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Old 17-07-2012, 04:55   #1
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Chesapeake Bay with Kids

Hello

Any suggestions for a 5-day cruise in the Chesapeake (Annapolis, Oxord, St Michaels area) with 3 kids 7 to 10 years of age? Any nice beaches (disregarding jelly fish)?

Thank you.
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Old 17-07-2012, 05:28   #2
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

Baltimore Inner Harbor has some nice features, i.e. the Seaquarium, submarine tour, sailing ship tour. Don't mention Hooters to them, shhhh.
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Old 17-07-2012, 05:39   #3
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

Museums in St Michaels, Calvert, Naval Academy Annapolis?
Yes, there are jellyfish all the way up to the Bay Bridge this summer.
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Old 17-07-2012, 06:16   #4
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Eastern shore pf Bay has the most accessible beaches as there are fewer houses. On Western Shore, most beaches are privately owned waterfront, but with some exceptions. Queenstown Creek off of Chester River has a great sand spit and beach. Chester river in particular has nice beaches- on Reed Creek, Cacaway Island off of Langford Creek, and on Corsica River.
Just north of Annapolis, eastern side of Whitehall Bay has some beaches
Outside of St Michaels there is a nice beach along northern shore just outside of harbor.
Across river from St Michaels there are some beaches in Leeds Creek
Off of Eastern Bay, north of St Michaels, Tilghman Creek has nice beaches outside of harbor.
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Old 17-07-2012, 06:17   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malbert73
Eastern shore pf Bay has the most accessible beaches as there are fewer houses. On Western Shore, most beaches are privately owned waterfront, but with some exceptions. Queenstown Creek off of Chester River has a great sand spit and beach. Chester river in particular has nice beaches- on Reed Creek, Cacaway Island off of Langford Creek, and on Corsica River.
Just north of Annapolis, eastern side of Whitehall Bay has some beaches
Outside of St Michaels there is a nice beach along northern shore just outside of harbor.
Across river from St Michaels there are some beaches in Leeds Creek
Off of Eastern Bay, north of St Michaels, Tilghman Creek has nice beaches outside of harbor.
Forgot to mention Oxford has a great beach along the strand. You can anchor off of it, dinghy to the beach, and walk ashore. Great for watching the Oxford Bellevue car ferry still running as well....



Can you tell I cruise with kids?
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Old 17-07-2012, 06:38   #6
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

We're based out of Herring Bay with 4 and 6 year olds...

+1 on Baltimore's Inner Harbour. You could spend all 5 days there and still not see everything. For kids, there's the Maryland Science Center/IMAX, National Aquarium, USS Constellation/WWII Sub/Icebreaker tours, Port discovery children's museum, Public Works museum and museum of industry, ball games nearby, Flag house, Fort McHenry (War of 1812 celebration), etc.

Oxford is much quieter, but there is a nearby park/playground down Market St. if you dinghy into Hinkley's which overlooks the Tred Avon river, a beach on the Strand, and most importantly possibly the best ice cream in the area right next to Schooners.

St. Michaels is very kid friendly with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, several ice cream shops, an awesome toy store, and several nice parks. For a change of pace, go to St. Michaels via the San Domingo Creek. There is a little park at the dinghy access, and a nice biking/walking trail there that leads to a much bigger playground.

Annapolis is very kid friendly, one of our kid's favorite stops with ice cream, parks/playgrounds, shopping, exploring, etc.

Of course, my kids would rather just stay at HHS and swim at the pool...

Frank
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Old 17-07-2012, 07:47   #7
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

Some great comments and suggestions so far. I'll try to add a little. Our kids grew up cruising in the mid-Bay region. Lots of trips to places like Oxford, Cacaway, St Michaels, etc. A couple highlights from their memories:

- anchoring and swimming over tot he sandbar off Dobbins Island. The island is privately owned, but the knee-deep sandbar on the north end is a great place for a frisbee game.
- Rhode River between Big, High and Flat Islands. High Island is actually underwater but is a fun place to beach a dink at low tide.
- The museum at St Michaels is a great place to tie up so that the kids have run of the lawn after closing time. Lots of fun evenings laying on the grass next to the boat looking at the stars.

As far as other things to do to make it fun.

