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Old 01-04-2012, 10:32   #16
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Re: Help with Annapolis Visit ?

You might check out some of the marinas on the eastern shore across from Annapolis. We kept our boat at Piney Narrows Marina on Kent Island and had a 50 ft slip for $3800/yr renting directly from the owner(it's a condo marina). I know there are slips available there and a short term lease is doable. Joe is the general manager and it is a secure and well maintained marina and is a short drive to Annapolis over the bay bridge. Another location you might consider is Solomons located on the western shore. While it is a longer drive to Annapolis their rates are much better than Annapolis and the sailing out of Solomons is great with deep water and near by anchorages. Beacon marina is a good choice and was somewhat cheaper than the other marinas in the area. Dock A is a great dock there with only a few boats and overlooks the lighthouse at the marine museum. Much more private than other docks at the marina. If you need a good boat yard, Spring cove marina is next door to Beacon and I've had good luck and service there thoughout the years.


Speaking of boat yards, we are considering moving our boat down to NC. Any recommendation down that way for maybe a haul out and storage for a year or so? Elizabeth City, Edenton, Washington, NC and even Oriental locations would be desireable, but the more northern locations would be preferred over Oriental since we would be driving from Boone.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:52   #17
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Re: Help with Annapolis Visit ?

Haul out in NC suggestions: Deaton's in Oriental, storage and work.
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:50   #18
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Re: Help with Annapolis Visit ?

Getting excited about this trip. The Schellenberger book is comprehensive, but nothing like hearing your first hand accounts about what works, your favorite places to visit, etc. I must say that my last Chesapeake trip was more about the sailing around Hatteras, catching fish, and sailing up the bay to York River. Sarah Creek was the gateway to Busch Gardens for the kids, and they still talk about it.

If anyone has any more mooring or slip options, thanks for posting or PM.

Lancelot, I don't have experience with haul out farther N in Washington or Elizabeth City. McCotters used to have a boat yard but not sure now after big fire and then Irene. Probably still there in Little Washington though. Hannah's right, Deatons is good, and so is Sailcraft from previous experience. Oriental might be worth a little extra drive but you'll have to check them all out and weigh your options. Boone, NC?

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Old 09-10-2012, 21:35   #19
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Re: Help with Annapolis Visit ?

I had such a good cruise to Annapolis this summer from Oriental, got there and back in about three weeks in June. While I did plenty of motoring at times, particularly in the Dismal Swamp and from Portsmouth to Annapolis, I got to sail a lot in conditions from 15-33 knots. Most of the trip was singlehanded, so I got much better at sailing, anchoring, mooring, and docking alone with this boat.

My 13 yo son sailed with me to Manteo, via Ocracoke. Both trips were fully under sail, beam winds or aft, 15-20 knots. Rode out a summer gale in Manteo, and did 13 yo type stuff. Beach was shut down for the weather, but plenty to do anyway.

Met wife halfway upstate, then I returned to finish riding out some rough weather for a night before heading north. Stocked up at the Manteo farmers market before weighing anchor. Was surprised to find some young farmers I knew previously from the mountains 400 miles away, and stocked up on tiny new potatoes and fresh green beans and other good stuff to go along with my fresh meat and eggs from my farm. There was no end to the good meals while I was out, including beef, pork, lamb, chicken and eggs all from the larder, and typically grilled. The eggs I eat hard boiled mostly and make a great meal when on a passage.

When I weighed anchor in Manteo, I intended to try to sail close hauled across the Albemarle sound. Winds were still a solid 20 knots out of the NE, and with my course in the 340 range, I was prepared to motor if I couldn't make the point of sail, in order to take advantage of two unseasonably cool days for the dismal swamp and the southern Chesapeake. I was prepared to get wet, fortunately, and dressed warmly, including wool hat and hood up most of the time, as the cockpit took on a fair amount of spray. About half way across the Albemarle, motoring along because my boat just does not point that high, I snagged one of the gazillion crab pots. My stern rose and fell about 5 feet on steep chop and I knew that getting under the boat was a dumb idea. I fired up the engine, quick bump in reverse, another forward, and I was back on course. Despite my attentiveness, I snagged that black one, and cursed the fisherman that use faded black pots throughout the sound.

