Once we slip past the holidays, we generally run into a period where cabin fever claims many a good man.
Weekends can be spent at one type of show or another, whether you are looking for fishing, boating or antiques, but during the week many slip toward the boob tube.
Alternatives are everywhere, but take a fair amount of pushing. For example, I am trying to collect and read all of Agatha Christie's mysteries and anything Sherlockian that I might have missed.
Recently, I came upon an excellent diversion for our winter evenings The Maritime Trade Classes offered by the Anne Arundel Community College provide an interesting diversion. Some of the classes are really designed for the marina trade folks, but some will make me and thee better boat owners.
For example, there's MAR 350 Electrical Marine Systems. We all purchase radios, bilge pumps, Loran-C, automatic pump switches and so on.
We should know how to properly install our accessories and understand the equipment that generates our power on board. The course runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, for six sessions from Feb. 20 to March 11. The cost is $49.
MAR 356 Marine Woodworking is scheduled from 6:30 to 9:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for five sessions between March 12 and 21, and would help anglers like myself who own an older wooden boat to keep them in top shape.
MAR 355 Marine Engine and Water Systems is one class everyone probably should take to understand the black magic that keeps our craft going.
The course is given in five sessions from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays Jan. 10-24 and costs $51. Two engine classes on diesels and two on gasoline engines follow.
The classes are economical and convenient and will give you a lot more self-confidence while you are afloat. You probably will learn enough to do a few things.
The classes may even pay for themselves, especially if you learn enough to correct a problem that otherwise would cost you a tow into port. For more information call 541-2325.
The Chesapeake Bay Sportfishing Show at the Annapolis National Guard Armory will be presented Jan. 4-6. I'll give you more details on that when they become available.
Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena.
His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.