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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-09-2011 02:42 PM
I think you will love Piney Narrows

Hello Silvio. We kept our vessel at Piney Narrows for about 4-5 years. You will find the slips are aged but the facilities offer an easy to enjoy atmosphere. The heads are heated and air conditioned and it offers a room to one's self. You are assigned a parking space so you can always get heavy items to and from the car to the boat with ease.

You will find that there are slip owners who will rent their slips on their own and then there are slips available from the rental office. We did both, starting out with a rental office slip, then over a season seeing a slip for rent via an owner. We found the manager and the slip owner to be wonderful folks. There were some folks who keep their vessels there that may not be as pleasant but that is another story. Certainly more keepers then stinkers, if you know what I mean.

There is a pool, frequented by young parents holding babies in diapers. That kind of turned me off. The veranda on the office facility has a great view of the Narrows. One can sit there and watch the world go by. Red Eye's Dock across the water usually has a band on summer weekends. Also you will be able to watch the July 4th fireworks from your boat. The harbor is very protected but there is some noise off Rt. 50 if there is a South wind. You will want to avoid 50 (Bay Bridge) either traveling East on Friday afternoon or evening due to warm weather, beach traffic. Then Sunday PM has the reverse so you will want to avoid traveling 50 W during that time.

There are wonderful bike trails on the island and you can easily get to the library via bike on the trail. There are also loads of choices for eating out. Again, no car is needed as you can walk, dinghy or bicycle for many places for a meal or an ice cream cone. The favorite grocery would be the Safeway and there are a number of good locations for alcohol/wine/beer close by.

We loved that area. Kent Narrows does have some shoaling issues that can build over the Winter in the North Channel. We had hoped to be at Piney Narrows but did not find a suitable slip for this season. We will plan to be up on the Chester River so maybe we can meet in person some time.

Good luck in your travels,


Cabo Rico 34
lying in Oxford, MD
05-09-2011 11:58 AM
Silvio Thanks for the great pointers everybody. As I expected the members here are a wealth of information!

SVAuspicious- Thanks for the thoughts and hooking up with you for a direct sail across is very tempting, but I think I want to take my time and ease up the coast in short hops this time. I am using this trip as a 'decompression' trip between work and returning to school in January (need time on the boat to convince myself once again that I am not too old to be in school). I am hoping that my kids, brothers, sisters, in-laws, friends, etc. will join for a day or two at different points along the way. I suspect that I will have a boat full in the Keys and Bahamas and be alone north of Georgia :-)
05-09-2011 07:11 AM
PBzeer Since you have the time (and unless you're dead set on the Bahamas), I would make my way to Miami, then do a series of overnight hops up to Hilton Head Island (Miami-Ft Pierce, Ft Pierce-St Augustine, St Augustine-Hilton Head), then go inside on the ICW (I would go all the way to Beaufort Inlet myself in two more hops, the last two nights, but the trip inside is worth doing once).

Easy day to Beaufort SC, then two to Charleston (anchoring the first night), two days to Georgetown SC, then another two to Myrtle Beach, then to Southport, then an easy day to Wrightsville Beach (to put you in a good anchoring spot going to Beaufort). Two more days to Beaufort NC, then an easy day to Oriental. From there, you can go to the Outer Banks (Orcacoke, then Manteo), or follow the ICW up through BellHaven and the Alligator River. Then you have another choice of the Dismal Swamp (my choice) or the Virginia Cut up to Norfolk. Except on the Nuese River in NC and crossing the Ablemarle Sound (one day each), weather shouldn't be a big factor. Once on the Chessy, you have all kinds of choices.

The outside hops are weather permitting, of course. This is just a suggestion on my part, based on my trips through these areas, and what I think is a good mixture of speed and scenic.
05-09-2011 06:21 AM
john1066 I wouldn't be contemplating a South Florida and Bahamas sojourn in September and October - it might be the end of the hurricane season but it's by far the most active time. That might just me being overly cautious, but I've encountered enough hurricanes whilst making my way south from the Bay to the Keys to have great respect for them.

I'd head straight up to the Bay planning on going inside all the way with a chance that you'll have to hole up at some point to avoid a storm. Remember that going offshore you'll get large swells if there is hurricane activity even very far away, so if you see a window that will let you out for a few days offshore, just check that there is no unusual swell being reported. I once went offshore at Beaufort, heading south, and found an enormous swell running with only 15k of breeze - it was caused by two hurricanes passing way offshore.
05-08-2011 11:02 PM
2140 I have done the trip from and to Florida numerous times at the time of year you plan to travel. My best advice to you, considering the boat you have, is to not go outside after October, and even in October you could be pushing your luck. A Catalina of that size is not a boat you want to be in with a northern wind pushing against the gulf stream. If you have to do it, make short runs, after monitoring the weather, on the outside with a stop along the coast of S. Carolina, then go inside behind Cape Fear so you don't have to go around Frying Pan Shoals, go back out on the other side of Cape Fear and cross Onslow Bay. Then go inside at Beaufort and take the Intracoastal up to the Cheasapeake.

A longer yet safer route is the intracoastal waterway all the way up.

I would leave the inexperienced crew on land and take someone experienced if you decide to go outside at the time of year you plan to head for the Chesapeake.
05-05-2011 04:31 PM
SVAuspicious Hi Silvio,

I did see you said you aren't interested in overnight runs. I'd like to poke at that a bit. You can run from Marsh Harbour, Abaco to the Chesapeake Bay offshore direct in 4-5 days on your boat. It's a great and energizing experience. Most years a good weather window opens every week or so. If you need more experienced crew I can likely help you.

Just something to think about.

Oh - C&I in Little Creek or Norfolk is a much more pleasant experience than in Florida.
05-05-2011 04:18 PM
Silvio RichH-
I did not construe anything you posted to mean "DEFINITELY DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TRIP" What you said is very good info. Although I haven't done any boating in the Chesapeake area we have lived in Maryland before and I know how the weather can be during the fall. Some gorgeous days full of sunshine and mild temps, some days with raging wind and quite cold temps, rain, and sleet.

I threw out there that I have time to spare for precisely the reason that I can 'hide out' when necessary for several weeks (in total, not at one time) if it came to that. I will point out that I am kind of a sissy when it comes to cold so I would prefer to hide from bad weather on a dock where I can plug in and run the heater

Thanks again.
05-05-2011 02:53 PM
RichH Im not suggesting that the 'gales' will prevent you. What Im suggesting is that it may take longer because you may have to 'hide out' more often. Usually there is quite a bit of good sailing weather until the end of November in the Ches., etc.
05-05-2011 01:57 PM
Silvio RichH- Thanks for the input, precisely the thoughtful and intelligent kind of information I was hoping to get by posting.

RaynCyn- I will be sure to drop you a line when I get there. We are in the middle of a protracted move to Bethesda. My wife and kids (youngest is 15 but they are still 'the kids' " are already there but my work has me stuck in Florida for a while longer.

My back up plan if it just looks like a bad idea to make the trip that late in the year is to do the Bahamas part and then put the boat up somewhere near Jacksonville, FL. until the spring, then bring it up in April or May. I just hate leaving the boat that far away and not be able to run over and tinker with it when I have time.
05-05-2011 01:01 PM
rayncyn51 Silvio, Welcome to Chester. We are nearby, at Castle Harbor. We'll be making the trip the other way in a year or so. Would love to meet you and chat when you get here. PM or e-mail us at rayncyn51 at gmail. The beer will be on us. - Ray'n'Cyn
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