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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning a Chesapeake Cruise in my own boat in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping to make it down to St. Michaels at some point, and after hearing so much about Kent Narrows I don't know whether I should be excited or fearful about possibly going through there. Any suggestions for someone new to this? My boat draws a little under 4', and my air draft is about 36' from the waterline to the top of the antenna.

Actually, I have to admit that I've never even hailed a drawbridge before, so any advice you could give on that would be helpful too. Do you have to hail the bridge operator even when the bridge opens on a fixed schedule?
 

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You're good. Went through narrows just this past Friday. Current is nothing you won't be used to. The bridge tender can be interesting. Last Friday we arrived within 100 yards of the bridge at 11:01 after hailing him 5 minutes prior and he wouldn't open the bridge for us. We had to wait till 11:30 opening...then the bridge got stuck for at least 15 minutes...seems there's a crew there working on it.

On a weekend it can be a little busy, and often a lot of cigarette type boats from Red Eyes Dock Bar...but the DNR is usually out ready board.

Two weeks ago I went through 2 hours after low tide and the lowest I saw was 6.5'

Have fun...He usually answers on the first call using 13...sometimes you need to yell so he wakes up. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Shawn. We'll be going through mid-week, probably a Monday or Tuesday, so hopefully it will be slow.

Is the opening schedule also every 30 minutes on weekdays? (Time to pull out my cruising guide.)
 

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TakeFive -
Make sure to hail the bridge even if another boat in front of you has called for an opening. Each vessel must call the bridge independently for an opening, otherwise the bridge might come down on you as you are trying to go through it.
Also, make sure you get a response indicating they heard you.
This may not be as important in your area as the ICW further south, but it's a good idea anyway.
 

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We went through 1 week ago also. The red 4 on the North side is not in the correct place.

The current will be strong depending upon the time you go through and will get squirlly right at the bridge,

The boats with the current have the right away to first pass through

We tell the ender we are through when we clear as well as asking for the opemimg at the half hour.

Ei...Southbound S/V Haleakula requests opemig on the half hour.
 

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I question the need to traverse Kent Narrows at all, if you're sailing down from the north.

The jog into the Eastern Bay, rounding Bloody Point, really doesn't add a whole lot of extra time or distance to your journey.

Kent Narrows is a powerboat haven. The restaurants and bars are loud and rough, which is fine but may not be to your liking. If you stay in the Bay, and sail under the bridge, you have 2 or 3 very pleasant "bail out points" if things get rough:

Annapolis, West/Rhode River and technically the South River, though you'd have to sail further up river to get to any marinas or anchorages. There are two, nice restaurants in the West River, with slips if you don't want to anchor.

If you're hell bent on motoring your sailboat the shortest distance between two points, then you won't have any problems with Kent Narrows. I draw 5' and had no problems BEFORE it was dredged. I didn't even hail the bridge tender (but I monitored the VHF). I waited for the scheduled opening, and drove through with everyone else who was waiting.

Good luck.
 

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I'm planning a Chesapeake Cruise in my own boat in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping to make it down to St. Michaels at some point, and after hearing so much about Kent Narrows I don't know whether I should be excited or fearful about possibly going through there. Any suggestions for someone new to this? My boat draws a little under 4', and my air draft is about 36' from the waterline to the top of the antenna.

Actually, I have to admit that I've never even hailed a drawbridge before, so any advice you could give on that would be helpful too. Do you have to hail the bridge operator even when the bridge opens on a fixed schedule?
Dont sail in water under in water a little under4 ft., dont sail under anything under 36ft. and yell real loud. Buy a bullhorn or try throwing rocks at his windows. :D
 

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Beware when the current, tide, and wind are pushing the same direction. We did a few "fly by" approaches before the bridge opened and needed every last horsepower to avoid a pylon. 15 knots of wind on the stern plus 0.5 knots of current and engine power equals frightening speed. Those concrete walls were zipping by fast.

Josh


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I question the need to traverse Kent Narrows at all, if you're sailing down from the north.

The jog into the Eastern Bay, rounding Bloody Point, really doesn't add a whole lot of extra time or distance to your journey.

Kent Narrows is a powerboat haven. The restaurants and bars are loud and rough, which is fine but may not be to your liking. If you stay in the Bay, and sail under the bridge, you have 2 or 3 very pleasant "bail out points" if things get rough:

Annapolis, West/Rhode River and technically the South River, though you'd have to sail further up river to get to any marinas or anchorages. There are two, nice restaurants in the West River, with slips if you don't want to anchor.

If you're hell bent on motoring your sailboat the shortest distance between two points, then you won't have any problems with Kent Narrows. I draw 5' and had no problems BEFORE it was dredged. I didn't even hail the bridge tender (but I monitored the VHF). I waited for the scheduled opening, and drove through with everyone else who was waiting.

Good luck.
Bubble....for us the distance from our dock in Rock Creek Potapsco, north of the bridge is 30.4 nm through the Narrows to St Micheals and 41.4 nm if you head around Bloody Point. St mikes is achievable in 6 hours one way...8+ hours the other way.

The Narrows can be quite a time savings.

Especially if you are visiting the Chester or a Rock Hall.

There is no greater PB corridor than a Eastern Bay .

The Narrows being navigate able means for many of us we don't need a three day weekend to visit the Wye.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I question the need to traverse Kent Narrows at all, if you're sailing down from the north.

