Friday, October 22, 2021

Annapolis Sailboat Show 2021

Our Trip to the Annapolis Sailboat Show 2021 

We planned on going to the 2020 Annapolis International Sailboat Show - but - Covid eliminated that option. Delta Airlines allowed us to save the fare for use by 2022 - and the Show was open in 2021 - had to go.
One of the Highlights of the Show



The Flight to Annapolis (BWI)

After parking in the Park-n-Fly lot at Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) we took the shuttle to the airport. We would do that again! Excellent Service, Friendly, Cheerful, Helpful and very easy to use.

At the airport, our bags were checked in at the curbside and we quickly progressed through the security system although it's a bit crowded after getting through the scanner and pat down, they should have a better system to allow travellers to sort them and their belongings, get their shoes on rather than the tiny area provided. We had breakfast before we left home and headed to the gate, that was our Steps for the day.

The flight on Delta was excellent! We travelled Comfort+ which really does have plenty of room at the seats, we would travel Comfort+ again in a heartbeat.

Our stayover at Atlanta Airport included a walk from Terminal A to Terminal D. Easy, plenty of time, a none-event. The flight from Atlanta to BWI was very pleasant no issues. We took an UBER from BWI to the Courtyards Annapolis ($55.99), easy and no stress, well, no stress for me other than when Peggy kept gripping my leg with an Iron hand each time the car changed lanes or approached a slower moving vehicle, no bruises.

The Courtyards Annapolis is undergoing renovations "Exterior Improvements" but those extend inside too. They have a Bistro - don't eat there in the evening, the bar is not bad but not a lot of choices. The airport food areas are better and they are not great.  Our room was just fine except for the Bathroom toilet cistern leaked and would drip all the time then refill noisily about every 9 or 10 minutes. I mentioned it to the reception staff before we headed to the boat show on Friday Morning, nothing was done. I called them and repeated the issue. A guy came to the room, replaced the cistern's flapper valve. It kept me awake a lot of that night too.

Ok, so we're at the Hotel and time to head to the boat show.  Uber ($18.91). We had purchased the tickets online but still had to wait in a long line (we got there before the show opened) - had we wanted to buy the tickets at the show we could have avoided the lines! go figure.

On our 'gotta do' list was visit the Catalina display, find a new pair of Bibs to replace those that fell apart (from the inside) on my trip on Grave last January and to find info about electrification of the boat propulsion system, especially about any install history on a Catalina 34.

The Catalina display had 4 boats: Catalina 425, Catalina 355 and Catalina 315. They also had a small day sailer. I really liked the C355 but as we have a C34 it's not that big of an upgrade. They also make a C385, it's only 4' longer but beamier than the C34 and the beam spreads back to the stern. I would be interested in seeing that boat. All of the 300+ boats had the option for Inmast Furling with an SMS which believe stands for (or should) Smart Mainsail System - Basically is has electronic torque detection to prevent continued furling or unfurling if the SMS detects an issue. That should prevent the main getting stuck in the mast or ripped by trying to pull it out if it were stuck.

I did note on the mini brochure from the folks at the Catalina display that all of their boats over 30' are rated CE category A Ocean NMMA Yacht Certified and follow all applicable ABYC standards. They sure look pretty. Although they didn't have tbe 385 on display, right  now it's the boat I would spend the money on, if I had it. :)




Best part of the show? 

That smile on Peggy's face when Captain Q gave her one of his caps! Priceless.

We're avid watchers of Captain Q and Randay when they find boats, hither and yon reciting years of knowledge as well as researched info about the boats, their owners, builders and history. Botb Cap'n Q and Randay took time to talk about their travels and what's involved with making one of their weekly you tube videos. Just go to YouTube.com and search for Captain Q.






What did we buy at the show?

I purchased a tackrite boom preventer, it was 20% off so only $50. My new mustang Bibs, a Sweatshirt to keep warm (it got cool up there) and a Catalina Long-sleeved shirt. That's it!

Where did we eat?

I'll not mention the airport food, wasn't worth the money or the time in  line. Friday we had breakfast at the hotel, surprisingly good, their Egg White, ham and cheese on an English muffin were really nice. After hours walking around the boat show, Day #1, we had Lunch at Pussers right next to the boat show. Nothing special, Salads with chicken. Despite the really busy lunchtime, the staff were excellent.

For  our Friday dinner we went to a local deli and purchased a couple of Brie Sandwiches and a bottle of wine. Expensive and turned out too much food.

