It’s Commissioning Week at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. One of the events, planned as part of the week-long celebration honoring Academy graduates, is a flight demonstration by the Blue Angels over the Severn River.
Note: This post originally appeared on our sailing blog, The Bay and Beyond, which now redirects here.
Prior to the actual demonstration, the Blue Angels hold a flight rehearsal, an event that has turned into an annual raft-up tradition for several local boating organizations. My coworker Jeff, Commander of the Annapolis Sail and Power Squadron, invited us to join their Blue Angels raft-up this year.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with boating, a raft-up is when two or more boats are connected alongside one another using dock lines to form a large “raft” away from a marina or other docks. Once formed, occupants of the boats in the raft-up are typically invited to board the other boats in the raft, socializing with their fellow boaters and sampling each boat’s snacks and drinks.
After motoring for about 45 minutes from our home creek, we reached the Power Squadron’s raft-up just outside of Carr creek. Even though I have been designated as our official helmsman during docking (women are better drivers, right?), Alex took the helm for our arrival at the raft-up since I still don’t feel ready to dock in public! Joining the raft-up was uneventful and honestly seemed easier than actually docking in a slip because someone is standing by to grab your dock-lines and pull you gently into the raft.
In general, our first raft-up was a great experience. It gave us the perfect platform to socialize with our friends and fellow boaters as well as a great view of the Blue Angels flight rehearsal over the Severn river (be sure to watch our video!). We also got the chance to tour several of the other boats in the raft-up and continue to gather ideas for our inevitable boat upgrade!