Architecture, food, and lots of walking kept us properly entertained.
Days, 14-17, October 28-31, Halloween!
Our primary reason for heading to Annapolis so soon after reaching the Chesapeake was — once again — our heater. One more overnight parts delivery from the west coast, and hopefully that project would be DONE. Arriving on a sunny Sunday afternoon was a bonus. We had decided to take a slip right smack in downtown, at the City Docks, aka Ego Alley. Being in the center of things can be a lot of fun, and since Annapolis is a little more laid back in the fall, it seemed a good idea.
Right off the batt, we got a fun taste of Ego Alley: as we were settling in to our slip, Bruce was attempting to lasso a pile with our port bow line. One-two-three (plus-a-few-more-attemps) he finally succeeded. Right on cue, the well lubricated bar crowd at Pussers, across the alley, erupted in cheers! We had arrived!
Heater parts arrived the following morning and Bruce descended into the engine room to do battle. Although it seems to be working, we are both very skeptical of the whole thing right now so we are not counting our chickens yet.
We also got a delivery of new drug supplies for Pepper, and new noise-cancelling Bose headphones for Bruce, who was jealous of mine. The truth is, we’ve been doing a lot of fast-running, and for that, headphones are a Very Good Idea. Even the pups have some, so Bruce should too.
The rest of our visit was taken up with touristy activities. We did lots of walking, both with and without the dogs. Our favorite is always the Naval Academy. It is so rich in history and tradition, and is a healthy reminder of what members of our armed services do for our country. Thank you to the courageous men and women who serve and sacrifice. It also reminds us that we would like to stop and visit West Point when we head up the Hudson to do The Great Loop. Bruce’s Dad went to West Point, class of 1952. It would be a special moment for him to explore those grounds and contemplate the men and women who attend the Academy and serve our country.
We have been visiting Annapolis together by car since before we were married, so it has a feel-good familiarity that we always enjoy. Being there on our boat for the first time made it extra-special. Much has remained the same over the years, and some has changed. The Annapolis Yacht Club, for example, has some major expansions under way on the Eastport side which changes the face of the waterfront.
In town, it is a little disappointing to see the national chains creeping into commercial fabric, but alas, that has been going on for some time and is a fact of life in so many economic centers. Fortunately a healthy complement of local businesses and eateries and drinkeries remain vibrant. And we sampled a few of them! We also love exploring boat yards and wandering around Eastport.
And the pups and I went shopping! We stopped in to visit the Paws Pet Boutique of Annapolis. We were so warmly and enthusiastically welcomed that I couldn’t resist a purchase. Of course it wasn’t just a pack of snacks we left with, but full blown canine foulies — made in Rhode Island, no less. We now have very smartly-turned-out pups, at least when it’s raining. They think it’s just a Halloween thing that comes once a year, but Shhhhh! don’t tell them they are mistaken! Next time it rains…
Annapolis itself is a pleasure to wander on foot, with interesting architecture new and old. Since most of our visits have been during the boat show when the streets are crowded and hectic, this visit was wonderfully relaxed and enjoyable. We were able to pause and reflect at the many historic markers scattered about town.
Our best dinner was a Lewes Steak house, where I was even able to enjoy a veggie-centric meal while Bruce conquered a rib-eye. We had fun at the eclectic Iron Rooster (try their Iron Queso dish), and City Dock Coffee had good espresso and scones for a mid-morning boost.
Annapolis also came with yet another healthy dose of the friendship, hospitality and generosity that is beginning to characterize our cruise. While I was off getting the pups buffed up with their new rainy day togs, Bruce had a knock on the hull from a stranger sent our way by a mutual sailing friend.
Jocelyn was a bright ray of sunshine on an already sunshiny day. A fellow-sailor-turned-to-the-dark-side, she put herself at our disposal for whatever services a local (with a car!) might offer some transient strangers. She ended up chauffeuring us all over greater Annapolis as we searched for some elusive boat stuff, and waited patiently in the parking lot while we attempted to navigate our way through the isles of a foreign supermarket. Such is the loyalty of sailors to sailors in a foreign port. “What can I do to help?” We look forward to meeting up with Jocelyn and her husband Dee down the road, when we will both be on our trawlers in Florida later this winter. Thank you sweetie – you are wonderful! I wish I had a picture to share.
The beautiful fall weather was more or less perfect for exploring, cool in the mornings, warm in the afternoons, and chilly in the evenings. It was blustery out on the bay, but we were happily tucked in and really didn’t care about that. With time to kill, we stayed a day or two more than we had planned. But eventually we were ready to get back on the road and explore the Bay.