Sailing Chesapeake city to Baltimore inner harbor - 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 06-21-2010
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Sailing Chesapeake city to Baltimore inner harbor

I'd like to take a trip get to the inner harbor someday. Recently been wondering how much of the way into Baltimore can be sailed practically? I know this time of the year is the worst and I'm not planning anything until maybe Sept. Looking at the chart I was surprised that the depths are so good!
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Old 06-21-2010
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Sailing up the Patapsco River 'can' be an ordeal due to all the rude powerboat wakes, especially on weekends. On the 'right' wind direction (usually from the S-SW) one can easily sail to "Fells Point" (the original Baltimore harbor) and beyond. The Fells Point area is a good place to keep your boat in a marina as there is excellent 'water taxi service' to the "inner harbor'. The Fells Point area is also a good 'touristy' location with quaint shops, good pubs with GOOD music, etc. etc. ...lots of 'street entertainers', etc. on the weekends. The Science Museum and the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor are a MUST SEE, especially if you have kids onboard. ditto the USS Constellation and the "Pride of Baltimore".

Sadly, the Baltimore area is a severely BAD crime area and you should NOT be on the streets or 'out and about' after dark. Daytime is OK, but just be 'city-wise' and 'street-smart'. Fells Point and the Inner Harbor areas are usually WELL Protected by 'foot patrols'.

Fells Point and the Inner Harbor are GREAT places for the cruising sailor; so too is Annapolis - just about one hour south of the mouth of the Patapsco. You can 'usually' get a mooring ($30/day) in Annapolis harbor if you're there by 10-11 AM.

Hell, if you take the time to sail all the way down to Baltimore, you should also 'sail over' to St. Michaels too ... another 'not to be missed' Chessy destination.

PULEESE ... dont say Bal-ti-more, Maryland in front of anyone in Baltimore. Its pronounced Ball'mr, Merlin by the locals.
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Old 06-21-2010
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Denise...you can sail all the way into the Inner Harbor and dock on the wall if you want. I would get a marina slip though its safer and no one is walking by gawking ion your boat. I would suggest contacting ScottT as he has his boat down there. There are great places to eat in Fells Point and Little Italy rivals many other cities with over 40 restaurants...all within walking distance. One of my all time favopirite restaurants in the US has an outpost there...its called Roys. His orginal one I visited in Maui Kannapali shopping center about 20 years ago. There is one on Kauai now also, Pricey but the best Asian Fusion around.

You can make it from Chesapeake City in a long day I would suggest comming through the canal and anchoring in Worton Creek or Still Pond. From there it is about 4 hours (at 5 knots) to the mouth of the Patapsco. Tartan37Chef, Spindrift and myself have our boats in this area. t37chef and I on Rock Creek and Bryan is across the Patapsco. From Rock Creek it is 4 miles to the Key bridge,3 more to Ft McHenry and 3 more to the basin in Innner Harbor. Take a slip and walk to a baseball game or go to the Aquarium. Depths are 40 ft to 15 almost shore to shore all the waY. We sometimes head that direction when the winds are 35 plus on the bay.

Feel free to PM me for more info.

Dave
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Last edited by chef2sail; 06-21-2010 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 06-21-2010
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I've been to the inner harbor. but not in my own boat. I think I have a plan developing! So the winds are favorable? Power boats don't scare me.. it's the same up here on the Delaware. I just always assume they will play "chicken" just to get in front of the sailboat. I just can't fathom a guess why they HAVE to get in front of a sailboat, there just isn't any logic to it!

Oh and Great Oaks and or still pond will be on the itinerary!
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Old 06-22-2010
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Great Oaks (Fairlee Creek)= hang out for gold chained power boaters with scorecards on the beach rating boats as they come thorugh the cut. No sleeping at night in that anchorage.
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Old 06-22-2010
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The power boat traffic in the harbor really isn't that bad. On weekends I've observed that a bunch of power boats tend to head out around 11 AM and come back between 4 and 6 PM. Early morning, mid afternoon and later evening aren't bad at all. The biggest potential point of traffic conflict is between Lazaretto Point and Ft. McHenry where the river gets fairly narrow. Between Ft. McHenry and the Key Bridge there's deep open water virtually everywhere except for inside the speed limit sign near the fort. Most of the power boaters will (inexplicably) drive right down the middle of the shipping channel or stay darn close to it. If you go off to one side or the other you'll probably get a smoother ride.

The other thing to be aware of is commercial shipping traffic. There can be a lot of it and sometimes people aren't used to dealing with it. If you see a couple of tug boats and a black pilot boat heading towards a ship in port, that usually means you'll have to contend with the ship coming out at you within short order.

Reports of crime against those not involved in the drug trade in Baltimore are greatly over-exaggerated though the Inner Harbor proper is not as safe after dark as it used to be. The restaurants and shops down there are all tourist traps anyway. You might want to go over by day to check out the Science Center, the Visionary Museum, and/or the Aquarium and then head back to Harbor East, Fells, or Canton for the evening. I'd second the recommendation to stay in the Fells Point area. Lots of marinas, accessible to other areas, and it's pretty safe to walk around there as long as you stay below Eastern Ave.
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Old 06-22-2010
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Chef, last year we were at Great Oaks and loved it. Sitting at anchor listening to Reggae was the best part.
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Old 06-22-2010
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We went to the Inner Harbor on Memorial day weekend, powerboat wake was a real problem - I'm talking 4 foot rollers on both sides. I actually had a fire extinguisher bust loose from it's bracket because of the bouncing I took - and this at 9am in the morning on a non-bouncing, no roll catamaran.
I don't think I'll be going back, shame, it was a nice place to visit (at 104 bucks for the night).
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Old 06-22-2010
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that's very common up here on the River Chuckles. I just swing into em and take a rocking horse ride if at all possible we are actually starting to enjoy it! I don't know about being on a cat though. sounds rough.
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Old 06-22-2010
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I wouldn't gauge any place on the Chesapeake by what it's like on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends.
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