Holy Toledo. One calendar month + one hurricane Ian + numerous boat issues after we left Kingston, Ontario, we have arrived in Annapolis. And we are thrilled. Scratch that. We are beyond thrilled.
Why is this particular stop so important to us? Well, Annapolis Maryland is THE place for boat shows. Twice a year it hosts both the United States Power Boat Show and the United States Sailboat Show. Each are several days long and have an attendance that is unprecedented. They are chock full of gear, ideas, info and, well, boats. So many boats. It is also the place where you can really start to dream about your own big voyage to the Bahamas, to Grenada, or across the big blue ocean to places afar. Our own dream of sailing south to Grenada solidified at our first visit to the Annapolis Boat Show so many moons ago. Only, back then, we drove to Annapolis by car. So, for us, it is a dream come true to arrive here in our very own Wild Horses. There are no words for how happy we are right now.
But let’s back up a bit, because it hasn’t been a soft pillowy journey to Annapolis. No, stuff broke and lessons were learned. Hmmmm, that could be the subtitle for this whole blog…
We left our protected harbour in Cape May last Thursday. It was a beautiful blue sky and the marine forecast called for light winds and a calm sea state. Lovely. Every boat that was hunkered down at our marina, to wait out Hurricane Ian, was ready to leave. Two boats left at the same time as Wild Horses and Brise and several more were to follow in short order. We were all headed out to the Atlantic and then up Delaware Bay with a destination of Chesapeake Bay.
Wild Horses was only 30 minutes into our 7.5 hour voyage when our alternator belt disengaged itself from the alternator. Now, a broken alternator belt isn’t a big deal. I mean, it isn’t a big deal when you have spares on hand (which we do) and mean DIY “fix it” skills (which Mike does). No, it just FEELS like a big deal in those first few minutes. Let me draw you a picture – engine alarm is ringing loudly and there is tremendous smoke coming from the engine room. Oh – my – gosh. In seconds, we had the anchor down, the engine off and Mike’s head was in the engine room assessing the situation. Once we knew it was the alternator belt, I retrieved one of our spares (we have several) and got it attached. We were up and running, albeit shaken, within 40 minutes from start to finish.
Like I said, it seemed like a big deal at the time but later, tucked away in our nice little anchorage at the top of Delaware Bay, we got news of another boat we have become friendly with in Cape May that put our little experience into perspective. The boat had arrived near our anchorage just after sunset and, with little light to work with, had hit the rocky underwater breakwater protecting the anchorage. It is in the charts but cannot be seen with the naked eye. Taking on water, the captain called a mayday (emergency coast guard call) for a rescue. The captain, a solo sailor, is fine but his boat had to be towed to safety and hauled out for repairs. Sigh, a big dose of perspective for the crew of Wild Horses.
The remainder of the trip to Annapolis included heightened awareness for possible risks. We chose easy anchorages, watched carefully for the many crab pots that litter the Chesapeake and stayed watchful for any and all hazards, big and small. This is normal operating procedures for us but it took on a whole new twist after our comrade’s unfortunate breakwater incident. It was a very real reminder of why risks always need to be minimized, extra care always taken.
But back to today. Here we are in Annapolis. We are anchored just a 2-minute dinghy ride to the boat show, in what is called “South Anchorage”. We have easy access to town and a beautiful view of the harbour. Oh, and a nice little kicker to what is already spectacular? We are close enough to the Annapolis Naval Academy to get treated to the sound of their sunset Ceremony. True bliss.
Also wonderful is that we got to see our good friends Paul and Andrea from Gananoque today. They were here for the boat show and, incredibly, were able to bring an important veterinary document for Ocean to get into Puerto Rico. The document had been ordered in July but had arrived after our departure from Kingston. We are so thankful that Paul and Andrea not only picked up the document in Ottawa but safeguarded it and brought it all the way to Annapolis. I know, very cool friends for sure.
We will be in Annapolis for the next three weeks waiting out hurricane season and also taking the opportunity to attend the boat show, pick up some extra gear and to get a few boat things fixed and then it is down the Chesapeake and onto the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.