Go'in to the Boat Show
Because of the encouragement of our broker, Tommy Smith, of Sailaway Catamarans we decided to moveShiraz to the Annapolis area for the period of the Annapolis Boat Show. Tommy was gathering as manyused catamarans as he could in order to sponsor an event of his own in the South River just six miles from Annapolis.
With only a three day weather window before a Low hit the east coast we prepared the boat and gathered the crew and set out in stiff winds. Our crew consisted of Rene's sister Donna and her husband Karl. It was a choppy ride out around Frying Pan Shoals and when were we were ableto turn north the wind picked up to twenty knots and continued to increase to just less than thirty and we were getting a nice push from the Gulf Stream. Speed over ground (SOG) settled in at 10 plus and the waves started to build. We were experiencing a good slap on the beam until we were able to turn more downwind and better enjoy the ride. After an initial bout with sea sickness Donna recovered and both Donna and Karl stood watch with us to enhance the experience and lessen the load on Rene and I. It was the fastest sailing we have done with two 200 mile days in a row and at one point our ultra sensitive hand held GPS recorded 16+ knots. This is with a double reefed main.
We arrived in Edgewater MD and tied to the fixed dock just before the Low poured 9 inches of rain on the area. Couple that with a neap tide and we ended up with the dock a foot underwater. So we wound up playing cards. The next day the water subsided and we were able to leave the dock. We rented a car and did some drive by sight seeing in Annapolis and Washington, shopped for groceries, took Karl and Donna to BWI to catch their flight back to NC and did our laundry.
Tommy had devised the off site show for used catamarans. Since he was providing the boat and crew for the catamaran sailing trials for the show, he was in a great position to recommend that people visit th Pier 7 Marina to see what was available on the used market. Each day we hosted about 15 people who were interested in cruising in a catamaran and some were interested in buying one and when we departed we felt that our time was well spent and that there were more than a few potential buyers. We did however depart a day before the show ended since the weather forecast told us that if we didn't round Cape Hatteras before another low set in we would have to wait a week. So we motored out of the Chesapeake and while doing so were able to view a number of military plans and ships and even a submarine. The winds finally picked up and we were underway with only an occasional lull. As we closed in on Cape Fear the winds reached 25 to 30 and for the last ten hours we motored into Southport with the wind on the nose.
In Southport we discovered that the "U S Open" King Makeral fishing tournament was underway, The tournament had been postponed for two week because of weather and now only hosted around 250 boats compared to the 400 or so last year. After settling into our berth we wandered around the tournament headquarters and watched the first day weigh-in. The fish are purchased by a large fish distributor and the proceeds go to the Southport Chamber of Commerce. Prize money is significant with last years winner receiving a check for $42,000.