Well, it’s nearly here, the time for my departure for Antigua and my part in the Salty Dawg Rally. Pandora is in Annapolis following the Sailboat show two weeks ago. The show was great fun and I spent a few days there. I was able to secure a spot to anchor in Spa Creek, very close to the show. I had mentioned that I put on a new vane steering, which I used for a while on the run from Essex to Annapolis. I still have to figure out to balance the boat better so that it can keep a good track but it did work quite well when I set up the boat properly. Details to come on that point. Here’s a shot of the unit, mounted on the stern, sans the big red wind vane that goes on the top of the unit when in use. In the creek nearby was a Pearson Invicta yawl, sister ship to my old Artemis. I have always liked the lines on this design, penned by Bill Tripp back in the early 60s. Nearby a smaller sistersjip, a Medalist, somewhat smaller but in perfect shape. I was told that the owner of this beauty purchased the boat new. As a member of the Essex Yacht Club, I was able to register to use the facilities at the Annapolis Yacht Club and enjoyed a meal there with Brenda and more than a few drinks at the busy bar. The clubhouse burned to the ground a few years ago and has been completely rebuilt and is better than ever. It’s a spectacular venue. The burning of the clubhouse, sparked by a short on their Christmas tree, was a tragic turn of events with so much history lost. However, it’s back and more beautiful than ever.
It’s amazing how they transform downtown Annapolis into such a big event. I have heard that only about 300 new sailboats in the 30′-70′ range are sold in the US every year, a tiny number at best. However, that doesn’t seem to discourage builders from putting their wares on display. We’ve heard a lot about global warming and while some seem to view it as a “hoax”, it seemed real enough when a particularly high “spring tide” came up during the show. Flooding downtown Annapolis has been a problem for years during storms or when the wind is particularly strong from the south but this is the worst that many have seen and I expect that it will only get worse as the years roll by. In the 50 years of the show, it’s the first time flooding was so bad that they had to close the show early on two days. Even Alex Haley was up to his knees. I wonder if the kids at his feet lost interest in his story as the water reached their chins. And speaking of Alex, author of the famous book Roots, this quote somehow seems particularly fitting given the threat of rising seas.
“Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you” Alex Haley.
Pandora is now in a small fairly scruffy marina near downtown Annapolis waiting for my return. Interestingly, my friend Dick suggested that I leave Pandora in that marina next door to his home and thought that the owners wouldn’t even notice as the marina isn’t really a “happening place”. HA! Wrong!!! When I was aboard for a night last week someone came up to the boat and said something like “what are you doing here”. Oh and BTW, that will be $150 a day. How long will you be staying?
After a bit of back and forth we finally settled on $1,000 for two weeks, a very stiff amount to be sure and more than I had ever spent on dockage. So much for a free slip. That really hurt, to be sure. However, I really didn’t have much leverage as I was uninvited. So much for local knowledge. “Don’t worry Bob, they won’t even know that you are there!” NOT!
Anyway, I guess that I’ll get over it. Besides, it was only one boat dollar.
So, back to Pandora and the plan this weekend to move her to Hampton. I’ll have a “friend of a friend” aboard, Hank, well recommended by my bud Ken who lives locally and has sailed with me many times over the years.
The run, will probably be a motorboat ride and should take something like 20 hours to cover the 130 miles. With light northerly winds predicted, at least I won’t be slogging into stink. Not sure if we will just push through in one shot or stop for the night on Saturday and continue the rest of the distance on the second day. I would like to get to Hampton soon though to participate in all the run-up activities for the rally.
For now, I guess this shot of a sunrise on the last morning at the show sums it up nicely. The dawn of a new season for Pandora as she heads south to the Caribbean. Winter is on the way but this is what is ahead for Pandora. Yes, this is what a sunset should look like in the dead of winter.
It’s almost time to go and I can’t wait.