Authors Posts by Jade Curtis

Jade Curtis


New Jersey Style Sloppy Joes

New Jersey Style Sloppy Joes

New Jersey Style Sloppy Joes

Host a viewing party on your boat! Whether you watch football, basketball, hockey, or soccer, enjoy game day with these New Jersey Style Sloppy Joes. They’ll work great for a large crowd and are very customizable.

Serves 4 generously.

Coleslaw Ingredients:
¼ cup sour cream
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. celery salt
¼ tsp. pepper
14 oz. finely shredded coleslaw mix

Coleslaw DirectionsWhisk first six ingredients, add coleslaw mix and let stand for 30 minutes.

Russian Dressing Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1½ Tbsp. sweet relish
1 tsp. horseradish
3 Tbsp. ketchup
Dash each of Worcestershire and hot sauce
½ tsp. each salt and pepper

Russian Dressing Directions: 
Whisk all ingredients together.

New Jersey Style Sloppy Joes Ingredients:
12 slices thinly sliced rye bread
4 Tbsp. softened butter
2 lb. thinly sliced ham, turkey, corned beef, or roast beef
½ lb. Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

New Jersey Style Sloppy Joes Directions:
Butter one side of bread slices. Place four slices on cutting board, buttered side up. Place 1/4 pound of meat on each slice, top with 3-4 tablespoons of slaw mixture, a slice of cheese, and two tablespoons of Russian dressing.

Cover with a second slice of bread, buttered side down, and repeat the layers of meat, coleslaw, cheese, and dressing. Top with a third slice of bread, buttered side down, to complete the sandwich. Cut in half or thirds and place on a serving platter.

By Lori Ross, Southern Boating January 2019

More game day recipes:

Paloma Punch

Seven Layer Dip

Mini Meatball Subs


Reflecting on Sharks in the Northeast

Reflecting on Sharks

Sharks in the Northeast

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

That famous quote, uttered by Chief Brody (Roy Schneider) to Capt. Quint (Robert Shaw) in the 1975 movie thriller Jaws serves as a catch-all phrase for being under-gunned. Last summer along the northeast coast, however, it seemed more appropriate than ever in several instances when great white sharks plucked distressed stripers and tuna from the ends of anglers’ lines.

From the Cape Cod surf on out to the Hudson Canyon waters that straddle New York and New Jersey, there were more reports of hooked trophies gobbled by sharks last summer than at any time in recent memory. Such reports numbered in the dozens from surf casters, and one offshore angler claimed a 400-pound tuna was taken in a single bite. Another reported feeling two “bumps” before his line, with an estimated 200- pound bluefin battling at the end suddenly went slack in the vicinity of the Coimbra wreck. Five minutes later, a huge great white appeared parallel to the port side, 50 yards of fishing line trailing from its mouth. The highly experienced offshore skipper estimated the shark’s length at 18 feet.

The summer of 2018 also witnessed several shark attacks involving swimmers. Two confirmed incidents came from Long Island, New York, and two more occurred in Massachusetts. The Long Island attacks were attributed to sand tiger sharks, less dangerous than larger great whites, but that didn’t quiet any nerves.

All this begs the question: Are we seeing more and larger sharks invade northeast waters or simply hearing more about such incidents due to 24/7 news coverage?

“We’ve seen subtle increases in the great white population since they became a protected species in the late 1990s,” says Dr. Gregory B. Skomal, a fisheries biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and a leading shark expert. “There’s anecdotal evidence for a growing population; spotter planes are seeing them, anglers are reporting encounters, and we’ve tagged over 150 off the coast of Massachusetts alone. I’m not surprised they’re showing up amongst Long Island’s tuna fleet or even in close to shore.”

Skomal points out that a large great white is a massive animal. “An eighteen-footer would certainly have no problem eating a tuna in a bite or two,” he says. “A fish that’s bleeding and making the right kind of sounds as the fight goes on is a natural target. If a great white gets the chance, he’s going to grab a relatively easy meal. As for actual increases in shark attacks, last summer was a hot one. That means more people in the water, so a greater chance of shark encounters. But I don’t think the numbers were out of line.”
Reflecting on Sharks
Is an increase in the seal population attracting more sharks to our coastline? “Absolutely,” says Skomal, at “least along the shores of Cape Cod. Sharks are amazingly adaptable creatures. They’ll feed on whatever is available. We also have more bunker [fish] these days, too, so that may be another part of the equation.”

