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Melrna 06-15-2007 11:42 AM

Cruising Chesapeake Bay
 
Ok big question. I am charting a boat next month to sail one of the top ten places in the world the Chesapeake Bay out of Annapolis for 4 days. Now the question is where do I go to anchor, swim, sight-see(maybe), islands to visit and anything else someone might suggest.
Melissa
S/V Freedom

SailorMitch 06-15-2007 10:42 PM

Solomons Island (maritime museum there), St. Michaels (another maritime museum there), Oxford, Rhode River, Galesville, Chester River (lots of creeks and rivers to explore off the Chester), Wye River, Rock Hall. Lots of choices from the busy to the more laid back.

camaraderie 06-16-2007 09:57 AM

Up the Patuxent to Baltimore Inner Harbor...national aquarium...little Italy...USS Constitution...Baltimore Orioles stadium...lots more all within walking distance.
Not as laid back as Mitch's spots...but a nice place to spice up the trip a little.

USCGRET1990 06-16-2007 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by camaraderie
Up the Patuxent to Baltimore Inner Harbor...national aquarium...little Italy...USS Constitution...Baltimore Orioles stadium...lots more all within walking distance.
Not as laid back as Mitch's spots...but a nice place to spice up the trip a little.

Where you been? I thought you would be the first to answer this post!:D

SailorMitch 06-16-2007 10:03 AM

That's Patapsco
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by camaraderie
Up the Patuxent to Baltimore Inner Harbor...national aquarium...little Italy...USS Constitution...Baltimore Orioles stadium...lots more all within walking distance.
Not as laid back as Mitch's spots...but a nice place to spice up the trip a little.

Cam -- One correction. It's the Patapsco River that goes to Baltimore of course. I didn't mention coming north to my home waters because, well, I sail it all the time and I gathered Melrna was looking for more of a Chesapeake flavor in the cruise.

SailinJay 06-16-2007 01:12 PM

SailorMitch and Cam have it covered, but if you only have four days, I'd rule out Solomons. That's a good 8-9 hour run from Annapolis (have done the round trip from Back Creek in Annapolis to Back Creek in Solomons three times---fastest time for me was returning in September 2004 in remnants of Hurricane Ivan--a crisp 6.75 hours). Rock Hall, St. Michaels, Baltimore Inner Harbor, and Oxford are the four closest locations (roughly in order of closest to farthest).

JohnRPollard 06-16-2007 02:23 PM

Melissa,

Your charter company can probably suggest a good itinerary for you. It partly depends on: (1) how much waterline you have; (2) what you want to see/do/experience. If you are interested in locations where this is a lot of human activity/nightlife, then sticking to the western shore (Baltimore/Annapolis) will suffice. I agree with the earlier post that Solomons Island is a bit of a stretch for a 4 day trip (unless you have a lot of waterline and a fair breeze).

But if you are more interested in the bucolic settings of the Chesapeake Bay, then head to the Eastern Shore. Two possible itineraries: (1) Annapolis - Wye River (via Eastern Bay) - St. Michael's - Tilghman Creek - Annapolis (Via Eastern Bay); (2) Annapolis - Dunn Cove (on Harris Creek, via Knapps Narrows) - Oxford - La Trappe Creek - Annapolis (via Knapps Narrows). Either of these will give you a good mix of quiet coves and interesting towns with provisioning/restaurants.

As for swimming, July will be a bit iffy. The water will be plenty warm, sure, but the jelly fish (what locals call "nettles") could be thick by then. They are not lethal, and many of us risk their tentacles for a swim, but they can be VERY uncomfortable if you have a brush with them (make sure you have vinegar aboard to neutralize the venom). On the two itineraries I suggested above, good swimming can be had in Wye River, Tilghman Creek, Dunn Cove, and La Trappe Creek. Have fun!

P.S. Thunderstorms can be a real menace this time of year. Keep a weather eye (most approach from the west during mid-late-afternoon) and be prepared to drop sails if one approaches. You can usually see them coming a long way off, so don't worry, but they can be fast moving and pack a punch so don't be complacent either.

pbonta 06-16-2007 02:50 PM

Cambridge, MD, up the Choptank is a lovely town, too and a bit less touristy than the others. Just hang a right at the Choptank Light and keep on going till the bridge at Rt. 50. It was Annie Oakley's home for a few years... great, inexpensive municipal yacht basin, a few steps away from some great Victorian architechture and a nice downtown.
Any and all of the places other readers responded with are great destinations as well, just be mindful of your draft if you go throgh Knapps Narrows!
Enjoy! ...and do keep a weather eye out for T-stoms as Mr. Pollard advised.

brak 06-16-2007 04:50 PM

Whatever you do - don't go swimming in Chesapeake. It has some of the dirtiest water I've seen anywhere. Last week I pumped some using my raw water sink pump, while sailing fairly far from shore - and it still stank like toilet.

Lots of pretty anchorages and good views, though.

ronbo1 06-17-2007 09:16 AM

Swimming isn't a good idea when the water temperature rises into the 80's or you've pick a spot downstream of a sewage plant...too many people living on the watersheds of the Chesapeake. North of Baltimore there are some small rivers where the water quality is better and the nettles are fewer due to lower salinity.


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