Plebes and Midshipmen

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.

The Marina Pool was Great!

The Marina Pool was Great!

Evening time at the Port Annapolis Marina

Evening time at the Port Annapolis Marina

Twilight

Twilight

Downtown Annapolis

Downtown Annapolis

Duck family

Duck family

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.

Standing near Gate 1 at the USNA.

Standing near Gate 1 at the USNA.

They named a gate after me!  Or... maybe not.

They named a gate after me! Or… maybe not.

Plebes outside Lejeune Hall

Plebes outside Lejeune Hall

Liferaft training inside Lejeune Hall

Liferaft training inside Lejeune Hall

The football from every Navy win in the Army/Navy football game, first held in 1890.  Navy has won the last 13.

The football from every Navy win in the Army/Navy football game, first held in 1890. Navy has won the last 13.

Inside Lejeune Hall is the Athletic Hall of Fame.  These are two former midshipmen you may know.

Inside Lejeune Hall is the Athletic Hall of Fame. These are two former midshipmen you may know.

A look at Bancroft Hall, the largest dormitory in the U.S., built in the French Renaissance style.

A look at Bancroft Hall, the largest dormitory in the U.S., built in the French Renaissance style.

In Dahlgren Hall, the ladies pose beneath a model of the Wright B-1 Flyer, the first naval aircraft.

In Dahlgren Hall, the ladies pose beneath a model of the Wright B-1 Flyer, the first naval aircraft.

A torpedo like the ones which inflicted so much damage on naval ships in Pearl Harbor.

A torpedo like the ones which inflicted so much damage on naval ships in Pearl Harbor.

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.

The facade of the Naval Academy Chapel

The facade of the Naval Academy Chapel

The Naval Academy Chapel

The Naval Academy Chapel

The apse and altar

The apse and altar

A look back down the nave.  Notice the ship up above.

A look back down the nave. Notice the ship up above.

One of the stained glass windows. Michael the archangel is assisting Admiral David Farragut.

One of the stained glass windows. Michael the archangel is assisting Admiral David Farragut.

"Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."

“Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

The God and Country window

The God and Country window

The dome of the chapel

The dome of the chapel

Admiral David Farragut, most famous for the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay in which he gave the order, "Damn the torpedoes,  Full speed ahead."

Admiral David Farragut, most famous for the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay in which he gave the order, “Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead.”

The crypt containing the body of John Paul Jones

The crypt containing the body of John Paul Jones

The tomb of the famous navy fighter, John Paul Jones, who is famous for the shout, "I have not yet begun to fight!"

The tomb of the famous navy fighter, John Paul Jones, who is famous for the shout, “I have not yet begun to fight!”

Imposters!

Imposters!

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.

Plebes gather in front of Bancroft Hall

Plebes gather in front of Bancroft Hall

These young men and women are just that - very young!

These young men and women are just that – very young!

Plebes in formation, marching to Lunch

Plebes in formation, marching to Lunch

The Submarine Memorial.  Notice the dolphins and faces in the waves.  The faces represent those lives which were lost at sea aboard submarines.

The Submarine Memorial. Notice the dolphins and faces in the waves. The faces represent those lives which were lost at sea aboard submarines.

Pretty in pink

Pretty in pink

Lunch!

Lunch!

6 thoughts on “Plebes and Midshipmen

  1. Wonderful tour & day in town! Thanks a lot! I’ve really enjoyed getting away with you & Cindy the last 10 days!! You guys are the best!

  2. Once again a great tour. Pictures are wonderful. Chapel pictures exceptional. Thanks for sharing your adventures.
    Hugs to you both. Came to Fl. For funeral. Back to OHio next week for rest of summer.

  3. What a beautiful place and your photography is out standing ! I’m getting such an education !!! Thanks so much.

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