Solicit Comments On Planned Chesapeake Route
The family (wife and two kids - 4 and 5) and I plan to move our boat purchased last year from Tolchester down to Hampton (Southall Landing Marina). The boat is a well-maintained 1985 Hunter 34 that draws 4'3" of water. We are planning our summer trip from about 7-15 July. We are pretty much locked into these dates, but can extend the trip to 19 or 20 July for weather delays.
We came up with the route segments listed below and welcome comments on the route, advice, or recommended marinas. I'm trying to make the trip family-friendly and limited daily travel to 30 miles or less, and incorporated marinas with pools for the kids. We last sailed the Bay in summer 2007 (Deltaville, Reedville, Tangier Island) and my wife and I have solid, but not expert sailing experience (since 2001, charters in Croatia, Greece, and the Chesapeake Bay).
Here is our planned route:
1. Tolchester-Rock Hall
2. Rock Hall-Kent Narrows-Tilghman Island
3. Tighlman Island-Taylor's Island
4. Taylor's Island-Soloman's Island
5. Soloman's Island-Hoopersville (Honga River)
6. Hoopersville-Smith Island
7. Smith Island-Reedville
8. Reedville-Fishing Bay
9. Fishing Bay-Salt Ponds (Southall Landing)
One area I'm really interested in is weather. It sounds like winds in July are usually light and we should expect a decent amount of motoring. Thanks for the time and any expertise you can offer! :)
Tangeir is more intersting, to me, than Smith island...
In fact, I would figure on a few longer days, in case of lay-days. I always found even long days were family-friendly if dad got up and single handed from 7am to noon. Peaceful, and I can't sleep late anyway. I prefer to get up and not-rush on my way.
And give the kid fish nets and wading shoes and keep them out of the pool! We actually keep a full salt aquarium on the boat for keeping our "finds." thin tights will keep the jelly fish off the kids.
My blog has some stuff on trips in the area - start with the oldest entries, I think. My last trip near Reedville was the delivery of my new boat... from Deltaville to Deale over Christmas break.
I can't offer any insight on the first half of your trip, but the last leg from Fishing Bay to Salt Ponds is a long one and the leg from Reedville to Fishing Bay is a pretty short one. I've never been to Reedville, but anchored at Sandy Point just a bit further up the river, last weekend which is a great anchorage. Its just a couple of hours from the Great Wicomico to the Broad Creek side of Deltaville (where we keep our boat) and not much futher around to Fishing Bay. I know the Crazy Crab in Reedville is popular and a group from our Yacht Club went to Horn Harbour for dinner at the restaraunt there, so there are good reasons to enter the Great Wicomio. However, if you want to shorten you last leg, and if you've been to the Reedville area but not Fishing Bay, you might consider stretching the leg from Smith Island down to Fishing Bay, then pick a stop in Mobjack Bay. You don't want the last day to become a "Death March".
1st Day, Tolchester to Rock Hall seems like a very short trip. If you are looking to just get your feet wet then OK. If not and you can leave early in the day you could make Naptown.
2nd Day, Naptown to St Mikes. Kids will love it lots of history and fun place to visit. The only drawback if you will do a fair amount of back tracking when you leave.
3rd day, St Mikes to Taylors Island A nice long sail with not much room to play.
4th day, Taylors Island to Solomons Island. Also a nice place for any repairs you find you need (a major sailing center).
Your trip Solomons to Honga River seems to be a wasted day. You will be making little of no southing. I would think you could make Chrisfield.
5th day, Solomons to Chrisfield. Plenty to there and a good rest spot.
6th day, I like Smith Island but I would skip Smith and made it Chrisfield to Tangier. This place is like no other on earth! They speak a different language, well, a different version of our language. Enjoy yourself there...
7th day, Tangier to Deltaville. Another major boating center if you need repairs.
8th day, Deltaville to Mobjack Bay. Spend the night on anchor.
9th day, Mobjack Bay to home.
You need to plan in some lay days, days to stop and smell the roses, days to have some ashore fun.
you guys are getting me very interested in extending my next Potomac cruise (starting at Mason Neck on the Occoquan) to get out to Tangier & back (which is my current plan, whenever I get to go -this yr. not looking likely).
In July I'd agree on expecting light winds, also watch out for the late afternoon/evening thunderstorms.
Love your blog - you're off to a good start!
Thanks to all those replies! I will definitely adjust our float plan to include some of those destinations and allow for lay-days. I'm now convinced we should anchor overnight in Mobjack Bay before the final leg south. Also, thanks for the blog links. They were great reading. To the skipper of Aelous II, I will be the Cluster chart hit in Belgrade, Serbia. Thanks again!
One more Chesapeake Bay cruising note... our summer squalls (Thunder Storms) can be fierce. Make every effort to be OFF the Bay before 4pm. It is not fool proof but a smart benchmark.
Herrington South (western shore across and a little north from Tilghman Island) has a large pool that the kids would love. There are some very nice marinas at Solomons Island. The pool at Spring Cove Marina has music piped in the pool. Dive in and take a listen :) Their grounds are also very nice for a picnic. Since you're going to keep it to apx 30 miles a day make sure you get an early start and get off the water by early afternoon if possible. At that time of year late afternoon T Storms are not uncommon. Have a good trip.
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