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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Oh oh Columbus Day
80s and beautiful
10/13/2008, Annapolis

It's amazing how many beautiful fall days there are this year. The mornings are cool and crisp. When I go up on deck and breath in deeply, the smell and feeling are so refreshing as the inhaled air warms in my lungs before being exhaled in a little steamy cloud. I wonder if I can blow smoke rings on exhaling, but no... I can't. I wonder if fall has always been this nice? Probably. I may have just never noticed, or enjoyed it, because I was never out in it as much as I am now. The hustle and bustle of rising before light and traveling to work in the dark never left much time to enjoy that first burst of air that touches your skin as you crawl out of bed. Refreshing. Somehow getting up in the dark now is much different than having to rush around each morning getting ready for work. Each day feels like a weekend. It's very strange. Enough of my morning musings. It's a busy day today. Sail Rite store, hardware store, Fawcetts, and the boat show to pick up our davits for the dingy. In case I forgot to mention what davits are, they're a pair of hoists to raise the dingy out of the water and secure it to the back of the boat. A promised lunch at the officer's club (clams) makes all the running around more enjoyable as I prepare to become pack-mule patti.

Whoops! It's Columbus Day and the cadets are still on a long weekend. No clams for me today... The Officer's Club is closed along with most of the Naval Academy. We walked into town to the Sail Rite store to pick up some strapping and fasteners to attach to the dingy to the davits, then next door to the dingy man to see if he had patches with D hooks for us to attach to the dingy. He had those and the glue and cleaning solvent to prep the dingy and told us how to do it. He guarrrrrenteeeed they'd hold (we'll see - anything similar to rubber cement kind of worries me - but he's the expert). Went to Stevens (the hardware) to pick up the odds and ends, Fawcetts for the other boat stuff that the hardware didn't have. Then to the boat show to pick up our davits at 3 pm, out by 4pm and ohhh my sore back. This stuff is heavy. Walked it all back to the dingy dock and got it unloaded, then started checking out how to install the davits, and more importantly where (what part of the back do we put the holes in - OH NO!)...

Did I mention that we are now the proud owners of a "Fishing Ring"? Wayne's excited at the prospect of catching our first big ocean fish. The only problem is, we don't know how to fish (Midwesterners boy I'll tell ya). Little fish on the pond, but the hooks on this line are half the size of my fist...They're huge - not what I'm used to at all. Well, at least we have some very sexy looking lures to attract them with (they have little hula skirts) LOL. I know, I know, they're after food, not procreating...

Today is the end of the International Sailboat Show and at 5pm there's a parade of sailboats vacating the areas they set up for them. I'm amazed that they get them all out within 2 hours. Tomorrow they start setting up for the powerboat show, which is larger than the Sailboat Show (wow). We could see the masts going by from our mooring while having dinner. It's been an interesting experience watching them set up for the show, then tearing it down to get ready for the next one. Hopefully we won't still be here to watch them tear down the whole thing... Ray from the sailing vessel Maria will still be here until the end of the show to tear it all down, then will head south. He's worked it from beginning to end, and man, they work him. He leaves by 6 am and doesn't return till way after dark and my bedtime...

BBQ'd pork chops, broccoli, baked beans and hard rolls for dinner tonight. I must have been hungry - I scarfed it down like it was lunch time at school!

10/10 to 10/12
10/12/2008, Annapolis, MD

Friday, October 10, 2008
Sunny, 78 another perfect day in Annapolis

Today is boat show day. We get to wander among the boats, look at the various wares that the venders have brought and try and sort through what we need, what we want, and what we'll actually buy. There's two seminars that we want to go to - Don Street: Preparing for the voyage south, and Jimmy Cornell: Formalities, documents and necessities for cruising.

I visited the Gozzard 44 at the show. H.T. Gozzard was below and I complimented him on the boat (it's gorgeous of course). I asked Mrs. Gozzard how long it takes from ordering a boat to the finishing of it and she said a bout 10-12 months. Amazing. We went by Hot Wire and chatted with them about solar power and wind power then went on to find the davits at Garhauer. We bought the display model but can't pick them up until Monday after the show (they need the display of course) so it looks like we'll be here until Wed. morning. After we get them Monday evening, we'll mount them while we're in Annapolis in case we need anything, then move on before the power boat show. The solar panels we'll probably pick up further south since we'll be running the engine quite a bit while in the inter-coastal waterway.

