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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning a 2 week cruise the first two weeks in September. The plan is to depart Norfolk Saturday August 28 and return Saturday, September 11. We are meeting family in Annapolis and have an Air BNB reserved from Thursday September 2 through Sunday September 5. So that gives me 4-5 days to reach Annapolis, and then about 6 days to get back home.

My idea is to push to reach the waters in the vicinity of Annapolis as quickly as I am able (weather permitting), and then do some exploring in the days before and after our Annapolis stay, and then make my way back down South to Norfolk. I am familiar with the waters in my local area (roughly Mobjack Bay south), but have never ventured past Solomons.

Not planning on bringing a dinghy on the trip, so looking for a mix of anchorages and marinas. I have the Gunkholer's Guide, and frankly there are so many rivers, towns, and anchorages it gets a bit overwhelming. So any ideas/recommendations of places to see on my trip would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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It would help if you mentioned what kind of boat you have so it would be easier to visualize reasonable day's runs. If I were making that trip,
Day 1: I would try to make Deltaville for a marina or Fishing Bay behind Stove Point Neck for an anchorage south of Stingray Point. .
Day 2: Solomons Island (if you have a slow boat, maybe tuck into Reedsville or Mill Creek off of the Great Wicomico River. and then jump to Solomons)
Day 3: I would jump to Hudson Creek on the Little Choptank. or if you have a faster boat then Edge Creek off Broad Creek off the Choptank River.
Day 4: I would jump to Annapolis.

If you are shallow enough and don't mind horseflies, and the weather is quiet, you can also tuck in behind Smith Island and maybe slither out through Big Thorofare. (I have only done that in a powerboat). Otherwise slither out throuygh Kedges Straight.
The only hard day is the jump from Deltaville to Solomons Island.
Jeff
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It would help if you mentioned what kind of boat you have so it would be easier to visualize reasonable day's runs. If I were making that trip,
Day 1: I would try to make Deltaville for a marina or Fishing Bay behind Stove Point Neck for an anchorage south of Stingray Point. .
Day 2: Solomons Island (if you have a slow boat, maybe tuck into Reedsville or Mill Creek off of the Great Wicomico River. and then jump to Solomons)
Day 3: I would jump to Hudson Creek on the Little Choptank. or if you have a faster boat then Edge Creek off Broad Creek off the Choptank River.
Day 4: I would jump to Annapolis.

If you are shallow enough and don't mind horseflies, and the weather is quiet, you can also tuck in behind Smith Island and maybe slither out through Big Thorofare. (I have only done that in a powerboat). Otherwise slither out throuygh Kedges Straight.
The only hard day is the jump from Deltaville to Solomons Island.
Jeff
The boat is a Crealock 34, so not the fastest, but fast enough. I don’t think any of the distances you’ve mentioned should be a problem. On the return leg I think we will have a day or two to explore the area around Annapolis before heading back south. Any recommended stops?
 

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St Michael's is roughly 5 hours south of Annapolis, worth a side trip IMHO . You might be able to tie up at the museum, with a membership. ( worth it.)
 

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  • Oxford and the Tred Avon
  • Mill Creek near Reedville
  • The Wye - Dividing Creek
  • Langford or Grey Inn Creek up the Chester
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
  • Oxford and the Tred Avon
  • Mill Creek near Reedville
  • The Wye - Dividing Creek
  • Langford or Grey Inn Creek up the Chester
thanks! This is very helpful in narrowing things down. A follow up question- how big of a concern are insects for the anchorages mentioned?
 

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Good question... It varies with weather. Its been pretty dry. I was out last week and didn't encounter many flies or mosquitos, didn't even bother with screens.

I forgot to mention the Rhode River as an anchorage. If you decide on Solomon's, Spring Cove or Zangizers are both good if you need a pool. Past Solomon's is St. Leonard's Creek, worth considering.
If you have never been up the Nanicoke River it's worth checking out and anchor near Onancock for a protected spot. Neat little town and the river has some great beaches to explore if you have a dingy for access. Crisfield is okay, Sommers Cove Marina is about the only place to go but the surrounding islands are beautiful. If you go to St Mikes, and have never been, definitely go in from the Miles River side. You can anchor in the cove just outside the Maritime Museum but it gets crowded quick, the alternative is to port just before entering the harbor inside or outside. Be sure to set your anchor well, people drag there often (read JeffH post in the Chesapeake Bay 2021 thread).

