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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
September 27, 1996     Cape Gazette
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September 27, 1996
 

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Delaware River and Bay Pilots perform century of service The Pilots Association for the Bay and River Delaware, whose members pilot ships up and down Delaware River and Bay, turns 100 years old later this year. The piloting profession is documented as early as the 1730s and it's believed that native Americans served as guides for Europeans in the 1600s. Because of the deep history of the organization and its ties to the sea, a program involving a panel of five current pilots drew a record crowd of 183 persons to the Lewes Historical Society meeting on Friday, Sept. 20. Held at Lewes Presbyterian Church, the program included two videos chronicling the work of the pilots during this century as well as live presentations by the pilots at the meeting. The members of the panel, shown here, included (l-r) Capt. Jim Roberts, Capt. Bill Lowe, Capt. Steve Roberts, Capt. Andy Knopp, and Capt. Dick Buckaloo. They told of many changes that have taken place over the years includ- ing great advances in technology, such as the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) comput- er programs which Capt. Steve Roberts explained uses a network of satellites to provide ship positions on the bay and river to an accuracy of one yard. And as ships have grown in size over the decades, their numbers in Delaware Bay have decreased. The highest volume of ships, said Capt. Bill Lewe, came in August of 1957 when 1,600 ships were piloted up and down the Delaware. That's many times the current monthly volume. Capt. Andy Knopp compiled a book about the first 100 years of the Pilots Association. Published by the Delaware Heritage Commission, the book is currently available through the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes. Sea Witch considered for Discovery Channel The Sea" Witch Festival and Fiddlers Convention has been considered for inclusion in a new 50-part television series. The Discovery Channel series will be called "Travelers" and will air over a three-year period in 83 countries. But the Sea Witch Festival and Fiddlers Convention will have to wait until at least next season. Unit Manager Wayne Roland said that the Discovery Channel and Banyan Productions were interest- ed in Sea Witch, but could not film this years' festival. He explained that a delay in filming in Germany caused logistics problems for the film crew which was expected to cover the festival. He said a very tight shooting schedule means there just isn't time to cover this year's festi- val. "We would like to do it next season," he said .... CAPE GAZE'F!'E,.FId. "lay.,. 84tqm)l 2-- October 3,. 199 47 Main Street Continued from page 45 consider erecting a replica ship. '`The physical size of these vessels would be most surprising to folks," he said. "What I can see for Milton is just such a thing - in the park," said McCabe. He said he envi- sioned putting it under a roof with enpaneted items such as pho- tographs and documents "that would bring the whole thing to life. "That industry is what made Milton what it is today - physical- ly. I think that would be really neat. We've got to find some way to promote Milton's past." Mc- Cabe also suggested adding some historical markers, in a staggered pattern, to the Governor's Walk. Last, McCabe suggested the chamber consider publishing a book on Milton's history. Mc- Cabe co-authored a book several years ago, and he said it could ei- ther be updated or reprinted if the chamber was interested. "There's a market for written history," said McCabe. "I think there are sources for funding, and the in- vestment would be recovered in short order. "Milton's history and her- itage...that's a great draw for Mil- ton. It always has been and al- ways will be." r" DOUGLAS C. 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