11 November: We woke up early to a dense fog bank in Worton’s Creek. Once the sun comes out this will all burn off, right? Erm, nope!
Unfortunately, the fog never lifted and we sailed toward Annapolis with less than a quarter mile visibility. Good thing we have radar… oh wait. I spent most of the day in the bow with an airhorn, signaling our approach to other vessels and trying to spot tankers and barges before they ran us over. The closer we got to Annapolis, the more shipping traffic we could hear, but not see. The passage was simultaneously very cool and mildly unnerving.
As you approach Annapolis from the north, two large bridges greet you before the Annapolis harbor. In theory, you can see these immense bridges from miles away, guiding your entry into Maryland’s capital city. We started to see the bridges emerge from the fog from about a half mile away haha. Eerie and beautiful!
The City of Annapolis provides transient moorings for a small overnight fee ($35), so we took an ball in the main mooring field, chatted with the Harbor Master’s assistant who motored over to register our vessel, and then dinghy-ed the dogs into Downtown Annapolis for a nice walk. (Only one other cruiser in the mooring field? What?)
We arrived at the dinghy dock to a flock of very fat ducks, begging from the kids walking along the waterfront. And the nearby crowd got a kick out of Piper and Luna disembarking with their lifejackets haha.
Annapolis is my favorite city we’ve sailed through so far! It is equal parts young, old, maritime, whimsical, historic, worldly – very cosmopolitan! (And dog friendly!) Art galleries, seafood restaurants, lots of “GO NAVY” flags, cadets/hipsters/businessmen, and plenty of tacky t-shirt shops.
We also hiked 2 miles outside of the city center to Bacon Sails and Marine Supplies – Alex was in heaven at a marine supply warehouse stocking used/secondhand EVERYTHING. Literally everything. And cheap, so so cheap. We decided that all future sailing adventures must start with a trip to Annapolis before we buy anything in Maine. (We won’t disclose how much money we could have saved… but even with gas money from Maine to Annapolis, it would have been worth it haha.) Alex got new parts for the crane on the back of the boat and lots of spare line.
Note about the Annapolis public transit system: the Green Bus does not run on Veteran’s day. Oops. Instead of walking home, we discovered that the Purple Bus brought us back downtown for much needed drinks.
Our next stop for the evening was McGarvey’s Oyster Bar for Bloody Mary’s and oyster shooters! And a surprise call from my dad that turned into a bar-wide saga. For dinner we were craving Maryland blue crab, and feasted on all kinds of seafood until we literally could not eat any more.
12 November: Woke up to a beautiful fog bank again this morning, this time one that (thankfully) burned off quickly. Took the dogs for another nice walk around town, and got a late start to our sailing day. Piper and Luna loved the U.S. Naval Academy lawn 🙂
Smooth sailing from Annapolis to Solomons, MD with lots of other boats heading our way. Alex mounted the whisker pole and we cruised wing-and-wing with favorable winds.
Arriving at Solomons Island just after sunset, we set our anchor a little ways down Mill Creek (instead of the more-trafficked Back Creek). Our anchorage neighbor was a cooky Canadian in a bright yellow catamaran (Lapis Lazuli) with no mast, who zoomed out to our dinghy to say hello as we headed into town to take the dogs for a walk.
A Roy Rogers fast food joint was a solid choice for food tonight. West Marine was closed. And we walked through some beautiful neighborhoods back to the dinghy. Solomons must be a gorgeous town in the summer!