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Discussion Starter #1
I'm bringing my boat down to Deltaville in March. I have about two weeks for the trip, so there is no great rush to get down the bay. I've gone down the bay and back once before, sticking to the Western Shore. I'm familiar with the destinations/anchorages on that side: Magothy, Annapolis, West River, Solomons, etc. I'd like to expand my cruising experience on the eastern side of the bay.

I'll be mostly single handing, but I may have some crew for a few days out of Baltimore, if I leave on a weekend. I'd like to do most of the trip sailing, not motoring. I will be sailing during the day and anchoring at night. I realize that it will be early in the season, and there could be some snotty weather. I've got no problem sitting in an anchorage a few days waiting out the bad weather. If the weather is marginal, I'll likely motor sail to the next anchorage down the bay. If the weather is perfect and I can sail on a broad reach in 10-15 knots and a light chop while wearing a t-shirt and shorts and working on my tan, I'll sail all day. :)

So anyway, I've never sailed further down the bay on the Eastern Shore than St. Michaels. I did visit Tangier Island years ago by ferry. I have the Dozier waterway guide for the Mid-Atlantic and will consult it for anchorages. I have a few other Chesapeake cruising guides too, but they're stuck on the boat. I wondered if you guys had any specific recommendations for favorite routes, destinations and anchorages on the lower Eastern Shore.

Thanks, Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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I went into Cambridge year before last. There are also other areas where you can go along the Choptank. It's also the setting for James Michner's Chesapeake. Other than that though, I"ve stayed on the Western side.
 

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Are you looking for populated areas or quiet anchorages? Actually most eastern shore places will be remote and quite specially that time of the year. I like Dunns Cove going through Knapp’s Narrows, Oxford, Cambridge, Little Choptank River, over to Solomons Island, Christfield, either Smith or Tangier Island or both and then to Deltaville. Have fun.......
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey John,

Hope winter is treating well down in NC. I don't think I'll be able to make it to FL next winter, but I do have fantasies about bring the boat down to NC and maybe as far south as Charleston, SC.

I don't really want to go as far out of the way as Cambridge. Looking at the charts, I was thinking about going through Knapps Narrows, and looking at somewhere along Tilghman Island as a possible anchorage, and continuing down to the Little Choptank as another possible stop.

Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Velero,

Those all look like possibilities. I think you're right that regardless of where I go, I'll likely have a quiet anchorage in March. My main concerns would be finding an anchorage where I could get a good night's sleep, and also not getting too far off the Chesapeake, so that I'm not spending too much time getting into and out of the bay.

I'll put a big X on my chart for Dunn's Cove. Thanks.

Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Decsion
 

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moderate?
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If you haven't been there before...you might enjoy stopping in at Crisfield MD just dead east of Smith Island. Nice little town and good muni marina there. You could then hop over to Tangier if you have guests that would like to experience it and then it is about 25 miles to deltaville.
Have fun...hard to go too far wrong!
 

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Where are you going to be in Deltaville?

We're at Stingray Point Marina, A-dock near the pool. Stop in and say hi, if you're ever around. The boat is currently on the hard over at Deltaville boatyard, but we'll splash around the end of March or first week of April.

Bill
s/v Palmetto Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bill, we did a road trip to Deltaville in the fall and checked out a bunch of marinas. The boat has a 14 foot beam, so it's a bit limiting. There were a few marinas that looked good and had space for us at the time. But I haven't committed to a specific marina yet. I think there is another Gemini at Stingray point, but he's on the hard right now. I'll be sure to stop by and say hi when I come by to visit the other Gemini.

Cam, looks like Crisfield will be part of the itinerary. The only time I've been there was when I took the ferry to Tangiers. If I try to stay strictly on the Eastern Shore, the next opportunity for an anchorage south of the Little Choptank looks to be coming in between Hooper's and Bloodsworth islands. Dozier's doesn't have much to say about the area. Any recommendations for anchorages? Keep in mind that I draw only two feet with the boards up.

Thanks, Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
 

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"Nevis Nice"
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Scott,

Hudson Creek in the Little Choptank would be a well-protected anchorage that time of year. It's a nice little anchorage, quiet and isolated. I second the other suggestions about stopping in Crisfield. We always ate dinner at Fisherman's Inn there. You can anchor in the Somers Cove Marina basin, off the Coast Guard Station, but the bottom is soupy mud. You might drag if the wind kicks up to 30 kts or more.

