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Discussion Starter #1
Good day all. I live in Las Cruces New Mexico. I was going to charter a small 34' boat this summer in Corpus Christy, TX. Now work has me going to DC this 4th of July for a year. We canceled our TX charter and plan to sail the Chesapeake Bay for 8-10 days. I'll have my wife (50yrs) and son (18yrs) with me.
I do not know the area at all. I'll be leaving from Harrington Harbor South, about 18 mile sail South of Annapolis.
What is there to do and see?
Some history and dinner in Annapolis, but after that, not sure what to do. I don't mind living off the hook.
Suggestions would be great!!!
 

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A good source of information is SpinSheet magazine, which is available on the internet.
 

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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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Well, you must tie up to Cantler's dock and get some of their famous Maryland blue crabs on the back deck! I only went there once by boat about 7 years ago so get some others' advice on the details. We probably tied up to the wrong dock, but it wasn't clear, and no harm or yelling occurred. You also have to be really careful about depths throughout the Chesapeake. Have a GREAT time :)
 

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Sailor
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Lots depend upon how much time you have. A nice cruise would be to sail across the Bay and up the Choptank R to the Tred Avon and stay in Mears Oxford or on the hook in town creek. Try to tour Cutts and Case to see their unique method of rebuilding boats. Fascinating place! You can visit St. Mike's from San Domingo Creek, otherwise known as through the the "back door."

Enjoy; the Chesapeake is a great place!

Tod


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Chastened
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For 8-10 days, setting off from HHS, I'd head over to Oxford first, across the bay. The Robert Morris House is there. This is the home of one of the financiers of the American Revolution. The home is mostly original and intact. It's a lovely B&B and restaurant. It's a beautiful little town full of history.

After a day and a night in Oxford, de-camp and move back out into the Choptank River and head north into San Domingo Creek. This is the "back door" to St. Michael's and it's very close to Oxford. Anchor out again. Enjoy the plethora of restaurants and some good tourism. All in walking distance of each other, there is a brewery, winery and distillery where you can enjoy some taste testing.

After a day and a night in St. Michael's via San Domingo Creek, head out to the Choptank again, and into the bay and head north to Annapolis.
You can get a slip at the town marina in Ego Alley, but be advised that the place is noisy, especially in the morning when all the delivery trucks arrive to re-supply all the eateries.
A better option for a peaceful night's sleep, is to rent a mooring ball and dinghy in or use the water-taxi.
 

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Sailor
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By the way, I think Cantler's is way overpriced but you've got to eat the Blue Crab. It's the area's specialty!

Tod


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Citizen Kane - Contest 31
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Welcome to the area. I sailed the bay for years, and just moved to Clearwater Beach, FL...I miss it already! I recommend you take some time to visit Solomons Island MD. Old school bay community, not so commercialized and crowded as Annapolis and great sailing. Zahnisers Marina is the best! If you are looking to charter in that area and need some suggested itineraries, i would suggest looking at Sail Solomons -- great folks.

Good luck and enjoy some of the best sailing!

Gerard
 

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Daniel - Norsea 27
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I have my boat up in Deale, but not HHN working on my boat. I've been told some places to see is Oxford, St. Michaels, St. Mary's Cambridge, Rock Hall and of course Annapolis.

From what I've heard, even a couple of these places will keep you busy for a while.
Have a good trip out on the Bay.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Well, you must tie up to Cantler's dock and get some of their famous Maryland blue crabs on the back deck! I only went there once by boat about 7 years ago so get some others' advice on the details.
St Michaels, Oxford, Rock Hall, Annapolis (agree on City Dock) are all nice visits.

Quiet isolated anchorages include Harness Creek off the South River and Granary Creek off the Wye River.

Solomon's is lovely but a bit far.

If you want to work in the quintessential Chesapeake crab there are many choices but Cantler's should not be one. The place has become a real pit, coasting on the reputation of the previous generation of owners. The prices are obscene, the service poor, the crabs smaller than promised, and the cleanliness leaves much to be desired. Mike's Crab House is a much better choice; it is a long dinghy ride as most sailboats won't fit under the Rt 2 bridge on the South River.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm adding these to my list to see what my wife thinks.
 

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The itinerary Ajax posted is a good start ASSUMING your charter comes with a reliable Dinghy. The "backdoor" requires you have a dink to get ashore and depending on how crowded you might be anchored some distance from the dingy dock.

