We went through Knapps Narrows and on to Annapolis. On our way into Annapolis harbor, we wound through some anchored ships, three regattas (30 boats each), and many power boats. Severeal Navy sailboats withp plebes on board were practicing in the harbor. One boat tacked right in front of us.
We decided to stay at the Annapolis City Docks. When we arrived, they told us the last slip was filled (first come/first served), so they placed in a side tie on the town wall. The city docks waterway is called Ego Alley....for a reason. Both day and night, boats ride up and down this narrow waterway with a turnaround basin at the end......it reminded us of hot rods cruising main street.
HOT!!! The temp is over 100 degrees and we have stifling humidity. The entire country has been enveloped in this heat wave. Crops are dying in the midwest.
At 2am, our first night, Ron was awakened by a noise. When he got up, he found a drunk on the bow of our boat having his picture taken by his buddy. Ron convinced this young hispanic to get off the boat when he said "policia". The boat behind us had called the police and they finally convinced these guys to leave in a car with their buddies. We're just glad they didn't have guns!
Duke hates this town. People walk up and down the sidewalk next to the boat day and night. Cars cruise on one side and boats cruise by on the other. There are many city noises (trucks) and no place to walk him close by.
We took a guided tour of the U.S. Naval Academy and learned the meaning on several sayings.
1) "Don't let the cat out of the bag" originated when flogging of midshipmen was allowed. Cattails were used and kept in a pouch. No one wanted the "cat" out of the bag.
2) "Learning the ropes" originated when new plebes were required to learn the use of every rope on a large model ship at the Academy.
3) The term Midshipman originated (on early ships) when the lowest level cabin boy was stationed in the middle. His job was to run messages from the bow to the stern and back.
The plebes have been here only a week. Out of 1300 nominations, 1200 were accepted. The campus is beautiful. We couldn't tour the chapel because weddings occur there on Saturdays, but we plan to attend church there tomorrow.
While touring the Naval Academy Museum, I got tired and sat down to wait for Ron. When I looked up at the display case in front of me, there was a display on J. Paul Reason and his family.....we met Paul and Dianne in D.C. at the marina bar.
Another marina nightmare: The people on the 50 foot sailboat tied to the wall in front of us, came back to their boat at 2am and decided to crank up the music to full volume on their boat. This went on for an hour so they could dance and party on board. Thoughtless!
7/8/12 We attended mass at the Academy Chapel which holds over 2000 people. There are several huge Tiffany windows in the building, and the crypt of John Paul Jones is in the basement. It is the largest crypt I've ever seen. The plebes sat on the left side of the sanctuary and the civilians and a few officers on the right. The music was fabulous, the accoustics phenomenal, the pipe organ was incredible, and the voices of the plebe choir was amazing.
After picking up a few things at the farmers' market, we took off again for the Eastern shore.