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Chesapeake Bay sailing is somewhat different as others have said than SF Bay in the number of neat historic towns and destinations all within a short 1-2 days sail. I have sailed in SF and the huge winds are great.

My suggestion is 1 of three spots.( In all of these spots its a short sail to the Bay proper and you can sail the large river when its blowing to hard on the bay.

Annapolis- crowded, touristy, high energy good restaurants, lots of money (pretentious- Ego Alley), great Wed night racing, acccess to the whole Bay. Slips priced double everywhere else. Chandleries and mechianics substantially priced more than anywhere else, horrendous traffic from DC and Gaitherburg. Last week it had a 14 mile backup as someone jumped of the Severn River Bridge

Magothy- Scenic, laid back, acccess to many northern Rivers without nettles( jellyfish). (seems those in Annpolis and south rarely visit Chester, Still Pond, Rock Hall, Whortons Creek which are north of the Bay Bridge)Cheaper by $3000 than Annapolis. Few public marinas and clubs

Rock Creek/ Bodkin on the Patasco- Great wide river sailing up to Inner harbor Baltimore when its too windy on the bay. The comment about the steel mill is minimal as it has the same impact as the prison (Alcatraz) in SF Bay had on you there. and the one about dodging the container ships is amusing . When the container ships leave the Patapsco they do not just evaporate, they go down the bay 80% of the time (duh). I am also sure you never saw any container ships while sailing in SF Bay. Rock Creek and Bodkin are scenic...close to Bay sailing (we put our sails up 5 minutes away fromt he dock on Rock Creek), acessable to the C&D canal and Delaware River to get to Cape May and take trips to New England ( We are headed to Mystic Connecticut this year), cheaper and have great ammenities. Our Maryland Yacht Club has a pool, restaurant, fuel dock etc if you want that. Mechanics and winter storage are cheaper, by thousands. Also traveling here from Gaitherburg is a much much easier drive. The chances of nightmare accidents on the way to Annpolis iocreases 10 fold at least on weekends. Remember the only way to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and its beaches in the summer for most residnets is across the Bay Bridge which is located right next to Annapolis.

Any of these three choices are good ones. The sailing here is great. The destinations are scenic and historic, and you will never get to see them all. And most of all the sailing camradierie of the Chesapeake Bay sailors is super. There are a number of Sailnet memebers from here. Just think also when you are not sailing in the winter, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York are less than a 3 hour drive away so your cultural oppertunities will be exponentially expanded.

Dave
 
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