We Capture Woodwind II, nautical star of The Wedding Crashers
We caught up with Woodwind II docked, unaware of our paparazzi intentions.
Woodwind II" was selected to be the sailing yacht of Christopher Walken's character in the movie, "The Wedding Crashers". The filming took place in Oxford, Cambridge, St. Michaels and on the Choptank and Miles Rivers. New Line Cinemas booked the boat for 9 days to film the scenes for the movie starring Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Walken. The name of the boat was kept the same for the movie.
Check out our recent album "Wandering Around Annapolis" in the Photo Gallery.
John Paul Jones' Crypt
For those who have not seen it, John Paul Jones' Crypt is certainly worth a visit. The crypt is in the basement of the US Naval Academy Chapel. It is a large marble affair, sitting above imposing bronze dolphins. It reminds me a bit of the tombs one can see at Westminster Abbey in London.
The story of the " Father of the US Navy " is an interesting one, and the story of how his remains came to reside in Annapolis is more interesting still. Long forgotten in the United States, he died in obscurity in France, until he remains were "rediscovered" in the early part of the 20th century.
"Enter General Horace Porter, a man obsessed with the desire to locate the grave of John Paul Jones. Appointed American Ambassador to France in 1899, Porter's painstaking search lasted six years. He knew he was looking for a "leaden coffin." Jones did not die broke, but his investments (his heirs inherited over $30,000) took some time to collect. Gouverneurr Morris, afraid he would be liable for the funeral costs, ordered a cheap coffin. But a French admirer of Jones donated 462 francs, three times the price of an average funeral, to pay for a top-of-the-line coffin. Col. Blackden had confirmed that fact in a letter written in 1792 to Jones' heirs. The intention, Blackden wrote, was to preserve the body in case America decided to one day reclaim its war hero. But where was the he buried?
For years Porter was misled by a faulty copy of Jones' burial certificate. The original had been destroyed in a fire. A key phrase was missing. Jones, a Scot but not known to be religious, had been buried "in the cemetery for foreign Protestants." Porter confirmed the site as the Saint Louis Cemetery, but a lot had changed in a century. The cemetery had become a fertile vegetable garden, then a dumping ground for the bodies of animals. Porter was horrified by the filthy "Combat" street area, named, he suggests, for brutal staged fights between cocks, dogs, bulls and other animals to entertain local gamblers.
By the early 1900s the cemetery had been covered over by a grocery store, a laundry, an apartment house, sheds, cess pools and wells. Porter approached owners requesting permission to dig, but when they discovered the wealthy US government was footing the bill, real estate prices shot up. Porter was forced to back off and wait an agonizing two years until he could negotiate cheaper access to the defunct Protestant cemetery. Porter also worried that the contents of the cemetery had been moved, as the law and decency prescribed.
Enter President "Teddy" Roosevelt. The media-savvy rough Rough Rider was intrigued by the life of the equally aggressive John Paul Jones. The public relations potential of finding the long lost "Father of the American Navy" was too good to pass up. Roosevelt got Congress to appropriate $35,000 and the dig was on.
It was an odious task -- wet, dark, with stultifying air, fetid water and giant red worms. The earth was so loose that Parisian workers built elaborate underground shafts, five in all, supported by thick timbers. Bodies lay everywhere, sometimes two and three on top of each other, their wooden coffins long rotted to dust. They found only five lead coffins in all. The third, a mummy-shaped tomb, was better designed and constructed than the rest, but bore no inscription. Porter and his attendants discovered it on April 8, 1905. When they tried to unwrap it, the stench was so overpowering that the crew was forced to dig an air shaft for ventilation before they could resume. Peeling back the tinfoil layers they caught the strong scent of alcohol and saw the still recognizable face of John Paul Jones.
His mostly naked body was wrapped in a winding shirt. The flesh was still on his face and when the white linen cap containing his hair was removed, it curled down onto his shoulders. As expected, Jones was not buried with uniforms, medals or weapons, most of which were sold months after his death at auction.
Horace Porter was overjoyed. His search had yielded, not just bones, but the flesh and tissue of the famous Chevalier himself. A professional autopsy on the 114-year old corpse by three Paris doctors appeared to corroborate historic accounts that Jones was suffering from kidney failure and perhaps bronchitis. Further proof came from a comparison of the corpse with the famous bust of Jones by Jean-Antoine Houdon. Everything matched. Now it was time to celebrate -- respectfully, of course."
10/18/2011, Annapolis Inner Harbor
View of Naval Academy From Ceili
We departed Baltimore at 8:00am, and stopped at the Baltimore Maritime Center to refuel and pumpout. Departing their dock at 9 AM, we followed the Baltimore shipping channel, and then headed south. The weather was warm, sunny and a light easterly wind.
We passed some traffic heading north, and motorsailed to Annapolis, arriving at 1:30PM. The Annapolis boat show ended this weekend, and the harbor was very quiet. We picked up a Annapolis town mooring just off of the US Naval Academy. After lunch, we launched the dinghy(the first time it has been in the water since Atlantic Highlands) and motored to to the head of Spa Creek, passing under the Spa Creek Bridge. While the Annapolis harbor is relatively small, the numerous creeks provide a venue for a large number of sailboats, moored, docked and anchored. There appear to be a fair number of tansients here now as well , heading south like us.
We left Joe Rocchio in Baltimore (s/v Onward). He will depart Saturday and catch up with us further down the Bay enroute to Norfolk and the official beginning of the ICW.We plan to cruise with Joe as we head south. He has given us invaluable tips for Chesapeake destinations, based on his long experience cruising the area.