A new research vessel and the rower heads north

June 6, 2014

As promised, a little more shipping news this week.

Lewes’s cache as a marine research town will rise a few notches in the next few weeks when University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment takes delivery of a new research vessel. Built in Louisiana, the Newton Dive Research vessel spans 46 feet at her waterline with a 16-foot beam. According to reliable sources, the vessel to be docked at the University of Delaware’s Lewes harbor has the capability of going offshore, but will be used primarily in Delaware Bay and inshore along the coast. An open transom makes the vessel particularly friendly for hauling up divers, buoys and scientific instruments.

The university is planning a christening ceremony in a few weeks when the vessel’s name will be officially unveiled.

The vessel will join the college’s existing fleet of research vessels, which includes the RV Hugh R. Sharp flagship and a number of smaller vessels used in Delaware Bay, the Inland Bays and coastal rivers.

No news from Andy

I tried to raise Andy Teeling on the phone this week to get a sense of how he made out rowing up Delaware Bay in his Herreshoff-designed skiff. He left Lewes last Friday morning. Marie Dalton of Slaughter Beach wrote me a note Saturday, May 31: “Last evening I met Andy trudging down Bay Avenue on Slaughter Beach. He asked me where he could buy some supplies and he was looking for a bed and breakfast. Well of course I had to take him home with me. He spent the night with the family and headed out this morning from Cedar Creek. He only got half way out of the Mispillion jetty and had to return to Slaughter Beach because the wind was too strong and coming out of the north.”

Delaware Bay can be an unkindly body of water, especially for someone rowing a small vessel. Its tides develop stiff currents and they often buck the winds on either their ebb or flood cycle, which makes for a tedious chop. As of this writing, I hope Andy’s back home safely in the wilds of Delmarva near Exmore, Va.

Appalachian Trail correction

Jack Lesher, a member of the Lewes Board of Public Works, squared me away on my geography last week. He read my item about Damascus, Va. and my claim that the small town in the western-most corner of Virginia is about the halfway point on the Appalachian Trail, between Georgia and Maine. I was only off by a state or two. The actual midpoint is near Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Pennsylvania. There is also an Appalachian Trail Museum in the state park. Jack has first-hand knowledge of the trail. He hiked its length in a number of segments between 1988 and 1998.

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