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Chesapeake Passage


Big Boats, Narrow Channels

Bad Dreams for Bay Pilots

Watch Out for Big Ships

Pioneering Bay Pilots

Vanishing Islands

Maryland Sea Grant Review

UMCES President's Award

This Issue's Videos:
Bringing Big Ships to Baltimore
The 66,000-ton giant M/V Taiko - by Michael Fincham  

Dave Van Metre spends his layover day reading and napping. He's reading John Grisham's The Last Juror because he loves a thriller. He's taking naps because he was up late the night before leading a ship down from Baltimore to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. And in the night to come he'll be working all the way through to dawn, guiding a Norwegian ship on a night passage back up the Bay to Baltimore. Once he gets his call, he won't have time for another nap or another thriller.

Van Metre is a reader and, as it turns out, an occasional story teller. As a Maryland Bay pilot, however, he doesn't have a lot of hair-raising stories to pass on. Those who do are apparently not the ones you want on the bridge of a tanker carrying millions of gallons of oil, enough to pollute the entire Chesapeake. Like most pilots, Van Metre is cautious, risk averse by nature and trained to avoid collisions or groundings or weather traps by thinking ahead, way ahead. He spends his work days and nights trying to steer clear of trouble.     Read more . . .

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