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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 08-19-2007
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Annapolis to Ocean City, MD

I plan a cruise from Annapolis to Ocean City. Any suggestions? I can go North via the Chesapeake-Delaware channel or south.

I searched the Internet to find out what's between Smith Island and Assateague but did not find much. On the map the area looks nice and tempting. Any uninhabited small sandy islands out there? How long it will take from Annapolis to Ocean City? (I am a newbie but I've got a seaworthy boat that I am not afraid to use).
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Old 08-20-2007
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Hi Glen:

There is not really anywhere to stop once you hit the Ocean from either direction. Both directions have their merit. The Northen Bay requires heading out through the Canal and into the Delaware Bay. The Delaware Bay can be very crowded with large barges and the tide creates a wicked current. You generally will have to motor through the Bay just to avoid the shoals on either side of the channel.
The Southern Route is more pleasant and there are many opportunities for anchorages until you hit the Ocean.
When you get to Ocean City respect the Channel Markers when you get through the Inlet as the Assawoman Bay is very shallow. How long the trip takes is really dependent on how you plan to proceed.
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Old 08-20-2007
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Might I ask what is the allure of Ocean City? The inlet is very subject to big, breaking surf, and then you are in shallow water to boot. If the weather is the least bit off, you may not be able to get in there right away and have to wait offshore.

In general, you are correct that there's not much either above or below Ocean City for a sailboat. The couple of possible inlets on Virginia's eastern shore have constantly changing shoals making it tough to get into them.
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Old 08-20-2007
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I was actually thinking after I wrote my bit that you cannot get into Indian River Inlet in Del. because it is very shallow in the Bay. Plus it can really become dangerous if there is any kind of swell or tide change.

I can think of a reason to want to take the boat to OC. If your family is going on vacation it would be fun to have the boat nearby for sailing.
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Old 08-20-2007
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In addition to the shallow water and the tide in Indian River Inlet, I think the bridge height would preclude anything but a very small sailboat from going under. Lewes, DE, farther up the coast from Ocean City, is a much more scenic and interesting destination.
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Old 08-20-2007
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I've been in & out of OC on a Delmarva circumnav bak in year 2000. We went the southern way leaving out of Salt Ponds Marina in Hampton and had a rough overnight trip when the weather piped up. The ocean was quite rough on our daylight entrance into the dogleg channel but we had no problems getting in with out 5.5 draft at the time and found a nice marina with sufficient depth in the sunset marina...Unfortunately, all of the beach side marinas could NOT accomodate our draft so the amusements were a short cab ride away but we did not let that spoil our fun! Good place to hang out for a few days...but a long way from anywhere else for a sailboat!
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Old 08-20-2007
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For my money, I think Trump Marina in Atlantic City is a better destination. Same creepy crowd but at least you can gamble. Cape May is an even better destination in my opinion.
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Old 12-15-2007
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Cape May

I second the Cape May trip. Great restaurants....fun..quaint...shopping We go every other year and have even left our boat in Utches maina the month from July 15- August 15. There is no wind of the bay and there you are insured of a ocean breeze every day. Atlantic City is a short 45 mile day sail with a good but expensive marina..but thre are cheaper ones in that basin if you know where to look.
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Old 12-15-2007
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I went searching for a slip on the NJ coast for next year. I used to keep a boat at AC Marina pre casino days so went to check it out again. Very nice marina and now very pricey. My biggest problem was we were there on a Thursday afternnon and the outdoor band was setting up on the docks about 3PM. If you go there it's not going to be quiet. Cape May is real nice and both Utchs and Canyon Club would be great stops. As the last poster said, lots of good restruants within walking distance of either marina. Another alternative is where I'm going to end up next summer, Seaview Harbor Marina in Longport. Just above the other Ocean City. For any of these places I would recommend the C&D Canal route.
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Old 12-15-2007
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I lived in Ocean City, NJ 18 years before moving here 5 years ago. Seaview Marina does not really take transients and does not know until the last minute what slips are available. It is a very un[rotected marina from every direction and subject to fierce winds and tidal changes in large storms. The inlet between Ocean City and Longport is also trecherous but navigatable, but not a great place to come in late in the afternoon with outgoing tide and onshore winds. The waves can be 15 ft in the inlet and washuing across the moving shoals, when it is only 3 feet in the ocean. Also there is no place to sail in that area but the ocean. At least with Cape May you have the Deleware Bay or the ocean. You can sail the Deleware Bay lee shore when the Ocean winds are kiccking at 20-30 knots in relative safety.

Having sailed the Jersey coast for many years I kept my boat in Toms River to sail in Barnegat Bay despite living in Ocean City. The only inkets which are not trecherous in NJ are Cape May, Atlantic City, And Manesquan. The other are fraught with issues. The worst of course being Barngat where a sailboat is subject to current in excess of 5 knots and huge waves in a confined stretch,
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