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Annapolis MD, Washington DC, and on to the New Jersey Coast

Posted by on June 3, 2012

One of our ongoing challenges during this trip is deciding where to go and the best route to get there.  This is particularly true for the Chesapeake region because there are so many interesting places to visit, far more than we have time to explore.

Although we considered cruising up the Potomac to stay in the heart of Washington DC, in the end we decided to berth His Idea in Annapolis and make a day trip to the U.S. capital by car. This worked out well for a number of reasons: Annapolis is a great little town, with much to see in its own right, including the US Naval Academy; the trip by rental car is only about 45 miles and relatively easy to navigate;  it was sizzling hot and the marina had a pool!

We only had time to visit the core of Washington. With its impressive variety of monuments, buildings and museums (entrance is free to all of the Smithsonian institutions) we spent most of our time just ‘walking the town’. Of the museums we did visit John was especially impressed with the historical collection of aircraft at the National Air and Space museum. Because of all the things to see, Washington is definitely on our list of places to visit again one day (maybe on a second trip around the Great  Loop?).

We also had the good fortune to meet up with Doug and Charlotte Kerr, who live in Annapolis. They are also new owners of a PDQ  34 (Abbotsford III) whom John met at the PDQ rendezvous in January. We had a great time discussing our respective boats, cruising plans, and boating experiences. We hope to see them again during their cruise to the Thousand Islands later this summer.

Due to a small craft warning forecast for later on Thursday we departed Annapolis very early in the morning (6:30) to make a run for Chesapeake City, at the head of Chesapeake Bay. The first half of the 55 mile trip was relatively comfortable, however it became quite rough and began to rain for the remainder of the journey. It’s times like these when the lower helm of the PDQ, with it’s calm cabin and excellent visibility, is such an advantage. Fortunately we also found a space at the free Chesapeake City dockl, which was very secure during the evening’s strong, gusty winds and heavy rains.

After transiting the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (which provides a major shipping link between Chesapeake and Delaware bays), our next extended run was down Delaware Bay to Cape May, New Jersey. This is another ‘open water’ trip that can get very nasty at times. Although there were whitecaps and moderate rollers the wind and seas were on our stern, and because of this we were able to ‘surf’ the waves for the entire trip. I’m not sure we would have attempted the passage if we had been going the other way, but this time we had ‘fair winds’.

Annapolis Harbour - the domed building is the Maryland legislature, the oldest in the U.S.

 

Annapolis back street scene - there are many old buildings here that have been well maintained, and the town retains a strong 'port city' feeling.

 

Another view of the Maryland legislative building.

 

Charlotte and Doug Kerr, fellow owners of a PDQ 34.

 

The Washington Monument, which dominates the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

 

The White House - perhaps because one cannot get close, we found it did not make as strong an impression as the other monuments and buildings we saw.

 

A rear view of the U.S. Capitol - even from this angle, it was an impressive sight.

 

Exterior of the Lincoln Memorial - it is very representative of the commanding presence of U.S. history and institutions in the nation's capital.

 

Not to be outdone, the Canadian Embassy has a prominent and impressive location on Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

Early morning sunrise over Annapolis - 'Red sky at morning, sailor take warning'.

 

Shortly after leaving Annapolis, our approach to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

 

A little while later - this is what was chasing us.

 

Chesapeake City berth - after the morning's run and before the evening's storm.

 

The next day, more bridges over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

 

Surf city at the Ship John Shoal light, Delaware Bay (about halfway to our destination).

 

At last - landfall at the entrance to the Cape May Canal.

 

Our next stops will be at Cape May and along the New Jersey ICW.

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