Sailing in the Potomac River - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 44 Old 12-29-2011
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Here's my one experience on the Potomac. I put in at a private ramp in McCay Cove (Tall Timbers area) and set out. Was the strongest winds and biggest waves I've ever had the boat in. The video was taken during a lull in the waves. Was a lot of fun in a 17 foot boat! Wouldn't be any big thing for the larger boats.

Crossing the Potomac in chop - YouTube

A few years ago, we pulled out of Tall Timbers headed for the Yeocomico on the VA side. our 38' Carver was rocking and rolling. Your video looks like a typical day on the Potomac. We get it a lot worse on the VA side.
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post #22 of 44 Old 12-31-2011
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Here's my one experience on the Potomac. I put in at a private ramp in McCay Cove (Tall Timbers area) and set out. Was the strongest winds and biggest waves I've ever had the boat in. The video was taken during a lull in the waves. Was a lot of fun in a 17 foot boat! Wouldn't be any big thing for the larger boats.

Crossing the Potomac in chop - YouTube

I agree that the conditions in your video appear close to ideal for my 36' boat, but the mouth of the Potomac can produce some of the roughest (arguably THE roughest) conditions anywhere on the Chesapeake. With strong winds against tides the Potomac area has rattled my teeth more than a few times when it was not all that bad just a little further south.
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post #23 of 44 Old 12-31-2011
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crossing the mouth of the Potomac

I have to agree with midlife here. I spent it seemed like a whol;e day getting the crap kicked out me on a passage back up the Bay from Deltaville to the Solomons crossing the Potomac.

Was a great sail before and after......but the 6 hours in between y, wet, bone jarring, and lots of cursing. It is an amazing untame place to transit when current and wind oppose.

Dave


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post #24 of 44 Old 01-01-2012
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I have to agree with midlife here. I spent it seemed like a whol;e day getting the crap kicked out me on a passage back up the Bay from Deltaville to the Solomons crossing the Potomac.

Was a great sail before and after......but the 6 hours in between y, wet, bone jarring, and lots of cursing. It is an amazing untame place to transit when current and wind oppose.

Dave
One of my worst trips on the Potomac was our first visit to St. Marys. It was a great reach up from Deltaville in nearly perfect conditions up to the Potomac, but the wind was right on the nose once we turned up the river and the waves were short and steep. Motoring directly into the wind, waves and current, we could only make a bit over 4 knots with about every 4th wave breaking over the deck, so it a was a long slog until we reached St Marys River.

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post #25 of 44 Old 01-01-2012
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Have you ever stood at Point Lookout, where the Potomac is on one side, and the Chesapeake is on the other? I have.

The river was wild, with white caps, and the bay was very tame, even though the wind was still whipping across it. It's definitely a study in contrasts.

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post #26 of 44 Old 01-10-2012
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One of the decisions that we are making this winter while our sailboat is on the hard is to either relocate to Conan River Marina (or near by) or remain within the crowded Deltaville area.
I knew that the Potomac had some chop near the mouth of the river but is it that rough and uncomfortable?

I sailed most of my life at Oswego, NY on Lake Ontario and at times, it gets fairly rough at times. The wave lengths are short but steep which creates nasty chop.
Maybe I should stay within the Deltaville area?...

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post #27 of 44 Old 01-10-2012
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coan river is nice, as are some places off the Yeocomico...make sure and the marina manager are on the same page, as what they say is more accurate than the paperwork they hand you.

the potomac as it meets the bay, can be as bad an area you have ever seen. Especially on the front or back of a fast moving storm. I have headed that way only to turn around at smith point. I have been there with barges and a tug and the front barge will rise and fall almost the full height of the next pair. Chop can be quite unsettling...the good part is you get experience and can always run to a safe creek or marina in just a few minutes. Some great hurricane holes, and most of the water is much deeper than around D-ville, although I heard that they have finally dredged the channel on the north side to a full 6 feet.

PM for more on marinas and management, if needed.
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post #28 of 44 Old 01-10-2012
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Originally Posted by patrscoe View Post
One of the decisions that we are making this winter while our sailboat is on the hard is to either relocate to Conan River Marina (or near by) or remain within the crowded Deltaville area.
I knew that the Potomac had some chop near the mouth of the river but is it that rough and uncomfortable?

I sailed most of my life at Oswego, NY on Lake Ontario and at times, it gets fairly rough at times. The wave lengths are short but steep which creates nasty chop.
Maybe I should stay within the Deltaville area?...
All I can say is if you think the Deltaville area is crowded, don't come north of the Potomac.

Up here you don't really need a boat of your own to get to the eastern shore -- just jump from boat to boat, as they're lined up from Herrington Harbor to Eastern Bay.

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post #29 of 44 Old 01-10-2012
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Current in Lake Oswego...is miniscule....current in the potomac can be as much as 5 knotts...in an opposing wind with the fetch across 15 miles of open Bay at the mouth of the Potomac does not compare at all

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post #30 of 44 Old 01-11-2012
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Chef2Sail, you're right, there is not a strong current on Lake Ontario as you would compare to the Potomac's mouth entrance to the bay but I have been caught in some really nasty white knuckle storms with 8' steep waves.

It doesn't seem that there are any strong recommendations for the Potomac. One issue that I have is that we sail mostly as a family with our two small children, 6 yr old girl and 8 yr old boy. They are comfortable sailing and really enjoy each cruise as an adventure unless it's 105 degrees out. I hate to have them get tossed around and start getting scared every time we head out. Getting caught in bad weather every once in a while is one thing and it happens but I hate to fight the current and chop on a constant basis.

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