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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, all! I'm fairly new to sailing; this is my second season. We keep our 27' Hunter at Port Kinsale on the Yeocomico River. I've had a variety of experiences on the water to include some really nasty blows near Smith Point. Terrifying and thrilling at the same time. :D

We've made several 3-4 day trips around the tidal Potomac to include: Tangier Island, Great Wicomico, Little Wicomico, Breton Bay, Smith Creek, etc. However, we're looking for something more grand.

We have 7 days available beginning August 31st. We hope to sail from our home port to Annapolis and back. I'm looking for some suggestions/advice on the trip. Given favorable conditions, we hope to make it to Solomons on day 1 (34 miles), Rhode River on Day 2 (40 miles), and Spa Creek on Day 3 (12.5 miles). If it goes as planned, we'll have an extra day to make up lost time.

Assuming that the wind cooperates, does this sound reasonable?
 

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a leisurely romp up the bay for sure...Piece of cake and if the weather blows you are in good places to hang out.

By then I hope the heat/humidity is about gone.

Enjoy and relax, should be a trip to remember
 

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One of None
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Don't expect much wind, do expect to motor allot, Moorings in the middle of Annapolis harbor are nice, (call the harbor master) Bring $ to really enjoy Annapolis, water taxis free (tip well) One of my fav free things to do is sitting on a bench and watch the yachts (the good, bad, ugly, fast,fat and fabulous) come down "ego alley" and do the pirouette! Consider Saint Michael's on the Miles river, a day from from Annapolis (not much cheaper although the anchorage is pretty nice.

terrifying = you didn't reef soon nuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, kd3pc! I'm hoping for a break in the heat by then as well.

I'm a bit concerned about the 40 mile leg - not sure if it's too ambitious. We'd really like to anchor each night as opposed to tying up in a marina. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of anchorages on the western shore of the middle Chesapeake. Heading up the Choptank seems so far out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Denise - Thank you for the reply. I'm a bit concerned about the lack of wind as well. We went out last year during the exact same time, and it was wonderful. Of course, Hurricane Earl had just passed by the day before, and we were most likely enjoying his wake.

Our intent is to pass under the bridge on Spa Creek and hit the first mooring field. I had no idea that the water taxis were free. Good to know. How do we call for a taxi? Do they monitor the VHF?
 

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Oxford would be a great Eastern Shore destination worth the trip up the Choptank. In addition, you can get to St Michaels easily from Oxford, just follow the ferry :) Its just about a mile walk if I remember correctly. The maritime museum in SM is very nicely done.

Just a thought...maybe a bit aggressive the first day...

Day 1: Yeocomico River to Oxford
Day 2: Oxford / St. Michaels
Day 3: Oxford to Annapolis
Day 4: Annapolis
Day 5: Annapolis to Rhode
Day 6: Rhode to Solomons
Day 7: Solomons to Yeocomico River
 

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The water taxis in Annapolis are not free! If I recall correctly, its anywhere from $2 - $6 per person each way? The water taxis monitor channel 68, water taxi website: http://www.watermarkcruises.com/watertaxi.htm

Most probably use the dingy dock at the end of "Ego Alley". BTW, you didn't mention if you have a dingy?

A mooring will run you about $25.00 for the night, with access to the Harbor Master Bath & Shower facility. Most likely you will want to pick up the first mooring you see, and of its hot I recommend one before the bridge. You would also not have to deal wit the bridge openings (every 1/2 hour btw) The wakes usually settle down at dusk.

FWIW, we did about a 90 mile run a few years ago from St Marys (Horseshoe Bay) to St. Michaels in about 14 hours. We left about 05:30 and dropped the hook around 19:30 averaging about 6.5 knts...which included motoring sailing for a couple of hours in the mid afternoon. But weather was optimal for the most part.
 

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The last time I paid was $30 for a mooring ball at the city harbor. If you intend to use their facility (shower and laundry), get you token ahead of time keep a spare, the office closes early (8 pm). In the weekend, get the mooring ball as soon as possible. They disappear fast. If this is the case, you can drop anchor just outside the mooring field.

I have never got a free water taxi ride. $3 is a norm, but $6 will get you to Back Creek from City harbor. It may be free during the boat show or special event.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
All good points.

T37Chef - We have a pseudo-dinghy. It's actually an Intex Seahawk II inflatable. It will carry 2 men comfortably - 3 men provided they leave their shame onboard the sailboat. No outboard, only oars. With that said, we don't have shame and can therefore squeeze all 3 guys into it. :) How far of a paddle is it from the mooring fields to the dinghy docks?