In Annapolis, if you choose a mooring, you can just pick up an open on then call the harbor master but worth checking first. You may get lucky and could tie up to the bulkhead in "Ego Alley" if you want that experience... Can be fun if you never have. ;)
 

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Why not bringing the dinghy? Will really limit your options for exploring if anchored coming and going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why not bringing the dinghy? Will really limit your options for exploring if anchored coming and going.
A good question. We don’t have Davits, so we would be hauling the dinghy behind us for 2 weeks or be trying to inflate it on the deck and then launch it. The plan has always been to do a mix of anchoring and marina stays, so on balance I think we prefer the simplicity of not worrying with it vs the risk of hauling it behind us or the hassle of storing it and inflating it on board and launching it.

Certainly a compromise, but aren’t most things?
 

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The reduced hassle of no dinghy makes some sense. As long as most stops will be in a marina slip or a mooring with launch service, you won't be too restricted. I also don't have davits, but have towed my dinghy for 20 years when crusing on Long Island Sound and southern New England waters. Motor is always off the dinghy and on the stern rail when towing. Never had an major issue.
 

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IDK, I'd bring the dinghy and the outboard. ( or oars) It really doesn't take up that much room on deck ( or even in a quarter berth ) deflated. If you don't need it then don't use it. But, at least they're there if you do need them. I have also taken trips where I never needed to use the Dinghy, but the option was there if I needed it.

I look at it as a safety feature as well as convenience.
 

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Bring the dink!

Been on many multi-week cruises on Bay, mix of anchoring, mooring, and slip, and dingy was always a good toy for cruising around, fishing, getting to shore. After a day of no wind, zooming around was just plain fun.

We lash it to foredeck, deflated, until first use. Then we tow it with a bridle, with outboard on stern rail. Never had any problems but during CQM or bad weather either pull it up close or bring it on deck.

We did cut the tow line one time while anchoring when we forgot all about it. We now always designate one crew as dink meister.

Be prepared to do some serious cleaning, two weeks in the water and the bottom will be pretty scummy.:-0

dink in tow.jpg
 

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At that time of the year, and during the week you may find there are no harbor water taxis. Especially in St Michaels. There are none In Cambridge or Oxford. If you go to Cambridge, and at that time of year they have some great weekend regattas like the canoe sailboats or the skipjacks, book a spot at the Cambridge yacht club. And sailing the Choptank is always fun. Get ther from Annapolis go through knapps Narrows.
 

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I had a nice stay in annapolis at the annapolis yacht basin. Nice clean heads, nice people, nice access to the down town. Had an OK stay at St Mike. @ Higgins. OK docks, but the marina heads were pretty gross. Not sure id want to joing the CB Musuem for 135, just so I could spend another 100 for slip fees If you were more more local to the area and it could be a repeat destination, then yes... cbmm is a good cause though
 

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Near the red "4" on the west channel we touched bottom at/near low tide with a 4'4" draft.
 

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You will have a lovely trip!

I would highly recommend a stop at St. Michaels or Oxford (you don't need both) as both are lovely places and classic middle-Chesapeake spots. I've been to St. Mikes via the front and back doors and much prefer the quiet anchorage of the later (San Domingo Creek off Broad Creek) but you will need a dinghy to access St. Michaels from the back door. If you do St. Michaels from the Miles (the front door), you can easily add a short day up the Wye, which has many lovely anchorages. If you go to Oxford or St. Michaels (back door) you can easily spend a few lovely days exploring the Choptank, which is a lovely quiet cruising ground full of pretty anchorages and shore birds.

Seconding Rhode River as the nicest anchorage near Annapolis. Especially if you can hit it during the week and not Labor Day weekend (it's popular).
 
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