- let them navigate, choose places to go etc.
- a search for the best ice cream on the bay. Comparing and discussing relative merits of each ice cream shop. Especially if there are more than 1 in a town
- drag the dinghy with the kids in it. Gives them a break from the parents and vice versa. (life jackets on of course)
- live MOB drills/swim calls during the day. Plan these carefully to stay safe.
- drag toys. We occasionally pulled the dink, a sailing dink, a force 5, ... More important to make it a great time than to make great time.
- pick a book to read aloud during the evenings.
- take a kite and fly it off the stern
- encourage the building of forts in the cabin. Creativity can run really wild. I never knew that much line could be strung that many places
- turn the cockpit into a wading pool by stopping up the scuppers and pouring buckets on the kids. beware scooping up a jellyfish! (don't ask...)

By the way, the kids were the source of most of those ideas. We just had to be flexible enough to consider them!

Enjoy!
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Old 23-07-2012, 09:29   #8
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

We liveaboard in the Annapolis area .. my indentured crew have been with me for 7 and 5 years respectively. I can't add much more to the great outline already provided.. if you do head up to Baltimore you can swing by my marina to cool down and let the kids swim in the pool and catch up on laundry! Just PM me...
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:48   #9
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No one has mentioned Tangier Island. I.......and my kids.......rather enjoyed the trip. Thinking about going back this fall.
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Old 14-06-2017, 21:42   #10
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

This is a good topic. I enjoyed seeing the various suggestions of things to do and places to take children while sailing the Chesapeake.

Recently someone asked me if I would enjoy sailing (as crew with a family) on a cruise or passage with some children aboard the boat. The answer is YES!

I think kids are great, and introducing them to sailing (or the wonders of the ocean) is a great thing to do. When I was 11 I read Hornblower novels and dreamed of a life on a sailboat.

So, I think kids that age (or even younger) can have great dreams, and if exposed to things and enjoying them, and with the right adult supervision, can explore, learn, and have fun while growing as people, and gaining new confidence.

I think as adults it is a privilege (and responsibility) to teach children to try new things, and to help them learn new things.

And, what adult has not felt like a kid again, when they first put their hands on the tiller or wheel of a sailboat, and experienced the sense of making the boat move by gentle control of the helm? It always makes me feel young again.
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Old 15-06-2017, 04:29   #11
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

There's a beach at Herrington Harbor South marina, lower end of Herring Bay.

Kentmoor Marina has a beach, and good crabs... makes a decent lunch stop en route somewhere else.

Tolchester Beach has a.... ummm... beach.

Much of the Sassafras River bank is beachy.

Still Ponds is said to be nice (but we haven't been there, yet...) , and jelly-free.

Solomons Island makes a nice cruise. Good museum, etc.

If you do a cruise up the Choptank, you can visit Cambridge (Hyatt or municipal docks, but the Hyatt is a resort, good for kids), Oxford (beach), St. Michaels (via San Domingo Creek), and Knapp's Narrows.

Another "loop" might be Rock Hall, through Kent Narrows, St. Michaels, Deale or Galeseville/west and Rhode Rivers.

You can drop the hook almost anywhere the word "creek" appears on the charts. For good anchorage info, you might look for "Cruising the Chesapeake, A Gunkholer's Guide" by Bill Shellenberger.

-Chris
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Old 15-06-2017, 05:27   #12
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

no one mentioned squirt guns...lots of them. How about some halyard swinging? make some slime (google it). Legos were always a hit on our boat.
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Old 16-06-2017, 18:37   #13
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

Here's an article about considerations on swimming in the bay.
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Old 16-06-2017, 18:50   #14
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Re: Chesapeake Bay with Kids

I'm not sure what the OP meant by "disregarding jelly fish". The stinging sea nettle problem in the Chesapeake during summer makes swimming often unwise. How can you ask kids not to go swimming? Year's ago they did a survey at Disneyworld asking kids what was their favorite part of their Disneyworld vacation - "the hotel pool" won hands down.

Here's a daily web page of sea nettle concentrations that could be helpful.

Ocean Prediction Center Sea Nettle Guidance

Some boats have jellyfish proof pools but that seems overkill for a single trip

https://www.magicswim-sea-pool.com/home-english
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