On Sunday October 6, 2013, the Fireboat with a five man crew departed Delaware City at 06:30 en route to Lewes, DE for the Annual Coast Day festivities at the University of Delaware Sharp Campus.
Ed Kalinowski, Bill Sahm, Allan MacKenzie, Bill Kiger and Mark Breeding comprised the crew for the two hour and twenty minute cruise down to Lewes. We embarked while it was still dark and encountered moderate fog with 1-2 mile visibility for the first half of our journey. At about 8AM, the sun appeared and the fog dissipated. About 8:30AM the bay was like glass giving Fireboat 15 a smooth journey into Lewes, DE. During the course of the day, Coast Day attendees had an opportunity to tour FB-15, see a rope gun demonstration and several times throughout the day; the fire pump demonstration. We had over 500 visitors to the boat!
The University of Delaware's festive Coast Day celebrated its 37th year on Sunday Oct. 6th. The theme this year was "Building Resilient Coastal Communities." Throughout the event, UD scientists, staff, and students were highlighting the many ways they are working to maintain a healthy environment and ensure that society continues to benefit from the coast. Visitors to the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del were able to learn about the state's rich marine resources. Coast Day highlighted how UD scientists, staff, and students are improving understanding of ocean environments and serving coastal communities. Coast Day attendees were able to interact with researchers, tour ships, try hands-on activities, and attend presentations on a range of topics. Family-friendly activities included an event-wide treasure hunt for answers to questions about the environment and Coast Day exhibits. Children met sea-dwelling animals such as horseshoe crabs and dogfish sharks at the critter touch tanks. Everyone enjoyed live music, vendor displays, and seafood favorites showcased by local chefs at the Crab Cake Cook-Off and the Seafood Chowder Challenge. Coast Day is sponsored by UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program.
At approximately 4:30PM Fireboat 15 dropped its lines and headed up the Canal to Lewes Harbour Marina for some much needed fuel for our journey home. After fueling the boat we all went to a local restaurant for dinner and to unwind a bit. At 7:10PM we started heading north back to Delaware City. Our trip began at dusk in a light chop but as we ventured further up the bay and eventually into the Delaware River, conditions worsened with 2-4’ wave height and heavy ship traffic. We arrived in Delaware City at approximately 9:30PM. Even though it was a very long day for the crew, I’m sure they will tell you it was educational, eventful and fun.