Traveling to Annapolis, Maryland

The sun was shinning at 7 am with a slight wind when we left Solomons Island, Maryland.   We really had to watch out for the crab pots and fishing nets they were everywhere when we left.  The wind picked up for a while but decreased as we navigated.  Our day will consist of traveling 50 mile with our destination at Annapolis Landing Marina,  Maryland.

This is Cove Point Light house located on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County, Maryland.  This lighthouse was built-in 1828 four miles south at the mouth of the Patuxent River, but further consideration led to mark Cove Point.  The original Argon lamps were replaced in 1855 with Fresnel lens.  There were three keepers from 1825-1986 when the light was finally automated.  Cove point remains an active aid to navigation and is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.   The lighthouse is 45 feet hight the range is 12 nautical miles and flashes white every 10 sec.

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This ship is the Europe Bay which is 646 ft. long and 108 wide navigating 14.4 m/ph and has a 23 ft draw.

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The Thomas Point Shoal Light is the most recognized lighthouse in Maryland.  It is the only screw pile lighthouse in the bay which stands at its original site.  The current structure is a 1 1/2 story hexagonal wooden cottage, equipped with a foghorn, as well as the light.  It was constructed in 1825 and replaced in 1838 by another stone tower.  The point was subject to continuing erosion and in 1894 the construction of a screw pile was built and activated.  In 1877 the original lens was destroyed by ice floes, the lens was replaced but not automated until 1986.  The construction is cast-iron/wood 43 ft. tall and goes out 16 nautical miles.

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As we got close to Annapolis I thought this was the dome on the Maryland State House, but found out it was the dome on the U.S. Navy Academy chapel.  Annapolis is the Sailing Capital of the world.

We are staying at the Annapolis Landing Marina.  They have a courtesy van, pool which is not open and very friendly staff.  Nobody was using the van on Saturday so Liz & Johnny (Anchor Down), Marshall & Judy (Let’s Go), Kent and I did some sight-seeing in historic downtown Annapolis.

Annapolis is the capital of Maryland situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River.  In 1650, Puritans seeking religious freedom nestled into a spot on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and called their new town Providence.  The small settlement grew and was renamed Anne Arundell in 1694, in honor of Lord Baltimore’s wife.  Governor Nicholson renamed the capital Annapolis in honor of Princess Anne, who became Queen of England in 1702.  In the late 19th century the economic emphasis shifted from Anne Arundell County’s successful plantation to the bodies of water surrounding and flowing through Annapolis.   Water trades including oyster packing, boat building, and sail making, emerged as major industries.  Waterfront villages took root throughout the county and shipping ports bolstered their workforce.  It is the only capital city in America east of the Mississippi River without a rail transport of any sort.  They had rail service from 1840 until 1968 and the tracks were dismantled in 1976.

The Maryland State House is the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States.  Construction started in 1772, and the Maryland legislature first met there in 1779.  It is topped by the largest wooden dome built without nails in the country.  The State House is the first and only state house to serve as the nation’s capitol when the Continental Congress met in 1783-1784.  The State House has since hosted many significant events, including General George Washington resignation from the Continental Army in 1783.  Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris on January 14,1784, officially ending the American revolution.  Delegates in 1786 from five states convened at the State House to discuss changes to the Articles of Confederation.

House Chamber blue, Senate Chamber red, marble stair case with a beautiful stained glass window at the top.  The painting is George Washington resigning his commission by John  Trumbell.

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State House Caucus room a legislative meeting room.  U. S.S. Maryland Silver Service 1906. Maryland’s Four signers of the Declaration of Independence Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, William Paca, and Thomas Stone.

Old house of Delegates Chamber this room is a re-creation of the chamber as it appeared in 1876-1905.

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In 1783 following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, General George Washington resigns as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and retires to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

The state bought land in 1868 to build a new home for the governor.  It was completed in 1870 as a French Empire mansion.  In 1936 it was remodeled  and converted into the five-part Georgian style of the Colonial period.  The Government house is the official residence of the governor of Maryland and his family.  It’s located in Annapolis directly across the street from the Historic Maryland State.

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Ann Arundel County Circuit Courthouse is the third oldest courthouse still in use in Maryland.  The original Federal-style portion of the courthouse was built-in 1824 and enlarged in 1892 in the Italianate style with a projecting tower and cupola.

Annapolis is the home of St. John’s College a private liberal arts college know for its distinctive curriculum centered on reading and discussing the Great Books of Western Civilization.

The U.S. Navel Academy is a four-year co-education federal service academy established on Oct. 10, 1845 under Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft.  In 1850 it was renamed the U.S. Navel Academy.  It is the second oldest of the United States five service academies.  The Academy has grown to become a renowned institution of learning and historical relevance that trains some 4,000-plus midshipmen annually to become professional officers in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.  The 338 acre campus is located on the former grounds of Fort Severn.  Prospective candidates must either be nominated by certain public officials or be the child of a medal of honor recipient, which entitles a qualified candidate to automatic admission without nomination. The U.S. government pays for tuition, room and board.  Students at the naval academy are addressed as Midshipman, an official military ranks and pay grade.

