The Chesapeake begins
29 September 2013 | Havre de Grace, MD
We have so many fond memories of being in the Chesapeake from fourteen years ago that we've really been looking forward to getting back here. We left Cape May on Thursday morning - very early by Sanderling's standards. After dashing Casey to shore we were off by 7:30. We decided to take the inside channel that caused a bit of concern 14 years ago as it got rather shallow with some bumpy seas - not a good combination. It saves us about 8 miles so we decided to go for it.
Thought that I would read up on the passage that I wrote in my journal from our previous trip. This is literally the first time that I have opened the book since I last wrote in it from Block Island in June, 2000. Eric at the age of 10 is quoted as saying "but Dad you charted a course right over a shoal." To which I'm sure that I said something reassuring like "yes - I know - we'll be fine." With two different chart plotter apps on the iPad this time we had more than enough technology to throw at the problem, and we never saw any numbers under 15.
It was decision time again. Do we make two short days or one long one up the Delaware River. We had favorable current the entire trip and then the current changed and continued to be in our favor as we went through the Chesapeake and Delaware (C & D) Canal. The combination was too good to turn down so we decided on the long day. More importantly, there were no good stopping places along the Delaware River for Casey. Other than a couple of hours of sailing in 12 knot breezes, the day was basically a motor/sail.
We were planning on a stop at a small anchorage along the C & D canal but when we got in there, the depths were pretty shallow so we got out of there quickly - exactly how we got in. The marina across the canal had a fixed dock but what looked like a nice restaurant and - oh yes- a nice outdoor bar. Fixed docks can be a bit of a challenge when there is a two to three knot current and a tidal range of a couple of feet. You want to make sure that you tie off with enough scope to allow for the change in the tide but not too much that you bang around in the current. It's not too much fun when you wake up in the morning and you're hanging from the dock in a low tide. Fortunately the current in each direction tended to pull us away from the dock so we were fine.
We are now in the Bohemia River just off of the Elk River. Chesapeake cruising has started. We have short hops between anchorages and then plenty of time to take care of the boat, read and play cribbage. The next rock solid plan is to be in Annapolis for the boatshow on the weekend of October 11 and 12.