Wednesday September 26, 2012
Getting up today we knew we wanted to check out the town of Annapolis, plus Matt had found there was a West Marine on the outskirts as as always we needed to pick up a few things there. Like a new switch for our bilge pump that stopped working and possibly a new life sling. After taking a shower in the cockpit and feeling like I was bringing down the property value of all the multi-million dollar homes around us I put on jeans and a sweatshirt. We found a very handy dinghy beach half way up the creek and started following our map into town. As soon as we stepped on to the bridge crossing College Creek the scenery dramatically changed. Everything became brick and the buildings had perfectly manicured lawns and colorful flower beds. Making our way to Church Circle we admired the historic buildings and the business men and women enjoying their lunches in outdoor cafes in their suits and dresses. This may be the sailing capital of the world but I have a feeling that it normally caters to those in their seersucker shorts, polo shirts and Sperry Topsiders versus cruisers like me in cut offs and flip flops.
Randomly picking a street to get down to the waterfront we walked down it a few minutes before spotting a couple exiting from an alley between a few buildings. Thinking that an alley shortcut sounded like fun we took the few steps and path down through the old brick buildings. We were let out on Main St with a mix of tourist souvenir shops and local specialties. We knew we didn’t have time to stop and browse through them today, we were on a West Marine mission after all, but we’d be in town for a few weeks and there would be plenty of time to come back to them. I did stop in my tracks though as I came face to face with Chick N Ruth’s. Again, we never do much researching before we get to a town of what’s located where, but this was on my list of places to hit (the only one really) as soon as I found out we were coming to Annapolis. I had seen an episode a few years back on Man vs Food and they had a 6 lb milkshake there. Six pounds of milkshake! Both of us are huge fans of ice cream and I was really disappointed when Matt told me it was very hard to get outside of the states unless you want to pay a lot of money for it. My logic had been that if we stopped here along the way and forced ourselves to eat six pounds of it (together) that we’d be so sick of ice cream that we’d never want to eat it again. Perfect solution.
Ice cream too would have to wait for another day and we kept walking towards the West Marine. We passed over Spa Creek where the sailboat show will be held next weekend and stood to look at some of the big money boats already there. We almost anchored in this creek as it was in the heart of town with easy access to everything but we didn’t want to fight the constant crowds and noise of the area. Stopping at a gas station for some cold drinks (it ended up being much too hot for a sweatshirt) the man behind the counter handed us a paper map marked with the location of WM and told us we had about a mile and a half to go. After the mile and a half we had just walked to get to this point. It didn’t sound hard on paper after walking five times that each day in NYC, but something I did to my leg in the city was still giving me problems and it was already aching. When we passed a sign for a bus stop along the way I was pretty sure we’d be using it on the way back.
Finally at the West Marine Matt searched for bilge pump switches while I had an employee running around looking for men’s flip flops. Matt bought a pair back near Albany and two pairs and one return later they were still falling apart on him. When we cashed out an exchange was performed for a better brand and when being asked where the pair he was returning were he replied “On my feet”. They didn’t even blink an eye and that is one of the reasons I love West Marine. We did not pick up a Lifesling, thinking it was more than we wanted to add to the September budget, but we did scoop up a handy little crab trab. Supposedly they’re all over the Chesapeake and we figured that even one caught for dinner would pay for the trap. On our way out the door again my leg was giving me serious problems and I was ready for that bus. Heading back the direction we came from it was a good mile before there was a sign for a stop. The bus got there at quarter after the hour every hour and it was only half past. Even though I was almost in tears of pain at this point we knew there was another stop a half mile up and thought if we had all that time to kill we may as well make it up there. Trying to read the map posted we saw the gold line would take us closest to the creek but didn’t have any stops on this route so when the green line came up five minutes later we saw that it would take us close enough and got on. The driver asked us where we were going and we said that we didn’t really know. He then asked if we were going downtown. Sure, why not. “Then you want the red, you need to get off” “No, that’s fine, we’ll go wherever you take us” “No, you want the red line, you need to get off”. Kicked off the bus? What the heck? Ten minutes later the red line was the next bus to pass our way and we got on without saying a word. Taking it just past the downtown area we jumped off on a main road where we thought a few short cuts through other streets would quickly lead us back to the creek. They did not. I haven’t pulled out a map to check yet but I think we did more walking from where the bus let us off than where we had initially been.
Happy to finally be able to sit down we were dinghying back when we saw Rode Trip on a mooring ball. We swung by to say hello and after talking about our separate trips to Annapolis that Matt and I would quick drop our stuff off and come back with a bottle of wine in exchange for fishing tips. It seems that Rode Trip catches fish everywhere they go and we were eager to learn for ourselves the best way how. After scarfing a quick snack and grabbing a bottle of three buck chuck we were back on their boat catching up over the past few days. When the talk got to fishing they said their only luck was keeping a lure out at all times. If you’re always fishing you’re bound to catch something sometime. Wanting to put that theory to the test we showed them our fancy new crab trap and asked if we could throw it over. Snapping some weights to the doors to make sure they’d fall open and tying a piece of sausage in the center the trap went overboard as we talking about cruising more over he bottle of red wine. Going back to the trap every so often the guys would slowly lift it up after feeling a tugging weight at the bottom, but it was always empty by the time it got to the surface. Us girls were happy just to sit back with a drink in our hand and after the wine was gone we moved on a Brooklyn Brew. I don’t know if Stephanie was in the same (figurative) boat as me but I hadn’t had more than an orange and a pack of trail mix all day and I think the wine was going to our heads. As the guys fished we became more animated in our storytelling and she’d pull out her touchpad to show us photos of their trip, scrolling through with lightning speed before any of the photos could actually be seen. Matt could tell it was time to put me to bed and we gathered our empty crab trap and said goodbye for the night. After my day of limping through the heat I was sure I was going to add this to my ‘not so great days of cruising’, but I love how new friends and a bottle of wine can turn that all around.
Yacht Club at Spa Creek
We caught a jellyfish!
‘I’m totally not planning on stealing this Lifesling behind me!’