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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 09-29-2010
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Poplar Island

What the heck are they filling in Poplar Island with? Iron? Every time we pass that island our compass shows about 20 degrees +/- deviation.. Don't see any updates/notices to charts about this phenomena.

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Clay
s/v 'Tango'
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Old 09-29-2010
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Here's your probable answer to the 'usual and common' magnetic disturbances 'all over' the Chesapeake: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay_impact_crater
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Old 09-30-2010
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I don't know about that event causing magnetic disturbances, but I think the are filling Poplar Island with dredge sediment (when they dredge channels) and I would guess that the sediment contains varying amounts of magnetic deposits... I remember the old Poplar Island back in the 70s as a wonderful place to anchor with a shallow draft boat.
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Old 10-01-2010
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I think most of the fill is coming from around Dundalk. There is some nasty stuff in there from the steel mills and other factories.
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 10-04-2010
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Thanks for the thread, Clay.
It seems I finally have an explanation for what happened to me earlier this year. I was beating to wind south of Poplar Island, when I engaged the auto pilot to go to the foredeck to lash the anchors down better. Suddenly the boat turned through the wind, and by the time I got back to the helm, I ended up in perfect "heave to" position. The auto pilot never sounded off course alarm. I double checked, and the helm was definetly engaged.
Strange....
Bernd
PSC 31
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Old 10-18-2010
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As mentioned on another thread..we took a tour of Poplar Island..courtesy in partial to your personal Md. taxes..Tnx. Anyway I may have found the answer to my question concerning the rather large deviation when traveling south of the island. There are approximately a dozen rusting hulks of what appears to be barges that are partially lying in a row in the middle of the island. I wanted to ask the captain of the m/v 'Terapin'..but he wasn't in the mood to answer questions from visitors..kind a of surely waterman that had been hired 'cause of his local knowledge of this part of the Bay...
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Old 10-24-2010
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I sailed by the island today and took this snapshot...

This is the view from the Eastern Bay #1.
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Last edited by mccary; 10-24-2010 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 10-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccary View Post
I don't know about that event causing magnetic disturbances, but I think the are filling Poplar Island with dredge sediment (when they dredge channels) and I would guess that the sediment contains varying amounts of magnetic deposits... I remember the old Poplar Island back in the 70s as a wonderful place to anchor with a shallow draft boat.
He makes an excellent point. Beth Steel (now ISG) at Sparrows Point discharged VAST amounts of pickle liquor for many years, until they finally began treating this material, I think in the early 70s. The liquor was basically ferric sulfate in acid water, which would become rust upon contact with Bay water. The material would take time to settle and was well know for causing serious silting issues in the area. (I used to do some engineering related to the treatment plant... but you really don't want to know how much COD was and still is discharged).

But I don't know about the actual content of the dredge spoil or the compass issue.
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