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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 03-29-2009
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Atlanta to Chesapeake trip

My father and I are planning a week long trip to the Chesapeake Bay in July 2009 and wondering if anybody knew of some marinas with cheap travel lift fees around the area? My J/24 hull #123 is originally from Annapolis so I feel as though this would be a very fun trip! This was not possible until last Friday when I purchased a truck specifically for a tow vehicle.

Also, does anybody have any suggestions for small boat destinations. We are looking to stay at marinas every night and we are very interested in the history of the Bay.

Thanks a bunch.
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Old 03-29-2009
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You'll have a great time!

Cheap travel lifts. I doubt it. You may do better further south, away from Annapolis.

Get a good guide book. Chesapeake Bay Magazine has a good one. So is the "gunkholers guide." There are 3 books I know about small boats going around the Delmarva: "Eastern Shore, Western Wind", "Beteen 2 Bay and the Sea", and "Circumnavigating the Delmarva Peninsula - A Guide for the Shoal Draft Sailor". All are available through Alibris, though the first 2 may be out of print. I am guilty of having written the last, about 3 trips with my daughter aboard our Stiletto 27. There is also some information on my blog, listed below.

Must-sees? Many are listed in the the guides, but these are a few favorites:
* Tangier Island. Occupied since the 1600's, very isolated, interesting history. The British holed up there before sailing to Baltimore and bombarding Ft. McHenery (the Star Spangled Banner).
* St. Michels and the museum there too.
* Cape Charles. OK, nothing to special, but a nice starting point. The Cape Charles Hotel is pricey, but is a very nice restored example.
* Annapolis is crazy, but you shouldn't miss it.

You could try lifting in south, perhaps Deltaville. Go to Tangier, Solomons Island, Annapolis, St Mikes, Oxford, Solomons, Smith Island, and Deltaville. That might work. Some open water, some sheltered. We did all of that in Stiletto, so there are some similarities. None of this should present draft problems.

Have fun!
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 03-29-2009 at 04:50 PM. Reason: error
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Old 03-29-2009
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That sounds like a fun trip. Just be prepared for some fairly hot/sticky weather that time of year -- make sure you have plenty of ice and drinks. Breezes will typically be better in the afternoon and evening.

You can plunk the boat in almost anywhere. Once you know your route/itinerary, ask us again for cheap travel lift recommendations.

Since you mention that you are interested in the history of the bay, I will repeat pdq's suggestion to visit St. Michael's, MD. Ther eyou will find the chesapeake Bay MAritime Museum, which is good for a day or or two of exploration. St. Michael's is also a fun town and good spot to provision, with an ACME grocery store in easy walking distance ot the harbour.

Another interesting/historical location is Calvert Marine Museum, located at Solomons Isalnd, MD (western shore, at mouth of Patuxant River). And of course, Annapolis.

My overall advice is to not try to see the entire Bay in a week. Maybe pick one section (Upper, Mid, Lower) and take a good look.
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Thanks ya'll! I will definitely keep all this in mind. Really it's nice to get sailors opinions that have been there personally. This is exactly what I needed though, now it is time to narrow down the places I would like to visit. I don't mind launching the boat myself; it's just a pain in the a$$.

Thanks for your help, I will let ya'll know the places I plan on visiting to see what your opinion is ( I don't want to stay someplace crappy) As I am a lake sailor and this is going to be a once a year thing to the coast.
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Old 03-29-2009
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As a lake sailor, do a quick check of things that might be different on the Bay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J24mark View Post
Thanks ya'll! I will definitely keep all this in mind. Really it's nice to get sailors opinions that have been there personally. This is exactly what I needed though, now it is time to narrow down the places I would like to visit. I don't mind launching the boat myself; it's just a pain in the a$$.

Thanks for your help, I will let ya'll know the places I plan on visiting to see what your opinion is ( I don't want to stay someplace crappy) As I am a lake sailor and this is going to be a once a year thing to the coast.
Anchoring comes to mind (all mud and sand bottoms). A Chesapeake Bay chart book (ADC has them) might be smart. Extra fuel. Print tide / current charts from the net.

Enjoy!
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Also, consider a motel at least every few nights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J24mark View Post
Thanks ya'll! I will definitely keep all this in mind. Really it's nice to get sailors opinions that have been there personally. This is exactly what I needed though, now it is time to narrow down the places I would like to visit. I don't mind launching the boat myself; it's just a pain in the a$$.

Thanks for your help, I will let ya'll know the places I plan on visiting to see what your opinion is ( I don't want to stay someplace crappy) As I am a lake sailor and this is going to be a once a year thing to the coast.
Showers. AC. I did all this on a similar boat, and it is fun IF you break it up.
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pdqaltair,
I read your blog and am loving it! Some of the pictures are amazing, things I want to experience. I'm sure my father will get on the forum here in a little bit and he is extremely more knowledgeable than I about sailing. I am more of a the deck hand when he is on the boat!

One of the things I am worried about is navigation, would it be worth buying a GPS and charts? Or could I just use the old school paper charts?
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I don't find gps very neccasary in the Bay...

Quote:
Originally Posted by J24mark View Post
pdqaltair,
I read your blog and am loving it! Some of the pictures are amazing, things I want to experience. I'm sure my father will get on the forum here in a little bit and he is extremely more knowledgeable than I about sailing. I am more of a the deck hand when he is on the boat!

One of the things I am worried about is navigation, would it be worth buying a GPS and charts? Or could I just use the old school paper charts?
But paper charts are required. Buying a chart book is best. There is also a lot on line (Office of Coast Survey) but by the time you printed what you needed, the ADC chart would be less and much better.
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Old 03-30-2009
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Charts

I like the chartbook "Maryland Cruising Guide" from Williams & Heintz. The smaller format is great for navigation on smaller boats. It has lists of marinas as does the previously mentioned "Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay" from Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Both have distance charts that can be very helpful in planning a cruise.

I agree a GPS isn't necessary though if you have a handheld that gives you lat/lon it may help figuring out where you are on a longer run. However, the Chesapeake (particularly the Upper Bay) is really well marked. Most navigation is line of sight.

Be aware that summer thunderstorms can be ferocious (good weather info is required). The weather channels on your VHF will suffice although we like having a dedicated weather radio. You will encounter commercial traffic and lots of recreational traffic on weekends.

I would suggest keeping Annapolis as a destination but launching on one of the rivers north or south of it as it will be cheaper. BTW, if you are a baseball fan keep Baltimore in mind as a destination. It's a long but interesting trip up the Patapsco and Camden Yards is within walking distance of the Inner Harbor.

Sounds like a great trip. Enjoy the planning process.

Mary Lou
Rhodes 22 Fretless
Rock Hall, MD
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Old 03-30-2009
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Cost about $120 for a splash. Anywhere from $100-$140. Same to haul you out. And I know all about launching a 4' fix keel boat on a trailer.
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