After a short 45 mile run from Annapolis today we arrived at the marina here in Solomons, MD. Compared to the hustle & bustle of Annapolis this place is positively tranquil. However, it is a huge boating centre with many marinas on the little creeks that run off the Patuxent River. It was a neat experience coming in to the harbor here, thanks to F&L & D&A, we followed the waypoints already in our GPS from May 2010. Thanks guys, you made our mavigation easier today.
The weather for today was iffy so we posponed our decision ( leave/stay) until 6:00am this morning as the forecasts were calling for fog for the morning & then t-storms at noon. But, once again the weather gods were with us & it seems all the bad weather which was forecast blew out last night with the horiffic storm that went thru Baltimore, just 30 miles north of Annapolis. It was a real light show to the north that went on for an hour, lightening in a panoramic format & at times the sky was as bright as day. Late this afternoon the sky darkened here & we had a few rumbles of thunder but nothing else materialized. I guess this is summer on the Chesapeake.
We had our first pelican sighting today... that was exciting. We now know for certain we are moving south :)
Tomorrow we will take advantage of the loaner car & do a quick tour of the little town. Also, the Coors Light situation is getting critical so it is time to restock the cooler.
Our plan now is to arrive in Yorktown. Virginia on Saturday afternoon, after a one night stop in Deltaville, home of the Doziers Waterway Guides.
Then the fun begins................ Not!! However, putting the boat to bed in the warm climate is not the same process as our Toronto preparations. No antifreeze needed !!
Tomorrow will be a sleep in day .... maybe I should drug the Captain :) :)
Well, here we are, securely tied on the dock in Annapolis Landing Marina, a lovely facility located on the Back River. Although we are away from the downtown the marina is serviced by the Water Shuttle which runs every hour. Also, this facility has a pool which felt wonderful today & also offers a courtesy car which will help us with our provisioning tomorrow & hopefully also deliver us to the Pussers Restaurant on the downtown dock to try out the Pussers Wings. Will let you know how they measure up to their BVI cousins:)
The captain did an admirable job of docking us today, backing our 13' beam into a slip with polls no further than 15' apart. Talk about greased polls. !!
But, he was very capably assisted by the crew ( & the dockmaster )
We cleared the west end of the C&D canal early this morning & entered the Chesapeake Bay to seas without a ripple. It was an easy run down the bay & after we passed under the huge Kent Narrows Bridge the shoreline began to look familiar. Although we had never been here by water we have spent many hours walking the docks during the boat shows & also sitting watching the boats on Spa Creek.
Tomorrow is a stay in port day.. we are ahead of schedule so the rest of the journey will be 45- 50 mile days instead of the 75-100 mile ones we had on a few occasions. But, knowing we could not trust the weather gods completely we felt we had to take advantage of the good days & put the miles behind us.
So, since we have never done the lower Chesapeake we will now just relax & enjoy the scenery.
The crew prepared a wonderful dinner tonight, imported Nova Scotia scallops which somehow snuck their way into their suitcase coming from Nova Scotia to Ontario. Tomorrow we will be back to burgers again :)
All in all a great first day on the Chesapeake & nice to know we still have a few more to come.
Huge Tanker that passed us just before we entered the canal
Wow, Delaware Bay is on our back door !!
We left the dock this morning about 7:15AM under a bit of a dark sky but the forecast was good so we decided to go for it. We knew we were going against the tide, north on the bay, which can impact your speed by 3 knots or so but the wind was favourable so off we went.
Delaware Bay is approx 45 miles long, very shallow, & subject to steep waves if the wind is over 10 knots & the forecast was for 5-8 knots. Dave, you will be very happy to know we burned fuel today. :)
It was a bit of a bumpy ride for the first few hours but our crew napped, getting them thru the worst of the swells. But, as we anticipated , the waves died down & we had flat seas for the remainder of the trip. Just before we entered the C&D Canal, a man made canal opened in the 1800's, which connects Delaware Bay to Chesapeake Bay we were passed by a huge freighter, flying a Japanese flag so we are assuming he was carrying a load of cars. It was larger than a cruise ship so we quickly gave him the channel & we moved off to the side to let him pass, just thankful we were still in the bay, not in the C&D canal as it was gigantic boat. What an interesting sight & I will try to post some photos when I figure out the process.
We are about 4 miles from the Chesapeake Bay end of the canal so tomorrow we will start south on the Chesapeake Bay, with Annapolis as our destination. Today we left New Jersey, passed thru Delaware & are now in Maryland... just like driving in the car.!!