The two seminars' we attended were standing room only but we were there early enough that we were able to sit. Both were very good seminars! We ran over to Faucets (a boat supply house) to pick up a replacement hinge for the Quick windlass that we lost somehow. Looking at the windlass in the display at the show, we couldn't see how it even came out (let alone how it was put together). I think it was a flaw in the equipt. But we got the part number from the person at the display then went to Faucets to order it.

It was starting to get twilight out so we ran over to ACME for dinner (happy hour - cheaper beer too) then the CVS (pharmacy closed) and back to the dinghy dock before dark (we don't have a light for the dingy so need to be in before the streetlights to avoid fines from the harbor master). Beautiful evening and there's a new Bayfield here it looks like a 32 ft? She's a beauty!

Saturday, October 11, 2008
Mid 70's, sunny, another beautiful fall day

Went to the Harbor Master's office and signed up for 3 more days then went through most of the venders we missed yesterday and bought some fishing stuff. The two seminars today - Don Street: Off shore preparations, and Jimmy Cornell: from the Chesapeake to the Bahamas and around the world. What dynamic speakers they are - quite a wealth of information and, once again - standing room only. Ate at Pusser's before heading back to the boat - they have a wonderful Cruz Bay Chicken and um make a mean Pain Killer.


Okay, today is pretty much see if we can get the water pump and head pump working, etc... We're going to avoid the boat show today since we need to go again tomorrow to pick up the davits toward the end of the show... general maintenance today, show tomorrow, then Tuesday we'll see if we can figure out the mounting of the davits so we can leave Wednesday?

The picture is part of the church at the Naval Academy - it's actually more impressive than the MD State Capital Dome

10/15/2008 | Holly
I keep trying to email you guys but it won't go through. I'm not sure why?
Naval Academy
Sunny, 78 and nice
10/09/2008, Annapolis, MD

Hey we had eggs for breakfast (YAY) then went into town to the Naval Academy. We've taken a self tour before but decided to take the walking tour this year. It was highly recommended and I'm glad we did. We went into the Phys-ed building and saw some of the cadets taking their swimming tests in uniform. By the end of their sophomore year not only to they have to swim 400 yards in 20 minutes (it gets longer each year with shorter times), but if they don't jump off the high platform (it's high) then they are booted out. I guess that by the time they finish their 4 years here, they're considered "drown proof".

We visited John Paul Jones crypt/memorial - very impressive. They finally were able to find his remains, determine his cause of death (pneumonia) and inter his remains here at the Acadamy.

We watched the noon day procession for the mid-day meal where all 4000 cadets assemble and call off before marching in to have their meal (family style). I cannot imagine 4000 cadets in a mess hall all being served at once, then leaving after 25 minutes. The Assembly was impressive and I guess they go through it every day. Their kitchens are definitely geared to the students better than at JHS... You can tell the seniors from the rest of the cadets - they get to wear khaki uniforms instead of the navy blue.

After the official tour we went to the Officer's Club and had lunch. That was impressive and it was the best clams (huge and tender - cooked to perfection) and crab cakes (all crab, no filler - honest!) I've ever had. It was a very formal looking place and I felt out of place in my Saugatuck Tshirt! I loved seeing the officers in their uniforms and loved the whole area. Very historic and beautiful granite buildings (French Venetian Style). The church dome is what a lot of people think is the state capital but it's the wrong style and the state capital building besides being smaller is less grandeur. Wrong style and materials.

After the tour and lunch walked back into town to the CVS and the bank. The opening day VIP people were at the boat show and it's packed already. We discovered that our dingy was having a huge gathering on the Navy pier and we had to tear it away from it's playmates in order to get back to the boat. The dingies were stacked in tight like a carton of eggs but we managed to weave and push our way out.

The trees are starting to turn and it was just a beautiful fall day!

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