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My boat's still on the hard in PA and under the cover. I spent the last two days polishing the hull with my Makita and waxing the whole thing. I'm a little sore, but the hull looks the best it's looked since I bought her 5 years ago. Launch is still 4 weeks away due to work and personal conflicts. I'll do the 2 day trip to Rock Hall and pull into my new slip on Swan Creek. Can't wait - it looks like weather is breaking early this year!
 

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I'll be launching in 2 weeks and I've scheduled four days off from work to do some sailing. This will be my summer of sailing, having just purchased the boat last August. We're also changing marinas. But I am liking what I'm seeing of the weather and wind forecast. I'm enjoying checking into the NOAA app for the Chesapeake Bay buoys.

And what is the technology by which they gage sea nettle density on those buoys? That is amazing.

See everybody on the water.
 

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Got out again this past weekend. Moved the boat from Annapolis to her new home on the Rappahannock. Stopped overnight at Solomon's, then made a longer day Sunday. Great trip with some beautiful weather, saw exactly two other sailboats the whole weekend!

[/QUOTE

Did you say Rapp?? We've been there a couple of years. Good location ;-)
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Yesterday, the owner and I delivered a Bristol 34 from Saint Michaels to Langford Bay Marina. We started out in a pea soup fog, so dense that we could not see the harbor mouth red and green channel marks from shore.

We had Navionics on a cellphone which proved almost useless. I ended up doing traditional piloting, and dead reckoning; as in using time, speed, and course to find the next mark. It worked well bringing up all of the marks within our couple hundred foot visibility. It felt good to still be able to do old school navigation.

The fog began to clear as we were going through Kent Narrows. We went through an hour after low tide and never saw less than 8 feet of depth. Once in the Chester River, the fog almost completely cleared up and a breeze filled in.

I have not sailed a Bristol 34 in quite a few years but I've always been impressed by how well they sail. Yesterday I was really impressed with how well the Bristol sailed in light air with non-performance oriented, triple-stitched, offshore style, dacron sails.

I came away thinking yet again that the Bristol 34 are one of best designs of their era, and/ available for around $10k.

I also have not tucked into Langford Bay Marina in a number of years. I was reminded that Langford Bay Marina is one of the nicest small marinas on the Bay. It has always been the best of what old school style marinas can be, offering full service, a well stocked store, family oriented facilities all located in a beautiful location on a protected body of water. Slips seem to be reasonably priced and apparently they still are not booked up. I thought the slips were nicely laid out with long length finger piers and logically placed piling layouts. (I have no affiliation with Langford Bay Marina but strongly believe in supporting marinas like Langford and often see members looking for affordable marinas on the Bay.)
Jeff
 

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I came away thinking yet again that the Bristol 34 are one of best designs of thier era, or available for around $10k.
I'm pretty sure Stovy Brown's Age of Reason was a Bristol 34.

Age of Reason was always a boat to watch in the Governor's Cup fleet back in the day.
 

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Has anyone gone through Knapps Narrows this year? I thought all was good there after the dredging a couple of years ago, but last October I ran aground on the west side while following the markers pretty closely.
 

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I've been looking at charts planning some trips for this upcoming season (new to the Chesapeake), and have seen some pretty grave warnings in the "Fish Trap Area" marked spots. They appear to be all over the Bay outside marked channels. I was originally satisfied keeping a lookout for marker bouys/fish nets, but my charts (Navionics) have this warning:
Caution area
Information: Fish trap areas and structures-Mariners are warned that numerous uncharted duck blinds and fishing structures, some submerged, may exist in the fish trap areas. Such structures are not charted unless known to be permanent. Regulations to assure clear passage to and through dredged and natural channels, and to established landings, are prescribed by the Corps of Engineers in the Code of Federal Regulations. Definite limits of fish trap areas have been established in some areas. Where definite limits have not been prescribed, the location of fishing structures is restricted only by the regulations.
I've seen floating trap markers of various types (from obvious ones to a gallon plastic jug), fish netting traps strung between poles, and I know what a duck blind looks like. But this language gave me pause enough to want to ask the question. Are these areas safe to sail through during daylight keeping a sharp lookout for obvious pots/nets, or do you keep clear? I have a fairly deep draft so I'm not looking to edge up on shore, but I see this area extending out into 40 foot deep water. It seems like a large portion of the Bay wouldn't be usable if everyone stayed out of these spots, but still seemed worth asking.
 

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I've been looking at charts planning some trips for this upcoming season (new to the Chesapeake), and have seen some pretty grave warnings in the "Fish Trap Area" marked spots. They appear to be all over the Bay outside marked channels. I was originally satisfied keeping a lookout for marker bouys/fish nets, but my charts (Navionics) have this warning:


I've seen floating trap markers of various types (from obvious ones to a gallon plastic jug), fish netting traps strung between poles, and I know what a duck blind looks like. But this language gave me pause enough to want to ask the question. Are these areas safe to sail through during daylight keeping a sharp lookout for obvious pots/nets, or do you keep clear? I have a fairly deep draft so I'm not looking to edge up on shore, but I see this area extending out into 40 foot deep water. It seems like a large portion of the Bay wouldn't be usable if everyone stayed out of these spots, but still seemed worth asking.
I don't doubt there may be remnants of old fish weirs out there, but I pretty much go by the "Big Bay, Little Pole" philosophy when it comes to uncharted hazards I can't see.

