Posted on September 18, 2016
Upper Chesapeake and Annapolis
We’ve been loving our time in the Chesapeake.
We spent a few days idling our way down the Chesapeake, making slow progress to Annapolis. Our biggest concern is dodging crab pots–they’re everywhere, especially where we want to anchor. If we manage to find a free bay, we’ll inevitably be awakened before sunrise to the sound of pots being set, oysters being raked, and general seafood harvesting.
We finally pulled into Annapolis itself–the consummate boating town. There are plenty of places to park your boat here–marinas and mooring balls–but we ended up setting anchor right outside the main channel, opposite the Naval Academy. Someone from the harbormaster’s office drove out to us to check in, and gave us a head’s up about some other options if the weather should go bad; he also filled us in on the readily available hot showers and nearby laundry.
We spent a fair amount of time being tourists in Annapolis–visiting the Naval Academy and the statehouse, and walking the winding old streets near the harbor. I’d been here racing during college, but it’d been a long time, and I’d never explored beyond the sailing center at Navy and a couple of bars. We really started to get a sense of the history in the area, and worked on subtly imparting some knowledge into our kids’ brains without them noticing.
We also got to meet up with friends through the blog–our first-ever face-to-face with virtual friends! They have the same kind of boat as us, plus three kids, so we immediately had a ton to talk about. They were sweet enough to take us out to dinner, as well as bring us a bottle of wine and a couple of tea towels with our boat name on them. We were blown away by their generosity.
We also had a great time just sitting around the cockpit, watching the sailing going on around us. It was the US women’s match racing championship while we were there; we also watched three fleets of 420s, two Opti fleets, a bunch of Flying Scotts, the Navy 44s, two Laser fleets and a big PERF race, right off our stern. Sailboats were constantly coming and leaving–it would be 10:00 at night, and someone would be heading out; and when you live on a boat, other boats are inherently interesting.
We planned to leave after four nights, but ended up staying one more to meet back up with our friends from Perla. We really didn’t need much persuading. It was hard to leave a town as boater-friendly as Annapolis.
Fortunately, we still have quite a bit of the Chesapeake ahead of us. We’ll push on up the Potomac to Washington, D.C–our White House tour is calling our name–but we’ll still have plenty of the Bay to explore on our way back out.