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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have a favourite cruising guide for the Chesapeake? I am looking for one that is really good for identifying anchorages.

Thanks
 

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We really like The Gunkholers Guide to the Chesapeake. It's in book format, written by a fellow that cruised the bay with his family for many decades and explored virtually every nook. It also covers Delaware Bay up to Philadelphia, I believe.

The Gunkholers Guide has little chart inserts for anchorages, harbors etc, but you need to have real charts to accompany it. We use the ADC Chesapeake chart pack supplemented by a few NOAA charts (and our little Garmin plotter).
 

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Also consider Goolge Earth

Chesapeake Bay Magazines, Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay

West Marine: 2009 Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay Product Display

I will also plug Active Captian: ActiveCaptain - The free, interactive cruising guidebook
Open the chart book and scan down the the shore with Google Erth. The 2 together will show up some interseting possiblities that you may overlook. It also gives a different perspective, pardon the pun. It helps yu combin visual understanding with navigation details.
 

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If you want to go low-tech and are looking to just buy or borrow a printed book, try Shellenberger's "Cruising Guide to the Chesapeake" - lots of accurate descriptions of anchorages.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Killarney,

I saw your other thread where you indicated that you will simply be transitting the Chesapeake enroute to other destinations (Bermuda, etc).

The Gunkholers Guide by Shellenberger that I and others recommend is, as Auspicious put it, "the bible". But now knowing that you will be more of a transient, I will add that it is a fairly expensive hardbound guide.

So, it may not be worth the investment for someone that is just passing through? You might get by with a cheaper chart pack and advice from some of us "locals" here at Sailnet.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I concur. If you are just passing through just give your time frame and desires - you'll surely get plenty of help without buying a guide.

The Bay is easy sailing. The only thing tricky at all is fish traps, and even that is only an issue at night.

sail fast,
 

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Aeolus II
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The Bay is easy sailing. The only thing tricky at all is fish traps, and even that is only an issue at night.

sail fast,
I would agree about the book, "Cruising The Chesapeake, A Gunkholer's Guide". That book is the bible for cruising The Bay.

I would add another "tricky" part. That is summer squalls. They can be treacherous. In my 35 years experience sailing on The Bay I have learned that for most times, if you are off the water by 4pm you will be safe. Also, worth noting for the rookie Bay sailor is the bugs. They can turn a pleasant day on the Bay into a nightmare. Get some bug juice, some recommend Skin So Soft and others use something with loads of Deet, take your pick. The Jellyfish get progressively worse after July 4th.

Lastly, make sure you stop in for some Chesapeake Bay crabs, a treat that makes The Bay.
 

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Why just pass through. It's much to nice to miss such a great crusing ground. Stay awhile and enjoy it.
 

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S/V Pearl Bristol 45.5
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Schellenberger's book is a bit dated, and the new release didn't seem to be updated much. We use it for planning.

We like the Chesapeake Bay Magazine's cruising guide - good local info, chartlets etc. and not much advertising like some of the others. Updated annually.
 

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Tartan 37
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One thing to note...

I agree that the Schellenberger's book is a "bible" for the bay, but then the bible is pretty old isn't it ;) I believe that last updated version of Schellenbergers book was 2001???

The Guide to Cruising the Chesapeake Bay, by Chesapeake Bay Magazine has a 2009 updated version. This is not so important for finding great anchorages/locations, but the new versions usually have updated shoaling notes and marina services, which I find useful.

In addition, your supporting a local company, CBM is in Eastport/Annapolis at 1819 Bay Ridge Ave, Annapolis MD 21403 ;)
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the responses

Quite a bit of good information for me to digest. Certainly Active Captain looks very useful, especially for areas that I will be passing through rather than staying in. Nothing like local knowledge re things like squalls and bugs. Sounds not unlike Lake Ontario which was my main cruising ground for many years.
 

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Aeolus II
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What resources to use when

I agree that the Schellenberger's book is a "bible" for the bay, but then the bible is pretty old isn't it ;) I believe that last updated version of Schellenbergers book was 2001???
Let's not forget some very important facts relating to cruising The Bay. First, when you look at the most recent chart available you think you are seeing recent sounding data. BUT, with the exception of the main shipping channels on The Bay you may be looking at data that is 75-100 years old! If you look at actual NOAA paper charts they will tell you when the sounding data was taken. It will shock you. Given that, a cruising guide that is dated to 2000 should be just fine.

Lets look at what is critical when cruising. The ship channels are so deep for yachts that we need not worry about them, and the remote creeks and anchorages are fine, we enter them with a depth sounder on we know if we can make it in with ease or need to look elsewhere. Where we need t worry is in the channels like Kent Narrows and Knapps Narrows and Entering Tangier Island and Smith Island. Those channels are important for transiting areas and not knowing if you can make it through and not be able to make that decision based on a chart or guide book is perhaps dangerous.
 
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