Behind the tiller of a 32-foot cruiser, up-and-coming captains in the one-day introductory course need not have earned their sea legs before boarding. The rugged Island Packet yachts launch for this class throughout the summer, and the Coast Guard–licensed instructors provide pupils a taste of more long-term advanced classes, as well as soundproof earmuffs in case of siren encounters. Pack a lunch for this aquatically edifying adventure, and prepare to grasp the gunwale as you marvel at Chesapeake Bay's captivating, encapsulating horizons.
Usually, runners swig water during a race. But at the Annapolis Beer Week 5K Beer Run, participants stop at beer stations to rehydrate with samples of various brews?drink packages are available for purchase on-site?before continuing their dash for the finish line. The event encourages racers to dress creatively, awarding distinctive costumes such as old bridesmaid's dresses, team uniforms, or running shorts made from two miniature kegs. Proceeds benefit the MSBusters Support Group of Edgewater, a community organization that provides financial and emotional support for those living with multiple sclerosis.
Historic Annapolis at St. John’s College preserves and celebrates the area’s rich social and political history with tours of the colonial city and its landmark homes. The nonprofit group restored the Paca House & Garden, National Historic Landmark, to its colonial-era glory so that visitors could wander the rooms and gardens and travel back in time to an era teeming with revolutionary political ideas and patriotism. A historical museum holds exhibits that illuminate the past, such as a six-foot-by-six-foot model of 18th-century Annapolis and a wormhole to Ben Franklin’s kite shop. At Hogshead at 43 Pinkney Street, living history presentations immerse visitors in the language and thoughts of long-ago citizens. Historic Annapolis also hosts a variety of public events, from historical interpreters presenting on colonial life to summer camps for burgeoning history buffs.
Before purchasing a new video game, players at Press Play Entertainment can test out full versions of the latest releases. At surround-sound stations equipped with consoles such as Xbox, Wii, and PlayStation 3, 3D-ready HDTVs accentuate each game's crisp graphics. Press Play customers can also sample accessories like the PlayStation Move's mobile controllers or the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset.
At weekly tournaments held on 47-inch TVs, Press Play pits gamers against each other in rounds of new and old classics. Contestants square off in HALO, hunt each other down in Call of Duty, and argue against parking tickets in Street Fighter. For players 17 and up, Press Play raises the stakes with prizes such as sporting event tickets and vintage gaming systems.
When Pete and Kate Vonderheide moved from Hawaii to Annapolis to live closer to their family, they thought they'd have to give up a career of ocean kayaking to resume responsible office jobs. Soon they recognized the historic city harbor's lack of kayak tours and knew they couldn't stay inside forever. Their shared passion for history spurred them to research and interview the locals until they'd compiled enough historic material to start leading tours. Today, their tours can teach something new even to locals.
The Vonderheides continue to assemble a team of outdoor guides certified in CPR and first aid who all bear a well-researched knowledge of area wildlife and history. These experts lead two-hour scenic tours through the historic harbor. Starting each excursion with a brief paddling lesson, they put first-timers at ease with basic instruction and an amiable demeanor, unlike guides who rely only on their convincing Captain Ahab impressions. Excursions begin at the Spa Creek headwaters in Truxtun Park and lead participants into open-harbor waters to drift in full view of the state capitol building, the US Naval Academy, and historic Eastport. Trips peak at the City Dock, where participants receive a break to take photos and rest. On the return trip, guides field open-ended questions about city history such as presidential visits, the crabbing and oystering trade, and whether George Washington had to swim using floaties.
Affiliates of the American Sailing Association, the instructors at Chesapeake Sailing School strive to keep the Chesapeake's seafaring heritage alive through classes spanning one-day sailing courses to five-day live-aboard cruises. The training fleet ranges from 22-foot boats for basic and intermediate instruction to 38-foot vessels for advanced cruise training. The school's team also assists students obtain their ASA certifications in preparation for careers as Popeye impersonators.
Beyond instruction facilities, Chesapeake Sailing School houses The Tiller Club, which grants members privileges such as unlimited daily use of the school's Tanzer 22 ships. The school’s team also coordinates charter excursions to give vacationers a from-the-water view of the Inner Harbor, St. Michael's the Archangel Church, and the bay's abundant wildlife.