Northern chesapeake cruising plans
I have sailed day trips in a sunfish to the first four of these destination but now I have a different perspective. I recently bought a 28 foot san juan (4.5 foot draft) currently moored at two rivers marina on bohemia river. I have taken off week of 8/24. I want to take my wife to some of the spots I visited by sunfish. We plan to go down to the boat on friday. Our marina is having a picnic day on saturday so we probably would head out Sunday.
Harve de gras
I know there are the flats north of the channel and a couple of islands about 3/4 of the way from turkey point. I think the islands are used by motorboaters for swimming. The island might make an interesting 1 or 2 hour stop on the way to harve de gras any problems with stopping there for a sailboat? We have an inflatible dingy. Bohemia river to Harve De Gras should be a single day cruise right?
Once we get to Harve de gras what are our options marinas?, anchoring? anything to do ashore?
The chart shows mostly 4 feet across most of the area going to Northeast. My wife had wanted to go to this place a couple miles south of Northeast. Is north east out of the question with my draft? As I remember it was a long way up to northeat is it worth going there?
I know there is the georgetown inn all the way in south of the 213 bridge. Besides that is there anything else up the sasafras besides the marinas. are there any anchroages?
This has a nice beach. I think there is a dock that extends out into the water but can you stay there overnight? what about the depth? any anchorages?
That about as far south as I have gone via sunfish but I would like to go furhter during this week.
What about the following places still pond, worton creek, fairlee creek, rock hall?
Never been to annapolis by boat. Is this out of the question in a week.
I have chartered out of rock hall and gone south but not stayed in rock hall.
I have 7 days. It will just be my wife and I. I am not interested pulling 50 mile days. Ten to 20 miles is more like what I am shootting for. My motor is not very powerful and will only do 4 knots. I would stay on the hook the whole time but the wife is going to want to a marina every so often. Again I am ok with eating on the boat but she going to want to eat out a few times. Since this is august I need to consider safe places to hide from the enevtible thunderstorm. We were on the hook during 65 mph winds in a not so sheltered spot when we chartered out of rock hall and in 35 mph windws on our mooring 2 weekends ago. Nether of which I would like to repeet.
My first thoughts are go to harve de gras the 1st day beyond that I am open to suggestions.
Harve de Gras and Sassafras are close to home for you and you can do that anytime. My suggestion is to travel "down " the Bay. 20 mile clips are as follows.
First stop could be be Still Pond or our favorite, Whorton Creek. Which ever one you donrt hit going down...anchor in on the 6th night comming back. Thats less than 20 milews or so from Bohemia
Second night could be Rock Creek (where Chef37Tartan ) and I keep our boats or Rock Hall. Again 20 miles and hit the other one on your way back on night 5. Rock Hall has a great Crab restaurant.
Third Night could be the Magothy and Eagles Nest or Mill Creek with Cantlers Restaurant
Fourth night- Annapolis
Fifth Night- Rock Hall
Sixth Night Still Pond/ Whorton Creek.
Also there is the Chester and St Micheals as another alternative to the Bay with a trip through the Narrows.
Forget about the Northeast River with your 4.5' draft. There's not much in the way of anchorages or marinas available.
Havre De Grace has Tidewater Marina otherwise no place to anchor out and be comfortable. It's a nice little town with a couple of resturants and an very good ice cream shop.
The Sassafras River has a number of places you can drop the hook as well as several marinas in Georgetown. Forget Betterton. While they have a town dock is so loaded with bird crap that I wouldn't set foot on it. A nice place to anchor is just past Ordinary Pt on the South side of the river, just outside of Turner Creek. You'll also find a number of boats to your right just inside the No Wake Zone prior to reaching Georgetown. Beware the depth goes from 20' to 5' suddenly. It's a sandy bottom with decent holding.
Still Pond is a nice place to spend an evening or two. There's Still Pond Creek to the far left after entering. Do not try to go in. It takes local knowledge and is very shallow in parts. Instead stay in Still Pond itself and tuck as far in past the western point of land. Getting in past the point helps block the wakes from the barges running outside in the channel. There's apx 8' of water throughout the anchorage.
Worton Creek is one of our favorite spots. It's open to the west which will provide you with some beautiful sunsets. The closer you anchor to the mouth of the creek, near the red marker, the less you'll deal with wakes from boat traffic. Note that traffic settles down at night and you should sleep peacefully.
I would pass on Fairlee Creek. It can be difficult to get into as the channel twists a bit. Additionally it's a hot spot for the muscle power boat boys and girls and can get crowded and noisey.
Rock Hall if you choose to go further south is a nice town with a number of marinas. Too many options. Ask for more info if you think you'll stop there.
Good luck and have fun.
Would suggest that you pick up a copy of the Guide to Cruising the Chesapeake Bay (spiral bound - published by Ches. Bay Magazine). It has lots of good info for cruisers including detailed info on entrances to creeks and shoreside stops. If you want detailed info on anchorages there is Shellenbergers Cruising the Chesapeake: A Gunkholer's Guide. Both are wonderful helps to cruise planning. We keep a copy of the spiral bound one on the boat and take Shellenberger whenever we are out for longer than a couple of days.
As far as your stated destinations, I agree with whoever said skip the easy overnighters and go farther south. If this is your first time cruising, don't be too ambitious but there are as stated, a lot of good destinations that are easily reachable.
As far as local info. Worton has a nice anchorage, some good marinas and a decent restaurant. I don't think they let you overnight at the docks at Betterton but there is a nice anchorage in Turner's Creek. Georgetown is a long motor. Rock Hall is really 2 spots - a nice anchorage (and good marinas) in Swan Creek and a nice harbor around the bend.
Rhodes 22 Fretless
Rock Hall, MD
Don't forget the west side, although more populated it's got a few good spots:
Bodkin Creek - down near Prop's Restaurant and they'll pick you up for a taxi ride to eat.
Magothy River - many good anchorages - behind Dobbins Island, Broad Creek, Eagles Cove. Good restaurant at Deep Creek, good tiki-bar at Ferry Point.
If Annapolis is too crowded for you Mill Creek is a good alternative and has Kantler's to eat at.
The docks at Betterton beach can be VERY rough. I would not make it more than a brief
If you choose to stop at Betterton be careful of the large rocks that are submerged at high tide. There are 3 to 4 white floats surrounding them but otherwise they are uncharted. They sit just slightly east of the town dock.
Betterton correction!!! Sorry the rocks are WEST of the town dock.
So that makes them right off the beach?
They're more like boulders and as I said sit just below the surface at high tide. They placed white markers aorund them but if you aren't aware of their presence it could be trouble, especially at night.
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