Annapolis, MD Position 38:57.973N 76:28.847W
Bill and Judy Stellin
Wed 28 May 2008 00:32
This season of sailing, actually the last 9 months, are fast coming to an end. On June 5, we fly home from Richmond VA and will leave Jaywalker on the hard until next spring when we will resume our adventure.
We have now finished eight years on the boat and experienced the most fantastic adventure any two people are privileged to live. Two ocean crossings, innumerable long passages including this past one from Tortola to Cape Fear NC and never a problem with the boat or ourselves.Unless of course you don't count Judy's broken arm in the first three days of our first Atlantic crossing. What a trooper and she like me, still loves every minute we spend on the boat no matter the conditions. We will miss the boat but at the same time will be glad to have some extended time home to attend to things that have been neglected (like our family) and to do some other things that haven't been possible over these long years.
It boggles the mind to remember the things we've done and seen. But most of all, it is the people from everywhere that are special. We now count as friends countless people that we've spent the winter with, or just sharing a glass of wine in the cockpit.
Well, it isn't over yet, the "fat lady has not yet sung" so after a short hiatus, there will be more.
We slowly made our way up the Chesapeake to Annapolis where we are at a most peaceful anchorage in Back Creek.
Our first night here was moored next to our good friends Dorcas and Paris Genalis boat. They live on a creek that for all the life looks like the Thornapple. ( I think I've said that about a lot of creeks here. They do look just like home. ) Paris has an identical J/42 and spent a lot of time talking with us before he bought his boat to find out if he was doing the right thing. He is a MIT graduate in Naval Architecture, worked as a civilian for the Navy as something like Deputy Director of Purchasing for just about everything except fast aircraft. I asked him if he was involved with the new aircraft carrier named after Pres. Gerald Ford. He replied "I approved it" nuff said. I've been flattered he seeks out a shmuck like me for expert information on boats.
On Memorial Day, Annapolis had the obligatory parade which also involved laying two wreaths in the water in memory of fallen sailors. ( Naval Academy is next door).
Pure unadulterated Americana
After the shore based ceremony, the officials asked if anyone would like to go out on the Navy patrol boat and participate in the wreath ceremony. Judy and I jumped at the chance and the pictures speak for themselves. We had the complete run of the ship including the engine room, although we were admonished "don't touch anything"
I was tempted.
That is the look of intensity only a person in command can give. Judy has just successfully gotten us away from the dock.
Pat Sajak host of a TV game show (I can't remember which one but you buy a vowel from him) was the mater of ceremonies and gave a marvelous speech remembering the military.
While we were here, we saw Ron and Pat Hoekman who are leaving Gypsy for the last time, as it will be sold here. What a bitter sweet time it must be for Ron, Pat, well, maybe not quite so.
So..... as the sun sets in the west, we say goodbye, but as General MacArthur said when we left the Philippines, "I shall return".