A Brief tour of the Chesapeake Bay

A Brief tour of the Chesapeake Bay

 

Following the boat show, we sought a more protected anchorage to get some rest and moved up river to Weems Creek, which it turns out was nearly a repeat of our experience last February in Christmas Cove.  We met 5 other boats with crews that aren’t grey up top out to experience life while they can.  This resulted in a few good social evenings with the crews on Calista, Hullabaloo, Basta, and Nightingale Tune as we toured down the Cheasapeake.

I can see why the Chesapeake Bay is a popular boating location in the summer, although this time of year it is dominated by the snowbirds.  I have a new found respect for the snowbirds that take the Intracoastal Waterway South.  The weather  has turned cold by the time you get there, and the days keep drawing in making it progressively more challenging to make a new anchorage by dusk.  Not to mention, many of the anchorages are off the path, so you have to detour several miles to find a decent place to stop.  We stayed put a few nights along our way and watched all the other anchored boats depart between 7:30 and 9 am leaving us alone for the day and then between 3:30 and 5:30 pm suddenly we had a new bunch of neighbours – many of whom never even bothered to launch the dinghy, knowing they would be under way again bright and early.  The same routine for 3 months.  Numerous places that you’ve passed through but never actually been to.  Perhaps I’m  trying to justify why we are preparing for another 10-12 days at sea.

Our trip from Annapolis to Solomon’s Island had us deep reaching in a nice gentle breeze for the first half of the sail, until the forecast wind disappeared in the afternoon and we resorted to the iron genoa to finish the day off.

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Solomon’s Island was nice, but we really must have missed peak season as other than the snowbirds, it seemed like a rather sleepy place.  I’m sure in the summer it is busy as there are numerous marinas and local boats in the two sheltered creeks.

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We wandered around a couple of days.  The highlights of our time there was a haircut for me and Chrissy was informed by the clerk at the post office that they were unable to write an international money order, despite the US postal service claiming this location was able to do so.  So Magnus’ paperwork for the Bahamas will wait for now.  We also checked out the Tiki Bar because neither of us had ever been to one before, although in hindsight we probably should have picked a day that hadn’t begun with a frost warning for an outdoor venue.

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Our next stop was Deltaville and we had a blustery day which allowed us to make good time for the nearly 60 mile trip. With winds varying from lulls at 8 knots apparent wind and gusts as high as 26 knots it was difficult to find a suitable sail combination.  Reefs went in in the morning, out at noon, then later in the day the first reef went back in, then then a reef in the jib and finally the 2nd reef in the main.  The toque and mitts were a permanent fixture for the day with the cold chill blowing down from the North West.  Another point earning respect for the snowbirds.  The good sailing days are bone chilling with northerly winds.  The warm winds when they blow are from the south and hence on the nose for sailors.  I think when I one day decide to do the ICW in it’s entirety, I’ll plan to be in the Carolinas before October.  I’ll also be tempted to buy a trawler.

Along the route to Deltaville we passed a ship wreck in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.  Now used for military target practice, presumably with practice charges as there is still quite the target remaining.  They kindly do not have a light on, so now there are reportely numerous wrecks surrounding it.  We didn’t go close enough to find out.

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Deltaville is a quiet little town, but very friendly.  Everyone passing by in their car waves, and we aren’t talking about the little wave where you raise your 4 fingers from the wheel with your thumb still on the wheel.  It is a full out wave.  They also have the biggest West Marine I’ve ever been to.  Anyway, we anchored just off of Deltaville Marine where we had actually visited a few years back when we starting to look at boats.

The channel in and out of Deltaville is a bit intimidating though.  Here we are on our way out. Basically, go straight to the beach, when the bow is just about to hit the sand, turn hard while the keel is still in 8′ of water.

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And now we are in Norfolk, just around the corner from where we will be meeting up with our fellow Salty Dawgs in Hampton next week.

8000 miles seems to be beyond the life expectancy for Micron CSC, so off with the green slime.  We don’t need it slowing us down offshore.  Lets hope the Interlux rep at the boat show is right and the new Micron Optima paint works better.  Altera is on the hard for the weekend now.

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This article has 2 comments

  1. Have been following you on your way south. Time to get out the log book and start entering the latitude and longitude to compare against last year’s journey. 
    Once again we will be drinking our morning coffee while we follow Altera and her crew along with the Salty Dawgs. 
    Nan and Grandad

  2. Have been following you on your way south. Time to get out the log book and start entering the latitude and longitude to compare against last year’s journey. 
    Once again we will be drinking our morning coffee while we follow Altera and her crew along with the Salty Dawgs Flotilla. 
    Nan and Grandad

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