Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Sailing Capital of the USA

There's not a sailor in the world who doesn't know of Annapolis: locals proclaim it to be the sailing capital of the USA, therefore no cruise through the Chesapeake would be complete without a stop here. Annapolis is also the Capital city in the State of Maryland and home to the United States Naval Academy.

We had a really gentle sail down the bay in light winds but it was great to get a sail in after so long in the marina. We took a buoy in Spa Creek right in downtown Annapolis, which was a whole lot quieter than when we were last here for the sailboat show. Supertramp had been here a few days in the other creek so we walked over to spy on the newly 'wrapped' Tramp tucked in amongst the gazillion boats that line Back Creek - she looked great. We met up for dinner with Steve and Fi and had a few too many wines while enjoying trick or treating kids walk the local neighbourhood.

Beyond the sailing yachts, Annapolis is a pretty and quaint town with narrow streets and clapperboard cottages that date back to the 1600s. Theres a huge amount of administrative buildings that stretch out from the State circle at the tops of town. Annapolis was even the nations capital for a short period from 1783 to 1784.

We were fortunate enough to have a good friend here from Andrew's days at Austal - Vice Admiral Earner treated us to a tour of the Naval Academy, the town, and a fantastic dinner at his home. What a treat to get such a personalised tour from such a knowledgable host.

Naval Academy Chapel 

Alumni Hall - mainly houses sports tournaments and reunions
We also got to see a stunning display of scale  Model Ships built for the British Admiralty that date back to 1650 - many were used in building the ships in a time when plans could not be read by the shipwrights. Others were created by prisoners of war from bone and demonstrated how the other side viewed the ships in battle.
Bancroft Hall, Rotunda entrance - the residence where all 4,000 Midshipmen live on Campus
Part of the displays in Memorial Hall
A Midshipmen's room in Bancroft Hall

Tomb of John Paul Jones, a Scotsman who is considered father of the US Navy

The Superintendent's House - all decked out for Halloween

After a great couple of days we decided to head down the bay, Supertramp joined us along the way and then Andrew had a changed of plan..... the tide and weather looked good to head around Cape Hatteress with two nights at sea to Beaufort, North Carolina - why not go for it?? The Tramps decided to come too, so both yachts headed out into the Atlantic under a full moon for a lovely calm trip south, arriving at dawn on Saturday morning.

The new posh looking Tramps on the Chesapeake

Askari under a full moon leaving the Chesapeake Bay

We sailed a bit but mostly it was a motor with great current

The clouds show the gulf stream just 10 miles away where the current is going the other way at 5 kts.
The sea temperature got up to 25.9 degrees C

Beautiful sunset off Cape Hatteres

Strong currents at the entrance to the harbour Beaufort, NC
Not having planned to come to Beaufort directly, we called on the help of our OCC Port Officer for advice on anchorage or marinas and entering in the dark. Dianne did not recommend a night entry due to strong currents and moving buoyage; she did suggested an anchorage near Cape Lookout which we could use if need be until daylight. We opted to slow down for a first light arrival, then came through a drawbridge to Town Creek and the fabulous Homer Smith's marina.
Heading into Town Creek - Shrimp Boats galore
Beaufort, NC - waterfront

Andrew helping Steve service a winch before the party
Dianne hunted us down as soon as we arrived and invited us all to the the 'Boat Museum Bash' that night. This was a pirate and caribbean themed party to raise funds for the Maritime Museum - we met actual pirates - yes seriously two guys who lived on pirate ships - one had changed his name officially to Sinbad and the other thought he was Black Beard.

Us with PO Dianne

Pirate City fun
The next morning after a year of hanging out with these guys they set sail for Bermuda - we'll miss you guys!

1 comment:

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