Neither of us has spent much time in The Chesapeake Bay. Learning this place was a priority when planning our fall sailing schedule. After a memorable stop in Annapolis (covered in the last blog post) we headed to the Eastern Shore to explore.
We nosed our way up the Chester River and made our first stop in Langford Creek, where we found agriculture. Soybeans? We think? The farms were plentiful in number and beautiful to anchor next to and walk past on shore. In the photo below, the river is at the end of the road where there’s a boat ramp. Boat ramps have proven to be good landing spots for us, as was the case here. What a great place to walk a dog and go for a run! (Except for the many snakes.)
We crossed back across the Chester and up into the smaller, and charming Corsica River.
Bill loves shore leave.
Wendy Mitman Clarke, Chris’ editor at SAIL magazine, lives near the Corsica River. She encouraged us to visit, and we did. We met on the beach so our dogs could run. Wendy and her husband, Johnny, have done a lot of sailing including a four year live aboard voyage with their two young children. Friends of theirs, Jeremy and Nica, also sailors and also writers, joined us as well. We had lots to talk about. We didn’t manage to snap any photos of our gathering that night, but Wendy was good enough to take and share this photo of us rowing back out to Sundance.
The next morning, we sailed down through the Kent Narrows to Saint Michaels where the fascinating Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum dominates town. (And where they filmed the movie Wedding Crashers.).
We finally ate the famous crabs!
And generally enjoyed this charming and welcoming town.
A few days later, the Wye River provided shelter from a strong North wind. That same North wind blew a lot of water out of the river and we found ourselves aground for a minute the next day before leaving.
More agriculture up that way. Same mystery crop. Same great walking paths.
Once out of our hidey hole, we had a day of great sailing on the back side of the cold front.
Arrival in Spring Cove Marina in Solomons, MD was a homecoming of sorts. We were here last October (by car) for a blue water sailing workshop led by the masterful John Kretschmer. We missed him this time, but took a photo in our lecture hall for old time’s sake.
After getting a few boat projects done, we rented a car in Solomons and drove back to New England for a few weeks to tend to a variety of different things. Most notable among them was attending the Staten Island Half marathon to watch son Nate run and almost win the race. Must have been those red shoes.
Back aboard Sundance in Maryland, Hurricane Ian came and went without much issue. We used the rental car to load up on propane, dog food, booze and human food. Then dropped the car and dropped lines and were under way once again. South of Solomons, The Chesapeake widens noticeably. We had good sailing south past the Potomac. Then things got calm, really calm. I can’t remember ever seeing this much water this calm. With a slight haze, it was hard to find the horizon between sky and sea.
Deltaville, VA was a similarly tranquil stop for the night.
Long days of travel means we were up early. Sunrise rows and walks with Bill were a pleasure.
From Deltaville, we made our way towards the mouth of The Chesapeake and into the tight anchorage in Hampton, VA, college town and home of a perfectly situated riverfront brewery. Also, home to one of the nicest harbormasters we’ve met (and we’ve met some really nice ones!)
And from there it was only a short predawn run across to Norfolk, past half the US Navy, and on to Mile Zero on the Intra Coastal Waterway (ICW). Another new and totally different chapter in our voyage. We missed a lot of The Chesapeake this time, and look forward to exploring more when we come through next.