Either way, experts agree most sharks leave northeast waters by late December if not sooner, so we should all be safe until next spring. Then again, the research group Ocearch, together with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, tracked a 16-foot, 3,500-pound great white shark they named Mary Lee for 40,000 miles over five years starting in 2012. In 2013, it left the Northeast for southern waters as expected but then returned to New Jersey and Long Island for the last week of January.

Makes you think twice about that polar bear swim.

By Tom Schlichter, Southern Boating January 2019

El Niño and La Niña

What's the difference between El Niño and La Niña

What’s the difference between El Niño and La Niña?

Long before meteorologists “discovered” the El Niño (EN) phenomenon, fishermen in Chile and Peru were well aware of it. Typically, the fishing there was great. The deep, nutrient-rich waters attract bountiful marine life, but every few winters, things would change dramatically. It got much warmer, it would rain in the coastal desert region and the fish would leave. A flood of warm water from the west would push the bountiful cold water to the south. Since this was often most pronounced around Christmas, they called it El Niño for “the boy.” La Niña (LN) is the female equivalent.

The Boy and the Girl

The El Niño and its counterpart, La Niña, have major impacts on the weather around the world, but did you know they are actually oceanic circulations? To explain the EN/ LN cycle, one must go to the tropical Pacific Ocean. With the cold Humboldt Current and associated upwelling, the eastern Pacific waters off of South America are abnormally cold, over 10ºF colder than sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific. In the tropics, the prevailing (or trade) winds tend to blow from east to west and drive the ocean surface waters with them. The North Equatorial Current flows westward from the South American coast across the Pacific to Oceania in the Asia-Pacific region.

There are times when the trade winds weaken and, consequently, so does the equatorial current. Warm water, which used to be transported across the Pacific, now begins to “back up.” Water temperatures then begin to abnormally rise in the central Pacific and work its way back to the South American coast. This warming can amount to a two- to six-degree increase over normal conditions, a significant departure for this vast amount of water. This is the El Niño.

With La Niña, the trade winds and equatorial current are abnormally strong. Larger than normal amounts of warm water is transported away from the central and eastern Pacific, and water temperatures there become unusually cool. Both El Niño and La Niña events tend to develop in the spring, hit their peak intensity in the winter, then weaken the following spring, about a 9- to 12-month average lifespan.

Cycle(s) of life

Meteorologists often refer to the EN/LN cycle as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The Southern Oscillation deals with the atmospheric pressure changes in the Pacific region that accompany the two phases. In addition to the two extremes, we can have more average conditions (called ENSO neutral).

So, how and why does the EN/LN cycle affect our weather? The tropical oceans are a vast storehouse of heat or energy. They transfer some of this energy to the air which goes high into the atmosphere and “feeds” powerful jet streams. Changes in the tropics can reach well into the mid and high latitudes.

The effects of the EL/LN cycle are most pronounced in winter. The warmth of El Niño fuels a strong, southern jet stream that starts in the eastern Pacific and produces an active southern storm track that blocks cold air from entering much of the U.S. Thus, we can expect northern tier states to be warm and relatively dry, the south having normal to cool temperatures and wet from southern California to the East Coast. In a La Niña event, the energy is concentrated in the western Pacific basin.

In this Hemisphere

For North America, La Niña brings a more variable northern jet stream and a northern storm track with occasional cold outbreaks. La Niña tends to bring warm and dry conditions to the south with cooler and wetter conditions to the north. Although the EN/LN cycle is less of a weather controller in summer, there is one important effect—El Niño summers tend to have fewer Atlantic hurricanes due to wind shear because of relatively strong westerly winds aloft in the tropics. Conversely, La Niña years see less wind shear and increased tropical cyclone activity.

You would think that because of its influence and possible major impact on winter weather, the EN/LN cycle would be a great forecasting tool for meteorologists. Yes, it’s often the basis of winter forecasts, but it’s not so simple. By closely monitoring ocean temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific, meteorologists can typically tell when one phase or the other is beginning, and because it takes months to achieve maximum strength, they can give advanced warning, but the EN/LN cycle is not a regular occurrence.

