Saturday, 29 September 2012

No 33 Annapolis

Hi from Clare,                                          Friday 28th September, 2012

We departed New York on Wednesday 19th after spending an action packed few days, under the guidance of Matt and Mim, visiting the remaining things on our NYC bucket list. It was sad to set sail and bid farewell to the Statue of Liberty knowing that we were leaving a fascinating city and family behind.

We spent the next few days making our way to the city of Annapolis in the Chesapeake Bay. Our American cruising friends Mike and Marguerite on 'Ithaca' live in Annapolis. Earlier this year they gave us directions to their home and invited us to visit. They have now finished a fourteen year circumnavigation. Their home is on the water at the entrance to a creek and 'Ithaca' resides on their wharf at the bottom of their garden. As we approached their home, they came out to greet us, showed us to one of the nearby free Navy buoys and invited us to dinner. They also very generously gave us the use of their facilities and their second car. Apart from their overwhelming hospitality it was wonderful to see them settled back into a very busy and stimulating life surrounded by family and friends. They miss the cruising but for them it was time to stop.

Mike and Marguerite's house and boat ramp

Mike drove us into the city on day one so we could get our bearings. We visited the Doyle loft (we dropped off the new Genoa for a modification) and West Marine (because that's the first stop for every Cruiser). We looked for a Rigger because the goose neck on the boom has developed a squeak and is coming loose. Mike also pointed out the supermarkets and shopping centres before handing us the car keys and letting us loose on the city. The following day we ventured out and did a remarkable job of retracing our steps of the previous day without getting lost. One would have thought we were locals, except for the blinkers. Being positioned on the opposite side of the steering wheel, we turned most corners activating the wind screen wipers and Andrew saying "Hello, we're from Australia" it was pretty funny really!

We had a very successful time in Annapolis. We picked up the modified Genoa within twenty four hours. We found a rigger by enquiring through the Bavaria Agent. The rigger was South African and he connected with Andrew (being an Aussie) almost immediately, they talked sailing for over an hour. I was waiting in the car and wondering "how hard is it to buy a few rivets". Anyhow Andrew came out with a big smile on his face with rivets in hand and the loan of a rivet gun. No money had changed hands and the Rigger didn't want a phone number or any other form of insurance. So we did the job the following morning and returned the gun with thanks and payment; just an amazing amount of trust.

We called into West Marine in Annapolis and firstly met Bert from 'Exuberant' in the car park. Then inside the shop we met an Aussie couple we haven't seen since the Canary Islands last year. We felt like locals meeting friends whilst out on a shopping expedition; at times it's hard to remember that we are half way around the world.

A few weeks ago when in Port Washington we met Mary and Scott from a powerboat 'Egret'. We didn't recognize them until she said "our names are easy to remember just think of Mary Queen of Scotts." She used the same line when we originally meet in Turkey in 2006. We were new to cruising then and I think Mary and Scott were the first people to invite us to their boat for a drink. Since then they have been to Australia and back - a small world indeed.

We have recently joined the Seven Seas Cruising Association which is a good way to meet like minded sailors, make friends and share information. This current gathering is The 26th Annual SSCA Annapolis Gam and is over a three day weekend. The theme is self-reliance and covers topics like Solar and Wind, Charting, The Gulf Stream and Insurance just to name a few. There are a number of lunches, dinners, cocktail hours and other social activities. Today Andrew has gone to the talks so I am enjoying some quiet time on the boat. This evening we will attend cocktails and a pot luck dinner.

Rafting up for drinks at the Gam 

Next week we will attend the Annapolis Boat Show which is one of the biggest boat shows in the world. I'm not sure what to expect apart from huge crowds and lots of boats but I will let you know in our next newsletter. After the boat show we will make our way to Washington.

Love Candy