by Marguerite Duffy
There’s a wonderful vibe among people on boats, especially if it’s electric powered. You can hear each other talk and are easily mesmerized by the gentle motion of floating. There’s no yelling over combustion noise or inhaling gas fumes. Boating electric is pure, green, and chill.
In May, I won a fabulous prize during Annapolis Green’s EV-Trivia night. It was a two-hour, free rental donated by Annapolis Electric Boat Rental. We were quickly introduced to owner Captain Greg Horne, a fun, gregarious and spirited local, with positive energy, for Annapolis, people, and zero-emission electric boats.
On September 18, we set out with nine friends to celebrate September birthdays from the Chart House pier in Eastport. Captain Greg and his devoted son, Madigan, were on hand to greet us. He walked us through the boat operation and a map of where we could go and where we could not.
Once our crew was aboard, Captain Greg reassured us with safety and cautionary tips. We also learned that the 22-foot Duffy (No relation to my family name!) uses 16 six-volt batteries, with a cruise life of five hours, and like electric cars, we would not hear her start. Our comfy-cushioned, noise-free excursion was a generous 2.5 hours.
We motored through Back Creek, a lively experience. Inland, people dined on piers, music bellowed from hillside receptions, hikers walked along Truxton Park, the Navy Chapel glowed with its new copper dome, and hundreds of boats were snugly tied up to docks. Sea boats of every size passed us: yachts, kayaks, paddle boards. Our Duffy 22 floated along at a splashing 5mph as we witnessed details missed by those moving faster.
Carl, our birthday Captain, ventured adeptly into rougher waters near the Naval Academy seawall. One crew mate, a retired Naval officer, briefed us on USNA plans for building the seawall 12-feet taller to counter climate change and flooding. The reality of preparing for sea-level rise was bedazzling and startling. We were heartened by the noble plans, yet, how small the seawall seems compared to our entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Returning to calmer waters, we ate clean, delectable treats from environmentally-friendly boxes. Inspired by the environmental ethos of Annapolis Green, there were no plastic containers, utensils or food wraps. We floated Green!
We returned during a beautiful sunset. What an amazing way to bring friends together, think green, and experience the serenity of electric boating in the ever-bustling Annapolis harbor.