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George S. Patton's former schooner, When And If, docks in Annapolis

The wooden schooner, When And If, once owned by Gen. George S. Patton, stopped in Annapolis this week en route to Key West, Florida, for the winter.

The When And If is headed south from New England. It will host charter cruises out of Key West until mid to late May, and then head north again.

Captain Dylan Salzmann, 30, of Key West, said Thursday that he and the crew enjoy stopping in Annapolis.

“It’s been nice to take advantage of the weather,” Salzmann said of temperatures that reached into the mid to high 70s Wednesday and Thursday. “We’re getting some varnishing done.”

The What And If crew members weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the near-perfect fall weather Thursday. City Dock was full of activity — from school classes to people eating outdoors.

Salzmann said the schooner will be in Annapolis until Saturday.

Patton met with renowned naval architect John G. Alden in 1937 to begin designing the yacht, which was finished in 1939, according to When And If’s website. It was Patton’s plan to sail after his time in the military.

“When the war is over, and if I live through it, Bea and I are going to sail her [If And When] around the world,” Patton was quoted as saying, according to the website.

Patton, who died in 1945, never sailed When And If around the world, but he did get to use it up and down the East Coast and on the Chesapeake Bay, according to Salzmann.

Taking advantage of the weather Wednesday and Thursday proved beneficial to the When And If crew as rain is expected in the area on Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures Friday will reach the mid to high 60s, but cool considerably heading into next week.

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