Whenever we were in Annapolis to visit Cindy’s family, I would frequently make time to go down to the City Dock area and check out the latest happenings on the water. Being that Annapolis was once the self-declared “Sailing Capital of the World”, there’s usually something worth the side-trip – über yachts, sailing regattas, tall ships, naval vessels – you name it and they probably have had it. They even hosted the “Travis Pastrana Takeover” last year, which you can see below.
Photo info: One-design racing sailboats Annapolis Yacht Club Sailing Center Annapolis, Maryland May 2019 Ilford Pan F Plus 50 film Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM lens Leica M3 35mm film camera
We went further afield on the fourth day of our visit, taking the kayaks with us down to Bahia Honda Key – which is one of the first places in Florida where we had tent camped together many years before. There we initially put both kayaks in the water, but it was too rough and windy for Cindy’s smaller kayak, so we pulled hers out and went on with just the bigger trimaran. Even then – compared to the mild and placid conditions on the Gulf side – we were really tossed about in the much rougher sea state of the Atlantic. We sailed up and down the coastline, put into the beach when we tired of the constant thrashing we were receiving, then sailed in the Atlantic some more, before finally deciding that we’d taken enough of a beating and headed back to the launch ramp for the day.
Cindy’s video doesn’t show it, but our sailing trimaran caught the interest of two no-nonsense border patrol officers, and they really gave us and the big kayak a lengthy and detailed examination, peppered throughout with lots of questions. Not ever having received that kind of attention from law enforcement before, I was a bit concerned about all of the focus we were getting from them – but they eventually were satisfied and moved on with their patrolling.
We didn’t take much in the way of photos on this day, simply because the conditions were so rough on the Atlantic side.
Photo info: Video taken with a Sony waterproof digicam
Our second day in the Keys was bright and sunny, so we launched the sailing kayak right after breakfast and we were out on the water nearly the entire day. According to the charting app we had on our phones, we sailed a total of 25 miles (40 km) and had a top speed of 15 miles per hour (24 kph). We meandered and poked all over the place from Grassy Key up to Fiesta Key.
For some extra excitement, we pedaled under the Long Key Viaduct from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic Ocean and promptly sailed back again – the Atlantic side being a lot rougher than we were expecting. We only learned later that the Long Key Viaduct is a known hangout for HUGE hammerhead sharks, which you can search for on YouTube here.
On this voyage, we also encountered our first shoal – an area where the bottom suddenly rises sharply to within a few inches of the surface of the water – which you can see in the video around the 2:55 mark, as suddenly calm water that we got to within a few feet of before bearing away from it. Considering that it was likely a coral shoal, avoiding it was a good idea. Our sailing kayak only drew a few inches of draft with the boards and rudder up, but there was no sense in risking it.
Something that we marveled at during these first few days was the complete lack of other people and boats on the water – we were the only ones there! It was amazing!
Once we finally tired of all the sun and fun on the water, we went back to the resort, showered and changed, then went out for our anniversary dinner at the nearby Key Colony Inn – probably one of the most formal and nicest dining venues in that part of the Keys. Highly recommended.
Photo info: All photos taken with an Apple iPhone 5S Video taken with a Sony waterproof digicam