An El Niño event is not necessarily followed the next year by a La Niña. The return period on the cycle varies from two to seven years, and the strength of the actual event varies considerably. There are also other weather influences that can override the El Niño or La Niña effects, and these other factors can’t be forecasted months in advance.

Current State

The winter of 2015-16 saw the strongest El Niño on record and was the first El Niño since 2009-10. This was followed by weak La Niñas the next two winters. In 2018, fall saw tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures running above normal, and it appeared that an El Niño was developing, but it’s a weak one. The official winter forecast (Dec-Feb) reflects this with only the southeastern part of the country predicted to have near normal temperatures and the rest a bit warmer. Wet conditions are forecasted for the southern tier states, while the north is expected to be normal to dry.

You may wonder what causes the EN/LN cycle. Well, we don’t know. Does climate change affect the cycle? Probably, but it’s hard to prove. It’s speculated that the EN/LN cycle has been going on for thousands of years and, most likely, will continue for many thousands more.

By Ed Brotak, Southern Boating January 2019

Brush Up on Your Boating Skills

Brush Up on Your Boating Skills

Brush Up on Your Boating Skills

With many boats stored away in the Mid-Atlantic, winter is a fine time to visit cozy, indoor boating and fishing shows or brush up on your boating skills.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland, offers hands-on learning opportunities throughout the year. This month from 10 AM to 4 PM on January 12th, work with shipwrights and learn some boatbuilding fundamentals by taking part in the restoration of Delaware, a 1912 river tug that hauled scows laden with lumber and towed schooners up and down the Eastern Shore’s narrow, winding rivers. On January 19th from 10AM to noon, knob turning, button pushing and screen reading will be part of Capt. Jerry Friedman’s talk titled “Electronic Navigation for Non-Technical People.” Friedman, a 100- ton, USCG-licensed Master, will answer questions and provide short non-technical descriptions of how GPS, GPS plotters, radar, depth sounders, and automatic identification systems work.

Safety Course IDs Required in Virginia

Virginia boaters looking for an easy way to demonstrate they have passed a safety education course can now order a lifetime boating card through the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries website. The durable, driver’s license-styled card is $10 and is available to anyone who has passed a course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). If you have yet to take a basic boating safety course, winter is a great time to get it done or take a refresher.

Brush Up on Your Boating SkillsIn Virginia, all personal watercraft operators ages 14 and older and all operators of motorboats with a 10-horsepower or greater engine need to take a boating safety course and must have a course completion card on board when operating a vessel. There are, however, some exceptions, such as proof of relevant military service or U.S. Coast Guard license holders. If you have previously taken a NASBLA-approved boating safety course and still have a card or certificate, carry it with you. Most state boating courses, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary courses, and U.S. Power Squadrons (USPS) courses are now NASBLA-approved.

Both online and face-to-face course options are available and affordable. The basic Boat Virginia Course offered by the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries is free. Courses offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and USPS may include some cost to cover materials, generally $25 to $50, but they are well worth the investment and may help save your life.

Winter Boat Shows

With many boats stored away in the Mid-Atlantic, winter is a fine time to visit cozy, indoor boating and fishing shows and plan for the next boating season. Besides offering a large selection of boats to mull over, many shows offer seminars focused on ways to improve your skills on the water and present a large selection of information booths and vendors offering the latest equipment, accessories, and service.

January 11-13
Raleigh, NC
One of the biggest in the Southeast, more than 20 marine dealers will participate.

January 12
Frederick, MD
Seminars feature some of the most respected anglers on the Chesapeake Bay. Capt. Billy Gee will talk “Bay Rockfishing” beginning at 9 AM followed by Capt. Mark Hoos speaking on fishing “Offshore,” Capt. Jeff Grimes tackles “Flounder Fishing,” Lenny Rudow gives tips on “Winter Fishing”, and Shawn Kimbro discusses “Light Tackle.”

January 18-20
Fredericksburg, VA
Friday is Senior Day with $5 tickets available at the door; advance tickets are also available online.

January 24-27
Baltimore, MD
Kids can build a model boat, and everyone can participate in the crab picking contest.

By Chris Knauss, Southern Boating January 2018


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