From Crisfield, I'd suggest heading south to Onancock, at the head of Onancock Creek, about five miles off the Bay on the eastern shore of Virginia. Some good restaurants there, too. There's room to anchor, or you can tie up to the bulkhead at the little Onancock Wharf marina. It's less than 30 nm from Onancock to Deltaville. If you're not ready to end your trip, try Mill Creek, off the Great Wicomico River, south of Smith Point on the western shore in Virginia. It's very well protected from all wind directions, and fairly unpopulated by houses on the shoreline.
 

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Bill, we did a road trip to Deltaville in the fall and checked out a bunch of marinas. The boat has a 14 foot beam, so it's a bit limiting. There were a few marinas that looked good and had space for us at the time. But I haven't committed to a specific marina yet. I think there is another Gemini at Stingray point, but he's on the hard right now. I'll be sure to stop by and say hi when I come by to visit the other Gemini.

Cam, looks like Crisfield will be part of the itinerary. The only time I've been there was when I took the ferry to Tangiers. If I try to stay strictly on the Eastern Shore, the next opportunity for an anchorage south of the Little Choptank looks to be coming in between Hooper's and Bloodsworth islands. Dozier's doesn't have much to say about the area. Any recommendations for anchorages? Keep in mind that I draw only two feet with the boards up.

Thanks, Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
I was thinking that Gemini might have been yours. I don't see them around much, but they are kinda' around the corner from me, so they could come and go without me seeing them. I checked the open slips at Stingray and can't say for sure that you'd fit any of them, but a 14' beam isn't all that wide these days, so it wouldn't hurt to call Brent to see.

As you say there are a bunch of Marinas to choose from down there, but I'm a little biased toward Stingray as the nicest, because the boat yard is completely separate. There are others that are nice, but more integral with a boat yard.

If nothing fits you at Stingray, I think Deltaville Boat Yard on Jackson creek would be my next choice with Fishing Bay Marina just right on its heels. Doziers is nice with the floating docks and all, but it is Deltaville, so I can't see paying Annapolis prices. Deltaville Yachting Center on Broad Creek is also ok, and I don't know much about the rest of the marina's on Broad Creek. Actually, FBYC would be my first choice, but I'm too cheap to join and would question the moral fiber of any club that would have me. lol

Look forward to seeing you on the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Hud,

I'll try to take advantage of any good weather early in the trip to get as far down the bay as possible. I'm excited to check out my new cruising grounds and will try to visit the places you mention. It would be nice to get my bearings in the area before I have guests aboard this summer.

Wish I was further south with you!

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bill,

We walked around Stingray, but no one was in the office the day we were there. I didn't see any slips that I thought my boat would fit in, and was surprised when another Gemini owner told me that he kept his boat there. But perhaps I didn't see the whole marina. At one of the other marinas I was told that the water at Stingray and further out the point was a little on the salty side, due to a cracked aquifer. Any opinion on that?

We visited all those marinas you mention, except for the yacht club. I agree about Dozier's. I don't see any reason to pay Annapolis prices in Deltaville. All the others are possibilities, as long as they still have something open when I get down there.

Scott
 

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Where to go south of Solomons

If I had to make a leisurely trip south, after spending a day or 2 in Solomons I would head across the Bay to the Honga River. It is shallow but I am guessing the Gemini can handle thin water. From there I would go to Deal Island. This is a winter home of a fleet of Skipjacks and you might be able to wrangle a day's ride on one. It is a wonderful experience that you will never forget (you will have to get up early). From there head to the back side of Tangier and enjoy a step back in time. From there Deltaville is a short hop down the Bay. This sounds like a fun trip and you should enjoy it. I would take some warm blankets and maybe a heater as march can be nasty cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Joe,

I'm trying to avoid Solomons, only because I've already been there twice by boat, and numerous times by land. I'd like to see some new stuff on this trip. Although I do have a free pier I can tie up to just past the bridge over the Patuxent.

If I come through the Honga river, do you have any info on anchoring in Deale Island? I would like to check out the Skipjacks.

No worries about the cold. I spent a week aboard the boat during the recent cold snap. The water froze at the marina and so did I. Pic of me on the boat then.
 

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Deltaville water supply

Bill,
At one of the other marinas I was told that the water at Stingray and further out the point was a little on the salty side, due to a cracked aquifer. Any opinion on that?
Scott
A buddy of mine owned a house near Stingray Point in Deltaville for a few years. The tap water (from a well I assume) was pretty bad, barely drinkable. Soap would not make suds with it. Bathroom fixtures stained badly so it seemed like it had a lot of iron in it or maybe it is salts.
I am not sure what is in the water but the rumor seems to be that an asteroid hit the area quite a while ago (>50,000 years) which changed the ground water situation. I have no idea what the water is like at the marinas.
Great place to sail from though. The Rappahonack is one of the cleanest rivers in the estuary.
 

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I just bought a 16' beam boat from Gratitude after Christmas - the slip may still be open. The travel lift did manage the boat... just.
 

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A buddy of mine owned a house near Stingray Point in Deltaville for a few years. The tap water (from a well I assume) was pretty bad, barely drinkable. Soap would not make suds with it. Bathroom fixtures stained badly so it seemed like it had a lot of iron in it or maybe it is salts.
I am not sure what is in the water but the rumor seems to be that an asteroid hit the area quite a while ago (>50,000 years) which changed the ground water situation. I have no idea what the water is like at the marinas.
Great place to sail from though. The Rappahonack is one of the cleanest rivers in the estuary.
From what I've been told the water at most(all?) of the marinas (at least on Broad creek) have high sulphur and tannin contents. The tannins cause the staining and the sulphur stinks like a$$.

I can't say for sure why, but the water at Stingray, doesn't stink like it used to a couple of years ago. I'm told they installed a reverse osmosis filtration system, but whatever the change, it was most defintely welcome. I'd suggest running the shower as a check at the marinas you consider to see if the water smells like a$$. Its slightly unpleasant but we tolerated it, and the good news is it doesn't make you stink -- once you get out of the shower its fine. That said, my wife is something of a Trooper. A higher maintenance model might put their foot down. The water in the town doesn't have the problem.

People have different ways of dealing with the issue. I've seen at least one that have gone to the length of rigging massive tank/pump systems, so they don't put marina water in their tanks at all. Some fill their tanks from 5 gallon containers filled up for free at the Fire department. (There is a hose bibb behind the sign in front) Personally, I use marina water in my tanks for washing bodies and dishes, but don't really drink it. I keep milk jugs of water from home or the fire department in the fridge for consumption. Also, any time I'm visiting someplace that has good water I'll pump out the D'ville water and get a fresh fill.

Its just one of those things you get used to that makes Deltaville, Deltaville. We intended to move our boat closer to home, but are having a hard time thinking of leaving the friends we've made and it really is such a great sailing area with less traffic than further up the bay.
 

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If I come through the Honga river, do you have any info on anchoring in Deale Island? I would like to check out the Skipjacks.
It has been a few years since I made this trip (I did it in reverse, south to north) but the Honga river was a pleasant stopover, but very thin water. The Deal Island harbor at Chance was beautiful for a working harbor. Not the picturesque marina type but work boats and 4 or 5 Skip jacks. I stopped there over the summer and later spent 2 days there on a cold December morning hitching a ride on a Skip jack to watch "drudging" in Tangier Sound. I am betting the boats will still be there in March and while the harbor is small, there is ample place to tie up even for your cat. Anchoring might be possible although the place is small. When I was there I enjoyed a special breakfast of scrambled eggs and corned beef in the small cuddy cabin at a table with all the boats crew. A special time for sure.
 

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Scott, i might be able to crew the whole trip if you would want someone, the whole way. i would get my self home but normal meals would be on you, and i dont mean fancy meals just stuff on board.

scott
 

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Hi:

A couple of places to stop along the way, especially if you have a little time and want to avoid Solomons is St Mary's. Very picturesque and historic (founded in the 1600's)...have been there a couple of times doing the Governor's Cup race (took 2nd place two years ago). The St Mary's River is beautiful.

Another stop that is great is Oxford which is also a little out of the rum line, but not too bad. The park on the river is very nice.

Have a good trip.

Moe
 
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