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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #11  
Old 03-19-2010
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Mainly I restrict going into the water to creeks. Grays Inn Creek, Swans Creek, Worton Creek, Lankford Creek... I've swam in them all, so long as there's not 'jellies' about. And I always shower when I get out. Hasn't hurt me yet. However, I did get a nasty infection from buggers living on a lifeline that I chafed my leg on. Fancy that.
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Old 03-19-2010
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I've done a few evening swims at Dobbins Is and Ordinary point. last June when walking around the marina sea walls at Saint Michaels I was shocked to see how many millions of "nettles" there were!
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Old 03-20-2010
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Thumbs up

I've been swimming in the bay all my life, more often North of Hart & Miller Island, mostly because by the time its warm enough the nettles are fierce. We've never had any concerns, but some common sense is needed. I wouldn't go in if I had an open wound, ear infection, etc...also, I would avoid swimming in some places (the Patapsco comes to mind)

From: Bay FAQ - About the Bay - Chesapeake Bay Program

Is it safe to swim in the Bay?

Though people do have some concern about water quality in certain rivers, especially near industrial areas, it is generally safe to swim in the Bay and its tributaries. However, swimmers, boaters and fishermen should obey any signs posted by state officials that restrict certain activities. Because potential human health impacts are an important issue, state agencies regularly test waterways for problems related to human health issues. Where human health concerns are identified, appropriate warnings are issued. For more information about the safety of swimming in your local waterways, contact your local health department.

Scientists have identified three localized Regions of Concern that are considered “toxic hot spots”:
  • The Elizabeth River in Virginia
  • The Patapsco River/Baltimore Harbor in Maryland
  • The Anacostia River in the District of Columbia.
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Old 03-20-2010
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Another good link:

Anne Arundel County Department of Health - Anne Arundel County Recreational Water Advisories/Closings
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Old 03-20-2010
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Here's a link for status of sea nettles: Seanettles in the Chesapeake Bay

We just got lycra rashguard skins (long sleeve, long leg, very light weight) which we'll try this summer. In general we look for places with moving water, no major development upstream, no rainstorms the day before, and no open cuts on ourselves, etc, then enjoy.
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Old 03-20-2010
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I second the rashguards. I wear those when there are nettles about and they're great. No stings. Well, at least not on my arms or torso.
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When diving on the boat off the Patuxent River cleaning the prop I did not wear gloves and cut my thumb on the barnicles. The cut would not heal by itself and after several months I went to the doctor and after a treatment with antibotics it finally healed leaving an enlarged joint on the thumb. Even leting the cut bleed and treating with ointment right after getting back on the boat did not stop the infection so be very careful about cuts in the water.
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Old 03-20-2010
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We swim in it all the time. We avoid harbors and any place that common sense dictates to be safe. As for sea nettles, once they show up we stay out of the water. Have a friend that went skinny dipping and found out about sea nettles in a rather sensitive area. Ouch!
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I swim in the bay all the time and I'm fine!

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Old 03-22-2010
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If I remember, Gray's Inn Creek has an outflow pipe from Rock Hall's sewage plant. You never know what could be upstream of your swimming hole.
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