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Friday, May 27, 2011

Annapolis - so very interesting....there will be a Part II another day soon!

My original plan was to start the blog for Annapolis. Now I realize there is so much good stuff, you will have to suffer through a Part II in a few days.

The trip from Solomons, MD to Annapolis was 55 miles, which is a longer day than we typically cruise. Usually 35 miles is a "nice" cruise day. We were hoping the weather would be cruiser-friendly and we were fortunate, as the wind and waves were behind us. Cruising up the Chesapeake can be nasty where the Potomac empties into the Chesapeake, but we picked a good day, though the day remained hazy.

The West side of the Chesapeake here is beautiful. A bit hazy, but different than what we have seen so far on the Chesapeake.

Naval ship in the haze. We are happy for AIS. Most ships are visible...even when they are invisible. The Navy ship remains...invisible!

Whatever this is....we do not know. Just there!

Thomas Shoal Light. Pretty cool.
We are always looking for lighthouses and we had learned about the screw pile lighthouses in Solomon Island, so we were aware there was another screw pile lighthouse near Annapolis. The Thomas Shoal lighthouse looked exactly like the lighthouse in Solomon with 6 sides.

As we approached Annapolis, we saw 6 freighters and one Navy vessel lined up and waiting for something. We don't know if they were waiting to go into the Annapolis Harbor or if there was some other reason.

Chapel at the Naval Academy. More prominant than the State Capital nearby.

Inside isn't bad either! Big organ!

Tiffany did the windows.

Nice dorm....4000 in one dorm....pretty big place!
The Annapolis Harbor on Spa Creek is nothing less than amazing. The campus of the Naval Academy lines the Northern shore. Most of the buildings were built in the late 1800's or early 1900's. There is only one dormitory for 4000 students built of granite. The structures are imposing and beautiful.  The City Dock is located in the heart of the city.

Parking lot for those using the mooring balls.
Most municipal marinas are on a first come, first serve basis. The docks were full, so High Spirits and Crawdad used a mooring ball for the first night. Many boats passed by and we had a rather rocky night. Neither Jim nor I mind the rocking, so it was a peaceful night. The nights as the dock were not as peaceful. Restaurants line the corridor of the marina and the crowd is happy and lively. Not conducive to sleeping, but good to see a city thriving.

This restaurant (Pussers) is located directly across from the boat. Celebrate all night and keep those boaters sharp!
Friday was graduation at the Naval Academy, so there are many more people in the city. Along with the 1000 graduates are all the friends and family members. We met a father and mother with their son who sported the dress uniform from the Marines for the first time today. Graduates careers follow into the Navy or Marines. We met another young man who excitedly told us he was going to Pensacola to be a pilot. He looked like he was 15. Guess he must be a few years older.

Headed to Quantico. Today he became a Marine. His Mom was mighty proud. Dad too!
We rode the trolley around Annapolis and enjoyed the sites, then we walked to the Naval Academy Museum. How amazing. A few hours is not enough. The Museum chronicles the history of Naval Academy graduates from 1845 to the present. Included are models from the 1600's through 1800's.  When a ship was to be built, a model would be built. A few of these models remain and the detail is fascinating. By these models, we know how the ships were built and the detail of their construction.

John Paul Jones died in Paris and his body was not returned to the US until 1905. The US Ambassador was determined to find his body and he was buried without identification under a building. Someone had the foresight to pay for an alcohol embalming and a steel casket. His autopsy was done 110 years after he died and they say he looked pretty good after all these years!

Model as built in the 1600's. The oldest models are in the Naval Academy Museum. Incredible detail.

Prisoners from the French Revolution made these models out of bone. Apparently the bone was left over from dinner.
Did you know that only one President...Jimmy Carter graduated from the Naval Academy? John Paul Jones lies in the crypt below the Chapel, which is also an incredibly beautiful place. John Paul Jones was considered a Naval hero world-wide - perhaps better knows in Europe and Russia than in the US.
Don't you love a man in uniform? We saw a number of women in uniform as well.

Testing the food and drinks at Pussers.

We are hoping to visit the Museum again, so you may see a Part II to the Naval Academy Museum.  Tomorrow we drive our Budget car to Washington, DC, which is purported to be 40 miles away. Wayne and Ruth have not visited Washington and Jim and I love the City, so we are thrilled for tomorrow!

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