Here is a link though. And here is one I took although it isn’t as impressive as the ones in the link.

Black Hole Creek and Magothy River

Black Hole Creek and Magothy River