Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cruise, Day 23

Once weather rolls in, it’s not uncommon for it to last three days before it blows out, but common or not, I was getting tired of squatting in one spot. I needed off the boat.
When you make it to Annapolis, a must-see is the U. S. Naval Academy. It was established in 1845 by Secretary of Navy George Bancroft. You’ll just have to take my word for it that there’s just too much to see to make a list here, but the highlights are the naval museum, the noon formation of the Brigade of Midshipmen, visitor’s center, Bancroft Hall, the Chapel and crypt of John Paul Jones…..whoops, I almost started a list. The academy is a hive of activity. You can walk miles within the grounds, or you can take a guided tour, and it’s not uncommon to step right into the middle of some function. When Paul Higbee, a friend from Georgia, and I made a day trip from Thistle to the academy during our fall cruise last year, we no sooner stepped from the car than we heard bands playing. We followed the sound and climbed into the stands to watch performances by both the U. S. Air Force and the U. S. Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. Since Paul is a retired Air Force pilot, that pleased both of us. At other times you’ll see Midshipmen in close-order drill, or hear an evening jazz concert or orchestra performance by a full Navy band. Check at the information desk at the visitor’s center for a schedule of activities. These are a few of the pictures I took during our visit last fall.

Bancroft Hall
Bancroft Hall interior
Stairs to Memorial Hall
Memorial Hall
Naval Academy Chapel
Chapel Sanctuary
Crypt of John Paul Jones

I walked up today to have lunch at Dahlgren Hall, and then watch the noon brigade formation. Then I walked back through Annapolis to visit some of our old haunts ‘from back in the day‘ when the Chesapeake was our home waters, and bought a gift to take home as a Christmas present. If you like to shop, especially if you like hunting for the fabulous and the unusual, the shops of Annapolis are amazing.
It started to drizzle lightly, then rain, and finally just came on to a full-fledged downpour. I ducked under the canopy of the Reserve Club to put on the foul weather gear, but it was roughly a two-mile forced march back to the boat. Between rain from the outside and the steam I was generating on the inside of the suit, by the time I got back aboard, I was soaked enough to pour water out my shoes.

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