Pick up the Red “2” nun bell buoy at the mouth of the Severn River and proceed about three miles on a heading of about 227 degrees magnetic to the Green “5” can buoy between Eastport and Greenbury Point. You will see the broad green copper dome of the Naval Academy Chapel ahead (the smaller, white-and-black wood dome farther to the left is the Maryland Capitol building). About a mile farther on, 305 degrees magnetic, is the mouth of Spa Creek; to the left you will see a field of white mooring balls floating in the water off famed Ego Alley and City Dock, which are rented out by the city (contact the Annapolis Harbormaster).
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Since these mooring balls are practically impossible to get on weekends, most boaters anchor in the triangular-shaped “Naval Anchorage” off the academy’s east bulkhead. If you have a dinghy, the dinghy dock is at the head of Ego Alley. If you don’t, call VHF channel 68 for a water taxi to get into town ($2-$4 per person, depending on location).
Once on land (City Dock), walk two blocks north on Randall Street to the Main Gate of the academy. You will need a photo ID to get through the security checkpoint, which puts you at the Visitors Center. This provides a good historical overview of the academy and, not coincidentally, a gift shop with many buying opportunities for Navy trinkets.
The academy is usually open seven days a week, but there are security restrictions and special events, so check before you go.
• Annapolis Harbormaster: www.ci.annapolis.md.us/info.asp?page=1320
• Naval Academy Visitors Center: www.usna.edu/NAFPRODV/VC/
• Naval Academy security restrictions: