Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

We had a very late start on our first day due to car problems on our way to the boat. With the late departure, we were only able to make it to the Sassafras River just out of Havre de Grace. But who cares, the Sassafras is a lovely place to spend the night at anchor.

The following day, with southerly winds, we motored to Annapolis and anchored in front of the Naval Academy.

In the morning, after getting ice, we sailed and motored across the bay to the Honga River, anchoring in a wide open, yet we'll protected area near a long neck of land called the Lower Hooper Island.

On Saturday we had a part motor, part sail day to the mouth of the Potomac River and anchored on the southern side, on the Glebe River. After getting settled, we had a refreshing dip in the river.

The following day we had a easy beam reach sail, followed by a couple of long tacks to make it to Reedsville, an old fishing town where they've been fishing for menhaden fish for many decades. The menhaden are used to make Omega-3. It's a smelly, placid place but very charming with beautiful homes dating back to the mid-1800's.

On Sunday, after a late start, the winds had shifted to the north, leading us to an easy reach south to Deltaville. The following day we decided to head out again to claw our way north a bit. But the nor'easter accompanied with a steady rain, proved too much for us. After about a half an hour of getting pounded, we returned to port. We stayed on in Deltaville for another day.

On Tuesday we got a ride into town with Chris, the Fisherman Bay Marina worker, who graciously gave us a ride through the area and to the grocery store.

Early Wednesday morning we left Deltaville with the goals of making it back to Solomons, about 50 miles north. Tacking on another 10 miles to get out of the harbor and get in to Solomons made for a long day. We finally anchored at 11 pm, had a glass of wine and went to bed.

With dire weather predictions of severe thunder storms and rain for Friday, we left early Thursday morning after taking on fuel, water and ice. The wind had now clocked around to the south, making for a smooth downhill run to Annapolis. We anchored right in front of the Naval Academy for the night, opened up a nice bottle of Bordeaux Superior and fixed dinner.

The following day, we got up early for a northerly run. We didn't have a particular objective in mind since we didn't know what we were going to encounter as far as weather, winds and seas. When we got out there, it was a tough slog going under the Bay Bridge, as the bowsprit dipped deep into the water and restrained our progress. With gusts up to 20 knots and choppy 4-5 foot seas, we made slow progress.

But once we past the bridge, conditions improved and we were able to make good a course to Worton Creek. Several hours later we were in a snug little harbor, anchored in 7 feet of water. We concluded the day's run with a cold margarita.

In the morning, after a breakfast of oatmeal and cantaloupe, we left Worton Creek for Havre de Grace. With not much wind, we motored our way up the channel. By 1pm, after encountering some rain, we picked up the mooring line at Havre de Grace and concluded another fun and successful annual cruise.