Also, thanks for the Oxford suggestion. I hadn't really considered smelling the roses along the way. I just assumed that we would be hard pressed to make it to Annapolis and back given our time constraints. From the comments listed it appears as though making the round-trip should be easily accomplished.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
BrokeSailor - The system wont allow me to reply to private messages - I have too few posts on the boards. It sounds as though we have different boats.
 

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Oxford would be a great Eastern Shore destination worth the trip up the Choptank. In addition, you can get to St Michaels easily from Oxford, just follow the ferry :) Its just about a mile walk if I remember correctly. The maritime museum in SM is very nicely done.
If I read and understood this correctly..it's more like 10 miles from the Bellvue-Oxford Ferry terminal to St. Michael's. It would be a nice ride if one had a bicycle..

Clay
s/v 'Tango'
 

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If I read and understood this correctly..it's more like 10 miles from the Bellvue-Oxford Ferry terminal to St. Michael's. It would be a nice ride if one had a bicycle..

Clay
s/v 'Tango'
LOL, yea I think thats slightly more accurate :eek: ...it was many years ago, and I now recall we biked it. Ooops. :eek: A quick check of a map woulda confirmed that ;)
 

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datswite, Looks pretty good to me. I don't think you'll have any trouble making solomons. Just be sure to mind the tides, as it can be ripping out of the potomac near Pt. Lookout. I deliever my boat to Solomons all the time, its close to 36 miles from st. Mary's for me. Takes anywhere from 6-8 hours depending on breeze. That's with a 25 footer and a 3.5hp outboard.
 

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No free taxi.

The Rhode is a very obtainable destination and a nice anchorage. (t37 and I spent a night there last year rafted up. Just stay clear of the well marked sunken island.

Oxford is a great suggestion and you can come through Napp Narrows the next day to save a few hours. As stated mooring balls are tough to find later in the day in Annapolis.
You have a better chance with the ones under the bridge as they have a 35 foot limit I beleive. If you have a few more days I would suggest St Micheals, Then Greys in Creek on the Chester, followed by Annapolis.

The Eastern shore anchorages are more peacefull and filled with wildlife such as hawks and bald eagles.

Dave

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow!! Great suggestions all around!

chef2sail - I actually considered the possibility of finding an anchorage near the mouth of the Choptank and transiting through Knapps Narrows to save some time. Studying the charts and ActiveCaptain, it looks like it might be tight depth-wise. We draw 4' 3". I guess, from your post, that this is definitely something to consider. Isn't there a drawbridge?
 

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Dats, join Activecaptain.com it's great! you will see charts, map, or earth with a single click. I guess I wr wr wrong about the water taxies.. could have sworn they were a few yrs ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, I'm a member of Active Captain. You're right; it's fantastic. The chartplotting software PolarView is also fantastic and integrates very nicely with ActiveCaptain info. Inexpensive, too!!
 

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I measure it as roughly 60NM from Kinsale to Oxford. That's a long day on a larger boat. I'm not sure I'd recommend it for a smaller boat, if a relaxing time is what you're looking for.

Kinsale to Solomon's is an easy do. From Solomon's if you find you can't make Rhode River, you could anchor in Herring Bay if the weather is settled, or if not you could hit one of the Herrington Harbor Marina's or Shipwright. Anchoring in West River without going up the Rhode is also an option.

The eastern shore destinations of Oxford and St Mike's are both a good ways east of the north-south highway of the bay proper, but are certainly worthy destinations. That said, I think you'll have to choose one or the other to work into your trip if you also want to hit Annapolis. I haven't measured that one, but I'd think either would be doable from Solomon's, though it may require an intermediate anchorage on the way to Annapolis then a short day to Naptown. We got a late start after the Maritime Museum in St Mikes and stopped in South River on the way to Annapolis. There is an advantage in this as the check out time for the moorings is noon and if you arrive right before then you have your best chance to find open moorings.

In Annapolis, I prefer the lower mooring field. Yes, there are a lot of wakes until well after dark and the shoreside entertainment can be somewhat loud, but isn't that why you go to anchor in a city environment? The mooring above the bridge are no doubt quieter but why look for quiet when you've chosen a city destination? I like watching the commings and goings in Ego Alley and the mooring field. We will usually take the water taxi to Pussers for a couple of Pain Killers as a sleep aid.

It was $30 night last time I was there about 2 months ago. The water taxi was not free but is a bargain if you don't want to worry with your dink.
 
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