Washington DC News

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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Commuter Ferry Coming to Occoquan?

Posted by Lou on October 30, 2013 in Occoquan River, Potomac River, Transportation, Washington DC News

PH2009050803906Some would call the Potomac River northern Virginia’s most underused highway. But commuters may be putting that highway to work in the future. A year-long study found that four possible routes across the Potomac, Anacostia and Occoquan rivers have enough demand to support a daily water taxi service.

The study reports that approximately $30 million in capital improvements would be required for a Woodbridge-to-Washington route. The scenario assumes a base of operations from Alexandria or the airport. Longer-distance water taxis from Woodbridge, Fort Washington and Charles County would have “a much better probability of success if built from a solid base” of commuter operations.

The last time the proposed Occoquan-DC water taxi caught attention was in 2009:

According to WJLA, for the third time in eight years, Prince William County will once again be testing the viability of a ferry service from the county to the district.

There’s no single funding source that ferry proponents have identified to pay for the service, if it gets approved. County officials say that about $600 million from the federal economic stimulus package could help cover construction costs for docks at ferry stations.

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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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Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Prediction!

Posted by Lou on April 1, 2013 in Announcements, Washington DC News


The Peak Bloom Period prediction for the beautiful Cherry Blossom trees that encircle the Tidal Basin in Washington DC has been revised to April 3 – 6, 2013! The peak bloom date is defined as the day in which 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) trees are open.

The blooming of the cherry trees has come to symbolize the natural beauty of our nation’s capital city. The famous trees, a gift from Japan in 1912, signal Washington’s rite of spring with an explosion of life and color that surrounds the Tidal Basin in a sea of pale pink and white blossoms. Thousands of city residents and visitors from across the nation and around the world come here to witness the spectacle, hoping that the trees will be at the peak of bloom for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

One of the most popular activites is to rent a paddle boat and peddle around the Tidal Basic. Reservations are recommended. Of course, if you have a boat and live in Occoquan, your best option is to dewinterize and head north! It only takes about 30 minutes to reach the spot in between the Key Bridge and the 14th Street Bridge, where you’ll discover the best vantage point.

Looking to head up to DC as part of an armada? Check out the Classic Party on the Potomac Facebook Group to see if you can find any takers!

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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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Blizzard of 2009 Rocks Occoquan

Posted by Lou on December 20, 2009 in Announcements, Town News, Washington DC News

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Old man winter dumped between 18 and 22 inches on Occoquan. Took a drive through town this morning, amazing how many people don’t own a snow shovel. I saw somebody shoveling with a dust pan. A white blanket is covering everything outside. Time to go shovel the driveway.

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July 4th Money Shot

Posted by Lou on July 6, 2009 in Holiday, Pictures, Washington DC News

Here is a fantastic picture taken by Patrick Worcester on July 4th, 2009 from his boat on the Potomac river, between the 14th Street bridge complex and the Memorial bridge.


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