Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Annapolis Walkabout

We came to the Annapolis Strictly Sail show four years running during the time we were researching to buy our cruising boat. It was a good time for us, a lot of dreaming going on about boats that were in no way a part of reality. There was a lot of hanging out with other dreamers as well, and it was a good time to spend with our family that lives just minutes from the show venue. We never really spent any time exploring the town at all, though, what with being star-struck by the ridiculously cavernous Cruisers of the Rich on display. This morning we decided to right that wrong and headed off to the 6th street dinghy dock for a walk.

The town of Annapolis is rich in history and, if you're so inclined, you can stop every few feet to read a sign with a history lesson. The streets are narrow to the extreme, and the sidewalks are single file but well shaded with old trees. The homes are fitted with beautiful gardens and kept to historical standards so, with the exception of the modern cars, one can almost envision the harbor full of commercial sailing vessels and hear the bawdy midshipmen's laughter spilling out of the abundance of pubs that line the cobblestone streets.

We strolled up the hill to the Maryland State House and wandered the property for a while reading signs. The architecture is stunning, much of it original to the early 1700s. The buildings are grand, solid, and authoritative. But it leaves you with mixed emotions. Everywhere there are monuments that leave you feeling the connection to those who paid for our freedom, but unfortunately there are also many monuments to the shame of our history, our endorsement of slavery. It is, without a doubt, a city of visual conflict - a $20 million dollar yacht parked right next to a plaque with a quote from Kunta Kinte.

Ego Alley before the boat show.

We were amazed at the difference in the main harbor without the boat show present. It seemed somehow smaller and no matter how much we walked the harbor we were having difficulty imagining the parade of boats that will pack Ego Alley in just 2 short weeks. It was good to be here now, to visit this amazing city, but with plans to be out of here before the crowds encroach on these narrow waters. We enjoyed the day immensely and are looking forward to an evening with friends, but it will be good to be on the move again.

Kintala at anchor in Back Creek

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