Gold Loopers talk about the favorite parts of the loop. All have an opinion on the best marina, ideal town, etc. How on earth does one choose? We have an unofficial best small towns list, but could we pick one? Favorite anchorage, heck I have a whole list and can't narrow it down. Free docks...that's another list. And my lists are getting longer. Once we enter Canada we can get into the Butter Tarts that we keep hearing about and do our own taste comparisons.
Our visit to Annapolis by water was very special. It was commissioning week (graduation) at the Naval Academy and the entire town was hopping. Young men and women in dress uniforms were accompanied by proud family members. Painkillers at Pussers kicked off the visit, a regular stop when we were in the British Virgin Islands so this location was a must visit.
The Blue Angeles put on a show that went practically over our boat and it was amazing! Several Looper boats were there for the show and so docktails automagically happened. If two or more Looper Boats are in a marina or anchorage there will be a gathering, just saying! After a few days in Annapolis we crossed over to the east side of Chesapeake Bay again and found peace and tranquility in isolated bays.
The C&D Canal connects the Chesapeake Bay to Delaware Bay and on the west end as we entered the canal was another town for our list. Delaware City with its free dock and quaint shops was perfect. A great respite for the upcoming day from hell. The only really bad conditions we encountered so far on this multi part loop was the Delaware Bay. We heard the stories, checked the weather, timed the current and tides. We got it wrong along with a whole group that had done their own research and we traveled down the bay beating into waves that crashed over the flybridge and left poor DeeO'gee green.
By the time we reached Cape May things had settled down, the sun was shining and once again we were feeling charmed! We had met a couple in Key West that were admiring our boat so we invited them to join us for drinks. 18 months later and their transfer to Cape May allowed us to once again have drinks on Nomadic Spirit followed by a tour and provisioning run.
Several fellow loopers were at our marina so of course...
The next stop was Atlantic City, most boats go outside and follow the shoreline but with our shallow draft we took the 46 miles on the New Jersey waterway inside route. Flat, flat, flat! Much better.
In AC we strolled the boardwalk and acted like the tourists we were. The largest pipe organ on the planet is at the Boardwalk Hall. This monstrous organ has 33,112 pipes. Built in 1929-32, it is going through a major refurbishment that will take even longer than the original build. We were lucky enough to hear a short recital at the end of our tour. Ever wonder what the term 'pulling out all the stops' means? Google it! This hall by the way, is where the Miss America Pageants are and have always been held.
Next stop, New York!