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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #91  
Old 05-22-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by willyd View Post
...The anchorage there has a good two knots of current going back and forth, that will push you into the fish traps that enclose both ends of the area bounded by the ships and the beach. When I pulled in, an unpredicted wind started blowing strongly out of the east (directly from shore), which meant I could be blown back into the line of ships or have the current pull me to one side or the other...
I still like Kiptopeake as a last anchorage before leaving the Bay, or the first anchorage when entering the Bay, through the Northern Channel. It saves a rough 10 n.m. cross-Bay passage over the Little Creek/Willoughby Bay/Salt Ponds areas you might otherwise consider.

Yes, there is a surprisingly strong current, just as there is along the lower Eastern shore. Last time, my boat ended up unusually with the anchor off the bow and the stern to the wind, as the flood tide carried me north against the wind. At first, I thought I was dragging or wrapped, but the boat was fine. If you are not careful about where you anchor, you might wrap a crabtrap. Next time, you might try inside the L-shaped pier - it is a little more protected.

Beware of the large, unmarked fish traps to the south. They don't show on the charts. You should be entering and exiting through the gap in the middle of the two rows of sunken ships, not through either end. The private light marker at the entrance was out last time I was there, but the halogen pier lights were so bright I could see the entrance in the dark as I got closer. It appears there is no gap as you approach, then you see the offset entrance when you are about 100 yards off.

It is a somewhat cool, eerie, unsettling place, with the old dark rusted sunken ships, the bright pier lights on all night with locals fishing, squawking birds nesting nearby, the fish nets to the south, and the strong current.

But, I have never had a problem there due to the anchorage itself. In fact, my boat survived really strong winds anchored inside the L-shaped pier during the derecho that hit there in 2012. There is a free public restroom and shower, a small dinghy beach, and the best access to the Atlantic Ocean if you are headed north up the coast. If you are not entering or leaving the Bay, the municipal marina in Cape Charles would be a much better place to stay.

It is definitely not for the faint of heart, or the motorsailing club raft up.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 05-22-2014 at 10:47 AM.
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  #92  
Old 05-22-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

James, I don't have a good chart in front of me at the moment.

Entering "what" through the two rows of sunken ships? Kiptopeke, or the North Channel?
Not only is this not for the faint of heart, it sounds like "not for the novice" as well.

What's the scoop on Cape Charles, to the north?
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  #93  
Old 05-22-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

Looks like the wind gods are telling me to head South this weekend, maybe the Rhode River Saturday night, I doubt it will be crowded!

Sunday night I would like to head east and maybe up the Wye...then Monday check out the Kent Narrows Channel on the way home for a reach across the bay.
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  #94  
Old 05-22-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
James, I don't have a good chart in front of me at the moment.

Entering "what" through the two rows of sunken ships? Kiptopeke, or the North Channel?
Not only is this not for the faint of heart, it sounds like "not for the novice" as well.

What's the scoop on Cape Charles, to the north?
Cape Charles is nice, but a little out of the way. You have to travel around a spider entrance marker 5 n.m. to the south, follow a sight bearing in, then head 3-4 north (the wrong direction for leaving the Bay). Either way, you will face a bad current in one direction, either heading south to the entrance marker or heading north to the town, unless you get lucky at slack tide. The marina has low rates ($1.50 a foot a night), new restrooms, fuel, ice, etc. There is a small Coast Guard station there. You can walk around the old town, which has a distinctly industrial feel to it. As much as I like Cape Charles, it does add another hour or so to the trip out and puts me that much farther away from the Northern Channel.

Kiptopeake Bay was the ferry terminus. The sunken ships overlap each other at the gap. The gap itself was big enough for the ferry to enter and leave, but you do not see it until you are very close, so it is a bit unsettling.

The only other bad thing about Kiptopeake will be your exit if there is considerable wind/chop in the lower Bay from the southwest. You come out of the gap and suddenly you are hit by some serious chop because of the fetch. There is shallow water to the southeast, and you might be fighting some current.

This video shows the lower Bay with just such conditions after I left the Kiptopeake anchorage one time, punching through the chop:

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Last edited by jameswilson29; 05-22-2014 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 05-22-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

Ok, I just shifted from a chart view, to a satellite view. I didn't realize that the sunken ships made up the breakwater. Weird.

