Queenstown Entrance = Shallow!? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 06-01-2009
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Red face Queenstown Entrance = Shallow!?

Bump...Bump...Bump...oops! So whats the trick?

For three seasons prior I had no working depth finder on the boat (Draw 4'2") and only "touched" bottom in those three seasons maybe three times. Then I get my tack tick instruments/depth installed and working/calibrated and I run aground on our second weekend out...Gota love it.

It took me about an hour to get off the shoal...not until my fat a$$ hung off the boom did we move at all. (Now I understand the look on that power boaters face as we were approaching the inlet )

We had decided on Queenstown for an overnight...why? A friend with a 35' C&C Landfall told me he and his sailing club went there last year and he mentioned what a beautiful anchorage it was. He also mentioned the tight inlet...but my smart a$$ didn't think much of it. Having done Fairlee & Still Pond Creeks many times I felt confident I could get in with a working depth finder, chart, and handbook...NOPE, wasn't gonna happen this time. I hit bottom at idle speed (2 knots +-) so I don't think I did any damage, but then I could seem to go anywhere until I dug myself a nice little hole in the middle of the channel Of course then I couldn't go forward, backward, sideways, just in circles. We must have been quite the site to those onlookers. ( 1 fishing boat was all I saw )

Here is a clip from Active Captain; I wish I had read this BEFORE I decided this would be a good spot for the night:

"Queenstown Creek is entered through a marked channel which leads to a turning basin at Queenstown, on the southeast side of Little Queenstown Creek. In July 2005, the controlling depths were 4.2 feet in the east half and 1.4 feet in the west half of the channel to a point about 200 yards above Buoy 5, thence 6.3 feet to the basin with 6.1 in the basin. The entrance channel is bordered by very shallow grassy flats." "Marked" my A$$
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Old 06-01-2009
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Wow, sorry for your trouble but thanks for sharing. I'll not be visiting Queenstown with my 5'6" draft.

Chesapeake Bay water gets thin really fast. Fortunate the bottom is usually mud, muck or sand.
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Old 06-01-2009
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Sounds like a good place for multihulls to visit...
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Old 06-01-2009
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Ah, Queenstown!! I have some not so fond memories of trying to get in there way back in 1990 on my first trip south. The guidebook said that groceries were available nearby so we headed in as we needed groceries badly. It was the first time I'd been in the Chesapeake and I didn't know anything but did rely on the guidebook. I think it was one of those waterway guides that Walter Conkwrite use to tout. Took us three hours to kedge off!! What a nightmare. Once we got off we headed right to Rock Hall where there's a nice restaurant and over the years have never even tried to go near Queenstown.
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Old 06-01-2009
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I was there week before last and while I only draw 22 inches with the motor down I had no problem towing out a Catalina 30 (monohull) with a 4'6" draft.

We went left into the side creek, but I did a tour of the whole creek earlier.

I stayed right where my Lowrance / Navionic's said it was good.
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Old 06-01-2009
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You had the boards up apparently... if they were down, you'd have had problems too.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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Old 06-01-2009
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Yea...I cant wait to ask my friend how the hell he and his sailing club got in there. Either he's a jokester or he didn't know where he was LOL
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Old 06-02-2009
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I like Queenstown Creek but we only draw 30 inches with the rudder down.

My favorite Queenstown Creek story happened a couple of years ago. We were supposed to meet friends who draw 5' 8" in QC. We got there first and and went in. We had our depthsounder on and didn't see more than 4 ft. We were alarmed for our friends and actually went out and came back in again with the same result. We tried to call them but they didn't answer a radio or a phone call. A while later we see this tall mast coming into the creek smooth and steady. We watched anticipating a sudden stop which never came. When we rafted up we asked how they had found the channel. Our friend looked at us an grinned "forward looking sonar, it was like driving down a canyon."

Last year when we went in we saw 5' or more the whole way in. I"m fairly certain it had something to do with not hugging the marks too closely.

Mary Lou
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One of the reasons we like Queenstown...local knowledge keeps out the uninformed...

Regards,

Clay AA3JY
s/v 'Tango' (draft 4'10")
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Old 06-02-2009
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That's fine...my buddy told me its overrated anyway...you can hear Rt 50 and all the other rif raf LOL
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