Learning the Ropes
Chesapeake Bay Annapolis
& Anne Arundel County
Tucked in a sheltered harbor on the Severn River, Annapolis is a great place to introduce youngsters to boating. At Amphibious Horizons in Quiet Waters Park, you can rent sea-kayaks, canoes, or paddleboats to explore Harness Creek and the South River. There are kayaking classes and all-day excursions for kids. Everyone's favorite: the three-hour, guided, group sunset trip.
For rides in bigger boats, check out Annapolis Bay Charters. They'll arrange any kind of excursion, from a six-hour family fishing trip in Chesapeake Bay with a captain, to a two-day "bareboat" (no captain or crew) rental of a 30-foot sailboat (for experienced sailors only). Looking for a more laid-back trip? Sign on for their Sunday cruise, which starts with brunch at the Chart House restaurant, followed by a two-hour sail on the 68-foot schooner Liberte.
Another easy way to get a taste of sea-spray is an afternoon or evening sail on the 74-foot Schooner Woodwind. The two-hour trip leaves regularly from Pusser's Landing, next to the City Dock. Kids squeal with delight sailing under the huge Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and romantics love the sunset cruises (featuring cash bar and live entertainment).
If you're really serious about passing your nautical passion on to the next generation, enroll the whole family in a sailing course. The Annapolis Sailing School offers two-day weekend courses for adults, with concurrent, separate "Kidship" sailing training for youngsters 5-15. These courses are popular, so book at least two weeks in advance.