This evening, January 18, 2015, several ANSA members met up for the club’s first social gathering of the new year and a little scuttlebutt*. The venue was Jalapeno’s Restaurant in Annapolis where delicious, authentic Spanish cuisine and great camaraderie were enjoyed.

Over dinner conversation, Fleet Captain, Tom Richardson pulsed the group for feedback regarding the upcoming season’s popular dinner cruises. Two options currently exist: the destination dinner cruise (sailing to a restaurant and going ashore for dinner, then sailing back) and the potluck dinner cruise (bringing food to share aboard while spending the day sailing). Both options were equally popular, with a third possibility being suggested – sailing to Sandy Point State Park and docking for a shore side picnic at one of the many pavilions available for rent there. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy lunch hot off the grill, a walk on the beach or a refreshing dip in the water and some great sailing to boot?

However, the water’s depth in areas surrounding Sandy Point was a concern voiced by several members, including the Fleet Captain. Fantasea draws 5 ft. and the charts (last updated over a decade ago) record a dockside depth of 6 ft. – a depth which may be much more shallow now, thanks to silt and shifting sand.

It was agreed upon that in early Spring a party of three will row out and perform a manual depth reading to ascertain whether Fantasea can sail safely in without running hard aground. If the depth is sufficient, we will have a third venue option for our ever-popular dinner cruises this year. Stay tuned!

*Scuttlebutt in slang usage means rumor or gossip, deriving from the nautical term for the cask used to serve water (or, later, a water fountain). The term corresponds to the colloquial concept of a water cooler in an office setting, which at times becomes the focus of congregation and casual discussion. Water for immediate consumption on a sailing ship was conventionally stored in a scuttled butt: a butt (cask) which had been scuttled by making a hole in it so the water could be withdrawn. Since sailors exchanged gossip when they gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink of water, scuttlebutt became Navy slang for gossip or rumors.