Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cruising the Chesapeake

The Chesapeake is a huge body of water, in our cruising guide it said if you stretched out the shore line, it would reach from Wash. D.C. to Alaska; just to give you some perspective. Numerous rivers empty onto the bay, the Ptomac, the Rappahonnock, the Patuxent, the York, the James, each river has hundreds of creeks and there are innumerable bays to explore.  We are really enjoying finding some lovely spots to drop our anchor. It can be a wild and lonely place, yesterday as we were sailing along and we heard gun shots echoing across the water from at least 8 miles away. The geese are everywhere, a flock arose from the water as we entered our anchorage last night, honking and calling as we disturbed their resting spot. The hunters must be laying in their quota for the winter. I wonder if some of them will wind up on the Thanksgiving table.
We have been able to sail three out of the last four days and that has immeasurably increased our enjoyment of this body of water. As we left Baltimore at dawn to catch the tide we raised the sails and were able to sail under the Bay Bridge just north of Annapols.  There was a class of boats out racing and we figured they must be the naval cadets because they all had the same spinnakers.  It was a Sunday and a gorgeous, warm, sunny day so everyone was out for a sail. 
                                Not a great picture but you get the idea. 

Monday saw a continuation of the fair winds and we sailed a further 35 miles up the bay until we came to the Patuxent River.  There is a naval airforce base on the south side of the river and we were entertained watching the jets, helicopters and a odd looking tilt rotary winged aircraft, Barry says it's an Osprey!  We crossed the Ptomac this morning, just like Washington, with a great following wind, showing 9 knots on the GPS at times as we surfed down the waves. 
We have noticed the fishing boats here have a set up we have never seen before.  They have a kind of grappling thing, about a meter long and 10 cm wide. They drop it in the water and then hoist it up, fairly shortly after,  and the two sides come apart and whatever they are catching is dropped into the boat.  My guess would be some kind of shell fish, clams or oysters, it would be an odd way to catch crabs, so I don't thnk that is it.  We are going to go ashore tonight so I will have to buttonhole some poor unsuspecting fisherman and figure it out!!
               The end of a near perfect day of sailing from Maryland into Virginia. 

Sailing info.

We are using the Guide to Crusing Chesapeake Bay, published by the Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

Parish Creek   38*51.4 N X 76*30.4 W
Anchored in 3m in mud. Very good holding.
Open to winds from the north and west. 
Better protection 2nm further in but very little wind forecast. 
Nice flat anchorage, no info. on services ashore.

Town Creek  38*19.1 N X 76*28.9 W
Anchored in 3m n mud very good holding
Protected from all directions, very flat anchorage.
Very close to major highway, lots of bridge noise.
No info. on services ashore, Mariana slips available

Smith Creek  38*07.4 N X 76*24.8 W
Anchored in 3m n mud very good holding
Protected from all directions, very flat anchorage.
Lovely spot, No info. on services ashore
Mariana slips available as you entered the creek.