All in all, a great day & such a good feeling to get on the water again. Cape May is a great little town/city but we were ready to move on after being there for three nights.
Dinner tonight will be at the little Tiki Bar here on the Marina. Scouted it out earlier & the chicken wings looked yummy.
Update: One & one half hr wait at the Tiki bar so we choose to go inside to the inside restaurant. Crab Ravaoli was excellent & the Crab Cakes got a 10/10 from John.
Enjoyed a beverage on our back deck & then an early night.
We arrived in Cape May yesterday (Thursday 9th) after a short run from Atlantic City. I had overestimated the miles & instead of the anticipated 40+ the GPS showed us only 33 miles so we had a short day. Shortly after leaving Atlantic City we hit dense fog & it is then that you truly appreciate the modern safety features we have ie: radar/Chartplotter, as of course the coast is a very popular fishing area so the water was dotted with small & large fishing boats, all of which showed up on our radar screen. Wonderful!!
The fog lasted only an hr or so but we we were pretty relieved when the shoreline became visible again. There was so much humidity in the fog/mist that it was a constant struggle to keep our glasses from fogging up & of course you can't see the little yellow blips on radar without glasses. I joked & said I had a totally free salt water facial along the way.
We did witness an amazing sight. All of a sudden the sharp eyed captain called, look at the rays & lo & belold in the water beneath us just apparently floating close to the surface were 20-30 stingrays who appeared to be sleeping & wakened very quickly when we passed by them. These sightings continued for another half our or so & in total I am sure we saw well over 100 brown stingrays, probably averaging 3-4 feel from tip to tip. Not as large as the grey stingrays we see in the Caribbean & Florida but it surely was an impressive sight.
Before too long the amusement park at Wildwood NJ came into view on the shore & shortly after that we entered the harbor entrance for Cape May. Having been here on the way north in 2010 we did remember the location of the marina we were staying in but we certainly did not realize then just how busy this place is. It is a very happening beach town & as I write, the crew have gone off to catch the little trolly to the beach. Shirley was drooling as we passed the beach coming in & so we committed to spending a day here to give her some beaching time. This plan worked well as we had a major t-storm come thru here this morning & apparently a bolt of lightening hit the bridge about 1/4 mile away from us.
Tomorrow's weather looks a bit iffy at this point ( more t-storms) so I imagine it will be another day on the dock here. If one has to be off the water this is a great place to lay over. Yesterday for lunch we went to The Lobster House & today we tested Lucky Bones. Think it is a draw which one scored the highest.
Well, the captain is getting itchy for a walk ( probably to the local wine store) so will end this session. Most likely tomorrow will find us on the same dock here unless there is a change in the forecast.
Sunrise in New York City. Red sky in the morning ......................
Well, here we are on the dock in Atlantic City after a 100 mile run & a 10 1/2 hour day. We we up with the birds this morning & pulled away from the dock by 5:45am. Too early... but the weather forecast was good so off we went. We passed under the Verezano Bridge which officially marks the end of of New York City Harbor & were out in the Atlantic, along with several large tankers, tugs pushing/pulling barges and one very large container ship. The south end of the Harbor is much busier than the north end with the Staten Island Ferries literally flying across the harbor plus all the commercial traffic either exiting or entering the Atlantic Ocean.
The seas were flat with barely a ripple, just the gentle ocean swells but as usual in the afternoon the winds increased. But, by that time the skyline of Atlantic City was on the horizon so it did not matter if the seas got a bit lumpy.
It was confirmed to us early this morning that we truly are traveling south as we had our first dolphin sighting. Unfortunately they did not appear to be interested in playing in our wake, just came up, rolled over & went back down again. But, it was a thrill just the same.
This is our first visit to Atlantic City ( by boat or otherwise) & although there are lots of bright casino hotel lights the transient docks at the marina(attached to the Golden Nugget Casino Hotel) are virtually empty. A sign of the times I guess.!
Tomorrow will be another early start but it is only 40 miles to Cape May & the finish of the Atlantic portion of our trip. The forecast after tomorrow is for high winds & possible t-storms so I imagine we will get to enjoy Cape May's charm for a day or two.
The next leg, north on Delaware Bay to the C&D Canal is not to be attempted in high winds so we will hunker down & wait out this front passing thru. We are away ahead of schedule so it will be nice to stop for a couple of days & give our dedicated crew a chance to relax and enjoy a New Jersey Beach town. For non boaters they have adjusted very well to the daily routine so they deserve a reward :)
Who knows we might even go swimming in the Atlantic.!!