May 3 – 5, 2011
We said our goodbyes to Tangier on the morning of the 3rd and headed up the Chesapeake to Annapolis, MD. On the way, Spinny slept, Kris studied up for his captain’s license, Carol cleaned, and Gary and I alternated at the wheel. We spotted a ship wreck used for Naval target practice and passed several hard working tugs. And then, in the middle of the day…
Flies! Horrible biting flies, out in the middle of the Chesapeake! Out came the fly swatter, and I became a fly hunter on an waterborne safari.
Once the flies had been vanquished, we came upon a fleet of cargo ships all anchored and empty, just to the SE of the Bay Bridge and Annapolis. Large, silent giants all out down the bay, and to the distant ocean. It was a strange and mysterious sight.
We came upon a quieter Annapolis than the one we’d seen in October. The boat show was no longer in town, and the harbor, though still dotted with sailboats, was not full to the brim with them as it had been in the fall. The sight of Maryland’s capitol from the bay still filled me excitement. There is something grand and old world about the Annapolis skyline over the water. I love that this is a State capitol that has not been taken over by skyscrapers and high-rises. When I walk the streets I can still feel the spirits of the early colonists who walked the city themselves. Kris and I strolled about town often, usually without any destination in mind. There are clothing shops, gift shops, book stores, a comic book store, tea shops, candy shops, ice-cream shops, coffee shops, art galleries, and assorted restaurants all across downtown. Some of our favorites include Chick & Ruth’s, Mangia’s Italian Bar and Grill (best slices of pizza in town), Pusser’s, and City Dock Coffee. Spinnaker prefers blueberry scones from City Dock, and peanut butter treats from Paws, the city pet store.
On Wednesday, the previous day’s rain had cleared enough by evening for the weekly Wednesday sailing races. The racers came flying around the corner and slid into the side of the mooring field, sailing to the Spa Creek bridge for the last leg of their race. It was an amazing sight, all of those mylar sails stiff in the wind, hulls healing over for maximum speed, slipping into the waters between the docks and the moored boats. I stood on the deck, memorized by their grace and dexterity. I could not tear my eyes away until the last boat glided past the mooring field.
Wednesday night we explored some of the nearby shipyards. While searching for a new boat some years ago, before they found Horizons, the Krasnoskys spent many days looking through the shipyards around Annapolis. For old time’s sake, we poked our noses around the dry-docked boats. Kris found a few that peaked his interest,and I enjoyed walking around the boats at night, their large hulls looming above me. It is erie to see boats from the point of view that a fish must see them in the water.
On Thursday we visited Kent Island. Carol and Gary were eager to lunch at their favorite restaurant over the Bay Bridge, the Stevensville Crab Shack. After they feasted on crab, we all headed over to St. Michaels for a stroll about the small Maryland town, were there were a few more gift shops, an ice-cream parlor, and a quiet little marina.
On our last evening in Annapolis, Kris and I took a ride around Back Creek to look at the local docked boats. The waters were still and the air smelled wet with deep smalls of teak, moss, oil, and briny bay water. That night we took one last walk around the city with Spinny. The streets were cloaked in a black velvet dress, lit warmly by the street and shop lights. It was a lovely night indeed.
I am sad to be leaving the boat for the reality of bills and work, but I will always keep the memories of the amazing places I’ve seen and experienced while onboard Horizons. Hopefully I will be able to take another long adventure with her crew sometime in the near future. I wish them all well on their trip back to Sandusky, Ohio as they re-trace the route we took in the fall. They will most likely be pulling into Battery Park by the end of the month. Until then, I’ll be back home, dreaming of all the new horizons that await Kris, Gary, Carol, and Spinnaker on the last leg of their journey.