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Old 25-08-2012, 11:45   #1
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5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

Any ideas on a cruising plan for the Chesapeake in mid-Sept? We are 3 experienced sailors plus a newbie cruising from Annapolis and are more interested in sailing than sightseeing (though we'll want some of that as well). Any recommendations? A zig-zag to the south and then back? I think we would prefer to anchor most nights with a marina stop at half-way.
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Old 25-08-2012, 12:38   #2
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Re: 5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

1. Annapolis to Dividing Creek off Wye River
2. Dividing Creek to St Michaels (short sail to visit the town; w/ decent ground tackle anchor on N side of channel in outer harbor where all the cruising guides say the holding is bad - it isn't and you'll be alone. *grin*)
3. St M to Galesville ($1/ft/day at Pirates Cove)
4. Galesville to Rock Hall/Swan Creek
5. RH to Annapolis
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Old 25-08-2012, 13:47   #3
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Re: 5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

I agree with the first part of the previous posters cruise, but this is how I would do it:

Annapolis to Dividing Creek or Granary Creek on the Wye
Above to St Michaels, tie up at St Michaels Marina
St Michaels to Dobbins Island on the Magothy River
Magothy to Mill Creek (just above Cantlers) off of Whitehall Bay just N of Annapolis. Dinghy in for crabs at Jimmy Cantlers
Back to Annapolis

But there are infinite variations which include:

Queenstown (go under the bridge at Kent Narrows to get there, then across to 3 or 4 above)
Rhode River just N of Galesville
Harness Creek in front of the park off of the S River, S of Annapolis
Etc.

Enjoy!!

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Old 25-08-2012, 14:34   #4
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Re: 5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

Don't do Dobbins on the weekend unless you like lots of loud music, screaming, and lots of wakes as the sun goes down. Weeknights you may have it to yourself and it's lovely.

Cantler's is an overpriced pit that continues to pull in the tourists. The kitchen has faded badly in the last ten years and prices are nearly double other local crab houses. Pass.

Harness Creek is nice - watch the shoaling on your left as you make the turn up toward Quiet Water's Park.

I agree that there are lots of variations. Five days isn't even a sample.

Anchor off the duck blind in Herring Bay and dinghy to either Herrington Harbor North or South.
Rock Creek off the Patapsco.
Worton Creek.
Solomons.
Tighlman.
Oxford.
La Trappe Creek.

If you really mean it about being serious sailors you could make Hampton in 18 or 20 hours (more or less depending on the boat and the weather) and hop your way back up the Bay.
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Old 25-08-2012, 14:44   #5
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Re: 5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

You have to decide whether you want a relaxed, anchored in a nice place, plenty to see and do type of cruise. Or, if you want to spend 3-4 of the 5 days sailing.

You can make it south in one really long day (or 2 reasonable days), as Auspicious points out. But, it would take the rest of your 3 days to make it back north without stepping foot onshore, unless you just turn around and do the same thing again... It's basically a day to get anywhere from anywhere.

A 6-8 hour trip is the most you want if you want any of your day leftover at the end of it. Personally, I'd focus on one or two areas.

I think a full schedule cruise would look something like; Crossing the bay to hang out in Rock Hall for a day, then cruise down to Oxford for another day or two. Then cross over to solomans for a night and head back to Annapolis the next day.

5 days goes pretty fast.
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Old 26-08-2012, 05:12   #6
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Thanks for all the replies! I should have mentioned that our charter starts at 12:00 Monday and ends at 12:00 Saturday. And since it's a charter, there is no night sailing.

Since the four of us haven't sailed together before (we do work together) I had planned on a short sail the first day so we could do a few MOBs and try some 'tight-space' maneuvers under sail and power while in open water.
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Old 26-08-2012, 06:51   #7
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Re: 5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

Good start-up and practice. Moorings or Lets-Go-Cruising?

How about this:

Mon - Dobbins Island, Swan Creek/Rock Hall, or Marshy Pt/Thomas Pt depending on wind direction.
Tue - Dividing Creek/Granary Creek off the Wye
Wed - Solomons
Thu - St Michaels
Fri - Galesville (if you can manage an early start Sat) or Whitehall Bay

Frankly there are so many cool places on the Chesapeake that you can well afford to get up in the morning, check the wind direction, and decide where to go.

You may find this of some small value: http://auspiciousworks.com/ChesapeakeBayEats.pdf
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Old 26-08-2012, 10:28   #8
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Moorings. Their intro specials made the price good, we really wanted 3 cabins, and since we're driving from Charlotte, NC, we didn't want to go any further North or East.

I agree with the ability to plan daily, and we'll likely do that. I'm trying to get some of the basic permutations of the routes so that we can actually get back on Saturday. Thanks again, starting to work the charts now.
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Old 26-08-2012, 14:05   #9
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Re: 5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

What are your provisioning plans? There is a Giant Food on nearby that is probably the best grocery store (you'll pass it on your left on your way to the Moorings base). Bay Ridge Wine and Spirits is probably your best bet for alcohol (nothing in groceries in Maryland, not even wine and beer - you'll pass it on your way in on the right with a West Marine). If you have foodies onboard stop in the Butcher and cheese-monger in Clock Tower Center (on your left on the way in just after Spa Rd).

If you are driving up the night before and want to see downtown Annapolis you can drive around fairly quickly and park in a garage and walk or on City Dock -- pay your parking as enforcement is aggressive, get a water taxi from the dock (410-263-0033 or VHF 68 $4.50 per person per way) or dinghy across Back Creek to the 4th St (free) dinghy dock and have a free eCruiser 443-481-2422 pick you up and take you downtown.

If you want some food pre-made for you I can point you to services here that do that.

If there is anything I can do give me a shout. Welcome to Annapolis.
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Old 26-08-2012, 18:30   #10
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Excellent suggestions. We are doing the sleep aboard on Sunday night so two from the crew will do the shopping while the first mate and I will completely check out the boat to make sure the briefing goes smoothly. Based on your info, we'll likely buy our beer and wine in NC.
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Old 26-08-2012, 18:48   #11
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Re: 5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwh2ohouse View Post
Excellent suggestions. We are doing the sleep aboard on Sunday night so two from the crew will do the shopping while the first mate and I will completely check out the boat to make sure the briefing goes smoothly. Based on your info, we'll likely buy our beer and wine in NC.
Cool beans. Pick me up a Brew-Thru t-shirt - size L. <-joke

Don't hesitate to get in touch if a little local knowledge would help your planning.
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Old 26-08-2012, 18:55   #12
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Re: 5-Day Chesapeake Cruise

Read about all the cool places within say a 25-30 mile radius and then choose where to go based on the weather and the wind. It never pays to go on a sailing vacation and map everything out ahead of time because you never know what the weather will bring. For example, I'd say don't make the first day a stiff slog to windward if it is blowing hard. You want that first sail to be an easy, pleasant one while you get used to the boat and how everything works. Go with the flow!
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Old 26-08-2012, 19:44   #13
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Rock Hall Swan Creek -day one (4hours) Monday
Rhode River High Bar- day two (5hours) Tuesday
St Michaels Town Marina day three (6 hours) Wednesday
Aberdeen Creek South River day four (6 hours) ( way quieter than Harness Creek where everyone goes) Thursday
Eagles Cove or Broad Creek on the Magothy ( 5 hours) Friday

2.5 hours to Annapolis Saturday AM

I chose quiet locations except St Michaels. South, Magothy Rivers have many creeks to anchor. You can do West as n alternative to Rhode Rivers as both use the same entrance. St Mikes is a great place for a slip. Nice restaurants .

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