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I am writing this blog entry from Cleveland – trying to catch up on the days we spent in Annapolis. I am hoping I will be able to do it justice as we had a wonderful time there – so much to remember.

But first - Our kayak trip around the Gibbons Island anchorage was relaxing and allowed us to meet Rich and Janice who were very interesting and we would meet again in Annapolis Even though the kayak is sometimes in the way sitting on the side deck, I am very glad that we brought it along. It gives me a sense of peace and we have gotten very good at putting it the water using the main halyard to lower it down.

Our view from the boat - Off Gibbons Island - Horse farm complete with crowing rooster.

The next morning (not real early) we sailed off to Annapolis – and yes we really sailed, motor off!!!!

We sailed under the bridge that spans the Chesapeake and into the Severn River and Back Creek, which comes off the entrance to the Severn. I have never seen so many boats in one place as when we entered Back Creek. The Creek is a bit south of Annapolis proper and is the site of Bert Jabin’s Yacht Yard, where we would be docking and having work done on the boat. There were hundreds of boats docked and even boats anchored in the middle of the channel. So many that it was difficult to know where the actual channel was as we approached the marina. We later found out that on the weekend when the winds picked up, two boats that had been anchored in the channel collided when one of the boats dragged anchor. I am not surprised as they were so close together to begin with.

Keith, the harbor master helped us dock and shortly after we arrived, in came Trekker. We had not seen Karen and Hugh for almost a week and it was a sweet home coming. Keith dropped Karen and me at the local grocery store and we spent a blissful hour catching up and re-provisioning. Once we got back we went to see Val and Sylvan on ZenLatitude and spent the rest of the evening drinking, noshing, laughing and otherwise catching up.

Thursday, we went to the boat show. It was the first day of the show and considered the VIP day. Actually, it should have been called the JMM (Just More Money) day as it cost more to get in and there were less people so you had more time to spend money. Thank you Rob at Riverfront Yacht Services for the complimentary tickets and the VIP tour of the Jenneau boats – they were beautiful.

As we walked around the show our wish list started growing but we restrained ourselves and only bought a set of blue tooth walkie talkies-formerly called Marriage Savers. These will allow us to talk to each other while anchoring, mooring or when riding our bikes without screaming to each other. Our last attempt at mooring convinced us that this was a wise purchase. I think the people around us at future mooring spots will also be thankful.

The other items on our wish list: new knife for bob, cotton towels that dry quickly, plastic rods that separate sections of the ziplock bag, steps for getting back in the dinghy, Rainman water maker, seat cover for the dinghy with storage compartment……… will all have to wait.

After the boat show we met Nancy Hoffner, who had driven down from Cleveland to spend some time with us and with whom I was going to drive back to Cleveland. We went to West Marine to pick up some things that we had ordered and went out for a pizza dinner – the best pizza in Annapolis. A long but wonderful day.

Day two in Annapolis we went back to the boat show and took a class on traveling the ICW. The instructor, who had written a book about the ICW which we purchased, was animated and interesting. She stressed the need for understanding the markings on the buoys which may or may not be marking the ICW or other water ways which intersect the ICW. She also spoke about navigation tools that are available. I left this talk having met a few more people doing what we are doing and feeling like: “This is something I can do.”

After the class we met Nancy and went for a tour of the Naval Academy. We had an excellent tour guide who was a retired doctor in the Navy. He was charming and very knowledgeable. The architecture was beautiful. Highlights included:

  • The dormitory is the largest dorm in the United States housing 4400 midshipmen at one time.

  • The dining room is the size of two football fields – they all eat at the same time.

  • First year midshipmen are called PLEBS – I have no idea why.

  • The crypt for John Paul Jones is there and the stone was a gift from the French government.

  • The Jewish Chapel was a gift of the Jewish community and the Levy family, the family of a high ranking Jewish officer, who was the one that got rid of corporal punishment (flogging) in the navy.

  • The academy covers 480 acres which is half the size of the Air Force Academy or West Point facilities.

  • The instructors at the Naval academy are both enlisted and civilians.

Dorm at Naval Academy

Entrance hall at Naval Academy dorm building leading to memory hall.

Chapel at Naval Academy - Tiffany stained glass

Crypt of John Paul Jones

Bob with our tour guide.

Synagogue at Naval Academy. Doesn't is look like you are inside a ship?

After the tour we came back to the boat, relaxed and Bob grilled delicious steaks. I made couscous and sautéed broccoli and mushrooms. I have to admit there are times when food cooked on the boat tastes exceptionally better that land food. This was one of those times. We finished the evening on Trekker talking about Euchre and comparing available apps.

Day three – I started the day early by doing the laundry. I was determined to leave Bob with clean clothes when I went back to Cleveland. One of the hassles in living on the boat is making sure the washers and dryers at the marinas are available when you want to do laundry and having enough quarters to get the job done. Having lived in a house with washer/dryer for so long – I am spoiled!!

Nancy and her son (Trey) and his girlfriend (Steph) came to the boat around 11:00 am. The kids took the kayak and went off to explore while the ladies went to fill the propane canister (new one we got from West Marine since the old one had a leaky valve), restock beer/wine (can’t do this at the grocery store – they don’t sell alcohol in Maryland) and hit the grocery store. It was such a pleasure having Nancy with us and also having the use of her car.

Trey and Steph off to explore.

We lunched on the boat and then went back into town and explored the shops, toured the capital building, had ice cream and met Karen and Hugh for dinner.

Outside of capital building in Annapolis.

Room in capital where George Washington resigned his commission so he could become president.

Inside view of the capital dome.

Which brings us to Sunday morning – Bob was going back to the Naval Academy to take an all- day class on Sailing South and I joined Nancy for the ride back to Cleveland. I left with very mixed feelings. Here’s why:

  1. I was saying goodbye to Karen and Hugh for at least three weeks. I will be back at the boat on October 15th and they will be headed back to Canada for two weeks to attend a wedding. We are not exactly sure when we will all meet up again.

  2. Bob and I have not been separated for seven days in a very long time – I can’t remember the last time. I have come to be very protective of him.

  3. I was a bit concerned about what I would find back in Cleveland and how I would react to what I found (Everything was fine – Bubby looks great!!)

  4. The boat will be repaired in my absence. I like to know the whats and whys of what happens to the boat.I guess it’s a control thing and in this environment I have very little control over anything.

  5. Bob will be living on the boat while it is on the hard (not in the water). We were not exactly sure how that would go or what would happen with the dinghy, which hangs off the back of the boat. (The repairs so far have gone fine and the dinghy is sitting at a dock and they are not charging us for leaving it in the water.)

Like most situations that you worry about – I am sure everything will work out fine.

So I am finishing my week in Cleveland. It has been fantastic. So glad to have been able to see so many people that I love. I have been able to see all of the medical professionals that I had to, buy a new refrigerator for the house, pay bills, update the blog, do a little (very little) shopping. I will spend one night in Washington DC and then bus back to Bob and the boat. I am anxious to get home. Thank you to all who hosted me during the week.

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