Adventures of s/v WILD HAIR


Our land life took on form, solidity, routine. We had mastery of a limited set of skills. We had habitual expectations of others and ourselves. Going sailing, we let go of our attachments to our roles, views, and rituals. We persist because we are growing in this shapeless and dynamic world.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Home Annapolis

Annapolis Maryland was our home for 17 days. Drawn by the world’s largest in-water sailboat show, we submerged ourselves in the community’s historic charm, our own budding friendships, family visits, and opportunities to learn.

To get to our downtown Annapolis anchorage, we sailed from the bay, up a river, and into a creek. Arriving on a Saturday, the route was a technical trial as we navigated through the heart of not one but three racing regattas. After clearing the regattas, we met a mine field of crab pots threatening to wrap our prop, and dozens of inattentive kayakers clueless as to our limited maneuverability.

Gracious and welcoming, the people of Annapolis make this place the “Sailing Capital of the World.” Annually during the boat show, locals give up their picturesque downtown as throngs descend. Drivers stop on a dime when absent-minded tourists approach crosswalks. City Dock staff receive packages for boats sitting (free) on anchor. Pump Out boat drivers protect the Chesapeake Bay’s environment by cheerfully collecting holding tank waste. Overwhelmed restaurants and local businesses maintain good-humored service. Industry professionals work long hours meeting the needs of visiting conked out vessels. Community groups raise money as they assemble in shifts around grilles to feed hungry show-goers. Most remarkably, city leaders invest public dollars for floating dinghy docks every place where street ends meet water.

For us, the boat show attracted sailing friends from up and down the coast; our social life blossomed. Our Washington DC-based son Eland lived a rental car and 45 minutes away. We connected with some of the world’s most experienced sailors and technicians and learned buckets from them.

It’s rare and wonderful that a whole community shares a hobby and agrees to be generous. Add to that stunning architectural character, the geographical marvel of endless, deep waterways, and a spectacular presentation of fall color and it’s easy to see why Annapolis was our instant home away from home.

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