Monday, May 30, 2016

2016 - Chesapeake Cruise

The 2016 Chesapeake Cruise

This year's Chesapeake cruise was a little earlier and a little shorter than usual because Diane and I are going on an extended trip to Amsterdam and Africa. So Wes and I decided to do our annual cruise in May.

The cruise began at Wes' home in Port Deposit hashing out the news of nearly a year's worth of life that had gone by since our last cruise. Needless to say, a glass of scotch was in order.

The next morning we drove to Havre de Grace, where Wes keeps the boat and loaded all the groceries aboard. We topped off the fuel tank and soon were underway.

With dark looming clouds in the horizon, we opted to duck in to the mouth of the Sassafras River and anchor for the evening. The rain was light, but it did blow very hard for a while. Yet later that evening, the weather cleared up and things calmed down. 

By morning, however, the weather had once again changed. As we attempted to get out into the bay, we were met by northerlies of 20+ knots, gusting to over 40 knots. We did as any mariner with common sense would do, we turned around and motored back up the river to a comfortable spot several miles up near the village of Georgetown. 

In the late afternoon, from our peaceful anchorage we watched lots of wildlife including a pair of bald eagles flying overhead, one swooping down and catching a fish with its talons. We also spotted a fox on a deserted beach, cormorant and vultures flying overhead.

What a difference a day makes. The following day, we had a beautiful motorsail to the historic town of Chestertown, which lies up the Chester River.

The town's geese enjoying the view of our sailboat anchored out. 

Once considered one of Maryland's main port towns, Chestertown was founded in the early 1700's. It is a very pleasant historical town with classic architecture and a liberal arts college, named after George Washington. It's one of the oldest colleges in the nation.

Enjoying a glass of beer at the local watering hole.

A very graceful looking Skipjack sailing vessel in Chestertown.

We stayed in Chestertown for two nights, enjoying JR's bar the next evening too. But after our two day stay, we were ready to head out again. We followed the meandering turns of the Chester River down to the bay and turned northward.

By evening, we were anchored in Worton Creek. A curious set of events occurred as we anchored. At our first anchoring, no sooner had we started to relax when a boat came by and asked us to move because he felt we were too close to his mooring buoys. We obliged and moved to an another nearby area where two other sailboats were anchored. No sooner had we anchored there, when the skipper of the boat nearest us, hailed us and stated that he was uncomfortable with how close we were to him (we weren't that close at all). He asked us to move or else he would feel compelled to move. We didn't move.

After a relaxing morning that was warm and sunny, and after having a big bowl of muesli, yogurt and berries with a couple of cups of strong coffee, we were ready to head out again. This time we motored north towards the Elk River. Our destination was Chesapeake City.

Although we did everything right, sometimes things can still go wrong. We ran aground right on our approach into the harbor, where there should have been ten feet of depth. Fortunately, with an upcoming tide, all we had to do was open a bottle of wine and wait.

We were going to take the dinghy ashore in the morning, but it was raining. The forecast was rain for the next three days. We pulled up anchor and were on our way. 

That evening, after a long day of motoring and sailing, we made it back into port at Havre de Grace. After getting home, we went out to dinner to a local restaurant and had clams and chicken for dinner. The server we had was a young, friendly gal who had just graduated with a degree in accounting. Not typical of the denizens of Port Deposit.

Dinner the next night was at home, where we feasted on a pork loin, corn on the cob and a big salad accompanied by a bottle of Bordeaux.


Wes' Cabernet Sauvignon vines.