Stories on the move
by Erica Stratton
Captain Isharon pilots Laura Wedin and Barbara Stoops thru Annapolis.
Cars aren’t the fun they used to be. With gridlock, gas gouging, road rage and premium-price parking, who wants to drive to work let alone take the car out for a Sunday spin?
“It’s not just a novelty,” says Laura Wedin, who lives in Queenstown but rides water taxis several times a week when she visits Annapolis. Today she and her friend Barbara Stoops are taking the 17-passenger Privateer to a restaurant in Eastport to celebrate Stoop’s birthday. You could take a car, but it’s cheaper by Bay ($2 to $3, depending on the destination) and the ride is more pleasant.
The two women wait by the water taxi pickup on Ego Alley, summoning a boat by dialing 410-263-0033. Their captain is Bob Isharon, a seventh-generation Annapolitan.
“Some weekends we carry thousands of people,” Isharon says. “I love my job,” he says. Isharon is a retiree who spent much of his life captaining other boats. Even when the rush is “so incredibly busy that it wears on you a little bit so you just come home and collapse on the couch,” it’s worth it, he says, because “boaters are generally very happy people.” Isharon lives in Florida now, but the pleasure of ferrying people has kept him coming back to Annapolis each summer for 13 years.
A ride on a water taxi is quite different from a ride in a car. You’re outside rather than shut in the cabin of a car, the sky and clouds are brilliant and the little boat glides swiftly through the water. Don’t let the tourists have all the fun.
Catch another story on the move next week.