Chesapeake Bay


The Capital Wheel at National Harbor

Posted by Lou on March 28, 2014 in Chesapeake Bay, National Harbor, Potomac River, Video, Washington DC News

The Capital Wheel at National Harbor is scheduled to open in May 2014. With its 42-closed, climate-controlled gondolas each seating eight, the observation wheel will operate year-round. For riders, Wolfgang Puck’s catering service will provide creative seasonal snacks and concessions. Other Cities with observation wheels: London, Seattle, Niagara Falls, Brisbane, Perth, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Malacca Island, Pigeon Forge and Myrtle Beach.

  1. Size: 176 Feet Tall
  2. Visible from the Top of the Observation Wheel: Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol, Alexandria, Prince George’s County
  3. Number of Climate-Controlled Gondolas: 42 (including 1 VIP Gondola)
  4. Maximum Number of Passengers: 336 (8 per Gondola)
  5. Price (estimated): $15 per ride (VIP Gondola will cost more)
  6. Hours of Operation (estimated): 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., year-round
  7. Ride Speed: 1.5 rotations per minute
  8. Lighting: 1.6 million LED lights, fully programmable, with a spectrum of 16.7 million colors

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Climate Change Casualty: Georgetown Waterfront?

Posted by Lou on August 11, 2013 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Environmental News, Georgetown Waterfront, Potomac River, Washington DC News

The Georgetown waterfront is a favorite among boaters in Washington DC. On any given Friday or Saturday night, you’ll find 30-50 boats tied up along the sea wall.

To reach the Georgetown waterfront by boat, you must pass under a series of bridges: Long Bridge (CSX Railroad), Fenwick Bridge (Metro Yellow Line), all 3 spans of the 14th Street Bridge, Memorial Bridge and Roosevelt Bridge. At current sea levels, each bridge provides 25-30 feet of vertical space for vessel passage.

However, what will happen when sea level rises and the bridges stay the same height? Will boats still be able to reach the Georgetown Waterfront? Not unless the bridges are rebuilt or you’re captaining a submarine.

Take a look at the illustrations below, which imagine what the Potomac River would look like based on varying degrees of low and medium tide, courtesy of the Surging Seas Project. Pay careful attention to the bridge clearances.

The Jefferson Memorial today:

The Jefferson Memorial with 25 ft. of sea level rise:

The white cones on the maps show the location and angle of the camera that is seen in the corresponding illustrations.

Map of Washington D.C. today:

Map of Washington D.C. with 25 ft. of sea level rise:

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The Muddy Waters of the Chesapeake

Posted by Lou on September 18, 2011 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Occoquan River, Pictures, Potomac River

The “true color” image below, courtesy of Maryland’s Eyes on the Bay website, shows just how unbelievably muddy the Chesapeake Bay has become the in the wake of the copious amount of rainfall that has fallen in the past 2 weeks.

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Aquapalooza 2011: July 23 @Tim’s 1

Posted by Lou on June 23, 2011 in Aquapalooza, Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Meetups, Occoquan River, Potomac River, Special Events

Aquapalooza 2011, the world’s largest boating event, will once again have an outpost in Washington DC, along the Potomac River. The floating party is sponsored by the Prince William Marina. Following last year’s lead, the merry mayhem will take place at Tim’s Rivershore in Dumfries, VA (AKA Tim’s 1).

By road, access will be limited (you will have to shuttle to Tim’s from a parking area). By water, just pull on up! All of the fun’s on the water, so bring your beach towels, sunscreen, water and snacks! And get ready to listen to some country music.

Have fun, be safe, see you at Aquapalooza 2011!

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Mandatory Boat Licences Arrive

Posted by Lou on June 16, 2011 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Occoquan River, Potomac River, Washington DC News

Quick public safety announcement: as of July 1, 2011 PWC operators 50 years of age or younger and motorboat operators 20 years of age or younger are required to complete a boating safety education course. You can find the complete rules and phase-in schedule here.

No worries though, getting your boat license is pretty easy. You just need to buy a DVD from the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. The DVD is only 60 minutes long, broken out into 10 minute chapters (looks like the video was filmed by BoatU.S. in 1987). Then you have to take a 50 question multiple choice test (open book) and mail your scantron back with $5.

It takes about 2 weeks to get our licenses in the mail. You can send a copy to your insurance company (and hopefully chop 10% off your boat insurance).

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Mount Vernon Streams in Dire Straits

Posted by Lou on January 15, 2011 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Environmental News, Potomac River

The image above, courtesy of the Fairfax County Stormwater Management Program, indicates that the watersheds around Mount Vernon are the lowest quality in the county. The areas around Belmont Bay, fortunately, are high quality.

With the exception of the Colchester stretch, the entire Fairfax shoreline of the Occoquan river is a high-quality watershed.

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A Trio of Sweet Links

Posted by Lou on October 27, 2010 in Announcements, Chesapeake Bay, Redevelopment, Town News

1- Finally, VDOT will open the 4th lane of I-95 Southbound, which spans a five-mile distance from the Fairfax County Parkway south to the U.S. 1 exit, just north of the Occoquan River Bridge, per Fredericksburg.com. (Commuters rejoice!)

2- According to the News & Messenger, a shoreline boardwalk may soon come to town, stretching from the existing pier at Madigan’s Waterfront, through the Gaslight Landing development, all the way to the Mill House Museum at the end of town. More details coming soon.

3- ChesapeakeBoating.net just published the feature article from the November issue of Chesapeake Bay Magazine, which recounts a weekend trip from Annapolis to Occoquan and puts the town in a wonderful light.

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Potomac River Healthiest in 50 Years

Posted by Lou on September 12, 2010 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Environmental News, Fishing News, Occoquan Reservoir, Occoquan River, Potomac River

According to the Washington Post, the Potomac River is now the healthiest that it has been since the 1950’s.

“The comeback has been closely tied to the Blue Plains treatment plant, which handles waste from the District and parts of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties. Its outflow is a river in itself: about 300 million gallons a day of treated sewage, enough to fill RFK Stadium.”

“In the past decade, responding to mandates from federal regulators, the plant has added $1 billion in new efforts that allow bacteria to consume the algae-feeding pollutant nitrogen in sewage.”

Read the full article at the Washington Post

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Bull Shark Mania!

Posted by Lou on September 7, 2010 in Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Fishing News, Pictures, Potomac River

I would be remiss if I did not mention the “Bull Shark in the Potomac River” frenzy that blew up on Facebook and the mainstream media while I was away. I tracked down the original reports and it wasn’t just one bull shark, it was two.

One was caught of Cornfield Harbor in extreme southern St. Mary’s county, MD. The NBC Washington website, which broke the “story” has a gruesome slideshow. The second was caught a bit farther north, near Tall Timbers, MD.

Both of these sharks were caught at the very, very edge of the Potomac River Watershed. So far south that one shark was actually caught by scientists collecting stingrays. This map shows where the bull sharks were caught:

The catches were very far away from Occoquan, almost 100 nautical miles south. Even down there, at the very edge of the Chesapeake Bay “you very, very rarely see them”, according to the Washington Post. Ok, no more bull shark jokes.

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Potomac River Aquapalooza 2010

Posted by Lou on March 24, 2010 in Aquapalooza, Boat Clubs, Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Meetups, Occoquan River, Potomac River, Special Events

** UPDATE ** Aquapalooza 2010 will be held on July 24th at Tim’s I in Dumfries.

There has been lots of speculation this year about whether or not Sea Ray and/or Prince William Marina would host Aquapalooza once again on the Potomac River (after lots of weather mayhem last year and the year before).

Turns out the answer is…YES! Aquapalooza 2010 is on, with a change in venue. This year the shenanigans will take place at Tim’s Rivershore (aka Tim’s I) in Dumfries, just a stone’s throw from Occoquan. I’ll post more details as they become available.

