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Chilling in Annapolis

We are back in the Chesapeake Bay, where Saorsa(and the crew), can enjoy blasting into 40 - 50kt winds with flat seas and after a guaranteed varied sail there is always a peaceful anchorage to be found.

Our trip south was timed to coincide with the Annapolis boat show and an Ocean Cruising Club(OCC) get together. It turned out to be a great catch up with friends and a chance to spend a fabulous weekend with a local sailing club.

The Annapolis experience stated with an OCC dinner where I was blown away by Pete Goss who did a very humble and engaging after dinner talk. I have been a long time fan of this single handed sailor – now turned blue water cruiser with his lovely wife Tracey and it was fabulous to hear his version of the rescue of Raphael Dinelli in the deep southern ocean in atrocious conditions. He is such a humble guy who totally undersells the incredible tenacity, skill and heroism he has displayed in his sailing career.

Next top the boat show. In the past “Boat show” = “ danger to the credit card balance”. Past purchases include two new boats!. I was surprised at my own restraint, nice that it was to look around new boats and see the latest gadgets, I found myself surprisingly content. I would not want to swap Saorsa for any of the boats I saw. Despite all her idiosyncrasies I think I have grown to love my boat!

During our Annapolis stay it was Nicolas birthday, a day we didn’t really plan but it turned to be a real treat for our Canadian crew member. Firstly we sat and watched the boat show disappear before our eyes while sipping a rather nice Painkiller drink overlooking the harbour – it was like a water ballet as pontons , boats and vendor stands were moved and all boats departed within a four hour period. While we were walking down the street afterwards Nicola cried out: "OMG Steve Page is playing tonight" ( a funny Canadian singer) - obviously she was a fan, – so, after some fab sushi off we went and got a table at the local venue. A birthday to remember.

Have you ever tasted fresh crab caught on your own pier cooked to perfection? Thanks to the OCC port officers Cindy and Westbrook Murphy we were treated to a Chesapeake crab supper: simply just crab which has to be up there in my top 5 action meals – a real treat. This was after experiencing our first musical treat in Annapolis – Bach and Vivaldi performed beautifully by a young man (Piotr Pakhmkin) on a guitar, and a mini orchestra that was a real pleasure to hear. Cindy and Westbrook have extended fabulous hospitality to Saorsa and her crew during both our northbound and southbound trips through the Chesapeake, they are now like family making us feel like we were at home – Thank you.

Westbrook had asked if we would like to join the Back Creek yacht club (BCYC) Goose Cruise. He would be “the admirnal,” on board Saorsa and ensure we were in the right place at the right time. It was a hoot. BCYC was founded nearly 20 years ago as a group of fabulous people who loved sailing were about to retire. Now they have numerous events throughout the year where sailing, good food, drink and great friendships thrive. They made us very welcome and we enjoyed their company a lot. It also involved a hearty sail on the way back, where Westbrook was thriving aboard Soarsa ploughing through the water with a good 30+kt breeze. - A happy man.

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