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09-04-2013 01:00 PM
Re: Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

I like Urbanna and recommended it. It is a nice, quiet town with a few restaurants, all within walking distance. On the downside, it is in a rural area and 15 n.m. from the Bay, N.W. in and S.E. out, which can be frustrating if the wind is from the wrong direction. Do not go too close to the #2 Channel Marker for Urbanna Creek - there is shoaling to the south (correct) side of it. Just to the north of the marker is a low stone jetty that is difficult to see at night.

The Rappahannock River and its tributaries are beautiful. The water is generally flat, but there is a bit of a tidal current to contend with.

Be careful at night. For some reason, the GPS charts and some chartbooks do not accurately depict the Rappahannock River Bridge channel, which is currently missing a light on the north side of the channel. The channel is in the very middle of the bridge, which shows up as a "Note*" an an "Overhead Power Cable" on my GPS chart chip, not as a bridge.

(I would also be careful at Kiptopeake Beach - the private buoy marking the entrance is also missing a light. If I had not been there before, I probably would not have entered the anchorage at night, even though the pier is brightly lighted. As it turned out, mine was the only boat anchored there in early August).
09-04-2013 09:46 AM
Re: Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

I stayed in Kilmarnock when I bought my boat in Deltaville. It's a cute town with some neat shops, but I wasn't able to find much in the way of food. Don't get me wrong, it was edible, but I didn't have a meal there that made me want to go back to any of the restaurants.

Deltaville is also a neat place. According to several of the people there, Deltaville has the largest concentration of sailboats on the east coast. It was also the home to something like 30 different ship builders up until the 1980's. The people at Norton's were very nice, as were the people across the river (Deltaville Yachting Center). If you need ground transportation, you won't be able to rent a car in Deltaville; the nearest rental agency is Kilmarnock. I also had trouble finding a taxi that would serve Deltaville.

Another place I'd consider is Urbanna. I hear Urbanna is a very pretty, sleepy town with decent food (not being a chef, good food is a priority for me, can you tell?). Jameswilson keeps his boat there, IIRC.
09-04-2013 08:53 AM
Re: Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

I didn't get to stay there long, but Kilmarnock Virgina seemed like a nice little anchorage/marina.
09-03-2013 09:46 PM
Re: Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

St Leonard creek is a must.
St Leonard is a must visit just not on weekends, go-fast central going to Veras.

I hear Chrisfield got hammered by Sandy and is even less the town that Shawn saw.

Can't say enough great things about Onacock, great town, great food.

Old town Hampton has gone through a resurrection and is worth a couple days.
09-03-2013 09:24 PM
Re: Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

We have done the middle and southern Chesapeake 3 times visiting some of the same places each time including Solomon's, Oxford, St Mary's while always throwing in a few new places.

While I found Reedville interesting I couldn't stand the smell from the fish processing plant, but just south is Mill Creek, one of the most beautiful spots on the bay. We took cover there waiting out a storm.

Instead of taking a slip in the town dock in Cape Charles, we went up to kings creek, not recommended. The Marina was great but the channel was long and narrow.

Crisfield is depressing, once a bustling town is seems more like a ghost town. There's a coast guard station there restaurants I saw worth eating. It does offer a ferry to tangier if you want to do something different, or catch a ride on the mailboat.

St Leonard creek is a must.

St Mary's and anchor off the college in horseshoe bend. Should be a lot more to do since the college will be open, we were there in July. The historic town is a interesting visit.

Anyway, those are some of the highlights. I did a couple trip reports I posted here from 2010 and 2009
09-03-2013 08:44 PM
Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

I think that we'll get to Solomon's at least. Kind of depends on where the wind is blowing. Rather work upfront, then slide home.

I'll PM you but it may take a day, I'm in Honolulu.
09-03-2013 08:11 PM
Re: Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
We're headed out at about the same time for about the same duration. Maybe we can hook up somewhere. Onancock is on our agenda, it's been a few years since we've been there. Also Chrisfield. We'll probably skip Tangier - been there too many times but maybe stop at Smith, it's been a while.

Maybe we can meet up. Crissfield , Smith. How far north are you comming?

09-03-2013 03:56 PM
Re: Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

For a quick anchorage transiting North or South, you cannot beat the Sandy Point bight in the Great Wicomico River. It is only about 5 miles from the Western channel in the Bay and saves you from trying to find a place to anchor near the mouth of the Potomac. Well-protected, yet fairly open with a sandy bottom about 10-15 feet deep. The locals swim in the water and I have seen dolphins there, so it must be fairly clean.

If you need fuel, water or supplies, you can go to nearby Reedville, a cute town with some decent restaurants and a museum. Three miles farther upriver is Horn Harbor, a true hurricane hole.

Farther south, the Rappahannock has a number of nice little towns, including Irvington with the Tides Inn, Deltaville, and Urbanna.

Norfolk is a great place to visit, similar to Baltimore in many respects.

Cape Charles is worth a visit, although it has a somewhat industrial flavor. Just south of Cape Charles is Kiptopeake Beach, the last anchorage before reaching the north channel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. It consists of a beach, public restrooms, a boat ramp, a halogen-lighted L shaped pier and a harbor of refuge made from 7 or 8 sunken W.W. II ferrocement ships, which have become a rookery for some kind of sea birds. There are people out fishing on the pier 24/7. It can be an eerie place to anchor.
09-03-2013 12:22 PM
Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

We're headed out at about the same time for about the same duration. Maybe we can hook up somewhere. Onancock is on our agenda, it's been a few years since we've been there. Also Chrisfield. We'll probably skip Tangier - been there too many times but maybe stop at Smith, it's been a while.
09-03-2013 07:43 AM
Re: Late September 9 day Chesapeake Cruise

Dave, glad to hear you're making it out for some fall cruising. Sounds like a great itinerary - almost retracing our footsteps - and a great time of year to do it.

In Solomons we anchored behind Zahnisers marina right next to the mooring field they control. We found no need to pay for the mooring at $30 when there was plenty of room to anchor with good depth/holding. For $3 we could use their dinghy dock for 24 hours and the anchorage is also very close to the Calvert Marine Museum where they have free dinghy docking for museum visitors. You can stay on their dock as long as the museum is open even if you leave the grounds. I'd recommend visiting the museum. Although there's some overlap with CBMM, it does have a slightly different take on things with more orientation toward marine biology/ecology. We had lunch at the CD Cafe not too far from the museum and found it excellent although it doesn't look like much from the outside. There's also the Dry Dock restaurant on Zahnisers grounds which I've heard is good but we didn't try. Lots of options in Solomons.

If we had gone farther south, St. Marys City is actually about equivalent distance from Solomons as Crisfield (about 40 nm) by the time you go down around Point Lookout and back up St. Marys River. It didn't sound like there's much to St. Marys so I think we would have opted for Crisfield. From Crisfield it's also possible to take a ferry to Smith and Tangier Islands as a day trip. Coming back up from Crisfield might be a long haul as there's not a lot of places to stop until you get to the Little Choptank.

Hope you guys have a great trip - let us know how it goes.
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