The last few days have been spent, for the most part, relaxing in and by the pool. The weather here has been marvelous. I love sitting on the front deck of the boat watching the passing sailboats make their way down Back Creek, on which our marina is located. A little family of ducks with a half-dozen or so ducklings waddle around the dock nibbling for nutrition at the growth on the pilings. There is something romantic about peering out in every direction and seeing a forest of white masts stretching toward the sky. It would be easy to stay here a while and just chill. We’ve made a couple of trips into town for a little eating and shopping, but nothing too strenuous, at least not until today.
This morning we toured the United States Naval Academy, whose motto is Ex Scientia Tridens (“Through Knowledge, Sea Power”). Cindy and I had briefly walked across the grounds on a previous visit to the area, but this morning we all joined a guided tour. Our guide was a retired Navy physician named Charles, who (surprisingly, perhaps) was a pediatric gastroenterologist by specialty. He was a very nice and knowledgeable gentlemen. The Naval Academy was established in 1845, and is responsible for training officers for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corp (90% of graduates are Naval officers; 10% Marine officers). At this time of year, most of the students, a.k.a. Midshipmen, named after the young people who used to work the middle of a sailing vessel, are off getting hands-on experience on naval vessels around the world. The only students around are the approximately 1300 Plebes (new students), along with a few Midshipmen to help train them and get them ready for their next four years at the Academy.
The tour was very entertaining and educational. The highlight for me was perhaps entering into the Naval Academy Chapel (definitely, a misnomer), which sits atop the crypt of naval hero, John Paul Jones. The Chapel is a magnificent structure with many marvelous stained-glass windows.
Another highlight was watching Noon Formation, in which the Plebes line up and march in formation into lunch while the drum and bugle corp plays “Anchors Aweigh”. It was a wonderful morning, topped off by a good lunch at McGarvey’s downtown. Then, of course, it was back to more pool time.