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Date: 25 Nov 2010 00:45:00
Title: Another busy day in Annapolis

Wednesday night

It's been another day of getting stuff done. Up before 8am again with the teak guy turning up and getting on with his job. He was complaining that it was much colder and indeed it was. It was breezy this morning and the wind was bitter. A quick breakfast and then I walked up to the supermarket to get the ingredients for a veggie chilli and then over to West Marine to pick up our electronic chart cartridge. That has charts on it for the whole Caribbean, Bermuda and all of South America. Then taxi back to the marina.

When I got back to Saxon Blue, it was time to load the small outboard into the tender and take that around to Thruxton Park to meet the guy who's going to service both engines. It was a good trip, although cold. I had my full waterproofs on and just as well - the breeze had kicked up quite a chop around the point so I got splashed for much of the way. After passing the town dock, I followed the river under the Eastport bridge, then through some very salubrious suburbs with massive houses on the waterfront. Most of them had docks in front with motorboats pulled up ready for next summer.

I didn't really know where I was going but found the ramp OK and arrived just as the young chap pulled up in his massive 4x4 truck with trailer on the back. He soon had our tender loaded up, then back to his yard to unhitch it before dropping me back to Bert Jabins. It was now past lunchtime so we called another taxi to take us to town. On the way, we stopped at a Post Office to send a hard drive of Andrea's video footage to her mum as a backup. That took ages as we had to fill in a Customs form and all sorts of messing around and then finally got into the Annapolis dock area for a well-earned veggie burger.

By this time, the wind had died and the sun was out so we had our lunch on the City Dock watching the Mallards swimming around. With the low sunlight, their heads were irridescent blue when they faced away from the sun and shimmering green when they looked into it. I wonder whether they can recognise each other by sight. They look the same to me but there must be some small differences to let them know who's top duck or else they'd have to fight all the time. They just seemed to look at each other and know whether they had to get out of the way or not.

From the dock, we walked up to the State Capitol building. We were the only visitors and had to do the usual showing of ID. Andrea walked through the metal-detector equipment which promptly went off - not surprising really as she was carrying her video camera with her. The security guard just waved us on through. We clearly don't look like trouble. The building has a Seventeenth Century end with its cupola and wooden dome and a later addition where the State parliaments now sit. It's impressive inside with a huge Stars and Stripes hanging from the inside of the dome but with only 13 stars on it. It's the original flag design flown during the Revolution.

We went into the old senate room which is where George Washington declined to become King/Dictator of the new country after the Revolution. I filmed Andrea who was dressed as Capt. Janeway so hopefully she can use some of the footage. In the room, there's a model of George himself, all kitted out in his General's uniform. There was also a lot of information about the original Maryland colonists. It turns out that Lord Baltimore was a Catholic and friend of Charles 1st. Not a good combination, as things turned out in England. Anyway, he seems to have known that things were about to get a bit sticky and managed to get himself Regal powers for a colony which was originally located in Nova Scotia. They all went off there, only to realise that it was winter for about 10 months of the year and they couldn't grow any crops so back to square one.

He approached the King again and was granted lands to the north of Virginia, much to the annoyance of the Virginians who were staunch anti-Catholics. Baltimore sent two boats - the Ark and the Dove - out from Cowes with the original Colonists although his Lordship had to stay behind in England to make sure that his enemies didn't have his Colonial Charter revoked. Keen to ensure that Catholicism didn't get outlawed in his own colony, he made sure that Church and State were separated and that religion was a private matter - a principle which became enshrined in the new country after the Revolution.

Once we'd finished filming, we got yet another taxi. This one was driven by a complete moron who was fiddling with his phone the whole time instead of looking where he was going and, needless to say, didn't get a tip. Then it was back onboard and time to rustle up a chilli. Andrea spent the time uploading more YouTube videos - I think she's put up about 10 in the last few days so check them out if you want an excellent impression of the things we've seen. We've just eaten a tiny percentage of the fruits of my culinary labours so we can freeze the rest for future reference.

I think we've got to watch one of Andrea's intellectual DVDs now. Apparently it's got subtitles and no robots in it. Still, I'm sure I'll think of something enthusiastic and intellectual to say.

Harvey

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