Annapolis Without the Boat Show
27 June 2008 | Annapolis, Maryland
Beth - 28C, thunderstorms at night
It was a perfectly glorious sailing day - winds 10-15 knots on our port beam - and we sailed all the way up the bay from Solomon's Island to the Severn River (over 50 nautical miles), averaging better than 6 knots.
We negotiated our way through the little sailing boats zigzagging across the Severn River, to pull into Spa Creek and hook a mooring right next to the familiar boat we were searching for - Sapphire!
We were soon onboard Sapphire, meeting Mike's sister Deb and her husband Davey, catching up on all our news and enjoying the gustatory delights found on boats - pretty little cherry tomato-basil sprig-cheese skewers, cheese and salami, crusty baguette with dipping oil, and the grand finale - a heaping bowl of freshly steamed shrimp. Oooh - good company, good food, good sailing, good life.
On Friday, Jim and I spent the day on land. We indulged in free showers (included in the $25.00 mooring fee). We ate crab cakes and rockfish at the Federal House Restaurant on the waterfront, strolled the streets of Annapolis - so different when Ego Alley and the surrounding areas are not plugged with Boat Show exhibits. We checked out marine things at several of the stores in the area and strolled around the state capitol building with its distinctive golden acorn atop the steeple.
We took a guided tour of the US Naval Academy that occupies over 300 acres on the Annapolis waterfront. That was fascinating. It is a 4 year program; 4 years on campus - oops "Yard" - with field training in the summers. 1200 hundred men and women between the ages of 17 and 23 will arrive here next week for Plebe Summer - boot camp that starts off the next year's class. There is tremendous competition to get in, rigorous mental, physical and moral training followed by graduation as naval officers. Tuition, bed and board is totally paid for by the government and the graduates are expected to remain in the Service for 5 years after graduation. We found the facilities just amazing - huge Olympic swimming pool, fields for every kind of sport including a considerable number of opportunities for "Beat the Army" calls. The coed dorm - Bancroft Hall - where every Midshipman lives was huge and impressive - see picture of the foyer! Interestingly, every student lives there for the whole 4 years; everyone eats together (that's somewhere upwards of 3000 students at one time); no one gets married; and bonding, obedience and loyalty are cultivated. Among its many illustrious graduates are Jimmy Carter, Ross Perot, John McCain, Alan Shepard.
In the evening, we waited out an impressive thunderstorm and heavy shower, then pumped out the dinghy and headed for the Ram's Head Tavern where we listened to the music of Josh Joplin and Alice Peacock. Both were unknown to us; both were excellent performers. We especially liked Alice with her lovely warm stage presence, beautiful voice and music that appealed to us.
By the time we walked back home after the show, we felt we'd had an excellent taste of Annapolis - without the Boat Show. Thanks for all your recommendations, Mary and Blair!