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Old 30-12-2010, 08:38   #1
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Fun Places to Anchor in the Chesapeake ?

Cruisers,

We are planning on a two week cruise from Montauk, NY to the Chesapeake this summer season.

Would like to know from the local where the fun places are to anchor in the Chesapeake ?

1) Montauk, NY offshore to Cape May, NJ
2) Cape May up the Delaware Bay to the Ches & DelCanal
3) Through the Ches & Del Canal out into the Chesapeake

Thanks
Mark
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Old 30-12-2010, 08:58   #2
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We're not "locals" as we are from the Pacific Northwest, but we loved our time in the Chesapeake. One spot we especially enjoyed was anchoring in the river across from Chestertown, Maryland, on the east side of the bay. It was quiet, calm, and not crowded with boats. After taking almost 4 years to sail there, we so enjoyed the history and charm of this place which was so different from our home area in Oregon.
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Old 30-12-2010, 09:29   #3
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Mark:

Here are some of my old standbys, N to S. These and hundreds more are in Active Captain or the Chesapeake Bay Magazine's cruising guide.

Baltimore Inner Harbor. If you are brave (you will be surrounded by paddle boats) you can anchor right in the harbor between the sub and the tall ship. Otherwise there is a bigger anchorage in Fells Point. Or get a slip in the Inner Harbor.

Magothy River (NW of the Bay Bridge) behind Dobbins Island. Locals gather to swim there in hot weather. The island itself is posted but mostly ignored.

Queenstown up the Chester R on the S shore. Just a nice quiet place to hang out.

Annapolis. Get a mooring and dinghy to ego alley or take a water taxi into town. Walk the historical district and check out all of the taverns on the waterfront.

Galesville on the West R south of Annapolis. There are a couple of restaurant/cafes on the N Shore near the town dinghy dock.

St Michaels on the eastern shore. Check out the museum. Dinghy to dock behind the museum on the N side of the harbor.

Wye River just N of St Michaels- Pick one of the small creeks- Granary or Dividing Cr on the E River to drop your hook in. Quiet and secluded.

I have a few more secret places, but I ain't telling!!

This is an ambitious trip that you are planning. At least three days, maybe four if you stop at Cape May, to get to the C&D Canal and the same back. Half your time will be spent on the journey, but maybe that is what you like.

David
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Old 30-12-2010, 09:38   #4
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Add Oxford, Cambridge, Solomon's Island, and Norfolk. Norfolk is a great place to visit from the anchorage at Hospital Point -- Museums and restaurants for every taste, shopping, marine supplies, and the entertainment of watching the Navy ships.
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:56   #5
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tangier

I haven't been to Tangier Island since the sixties, since shortly after the locals were a dite hostile to non-islanders, actually. The families on the island were Parkers, Pruitts, and Clarks, and not many more. I hear the place is all up to date now, with yachts and a hotel, but if you want to start a conversation with locals, ask if anyone remembers old Dr. Parker (not an islander) and his jeep, or Mrs. Parker's B&B with her immense crab, oyster, and eggs breakfasts, or the boys club shack at the back of the island for the "lane gangs" on their motor scooters. And see if you can hear any of the old dialect, which some said was more Elizabethan than modern English.
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:23   #6
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Wow, looks like a lot of great places. Maybe we should make it a three week trip.
"I have a few more secret places, but I ain't telling!!, Dave"
Dave, maybe you could PM me the secret ones. I will reciprocate when you come up to Long Island Sound.

Thank you all and keep them coming. This is starting to look a lot like Christmas and a great trip.
Mark
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:29   #7
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I think the suggestions already made have covered the high spots and will more than fill up three weeks. It should be a fun trip for you.
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:41   #8
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You should acquire a copy of the Chesapeake Bay Guide published by Chesapeake Magazine. It's loaded with anchorages with details on entrances and local knowledge plus shore facilities and attractions of all types.

It will bascially have everyplace you can get into. There is a lot of places to go to. When we take off for multiple weeks here I layout a long list of possible places then we sail to where we can get to. Dealing with the winds and weather forces decsions and having a long list of places isn't a bad thing. Sometimes you decide you really need something else and the Guide can help you there.

The list you have from all the above is clearly a good list but there are easily 4 times than many. You might get all the way south with good wind or you may not get even half way. In any case you'll miss a lot of good ones. It really would take a few years to do a decent exploration.

I would avoid the popular small towns on the weekends as they get overrun. The more out of the way places can be the most fun. Towns like Onancock, VA on the eastern shore is nice just to come in from the Bay and see. A little town marina or anchorage just a block from downtown. A nice place to go ashore and walk around in town. South of the Potomac things are pretty quiet with fewer boats to crowd you out of the anchorages unlike far north. All the major rivers have smaller rivers that are pretty.

With some decent winds you can connect up a string of nice places. Best to avoid mid July through August as it gets very hot and winds are not as reliable. June and September are very good with October also quite nice as the water is still warm.
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Old 30-12-2010, 17:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Wow, looks like a lot of great places. Maybe we should make it a three week trip.
"I have a few more secret places, but I ain't telling!!, Dave"
Dave, maybe you could PM me the secret ones. I will reciprocate when you come up to Long Island Sound.

Mark
Mark:

Yes I would plan on three weeks if possible. FWIW all of my "secret" places are also on Active Captain. But here is one of them:

Head west up the South River (S of Annapolis) to Harness Creek on the N shore of the R and anchor off of Quiet Waters Park. It is very peaceful and quiet there. You can dinghy to shore and walk along the park's trails and even rent a kyack for the afternoon.

David
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Old 30-12-2010, 18:09   #10
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Pblais,

I will have to get the Chesapeake Bay Magazine's cruising guide, sounds like a must have. Glad you had mentioned those cruising dates to keep out of the crowds. We like to anchor where ever we go, so yes we agree on the more out of the way places can be the most fun. Interestingly, Onancock, VA was on or list.

Djmarchand, Thanks for that Active Captain that works great. I really like it.
I also like to use Geogarage to plot my waypoints and routes
http://marine.geogarage.com/routes
Just make sure you turn on full screen mode.

David, Very nice. Looking in Active Captain right now. I owe you one.

Thanks to all, just love this stuff

Mark
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Old 17-01-2011, 06:56   #11
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If you don"t draw more than 5 feet, Smith Island is similar to Tangier Island, but not as touristy. There is a marina $1 a foot with electric or overnight at Rook's(try their crab cakes and soft sheel crabs no other restaurants) no electricity but $10. There is one anchorage, but iffy with no local knowledge.

LaTrapp Creek off the Choptank is wonderful anchorage before the jellyfish come in about July 4. Jelly fish are not an issue above a line between Baltimore and Fairlee Creek

I am also partial to the Rappahonick and a stay at the Tides Inn if early in the season and the cheaper rates.

I left out all the Potomac, but that is another couple opf weeks

The best cruising is usually June and September.

Delaware Bay can be dicey in the wrong weather(wind against the current).

A spinnaker is helpful because the prevailing winds tend to be north south with strong west winds just after a front, and east with rain.

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