There’s an ongoing argument between Annapolis, MD and Newport, RI as to which city is the sailing capital of the east. Those of us partial to Annapolis are passionate that Annapolis is the capital even if Newport has a slightly stronger argument. It doesn’t take long wandering around Annapolis to see the connection between sailing and the city. Mast of boats small and large dot the horizon in all directions. Check out a map and see all the rivers, creeks and tributaries and then notice how many homes have docks and how many docks have sailboats. Spend a Saturday at Thomas Point Park and see hundreds of sailboats racing in regattas large and small across the bay.
The original oyster boats were sailing vessels and they are still raced today in August. Abraham Lincoln sailed from Annapolis on a cold winter day down to the Atomic River to check on the Southern Army. Sailing and sailors run deep in Annapolis.
Back to Newport. That city has more glamor. The mansions of the Rockefeller’s, Getty’s and Morgan’s line the dramatic cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Newport Harbor is home to yachts large and small with the New York Yacht Club sitting high on a hill overlooking the action.
Newport is also a deep-water port. The entrance to Narraganset Bay is 400 feet deep while the channel up the Severn River to Annapolis is just 30 feet. So, a compromise was declared, and Newport takes the title of Yachting Capital of the East befitting it’s mega yachts and mansions while Annapolis retained the title of Sailing Capital of the East recognizing the energy and diversity of sailing experiences available up and down the Chesapeake Bay. So far, the truce is holding.
Tell us in the comments below about your sailing experiences in and around Annapolis.