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Date: 01 Oct 2010 03:32:00
Title: Annapolis is flooded

Thursday night

We've just got back onboard Saxon Blue having been to the marina restaurant for dinner. We've had about a foot of rain today and the docks are only just above the sea level. The centre of Annapolis is under water and it's been on the news so it's all drama. Of course, the one thing you don't need to worry about on a boat is getting flooded so we've had a lovely day.

Yesterday morning it wasn't raining. We all had a big breakfast and then Andrea and I set out to get some boat shopping - we needed vacuum bags for putting our spare bedding and warm clothes in now that it's so hot. The super-helpful marina people had got some put aside for us and then drove us up there to pick them up. After that, they dropped us at West Marine which is like a Halfords for boats. I needed a different plug so we could join our battery charger to the shore power in the marina. We got that along with a load of other bits and a new fishing tackle box for Andrea.

We got a taxi from there into the town centre where we spent a relaxed afternoon wandering around and drinking coffee. Annapolis is a really pretty old town. It was once the capital of the USA - just after the Revolution, I think. The centre of the town still has whole streets of houses dating from the Colonial era and the Assembly is the longest used one in the US. There are lots of Georgian brick-built houses that look remarkably like those in Emsworth so it was strangely like being at home. Some of the original signitories of the Declaration of Independence lived in Annapolis and their houses are proper mansions. They may have been Revolutionaries but they were still very much Gentlemen. Kunta Kinte, the slave in Roots, was landed here, too, so it's got a very different feel from the Puritan towns of the New England coast further North. There was already a definite rich and poor divide here well before they kicked the British out. We're going to go on some tours around the historic buildings before we leave town and see what else we can find out.

After our day in town, we delivered all our stuff back to Saxon Blue then went out for dinner with Kali and Sam to the marina restaurant. After that, it was time for an early night. It was muggy so we left most of the boat hatches slightly open and went to bed. In the early hours, though, it started to rain like I've never heard before. Absolutely torrential. Andrea quickly shut all the hatches and mopped up the water that had got in already and we went back to sleep.

The rain just kept on coming, though. By the time we got up, some buckets that we'd left on deck were full to the brim. Kali and Sam went off to town to get some shopping for their Brazil holiday and we stayed onboard. High tide was at about 11am but the water never went out again - it just kept on getting higher. The marina staff were all out checking on the boats and making sure their lines were OK and warning us that the docks might get flooded completely. Andrea and I went to the same restaurant for lunch because we didn't want to leave Saxon Blue for too long. We saw a snake swim past the window as we were eating and discovered that the large birds we'd seen while transiting the canal a few days ago were Turkey Buzzards.

I spent the afternoon sorting out photographs of our voyage so far and periodically adjusting our lines and fenders to keep ourselves off the piles as the water just kept on getting higher and the wind swirled around. It's now only about 2 inches below the level of the dock height and it's a long step up onto Saxon Blue from there. Everyone thinks the storm will abate tonight but the rain is still coming down in sheets although the wind has died away completely. Kali and Sam made it back from town with tales of the whole centre of Annapolis under water.

So there you are. Even when we've had a very lazy day, it's been all drama around us. I'm so glad that we took the opportunity to get down here to Annapolis when we did. It would be very stressful to be in New York now waiting for the weather to get favourable and knowing that Kali and Sam are about to leave.

Harvey

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