Up the Pasquotank, then through the Dismal swamp with long sleeves in mid-June. Nice. Sail up the bay included lots of motoring, and quick stops in Detaville, Solomons, then on to the mooring on Lower Spa Creek. This was a new experience for me, with J-boats winding through the mooring field of a evening, the tourist boats, the constant traffic up to Ego Alley...this is not the hang out in your boxers in the cockpit kind of place.

I loved Annapolis. On approach, it took me a while to figure out that all the tankers were anchored below the bridge, not really part of the traffic scheme. After making the river, I saw what looked like an impenetrable fleet of dinghies under sail. As I neared them, the lane was evident, although it took some paying attention not to run the various campers over. Ate at Chick and Ruths, and sampled soft crabs here and there, biked around, visited the Naval Museum -- which was a highlight. Experienced one really good thunderstorm threat, and listened to the teenage daughter on the neighboring boat plead for her life to her dad as the sky got dark. She was sure she was going to sink there and I felt sorry for them but I turned up the radio and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

After a few days I was bored and ready to move on, so I sailed over to St Michaels. I was amazed to see all the boats out under sail, something I've never really experienced on that scale. Everyfricken body uses their sails to get places up there when there is wind, plus there were tall ships out on the bay. Anchored out in the Miles River in calm conditions, water taxied in to the crab place, and had a soft crab sandwich. Neighboring table was about to leave 4 whole crabs and they enthusiastically offered them to me. I holed up like a coon in the boat and got high on old bay and crustacean, it was epic. $36 a dozen they wanted for them; I was thrilled to get a good taste for free.

After a couple of nights in St Michaels, another forecast sent me up the Wye East to ride out a blow. Hardly felt it back there. I got to visit the historic Wye Angus farm on the shores of the river. The herdsman was particularly curious about this cattleman arriving by dink from his sailboat in the river, but went out of his way to accommodate and show me all over the farm. These are some of the experiences I really look forward to on a cruise.

The wind was then forecast to blow 25-30 knots out of the N. I could not resist this, and weighed anchor in the Wye about 1700, just on the heels of nasty thunderstorms that rocked parts of the southern bay. I could see the high pressure building behind the widely scattered storms still affecting the bay south of the Potomac, and the wind picked up significantly over the evening as I made my turn south out of East Bay. That was right about dark, and right when my chartplotter started failing. Back to paper, plenty of lights charted, but still one more thing to make it more complex as I ran under jib alone.

Winds increased through midnight, with gusts to 34 knots, but sustained in the mid twenties. I was surfing at unbelievable speeds, with the waves mostly square to my stern. The Crealock handled very well under those conditions, but the autopilot was overwhelmed, so I pretty much steered for the night. Since I was using paper, and have no depth sounder, I was in a little deeper water than I would have liked, given the traffic. I could not believe how easily the ships would just appear, despite my vigilance. I talked to most of them, and issued securite calls on 13 every time I thought I saw one. A couple of them asked if I had AIS. Yes, but chartplotter was down. Made for an adventurous night. Back to Portsmouth after a 24 hour sail from East Bay, I made good time.

Thanks again for the tips and suggestions, just thought I'd write a little report for those interested.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:24   #20
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Re: Help with Annapolis Visit ?

Wow, didnt realize it blew like that in the Cheseapeake in June! Something about single handing is rewarding for sure.... just you against (or with?) the elements! Nice story thanks.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:55   #21
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Re: Help with Annapolis Visit ?

Sure thing Cheechako. Found this thread, and I'm always curious how trips went for others, or if they were able to undertake them.

I did not expect any of the really cool weather, nor the big wind from the north. I still had a week to play, but could not resist the quick ride home. It was a big confidence booster for man and boat, because despite coastal sailing for 7-8 years, I haven't singlehanded in those conditions prior, particularly by choice.

Many days were sweltering hot, and by the late afternoon I was whining about it to my non-existant crew....during the mind numbing motoring parts. The derecho blew through shortly after I left the bay, I was thankful for that.

I wish I had the money to sail it to Maine next summer and leave it there, but it is a miracle already that I have a boat this nice and can afford to keep it maintained on a mooring I set.
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