Annapolis–Mooring Life

by

Odyssey alone in the mooring field.

All 60 moorings were empty as we arrived Thursday morning.  We picked one up, dinghied ashore and treated ourselves to breakfast at Chick and Ruth’s.  Then off we went exploring and getting some much needed exercise.

Checking out Main St. and the shops around Ego Alley always seems to be a first priority.  We’ll poke along window shopping and checking to see what stores have come or gone.  This year was a shocker; one of Annapolis’s boating institution’s Fawcett’s Boat Supplies was gone. The store backing up to Ego Alley stood empty.  We learned high rent had forced Fawcett’s to move away from the waterfront to a new location.

Weather was perfect during our three-day stay.  Light wind, sunny and warm on shore but a bit cooler on the water making it very comfortable in Odyssey’s cockpit.  We’d get our morning walk  for groceries out of the way and then settle in to the cockpit to read and enjoy all the boating activity.

By the time we got back to Odyssey on Thursday a third of the moorings had been taken and by evening there were only a few left.  Friday and Saturday evening all the moorings filled and Ego Alley was jammed with boats.  A NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) sailboat Regatta was in process with 193 boats heading out to race each morning.  The fun was in the afternoon watching the fleet return, especially the few who chose to sail back and sometimes sail through the mooring field as they worked their way back toward the Spa Creek Bridge and the Annapolis Yacht Club.

The harbor was extremely busy.  A couple of powered tour boats went out frequently.  Three large classic wood sail boats were running, passing close by our mooring as they headed out hugging the Naval Academy seawall.  The light winds allowed them to sail back almost to Ego Alley before dropping their sails within easy viewing distance from our mooring.

Two large canvas topped Navy launches were running a shuttle service to a Navy ship we’d seen in the commercial ship anchorage as we’d arrived.  They used the Academy seawall directly opposite our mooring to tie up.  It was fun to watch and also speculate who was coming and going on their frequent trips.

One afternoon a dad and his son sailed by in a Lightning and I couldn’t help but think about getting hooked on being on the water 40 years ago on a friend’s leaky wooden Lightning.   The Lightning sailing close by was fiberglass and the dad, instead of worrying about bailing like we used to do was  teaching his son the art of tacking, using Odyssey as his turning mark.

As dusk approached the water taxi business really picked up.  Their distinctive lights were easy to spot.  We added channel 68 to the VHF radio scan and enjoyed the chatter as the taxi captains shuttled passengers to the Chart House, occasional stops on Back Creek, the Yacht Club, moorings, or called for back up, getting a small tour boat Miss Ann involved to pick up some of the overload of people heading for restaurants.

We’d timed our visit for the Annapolis May Day flower displays.  Residents and merchants hang baskets of flowers on their front doors.  We spent the day exploring enjoying the flowers, taking way too many pictures of front doors with beautiful arrangements.

Tired from all the walking we returned to Odyssey to do more boat watching.  We took a break to make one last dinghy ride back to shore for ice cream, then brought the dinghy up and secured it for travel.  It was time to start heading north.

Click Noticed Along the Path to go to the first of 3 entries about our shore explorations

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