Monday, September 17, 2012

Annapolis, Maryland

As a native New Englander it's not easy for me to say this but, I enjoy Annapolis as much as Newport, Rhode Island. Annapolis is a bit more compact than Newport. The main harbor is smaller and dinghy docks are virtually at the end of any street that ends at the water. There are numerous places to dine al fresco or have lunch in a cozy pub. The sidewalks are brick and lined with hanging baskets of annuals on every lamppost.

The city provides free trollies around town and to nearby grocery shopping. Everyone seems friendly, open and helpful toward itinerant sailors...oh and did I mention that the locals are friendly? Perhaps it's just because I'm smiling and more open to conversation than I was in RI. After all I live on a boat! What better traveller's life is there? I'm still hypothesizing. When public transit drivers are friendly and helpful though it seems that the verdict is in.
Our reward for the relatively quick trip down here was to spring for a city mooring for a week. That meant we were entitled to long, hot showers at the city dock and also the laundromat located in the same facility. Believe me it feels luxurious to take a 10 minute shower compared to turning water on and off during showers on the boat. Another perk is that the harbormaster also rents bikes for $5.00 per day to anyone renting a mooring. We rented a couple of bikes and rode over the bascule bridge to Eastport to a West Marine. Renting a mooring also gave us the opportunity to take a day trip on the metro to Washington, DC without the anxiety of worrying about Simple Life alone on anchor.

Fear the Goat, Navy mascot
Joe is enamored with the Naval Academy or The Yard as it's called in Annapolis. It's an institution that is steeped in pomp and circumstance. We recently witnessed the Brigade of Midshipmen as they ceremoniously gathered and marched at Tecumseh Court for the noon meal.

This is one of the highlights on scheduled bus tours to Annapolis. On weekends Memorial Hall is open for self guided tours to the public.

For some reason or other when I visit the Navel Academy I don't feel as resentful about where my tax dollars are spent.

Our friends Bill and Sandy who also sailed to Annapolis from Rock Hall rented a mooring for a night and told us not to miss breakfast at a local institution called Chick and Ruth's Delly.

Bill explained that on weekdays at precisely 8:30 AM an announcement is made over the PA system and everyone in the deli stands to recite The Pledge of Allegiance! The pledge is delayed until 9:30 for late risers like me on weekends. Joe and I made certain that we were seated by nine o'clock Saturday morning with breakfast ordered. I made a short clip of the Pledge and posted it in the video bar.

Joe has a penchant for raw oysters on the half shell and enjoys treating himself to a half dozen or so at Middleton's Raw Bar during happy hour. He tends to make excuses as to why he needs to take the dinghy into shore around 4:00 PM each day...Occasionally, he'll mix it up a bit and have what are known as "oyster shooters" which consists of an oyster shucked and served with sauce in a cup followed by a shot of beer. I joined Joe during "happy hour" on Saturday afternoon. The Raw Bar exuded a warm, welcoming atmosphere. We spent an hour or so chatting with a fellow sailor whom we'd just met over drinks. He asked about our plans for the trip and told us about his ambitious ten year plan for sailing around the world. We explained that we are on the head south to warmer climes, one harbor at a time plan.
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