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The academy is very strict and if for any reason you are dismissed you leave by this gate and it’s slammed behind you.  You are them required to pay back your entire cost of tuition, room, and board to the U.S. Government.

Naval Academy Chapel with its iconic copper dome and giant brass doors, is one of two houses of worship on the grounds of the Navy’s service academy.  Protestant and Catholic services are held here.  The chapel was constructed in 1904 and is located at the center of campus the highest point.  This allowed the dome to be visible throughout out Annapolis.   The two stained glass windows facing the altar are symbolic, one is Sir Galahad, and the other signifies the Commission Invisible and were made in the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany.   The chapel was featured on a postage stamp in 1995 honoring the Academy’s 150 anniversary.  Of note: Peter Marshall, pastor and future Chaplain to the US Senate, spoke from the Chapel’s original pulpit on Sunday December 7th, 1941 mere hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1905 after John Paul Jones remains were discovered almost perfectly preserved in a tightly sealed lead casket,  Paris honored him with a parade and religious service.  On January 26, 1913 the remains of John Paul Jones, naval leader of the American Revolution, were interred in the crypt beneath the chapel inside an elaborate Beaux Arts design includes a 21 ton sarcophagus of molten steel.  In the deck around the crypt are inscribed the names of his ships: Bonhomme Richard, Alliance, Serapis, Ariel, Alfred, Providence, and Ranger.

Bancroft hall is the largest building at the naval Academy and the largest college dormitory in the world.  It is home to 4,000 midshipmen with 1,700 rooms and 4.8 miles of corridors.  The rotunda and a sample of midshipmen room we could see as well as Memorial Hall and a copy of the Famous “Don’t give up Ship” flag.  Dahlgren Hall is where midshipmen social activities are often held.  Hanging above the second deck is a model of a Wright B-1 Flyer.  You could spend all day at this beautiful historic Navel Academy.  The midshipmen are clean, neat, and walking very straight and tall in their white uniforms, showing how proud they are to be at the academy.

When we were at the Navel Academy they were getting ready for the Ring Dance.  The dance was established as an academy tradition in 1925.  It’s a formal dance for Second-class midshipmen who officially receive their class rings and have them blessed by dipping them into the waters of the seven seas “a bowl of water collected from all seven seas.”  They wear the ring around their neck on a blue ribbon until they are blessed.  As the tradition now unfolds Navy chaplains gather and mix water from the seven seas, then dip each ring into this water which symbolizes the mids being “wedded” to the navy.  It is a solemn tradition that the midshipmen take very seriously.  Here, at this formal dance at the end of their junior year, Second Classmen are officially permitted to wear their class ring.

William Paca House and Gardens was home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and three term governor of Maryland in the Mid 1760s. You also have the Hammond Harwood house “Most Beautiful Doorway in America” the house was built-in 1774.  It was the last work of renowned Colonial architect William Buckland.  Edward Lloyd IV bought the unfinished shell of this house from Samuel Chase, a young Annapolis lawyer and future signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Lloyd finished the home from 1769-1774.

We had lunch at the Chick & Ruth’s Delly they are supposed to have the best crab cakes, a three-pound Super Duper Colossal Burger and you can wash it down with the world’s largest milkshakes.  We always seem to find a unique placed to eat on our journey and this was it.  It was very small, packed, hot diner, with great service and a welcome feeling with a lot of history.   It was something to see and the crab cakes were the best.  We also tried out the famous BBQ ribs at Mission BBQ. The ribs were so good that we stopped before we left and got an order to take back to the boat.  It was a great day I enjoyed my crab cakes and Kent enjoyed his ribs.  We are happy boaters.  Mission BBQ restaurant is very involved with service men.  They closed the restaurant at noon and everybody including staff go out side for the National Anthem.   They also have a table set for the lost service man.

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Kunta Kinte- Alex Haley Memorial where Kunta Kinte arrived by ship and was sold at the head of the turning basin.  It’s a jolting reminder that City Dock once was the site of slave auctions purportedly the place where Kunta Kinte was sold.

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The Middleton Tavern was established in 1750 when Elizabeth Bennett sold the tavern to Horatio Middleton, who operated the building as and “Inn for Seafaring Men”.  The tavern was an all important stopping place for early travelers using the ferries to cross the Bay, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many delegate to the Continental Congress.

Shiplap House built-in 1715 one of the oldest serving houses in Annapolis.  Shiplap house served as a store and tavern in the eighteen century.  The house is named for the random width flush siding called shiplap.

This is one of the oldest building in Annapolis and if you look at the building its crooked.  Then you have a barn that has opening for guns.  The Annapolis Summer Garden Theater which still has plays.  The white building is the laundry place for Freedom Bound runaways of the Chesapeake.

We stopped and had a drink at the McGarvey’s.  A former Air Force captain and pilot for Eastern Airlines, named the bar after his grandmother side of the family in 1871.  McGarvey’s has had several owners, always keeping it a bar and kept the name.  King was our host that seated us and made you feel at home.  We had a drink and waited for Marshall and Judy to join us.  We all had one more and then we were ready to go back to boat and put our feet up.

We had a wonderful day sight-seeing beautiful Annapolis and its history.  We found the town friendly and very clean.

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