Monday morning and the last day of the boat show. A number of evolutions need to take place before going to the show. While our blog audience consists of cruisers and landlubbers, I’ll describe some of the events that need to take place before we view the exhibits. Besides the normal morning toilette and coffee we all partake in, the following needs to be done: Redeploy the inflatable dingy (hereinafter referred to as our “dink”;) hoist and wash down the anchor ; find a location closer to the show; launch the dink, and motor on down.
The dink, a ten foot RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) had been deflated and packed in its carrying case and lashed on deck since we left New York. So unlash, unpack and reinflate, then hoist it over the side into the water. The Yamaha 8HP two-cycle engine was secured to the stern rail and also had to be hoisted over the side and fixed to the transom. We tied her astern with a tow*-line and brought up the anchor which we washed off with the recently installed wash-down pump which uses river water to wash the mud off the chain and anchor before it comes aboard.
We were now ready to return to Annapolis and find an anchorage within a few minutes of the show. Spa Creek proved to be our best bet. The week-end was over, and many boaters had gone home. Just past the show and the Annapolis City Marina is the Sixth Street Bridge, or the Spa Creek Bascule Bridge. We called the bridge tender on channel 13 to request a bridge opening and got no response. We called the harbormaster who advised us to try the phone. We got right through and the tender was happy to stop all the pedestrian and vehicular traffic and let us through. The miracle of cell phones! A bascule bridge is one which has counterweighted leaves which pivot back and leave a clear way for our ~51’ mast. This, as opposed to the Conrail Railroad Lift Bridge we encountered on the canal. The lift bridge rises directly up, hoisted by cables in towers at either end.
Putting the bridge behind us, we motored past lovely homes and condos till we found a spot we liked. The water was still and about 300 feet wide and 11 feet deep with docks on either side. We dropped anchor, checked its holding and satisfied, prepared to debark. Besides seeing the show, we were going to meet friends Rene’ and David, who are driving down from Warrenton, VA. We’re carrying extra life vests for them, portable navigation lights for returning after sunset and cables to lock the dink to the dock. The City of Annapolis has a public dock at every street that ends at the water. Limited dingy docking is available. We motored to Dock Street which is just between the Naval Academy and the boat show. With about 20 dinks before us there was just room for one more.
On to the show…Wrist bands on and about five hours to tour the tents, docks, boats and hundreds of vendors. Unlike the New York boat show, this is an On-The-Water show. Boats are brought in, and temporary floating docks brought in around them for visitor passage. I have never seen so many boats in my life. Both in the show and surrounding waters, it’s sailboats and more sailboats. It’s a good thing! Since we’re not in the market for a new boat, and seeing them is not a treat for me we wandered the booths in the tents. First, to find our new friends Ian and Jason at PYI, they offered us a new improved zinc for our Maxi-Prop.
To be continued…..