Mariners should be able to access the services and accommodations located on St. Jerome Creek during the upcoming boating season. The St. Mary’s Department of Public Works and Transportation has requested and received $77,500 from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to dredge out the channel of the southern prong of the creek. The work should be completed by June 1st. The channel has been only 18 inches at low tide and less than 1 foot at extreme low tide. St. Jerome Creek is the only safe harbor on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay from Point Lookout to Solomons Island, a length of 26 miles. The creek is used by the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad for water rescue operations, is home to commercial marinas and serves 300-400 boats that have piers, moorings or slips there. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on a plan to install two jetties at the mouth of the creek to prevent further shoaling, a project estimated to cost about $10 million.
Sailing art contest
The Offshore Sailing School is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and the festivities include an art contest open to anyone who has had an on-the-water experience with the school. The contest runs through September 1st. Entries can be any artistic expression in the form of an essay, poetry, video, photo, or drawing. Headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, the school offers eight sailing locations, including one in St. Michaels, Maryland, on the Miles River positioned in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. The fleet includes two Colgate 26s and a new Jeanneau 439.
The contest prize list is long and impressive, with notables such as a week-long private charter for four sailors aboard a Jeanneau 439 with an instructor and chef, and two nights accommodations at the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina at Fort Myers Beach, Florida; and a week-long stay for two at the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, Florida, with the use of a Colgate 26 sailboat. offshoresailing.com