Down the Chesapeake Bay
09/22/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
Sept. 19 Worton Creek to Annapolis
We were in no hurry (for the second day in a row...and it's nice for a change.) After coffee I delivered our propane tanks to the office to be filled while Kathy worked on filing some of these blog entries. I washed the boat and got most of the salt off. Our tank swere filled by 9am and we set out for Annapolis at about 9:30.
Once out of Worton Creek and into the bay we found a nice breeze and got the sails up. As our course changed more and more to the south ... we were forced to motor sail for the remainder of the trip. I worked on an anchor float while enroute using a net float that I found on the shore of Delaware Bay a year ago.
There are a number of creeks in the Annapolis that are suitable for anchoring each with its advantages and disadvantages. We chose Spa Creek because it is downtown Annapolis and we're here early enough that there is still room.
From the Bay proper we entered the Severn River dodging some Navy boats out practicing, and after a mile or so headed south for the mouth of Spa Creek which is the heart of Annapolis. The mouth of Spa Creek is about a half mile wide and narrows to nothing in its two mile length. There are docks and moorings on each side for the entire length so where we find ourselves about 3/4s of the way in, it seems much narrower than it's 400 yard width.
The approach is straight forward but there is a bridge that opens on the hour and half hour only so we stalled a little before entering the congested area of downtown . We made the 2:30 bridge and worked our way down the creek anchoring in the middle of the creek just in front of "Restless". There is an ordinance here that prohibits anchoring nearer that 75 feet from a dock or moored boat. In order to limit our swing, set a stern anchor but am thinking about moving the rode to the bow tomorrow morning so that we swing with the other boats.... it's cosmetic for the most part because this place is so well protected that any wind would be minor.
There is another Bayfield 40 in sight so after getting settled we jumped in the dinghy and explored Spa Creek. The homes here are all very nice. There are all sizes and shapes with a few condos in the mix... most have docks with both power and sail boats. We took the dinghy for sight-seeing trip and then cooked our last non-canned meal ...steak, salad, and corn. Food is in short supply here but we will take care of that problem tomorrow (or the next day).
Into Chesapeake Bay
Mike and Kathy
09/18/2007, Worton Creek Marina, MD
Tuesday...Sept. 18 Worton Creek, Maryland
Last night we were invited for dinner on "Cielo" along with the folks from "Cambio" which was the first sail boat we saw with their mast down on the Erie canal. We have been chatting and waving at each other for the three weeks but had never formally met. It was Kevin's birthday and he served a marinated pork loin and some excellent spinach wilted in olive oil and garlic. (I think that's all he did) The six of us were way too loud for the small crowded anchorage but no one said anything. Hopefully we'll catch up with both of these boats in Annapolis.
We were in no hurry this morning, primarily because we had no destination in mind. The only task was to find somewhere to get fuel, water and to do some laundry. Over coffee, we studied our maps and guidebooks and came up with a couple of ideas. Weighing anchor after everyone else was gone was new for us. We motored out of the canal into a .5 knot current and in no time found ourselves in the upper Chesapeake. Passing the Bohemia and Sassafras rivers, we left the main channel through a minefield of crab pots and headed up Worton Creek. About two miles up the creek we came to the Worton Creek Marina and headed for the fuel dock maintaining at least 6 feet of water all the way.
The place is exactly what I expected a Chesapeake Marina to be...laid back, with about eight work boats ..."watermen" tied to the end of the gas dock, and pleasant people. There is a huge travel lift and about three yachts (one is a Berger) in the 100 foot range, undergoing extensive work. I tried to buy some crabs from fisherman as they came in but was too late. By the time I got there the only person left was a boy guarding the bushel baskets holding the day's catch who didn't have the authority to sell anything. We have a slip on the end of A dock and the other side of the creek is wild land ... complete with eagles, deer, and other seemingly happy critters.
Kathy is on her second load of wash and has at least two more to do before we walk up the hill to a restaurant that looks very promising.
By the way... The Chesapeake is gorgeous.
After dinner... if any of you boaters ever are in the neighborhood, the Harbor House Restaurant was a huge success. While working on laundry, we had meals to die for... I had Crab Imperial and Kathy had a lobster / scallops with Vermont cheddar and zucchini wrapped in puff pastry and baked......we had salads with house lavender / honey mustard dressing that was very light.
As we were paying our bill our waiter asked if we needed to have his mom take us to the super market tomorrow ( he said they were boaters also)....We still have clothes in the dryer so maybe we can get a few entries posted before bedtime.
Up Delaware Bay
09/18/2007, Chesapeake City, MD
September 17th ..... Chesapeake City
Today we sailed.
We left Cape May an hour an a half after low tide and headed out the Cape May Canal which saves going around the shoals at the mouth of the Delaware Bay. The down side was that there were two 55 foot bridges and our mast is 54 foot tall... we made it, but not without few tense moments. The Canal is only about 4 miles long but saves about 15.
Delaware Bay is similar to the west end of Lake Erie... most of the water is 18 to 24 foot deep and the waves tend to be short and square. We had our foul weather gear on as well as our life jackets, as we cornered into the seas under power with about a two knot current in our favor. The mizzen and stay sail went up for stabilizing as we pounded to the north. After an hour or so we hoisted the main and rolled out the head sail .... and turned off the engine for the first time in a long time.
We had a great sail into the wind, and with the afore mention two knot push, were cruising along at 8 to above 9 knots for the better part of four hours. As the Bay became a river, the winds slacked and we were back to motor sailing for the remainder of our Bay Cruise.
About 50 miles up the Bay we hit the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal which is about 20 miles long and connects the Delaware Bay with the Chesapeake Bay.
Chesapeake City is about 14 miles into the canal and has a small harbor with too many boats.
We make our way in and found the last suitable anchorage... our friends Steve and Carol arrived about 20 minutes later, took a spin around and headed for the next anchorage about 8 miles away.
We find ourselves traveling in a loose knit group of about 12 boats.