I'm not the guys you'll find sailing through the target area or over charted wrecks, but if I don't see a fish trap, I'm not going to worry about a vast area on the chart warning there may be fish traps. Over the years, I've added marks in my chart plotter (I use skull and crossbones) for every visible fish trap I've passed. Some I've marked are no longer there but I don't remove the mark, just in case it wasn't cleanly removed. Although these marks are not precise, they serve warning to keep a sharp lookout in daylight and to avoid that area at night.

Floating traps are my constant nightmare as they are never charted, constantly shifting and the River our boat is on is chock full of them. Going through there at night is as stressful as anything I've had to deal with on the bay.
 

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You should not have to worry about floating fish traps or gill nets, mainly because the commercial netting season is not open this time of year. Now, there are pound nets, also known as stake nets, which are marked by a dim lantern at the far end of the net. They are easily seen during the day, and most are marked on your charts.

Crab pots are marked with both bleach bottles (non Commercial) and foam flats about the same size of a bleach bottle. Most are either red or black in color and easily seen. If you have a full keel boat, they are not usually a problem and merely slide down the side of the boat and exit off the rudder without snagging the marker line. In the years I sailed the bay with my Morgan 33 Out Island, I never snagged one, and I know I hit thousands of them while sailing at night.

Hope this helps,

Gary :cool:
 

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there a few stake nets around herring bay... near marker 83a. But they are very visible in daylight, can't vouch for nightime.

nice day to be on the water yesterday would have liked a bit more breeze
139111
 

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StressedPenguin, we had similar nervousness years ago when we noted those 'fish trap' zones, some were large and unmarked on Bay but only on the Chartplotter. At first we avoided them as best we could, then realizing that there did not actually appear to be anything there combined with other vessels plowing right into the zones unabashedly (likely wondering why we were suddenly tacking perhaps) we now simply pause and take a look through binoculars before going through. Generally speaking we see things sticking above water and also noted on the chartplotter or paper map.
Crab traps can be pretty annoying by daylight, swerving back and forth to avoid them, and a special kind of a horror at night, as they cannot easily be seen unless its bright moonlight, and some of them are using dark colored buoy/floats. It depends heavily where you are though, but from what I've experienced anywhere between 8 - 16 feet (3 - 5 meters) you need to be very aware of them. I cannot speak to having a full-keel, but it sounds like it would be a bonus not having to be concerned with those annoyances.
 

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We were able to get out there yesterday as well, we thought with the light wind we would get to test out our new (to us) asym spinnaker. The last 15 minutes of travel getting out of the river had the winds suddenly picking up steadily to 15-17. Not complaining! We had hours of wonderful sailing! Got chilly towards the end of the day but otherwise great afternoon.
 

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Regarding pound nets/fish traps- wastermen are "supposed" to register the coordinates with DNR and the user is "supposed" to notify the state when the nets are actually in use/in the water.
Although not for navigation, the current listing is here (covid waiver notwithstanding)- I have in the past entered these into the chartplotter for a rough estimate.
Night sailing near these is an invitation for a rapid deceleration event- often they simply place the yellow highway work lanterns on the outboard pole, and when the battery dies...
 

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Regarding pound nets/fish traps- wastermen are "supposed" to register the coordinates with DNR and the user is "supposed" to notify the state when the nets are actually in use/in the water.
Although not for navigation, the current listing is here (covid waiver notwithstanding)- I have in the past entered these into the chartplotter for a rough estimate.
Night sailing near these is an invitation for a rapid deceleration event- often they simply place the yellow highway work lanterns on the outboard pole, and when the battery dies...
I did not know about that, great info! Thanks for posting it.
 

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Regarding pound nets/fish traps- wastermen are "supposed" to register the coordinates with DNR and the user is "supposed" to notify the state when the nets are actually in use/in the water.
Although not for navigation, the current listing is here (covid waiver notwithstanding)- I have in the past entered these into the chartplotter for a rough estimate.
Night sailing near these is an invitation for a rapid deceleration event- often they simply place the yellow highway work lanterns on the outboard pole, and when the battery dies...
Unfortunately (or Fortunately depending on how you look at it) that site is like voter registration roles. Every one ever listed is still on it even if they died 2 decades ago.

There are nothing like that many pound nets on the bay, and no way to tell which are, and are not there. It shows ~20 pound nets in Herring Bay are there have never been more than 2 in the 10+ years I've sailed from there. From what I see, it looks like maybe 1 in 30 or less shown on the chart were actually there in recent years.
 
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