I can also now see the L-dock that you're referring to. You anchored inside the crook of the L on the south side?

I don't think I would try this for the first time, at night. If I make it by day, sure. I'll pay the time penalty by going to Cape Charles if I have to.
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  #96  
Old 05-22-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

We had two great day sails this past weekend and snuck in a nice dinghy ride Friday night to check out the other boats. I plan on sailing with a friend on Saturday and then taking Cordelia out on Sunday and Monday. Perhaps a trip to the Eastern Shore next weekend.

Day Sails and Dinghy Rides | On Board Cordelia
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  #97  
Old 05-22-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
Looks like the wind gods are telling me to head South this weekend, maybe the Rhode River Saturday night, I doubt it will be crowded!

Sunday night I would like to head east and maybe up the Wye...then Monday check out the Kent Narrows Channel on the way home for a reach across the bay.
If you go through the narrows, let us know what depth you find. I think they did some dredging, right?
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  #98  
Old 05-22-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
I still like Kiptopeake as a last anchorage before leaving the Bay, or the first anchorage when entering the Bay, through the Northern Channel. It saves a rough 10 n.m. cross-Bay passage over the Little Creek/Willoughby Bay/Salt Ponds areas you might otherwise consider.

Yes, there is a surprisingly strong current, just as there is along the lower Eastern shore. Last time, my boat ended up unusually with the anchor off the bow and the stern to the wind, as the flood tide carried me north against the wind. At first, I thought I was dragging or wrapped, but the boat was fine. If you are not careful about where you anchor, you might wrap a crabtrap. Next time, you might try inside the L-shaped pier - it is a little more protected.

Beware of the large, unmarked fish traps to the south. They don't show on the charts. You should be entering and exiting through the gap in the middle of the two rows of sunken ships, not through either end. The private light marker at the entrance was out last time I was there, but the halogen pier lights were so bright I could see the entrance in the dark as I got closer. It appears there is no gap as you approach, then you see the offset entrance when you are about 100 yards off.

It is a somewhat cool, eerie, unsettling place, with the old dark rusted sunken ships, the bright pier lights on all night with locals fishing, squawking birds nesting nearby, the fish nets to the south, and the strong current.

But, I have never had a problem there due to the anchorage itself. In fact, my boat survived really strong winds anchored inside the L-shaped pier during the derecho that hit there in 2012. There is a free public restroom and shower, a small dinghy beach, and the best access to the Atlantic Ocean if you are headed north up the coast. If you are not entering or leaving the Bay, the municipal marina in Cape Charles would be a much better place to stay.

It is definitely not for the faint of heart, or the motorsailing club raft up.
Best way to prevent anchor rode wrap in an area of extreme current/tide is to make a Kellet. We use it when we anchor in the Delaware or New England and the LI Sound. We run a 5 lb mushroom anchor on a large shackle down the rode at least 2 ft deeper than your draft. The boat pivots around the rode when the current switches.

Dave
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  #99  
Old 05-26-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

Memorial Day weekend has been beautiful...Friday some colleagues and I took the afternoon off and went out for a few hours in a good breeze. Buried the rail few times in 25 knt gust. Saturday we got a late start after finishing the installation of our new fridge so we went east for Swan Creek...surprisingly not crowded as we entered at dusk. Sunday we headed south through the Kent Narrows about 2 hours after low tide seeing 6.5 depth only a few times. Anchored for the evening in Lloyds Cove off the Wye...Also surprisingly no one really, 2 other boats and they're not close. Hopefully the trip home today we'll have some wind to sail...yesterday we motored...not a bad thing this time of year, give the engine a breaking in after a long cold winter. One of the most comforting things this weekend...The outboard motor started on the second pull...gotta love that.

So far this season we installed a new head tank and hoses, new fridge/freezer, resolved the issues with the link 2000...soon a new bimini and chart plotter installation as we gear up for a trip north this summer.

This is our first overnight weekend at anchor of the year and it's a good one!

Cheers
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  #100  
Old 05-27-2014
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Re: 2014 Sailing Season

Woot! 5th place in the Miles River Race, PHRF C class.
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