Visitors in Annapolis – October 6-7, 2012

It was a beautiful Saturday morning…Ok, for all of you tiring of the “sunny with a chance of rainbows” luck that Rode Trip seems to have the story changes (although not so drastically that we still didn’t have fun) so keep reading.

Brian and I really did enjoy a beautiful Saturday morning and had big plans for sailing our friends John & Chrissy to the eastern shore of Maryland for a weekend getaway. We readied the boat for guests and made a quick trip to the grocery store prior to our friends’ Saturday afternoon arrival. We were disheartened by a final check of the weekend’s weather calling for 100% chance of rain ALL day on Sunday. The Communications Officer, wanting to keep our good friends, thought that maybe this prediction wouldn’t allow an enjoyable return sail. So we welcomed aboard John & Chrissy, who had traveled from Philadelphia for a visit, and decided we would sail for a few hours in the Chesapeake Bay and return to the mooring in Weems Creek to “figure out” our plans for the duration of their visit.

We anticipated strong, gusty winds as we set sail just at the mouth of Weems Creek and as we approached the bay from the Severn River, doom and gloom lurked in the distance.

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Fortunately for our pleasure cruise the sun brilliantly shone behind the busy harbor pushing the dark clouds away. We set sail with a reefed main and genoa and continued onward, Brian steering us through boats on the move and anchored sailboats crowding the harbor that had arrived for the Annapolis Sailboat Show. John reminisced about his days racing 420’s as we weaved through a race. Poor boat #14 who was sitting in our wind shadow – twice.

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We made some new friends along the way.

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Once in the open bay, John took the helm. He and Brian expertly sailed in 20 knot winds. I’ll welcome John & Chrissy aboard anytime! I got to chat with Chrissy, while moving from one side of the boat to another as we heeled over and the guys sailed their hearts’ content.

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Brian and I have been meaning to practice man overboard drills…but he and John did a fabulous job circling ’round to rescue a jacket that we spotted off the starboard bow. It just so happens that the jacket belonged to Whitey, well his son from whom he had borrowed the jacket. At any rate, Whitey is a member of the Gunboat team who were touring at the Annapolis Sailboat Show. (We checked the blog via their website later and yes, we were anchored just beside the trio at Nantucket…small world!) Well, we didn’t get a tour of the Gunboat but Whitey did swing by Weems Creek on Sunday morning to retrieve his jacket. He stopped alongside Rode Trip in his “dinghy” a 20-ft 200hp inflatable with a 21-inch, color, touchscreen chart plotter and shared his recommendations for our adventures southbound along with his thanks for retrieving the jacket. Whitey was very familiar with Westsail, recalling his “race” to Bermuda as a crew member on Walter Cronkite’s Westsail 42′.

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All in all we had a great sail on the Chesapeake and were happy to be settled back on the mooring where we snuggled in for a chilly night.

On Sunday morning we awoke to rain. Not surprising. After our visit from Whitey, we continued our extremely leisurely pancake breakfast while waiting out the rain. We played a few rounds of Rummy and when the rain cleared we were ready for a change of scenery. John drove the dinghy ashore (again, would welcome John anytime but I don’t think his coaxing to Chrissy to buy a boat did much good – Chrissy and I meanwhile determined that I could easily trade places with John and join her back in Philly).

Back onto the streets of Annapolis we ventured. We took a tour of the Naval Academy’s campus. First stop, the Chapel. It was beautiful!

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Then, into the crypt of John Paul Jones. This was particularily intersting as Brian had once lived in the Carriage House of the John Paul Jones House in Portsmouth, NH. Ahh…Brian, John, Chrissy, and I all had fond memories of the Carriage House and related Portsmouth excursions.

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We visited the Naval Academy Museum. I would highly recommend the second floor’s display of model ships and POW model ships constructed from bone. Remarkable!

Of course we couldn’t pass by this opportunity without taking full advantage of “free” and “beer.” I was thrilled to find one of my two all-time favorite pumpkin beers; Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and Brooklyn Brewery’s Post Road Pumpkin Ale (I’m squirreling them away and no, I don’t share!)

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After our samplings we proceeded downtown to eat the most delicious homemade ice cream that I have ever tasted!

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Our walk gave me a new view of Annapolis, past the Capital Building and down quaint streets.

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Down on boat show row we paused for a very special package delivery from postmasters, Margaret, Barry, and Maggie. They were making their way home after a fabulous NYC wedding (care package transfer point) and had stopped at the boat show to stock up on new ideas and things they just can’t live without.

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We were fortunate to have skirted the rain (tricked you…still rainbows here on Rode Trip!) and had a wonderful weekend with John & Chrissy sailing and exploring! We are on the move tomorrow. It’s getting COLD in the bay!

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