 Saturday Morning we had the same breakfast at the hotel. Then, Day #2 at the boat show we visited O'Brians on Main Street - Oh Sooooo Good!  Appetizer was Shrimp Cocktail, plenty for two, too much for one. Shrimp were perfect. My choice was Spinach salad with Crab Cakes, absolutely delicious, the Crab cakes were real giant Crab! Peggy only got to taste the Crab Cake. Peggy's choice was Seared Tuna platter, that was an OMG moment, way to much for one person, we almost ate all of it together. A couple of glasses of wine and two Jack & Gingers finished off an excellent lunch. Ok, so the $139 bill (including tip) was a bit steep, but we were ok with it just this once.

Sunday we headed into town (Uber) for breakfast. Mike in our Sailing Club had recommended Chick & Ruth's - THANK YOU MIKE!  The Uber driver dropped us off right next to the restaurant. It was a chilly morning and it was packed, first seats available after a 20 minute wait hanging out on the sidewalk watching people go by, were outside. I kept looking at the store across the street that looked like it sold sweatshirts.
So for Breakfast, I had Eggs Benedict with Crab Cakes and Potatoes. Peggy had a Ham and Cheese Omelette. My breakfast set me up for the day, eggs runny inside = Perfect, Crab cakes - would have them every day, potatoes - Delicious. Peggy's omelette was too much, I had to help out. Coffee was pretty good too. The bill was the lowest we had for a meal all weekend!

Back at the hotel after a great visit of the Maryland State House - (ask Peggy about that, she's the history buff) we ordered dinner from the Royal Kama Indian Restaurant. It was literally a five minute walk from the hotel and was waiting when I got there. The restaurant was almost empty, I guess time of day and it looked like it was brand new. I have not had a really good Curry in ages, theirs made up for it. Good sized chunks of nicely cooked tender chicken and delicious curry sauce and rice. Really good, worth going to Annapolis just for the Curry. 

Monday morning we left the hotel before 7am for our Uber trip back to the airport where we planned to have breakfast. As I said, airport food is not worth the mention.

Our Uber drivers were great although one did have his music too loud and didn't understand our request to turn it down (4 stars). The best was John on Monday Morning with his Tesla 3, very pleasant. During our discussions the subject of self driving ( no driver) cars came up. I'm not a fan: If we travelled in a Taxi, the relationship is that of Service provider and Customer. When using Uber (et.al.) the relationship is much more friendly and always (ok, nearly always) a great conversation. If we used a Driverless Self driving Auto, the relationship is not there! Just a couple of passengers sitting inside of a tool. We would probably be subjected to endless Ads on a big video screen. No thanks.

Our Flights.
The best part of of the trip travel wise was actually due to a failure! We travelled both ways on Delta Comfort Plus, that meant that we boarded earlier than most. While sitting in our seats waiting for everyone else to board the flight from Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale, I noted that there was some kind of issue hearing the very quiet comments between the cabin crew. A few minutes later the Pilot announced that there was a safety issue with the plane and did not feel it safe to fly. They were trying to correct the issue but he was not confident that would happen quickly and pre-warned us that they had stopped boarding and were looking at alternative travel arrangements. A few more minutes passed and he confirmed that the issue needed much more attention and that he was going to start the de-boarding process shortly, as soon as they had confirmation about the alternative flight arrangements.

At this point I was very happy that he made a clear decision and did not take the unnecessary risk. Less than 10 minutes later, the Pilot advised that there was a similar plane waiting at another gate and that we should de-board and proceed to the to the other gate. Guess where the other gate was? Yep, at the other end of the airport terminals - We had to walk from terminal A gate 1 to Terminal T gate 2 Time to get walking! Everybody exited quietly and got the legs in motion, some needed wheelchair assistance.

By the time we arrived at the T2 Gate they had nearly completed preparation of the aircraft. We saw the pilots and crew arrive, they walked too, and less than a half hour later we were boarding with cheerful crew and fellow passengers. Well done Delta Airlines! 

The flight home was quick and on the updated time.  A bus from Park -n- Fly arrived within minutes of our bags at the baggage claim, probably less than 10 minutes to the parking lot, the driver pulled up right behind our truck. We headed home, stopped a Publix for some dinner and bread (I didn't have any bread left in the freezer). A glass of wine for Peggy and a Cap'n Morgan on ice for me, dinner and relax. We could unpack the bags in the morning.

Great trip. Especial thanks to Delta Airlines, Uber's driver John, and all of the folks we talked to at the boat show. A HUGE thank you to Cap'n Q you and Randay made Peggy's Day. 







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