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2010 Boat Show Season

Posted by Lou on January 24, 2010 in Boat Shows, Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Fishing News, Occoquan River

Once again, it’s boat show season in the Washington DC area.  There are 4 huge boat shows coming up soon:

Baltimore Boat Show: January 21-24
Fredericksburg Boat Show: January 28-31 (UPDATE: now begins on Thursday!)
Washington DC Boat Show: February 11-15
National Capital Boat Show (Dulles): March 12-14

The Washington DC boat show was postponed in 2009 due to lack of exhibitor financial strength. I have already heard some rumblings that the show may be canceled again this year. The National Capital Boat Show at the Dulles Expo Center has become the biggest, best show in the area.

Looking over new boats in 2010, the Sea Ray Sundancer 450 really jumps out at me: Zeus pod drives with joystick control, fiberglass hardtop with a huge retractable sunroof, and a well-appointed media room! Watch a video review.

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Occoquan Cruising Destinations

Posted by Lou on October 15, 2009 in Boating News, Buoys & Markers, Chesapeake Bay, Occoquan River, Potomac River

Aquapalooza 2009 Draws Near

Posted by Lou on July 6, 2009 in Aquapalooza, Boat Clubs, Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Meetups, Occoquan River, Special Events

Aquapalooza 2009

Prince William Marine is hosting Aquapalooza this year at Tim’s II at Fairview Beach on the Potomac River. I’m looking forward to a good party this year, albeit with a country twang. Headlining the Occoquan-Washington DC Aquapalooza this year will be country singer Daryle Singletary and Thunder 104.5 will be onsite broadcasting live.

Daryle Singletary is a crooner that topped the country charts with a few hits way back in 1995. In February 2009, Singletary released a new single, “Love You With the Lights On”. The single was the lead-off single to a new album, Rockin’ in the Country, released in June 2009. Give his new album a listen:

Quantcast
Here’s the rest of the musical line-up for the weekend: Key West Band, the Wild Bunch, Borrowed Time Band, Drivin’ South Band and the Darby Brothers. I haven’t seen any of these guys before, leave a comment if you know who they are.

The FAQ put together by PW Marine is full of helpful tips, if you have not attended Aquapalooza previously. Check out the map of Fairview Beach below. If you will be arriving by boat (the preferred method of transport), check out our nautical map of the Potomac River to chart your route.

Take your cameras, remember to take some pictures and send us your best, we’ll post them after the main event! We’ll be there partying it up, see you there!

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National Capital Boat Show

Posted by Lou on March 11, 2009 in Boat Shows, Chesapeake Bay, Occoquan River, Potomac River, Special Events

The largest boat show in the region takes place this weekend at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia. If you’ve got spring on your mind, you should cruise by to check out the 85 exhibitors. Almost all of the major boat manufacturers will be represented.

Here are the boat show hours:
Friday, March 13, 2009:     12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, March 14, 2009: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday, March 15, 2009:   11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Prince William Marina and Hoffmaster’s Marina will both be onhand with large displays of new models. Boat manufacturers usually team up with dealers to offer special incentives during boat shows, so it can be a favorable time to buy a boat. If you are thinking about buying, maybe now is the time!

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PWC Licenses Arrive

Posted by Lori on February 25, 2009 in Announcements, Boating News, Chesapeake Bay, Occoquan River, Potomac River, Transportation

Quick public safety announcement: boating licenses are here. In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law to establish a boating safety education compliance requirement. If you’re under 20 years old, you need a PWC license this summer. If you’re under 35, you’ll need a PWC license next summer. You can find the complete rules and phase-in schedule here.

No worries though, getting your license is pretty easy. You just need to buy a DVD from the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. The DVD is only 60 minutes long, broken out into 10 minute chapters. It looked like the video was filmed by BoatU.S. in 1987. Then you have to take a 50 question multiple choice test (open book) and mail your scantron back with $5.

It took about 2 weeks for us to get our licenses in the mail. We sent a copy to our insurance company and chopped 10% off our boat insurance.

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