After leaving Rock Hall we went to the Magothy River and anchored behind Gibson Island in Eagle Cove. This was a lovely anchorage where we planned to spent a few days.
As we sailed down the Magothy we heard announcements over the VHF about an open water swim fundraiser that would be held the next day, but we thought it was going to be in a different area. Imagine our surprise when we were were awakened bright and early the next morning by the voice of a very upbeat race announcer over a loudspeaker.
Poking my head out into the companionway, I saw that we had unintentionally anchored in the middle of “Swim Across America”, a fundraiser for cancer research whose participants swim either one or three miles in the Magothy River. We ended up with front row seats!
After a few days bobbing in the peaceful anchorage, the winds were good for a sail and we were itching to move on. A small craft advisory was winding down so we sailed down the river and poked our nose out into the Bay. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we had jumped the gun. It was an easy decision to make a 180 and sail back into the river, dropping anchor for a few hours to let the winds and waves settle down a bit more before trying again.
The original plan was to go to St. Michaels, but as we sailed past Annapolis it was clear that the wind angle meant we were going to need to motor for a few hours if we wanted to make it before sundown. What followed was a half hour of indecision while we debated anchoring in this creek, then that creek. Finally we decided that we’d had enough of isolated anchorages for a while, and we turned around and headed to Annapolis.
Annapolis is one of our favorite places. There’s something in the air – it just feels boaty. There’s a dinghy dock located at every public street that ends at the water – twenty-two of them. Kids learn how to sail in dinghies after school. The dragon boat club rows by. Paddleboarders and kayakers regularly ply the waters. Naval Academy midshipmen walk by in their uniforms. Eastport Elementary School’s “mascot” is a skipjack, a traditional fishing boat used on the Chesapeake for oystering. The whole place is just wonderful.
We’ve been hopping from place to place for just over a year, and we’ve both been feeling like it would be nice to settle down for a while and plug into a community. As a result we have been tossing around the idea of basing ourselves in one area next summer, and Annapolis had already made the short list before we arrived. Even though we only stayed for three weeks it gave us a good flavor of what it would be like to spend a few months there, and we are considering it even more strongly now.
We spent some time at anchor in Spa Creek before moving to a slip at the Annapolis City Marina that we had reserved several months ago in anticipation of working at the boat shows. The anchorages get extremely full during the shows and we didn’t want to worry about anyone dragging into us if the weather piped up while we were working. We also wanted to check out the marina to see if we would like staying there next summer.
Our stop was a great combination of socializing and boat chores. We were able to meet Thom and Kath from S/V Spartan and we enjoyed hanging out with them several times, including for trivia three weeks in a row at Galway Bay Irish Restaurant and Pub. Our team, the Spa Creek Squatters, even won once! We were also able to catch up with our friends from S/V Lone Star and finally met Larry from S/V Catriona, enjoying a fun evening together at Davis’, a local bar in Eastport. We had been texting with Larry since last fall but had not yet met in real life, so it was great to finally put a face and voice to the text.
Working at the boat show didn’t turn out exactly as we had anticipated. We discovered that standing all day makes Jeff’s legs swell significantly. As a result we decided not to also work the Sailboat show – lesson learned. However, we did go to the Sailboat show for a day, picking up a few needed items in addition to a long-awaited and much anticipated (by me) inflatable stand up paddle board.
Finally, as if Annapolis didn’t already feel boaty enough, we watched in amazement as the water came to the streets for several days of our stay. There was significant flooding throughout the Chesapeake due in part to the full moon and Tropical Storm Melissa farther north. The water level peaked during the Sailboat show which had to shut down early for two days. Good thing we were already on a boat!
We wrapped up a great three week stay by having lunch with our friends Jeff and Denise on S/V Infinity from Shenny. They had driven down to attend the show and drop off our drifter that was expertly and generously sewn by Jeff W. – the subject of a future blog post. It was wonderful to see them again.
The next day we were shoving off to start heading south in earnest. Our goal this fall is to stay ahead of the cold weather, so it was time to get moving.