I second going with a Mooring ball in Annapolis. The water Taxi is cheap and reliable and there is no better place to watch the goings and comings than the lower mooring field. Its also fun to watch the expressions on the tourist faces as you get dropped off on your boat.

I'm not one to stay put for multiple days so, personally, I would plan to hit a few more stops if I was going 8-10 days. If you went south you could easily hit Solomon's, (walkable with several decent restaurants and hard to pick a bad marina), Cross the Potomac and stay in any of the great anchorages past Smith Point (Personally partial to Sandy Point on the Great Wicomico), Hit Deltaville, or better head up the Rappahannock to anchor in the Corrotoman and then a night in Urbanna (walkable with a few decent restaurants), then start making make your way back choosing stops you didn't hit on the way down. FYI Solomon's pretty much requires a stop in each direction due to distances, but you could anchor once and stay in a marina once to switch it up and there are plenty of places for libations or dining.

Going north you could hit St. Michaels via Eastern Bay/Miles river aka "the front door" (marina or anchor), then head over to Annapolis or Rock Hall (swap the next day) and even up to Baltimore, The Patapsco is not the most scenic river, but GREAT dining in Canton or Fells Point.
 

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Chastened
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The Crab Claw in St. Michael's has good service, is clean, and isn't too much of a rip-off. Their methods of accepting payment are limited. This may sound crazy, but try to bring cash. It's easiest.
 

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The Crab Claw in St. Michael's has good service, is clean, and isn't too much of a rip-off. Their methods of accepting payment are limited. This may sound crazy, but try to bring cash. It's easiest.
They've changed there policy a couple of years ago..now accepts credit cards.On another note..see you at the CR 'Get together'?

Clay AA3JY
CR 34
Lankford Bay
Chester River, Md.
 

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Chastened
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They've changed there policy a couple of years ago..now accepts credit cards.On another note..see you at the CR 'Get together'?

Clay AA3JY
CR 34
Lankford Bay
Chester River, Md.
Probably not. I'll be elbows-deep into fixing the Tartan so that it too, can sit at my dock unsailed, next to my Pearson 30.
 

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Dakota Lee
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Depending on winds and weather I would recommend either going north to Elk River area and working back south or going south to the Smith Island/Tangier Island area and working back north. Make sure to visit Havre De Grace if you go north.

My preference is going south to the islands. They are like traveling back to the 16th century and it’s sometimes difficult to understand them since they speak old English. They represent the essence of watermen and I have never seen their like in demonstrating boat handling skills. Make sure you try the crab cakes! If you elect to go in from the bay and out to Tangier Island sound...make sure you have a good chart plotter and depth gage...channel winds about and the water is skinny...talk to a local about any issues based upon your draw...4 feet or so is not bad....6 feet....talk to two watermen! Going aground not a big thing...bottom is soft and normally easy to back out) Take a short trip up the Potomac River (mouth of the River is notorious for rough seas and keep eyes out for dolphins and perhaps a whale...this is also an area that they have been netting bull sharks) to St. Mary’s island (first landing place for Maryland’s settlers) and stroll Shark Tooth Island just a mile or so away for prehistoric shark teeth. Round Pt. Lookout and head to Solomon’s Island and make sure you have some dry ribs at SGT NCO’s BBQ….best ribs hands down that I have ever had. Plenty of places to have a more expensive meal but the locals all put in their orders in for ribs before 3pm otherwise they will be sold out!

Sail north to the Tilghman Island area for a night on the hook or head up towards St. Michaels for shopping and sightseeing. Cut over to Annapolis and cruise Ego Alley. Make sure you leave time for cruising the sailing establishments and one should at least take a tour of the Naval Academy…Go Army Beat Navy!

Be advised that weather in July can be a bit light in terms of winds and frequent afternoon thunderstorms are possible/likely. Take along a fishing pole and perhaps a crab pot if you are inclined to spend some time on the hook.

V/r

Pete
 

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Seasoned Salt
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There are so many places to go. And when I think back on my best cruises it has involved discovering places I did not intend to visit, or even knew existed.

That said I would buy two things:
Chesapeake Bay Mag's cruising guide.
The Maryland waters chart book. (avail at any West Marine)

(I love cruising the Virginia waters but you are starting pretty far north.)

Thus equipped, when you are ready to go look at the weather. Where are the winds coming from? What might be a nice angle of sail give the conditions? Go in that general direction.

You'll have a great time.
 
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