Boats, Bond and Bear

January 31, 2006|by ROBERT KELLER

BALTIMORE - It was a long drive to Baltimore as we headed to the 2006 Baltimore Boat Show, filled with yachts, fishing boats and more.

My father has spent a great deal of time on boats - from speedboats to ocean-going yachts and fishing boats - but most of my family has never set foot on a boat before. But we all love water, so visiting the boat show was a great experience for us.

When we arrived, Steve Himmelrich, public relations director for the Baltimore Boat Show, told us about the show. He talked to us about some of the boats, such as the Boats of Bond.

These boats are from the actual James Bond movies - the Tow Sled from "Thunderball," Bath-O-Sub from "Diamonds are Forever," the Neptune submarine from "For Your Eyes Only," the Amazon Chase Boat from "Moonraker" and the Jet Boat from "The World Is Not Enough."


A lot of James Bond memorabilia was on display, too, such as the infamous razor hat and missle blow dart. You couldn't get on the Bond Boats, but you could look at them. To make things even better, show visitors could watch James Bond movies and play spy-themed games on an Xbox.

We looked at some of the yachts and other boats.

Except for the Boats of Bond, every boat there was for sale.

Many of the boats were fancy and cost thousands and thousands of dollars. However, there were people at every boat site ready to help with financing.

A three-deck yacht seemed to be the highlight of the show for lots of people. We were hoping to tour this yacht, but, because of the long line, we moved on.

We did get into some of the other boats. Many were fishing boats, complete with deep-sea fishing rods and tackle boxes. They were also selling many different types of motors and accessories - life jackets, fishing gear, boat wenches, trailers and more.

Some of larger boats had interior compartments. I was amazed to see how much was crammed in the lower decks - bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and showers. Many of the boats had flat-screen TVs.

Kids on board

There was an area set aside to entertain the younger crowd at the boat show. In the Kid's Cove, young attendees could build a sailboat out of wood and test it in a pool of water.

Kids had the chance to try to dock a radio-controlled boat in a challange. There was a pool about 4 feet by 8 feet. The goal was to manuever the boat from one end to the other, then back it up to a dock. Whoever got the best time for the day was invited back at no charge on the last day of the boat show to compete in the finals.

The best time on the day we visited was less than 23 seconds.

Canine hero

Along the outer edge of the boat show, we spotted a dog in a search-and-rescue uniform. His name was Theodore. He was with his owner, Capt. Scott Shields, who works with a search-and-rescue team.

The captain and Theodore were there with the Scholastic Book team promoting the captain's new book, "Bear, Heart of a Hero."

Shields told us that Bear was a rescue dog who worked as a search-and-rescuer. Bear responded to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, to help find people that were trapped inside even after the New York Police Department had pulled their canine units out. Bear found many of the victims, including the fire chief.

Shields told us that Bear died a year after the attack due to cancer he got as a result of an injury while searching the rubble at Ground Zero.

Theodore was Bear's son. We purchased a copy of the book, and Theodore and Shields autographed it for us.

Take one home?

As the day ended, we discussed the boats. My mom didn't care for them, but my little brother, Nick, preferred the three-deck yacht so he could pack more stuff for longer trips. My dad said he wanted one of each. We're not sure where he would stow them.

As for me, I liked all of the boats there. Being at the boat show was one of the greatest days of my life.

So many boats, so little time.

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