Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blue Angels

I telecommute; my boss lives and works in Florida. So when I told him that Annapolis virtually shuts down when the Blue Angels perform, his first reaction was something like, "Must be nice to live in a party town. Any excuse, huh?" (Oh, that makes him sound so curmudgeonly; actually I like working for him enormously and the line was delivered in a jokey manner.) But if you live here, you know exactly what I mean. They put on a spectacular show well worth using a couple of hours of annual leave to watch. More to the point, you simply couldn't conduct business even if you wanted to - hard to carry on a conversation when the unmistakeable WHOOSH drowns out your words.
Our liveaboard dock-neighbor Ed Menegaux planned on taking his boat out to watch the show and invited a group of us to go along. Anchoring in the harbor is a different viewing experience than watching from the hillslope below the WWII memorial directly across from the Academy. Granted, the viewing angle for some of the stunts isn't as good. That's more than made up for with the wonderful ambiance. Instead of a picnic blanket and lugging a cooler, we had all the comforts of home, because the boat is Ed's home. We all had comfy cushioned seats and Ed laid out a lovely spread with veggies and dips, sliced cheeses and sausages, marinated artichokes and olives. The harbor was crowded, and we saw some examples of dreadful seamanship (by others! Ed was excellent as always) before every boat found a spot to anchor. We had space and comfort, and at the same time, we got to share the event with lots of others, and participate in the energy of the crowd ooohing and wowing and pointing as the planes passed. Sometimes right overhead at treetop ... er, masthead ... height, it seemed. After they streaked away, all the boats blew their horns and upped anchor. For a few minutes the boat traffic was as bad as the Beltway during rush hour, then within an hour we were back in Ed's slip and the harbor was quiet.
Congrats to the class of 2009!

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