The jog into the Eastern Bay, rounding Bloody Point, really doesn't add a whole lot of extra time or distance to your journey....
Never done it before (that's why I'm asking), but my chartplotter program estimates Rock Hall-St. Mikes about 5 hour through the narrows, and about 8 hours on the outside. For us, it will all come down to the weather. If the weather's right we'll love sailing for 8 hours. If it's 95F and dead air, we'll just want to get there as fast as possible and do the narrows.

I tested out my boat's AC tonight. It took the cabin temperature from 93F down to 75F in about 45 minutes. Not bad for a 25 year old window unit that's been reconfigured for the boat. So if it's hot and soupy, all we need to do is find a place with shore power.
 

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Never done it before (that's why I'm asking), but my chartplotter program estimates Rock Hall-St. Mikes about 5 hour through the narrows, and about 8 hours on the outside. For us, it will all come down to the weather. If the weather's right we'll love sailing for 8 hours. If it's 95F and dead air, we'll just want to get there as fast as possible and do the narrows.

I tested out my boat's AC tonight. It took the cabin temperature from 93F down to 75F in about 45 minutes. Not bad for a 25 year old window unit that's been reconfigured for the boat. So if it's hot and soupy, all we need to do is find a place with shore power.
21.4 vs 34 nm from Rock Hall. Visit the Wye River when over there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
21.4 vs 34 nm from Rock Hall. Visit the Wye River when over there.
Dave,

Wye River looks fascinating, so we might spend an extra day in the area exploring. What are your favorite spots for seeing wildlife? Any particularly good coves for anchoring?
 

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If you head up the Wye which like Dave, I highly recommend, take the East side and you cant go wrong. Pick your anchorage based weather. Shaw bay is nice if you want a breeze and its hot, as is Lloyd Creek...if you want something more protected and its not stifling hot, must see Dividing Creek and/or Granary Creeks.

From the Wye your just a hour or so from St. Michaels which is nice meaning that you can get there early and pick your anchorage before most arrive and go into town. During the season/weekends they run a water taxi. A dingy dock is just after you pass the Crab Claw Restaurant near the entrance to the Maritime Museum (worth the price of admission BTW)
 

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If you head up the Wye which like Dave, I highly recommend, take the East side and you cant go wrong. Pick your anchorage based weather. Shaw bay is nice if you want a breeze and its hot, as is Lloyd Creek...if you want something more protected and its not stifling hot, must see Dividing Creek and/or Granary Creeks.

From the Wye your just a hour or so from St. Michaels which is nice meaning that you can get there early and pick your anchorage before most arrive and go into town. During the season/weekends they run a water taxi. A dingy dock is just after you pass the Crab Claw Restaurant near the entrance to the Maritime Museum (worth the price of admission BTW)
Shawn and I have the same favorite spots for the same reasons. The Wye is teaming with hawks and bald eagles. Granary is not for the faint of heart. Dividing creek has the "frog farts as Clay has before mentioned. Shaw can fit 100anchored boats

BTW to save 1/2 hour you can cut from Eastern buoy R8 direct to the Green 3 vs. going all the way around when you get near the Wye.

This is one great scenic area and one of our favorites, like the Chester
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
...BTW to save 1/2 hour you can cut from Eastern buoy R8 direct to the Green 3 vs. going all the way around when you get near the Wye....
Yes, I had noticed that on the chart and even asked someone about it in PM.

Can you list a few of your favorite Chester River spots? We need to drive back home from Rock Hall Thursday evening, so realistically we only have Mon-Thur to cruise. Chester River might be a more realistic destination for such a short trip. Maybe hop across to Annapolis for a day too. But going all the way to St. Mikes might take us too far to get back in time if weather isn't perfect.

FYI, after going home Thur night, I will be dropped off in Rock Hall Friday afternoon to singlehand the boat back to Essington. Weather permitting, I'll do Rock Hall-Worton Creek Friday afternoon, then Worton to Essington on Saturday.
 

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Rock Hall to Worton..3+ hours....Still Pond another of my favorites...4 hours

Chester

Most favorite is the little cove east of Cacaway Island on the east fork of Langford Creek above Davis Creek. Good depths for anchoring 8- 12 ft, quiet, protected...Eagles nests in the trees. We anchor here in Cctober to watch the "geese circus" This is where the geese migrate to and come in for a landing wave after squalking wave. Tumbling into each other...hit the mast and boat,,,too funny to watch for hours.

Another good spot is the Corsica River about 1-2 miles up it. Lots of anchorages...1 next to cliffs, Wash Point.... and then a round the bend from them
Rocky Point

Lastly Greys Inn Creek...tricky entrance, just be decisive and line up house on s shore and bouy. Once in anchor off of Prussian or Browns Point. More open and may catch a breeze from the Bay right accross the spit of land/
 

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chef2sail; said:
Dividing creek has the "frog farts as Clay has before mentioned.
No....'Turtle farts'..Dividing creek is one of the largest areas for Tarrapin turtles..also be prepared to have your anchor chain to turn black from the hydrogen sulfide that is produced in that creek..:laugher
 

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This is a very helpful thread. I've never made the Kent Narrows pass either and my son just moved to St Michaels. If Covid-19 is reduced enough I'd like to go there next summer from Baltimore. This post was just the info I needed. I have a 38 sailboat that draws 5'. I'll watch the tides, current and air but feel like I'll be ok.
 
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