Thursday, Annapolis MD to Baltimore MD

June 4th, 2009 john Posted in The Loop (Ft Myers to Winter Harbor NY) | No Comments »

Day: 229  Miles: 32   Total Miles: 2646  Locks: 23

It was a tough decision on whether to leave in the morning.  The weather was not looking very good.  I got up early in the morning and went over and over it.   There was a small rain shower coming our way, but it did not look to be very stormy, just rain.  But later in the day there was a bunch of rain coming across from PA and WV and that would play into the afternoon.  The winds were predicted to be up but the waves were not, so off we went.

I chose to leave before the little rain shower as opposed to waiting for it to pass through.  Due to our position and the current at the dock I had to make a tricky exit, and I wanted to do it before anymore wind picked up.  I had to back down a fairway with yachts on both sides and then flip around to be able to exit the harbor forward.  No problem!

Off we were and out the channel into the river in front of Annapolis.  There was the capitol building and the Naval Academy buildings standing out on the shore.  And then the rains came.   A little wind as expected, the rain did not bother us much.  Just turned on the wipers and kept on going.  Boy is it nice to have a pilot-house style boat.  We were inside and just kept on humming.

The biggest effect of the rain was the limiting of visibility, so we had to keep a good watch for other vessels.  Of course true to form, other vessels were there.  We passed a big ship and two towboats during our short run to Baltimore.   The winds did pick up and so did the waves.  Before you knew it we were coasting through 3-4 footers.  But it really wasn’t too bad.  The Emery El really is quite a vessel. (I sound like a proud papa!)

The winds calmed down and we began our navigation into Baltimore.  We had chosen a nice marina in the inner harbor of Baltimore which means ALL THE WAY IN.   It was fun navigating under the Francis Scott Key Bridge.  We passed the Red-White-and-Blue buoy which designated the spot where Francis Scott Key penned the Star-Spangled Banner during the War of 1812.  Then we proceeded on past Fort McHenry, past all of the famous piers and wharfs, and finally into the inner harbor of Baltimore.  We were in company with two tall ships, a lighthouse, a submarine and many mega-yachts.  Little old us, just tucked ourselves in to a slip and were very contented.

They really have done a grand job of cleaning up the inner harbor.  There are touristy things to do everywhere.  There was museums, aquariums, shopping, all to be had within walking distance.  Unfortunately for me that was the problem.  I could not walk.  My knee has acted up again.  I guess the walking in St Michaels and Annapolis did me in.  “We” decided to rest the leg so we just relaxed on the boat and admired the beautiful city vista all around us.  The “We” as you may have guessed includes my partner in crime on this trip.  She goes by many titles:  First Mate, (Only Mate), Assistant Navigator, Galley Master and in this case Medical Advisor.  However, if someone we meet asks her “Oh you must be the Admiral, her quick retort is “No I am the CFO “.  That shuts them up quick.

And speaking of “cleaning up the inner harbor”, I saw a first for me.  All harbors have the problem of trash in the water, especially if it is a big long harbor that funnels into one point such as the Baltimore Inner Harbor.  But Baltimore has a “water sweeper”.  I don’t know what it is officially called but it is analogous to a “street sweeper” on the roads at home.  This boat runs around the entire inner harbor scooping debris out of the water.  It was really neat to watch how it worked.  (I could get detailed and explain how it worked, as if I am not detailed enough.)

I would be remiss if I failed to mention how spectacular the inner harbor looked at night.  Lights, lights and more lights!  Both of the tall ships were lit with lights running up their riggings and outlining where the sails would be.  The walkways and buildings were all lit. I believe it is one of the top night-scenes I have experienced.

We did have lunch at the marina restaurant, but then the rain set in.  In this case the rain lessened our desire to walk around the inner harbor. (See, the internal optimist.)   I really needed to rest my leg anyway. 

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