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Old 10-06-2012, 15:58   #1
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Chesapeak Bay in August ?

Just bought a boat and it is located in Hayes VA. We have 3.5 weeks off work in late July and early August and want to go cruising. How hot, humid, buggy is the Chesapeake bay that time of year? The boat has a generator and AC. Will we want to use the AC. Should we try to get up the coast to cooler territory like to Nantucket? We live in the West and have never sailed East coast. Thanks for any ideas on what to do....
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Old 10-06-2012, 16:08   #2
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There is no telling how the bay will be. Lately some great saint in August. Get north upper bay like the sassafrass or worton creek. You could do a lot of sailing on the bay before going coastal. St Mary's river is fun Solomon's and Piscataqua. Rhode river, Cambridge Baltimore harbor if you can do those in 3 weeks you did not stop and enjoy them enough
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Old 10-06-2012, 16:18   #3
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

Chesapeake in July/August? Expect 100+ degree temps, drought, famine, and pestilence.

There's nothing fun about summer here. Except maybe the nightlife
I assume it'll be much better with a genset+A/C, but plan on running it full time and/or using shorepower whenever possible.

Oh, and definitely want to screen all ports/hatches.
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Old 10-06-2012, 16:19   #4
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

The heat and humidity usually are tolerable in August IF you have wind to keep cool under sail and at anchor. Upper bay tends to have less wind. Stay flexible and if it looks too hot, head north. The biggest threat on the east coast that time of year is thunderstorms, which you may not experience in the west.
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Old 10-06-2012, 16:20   #5
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

It will be hot and humid....summer. Make sure you have screens for the hatches and companion way. I love the bay in the summer.
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Old 10-06-2012, 16:51   #6
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

The summers of 2010 and 2011 were record breakers while
the summer of 2009 was very tolerable. We went on a 3 week cruise down the Bay that year using the A/C only at marinas. There's no telling how this summer will pan out. Go north of Long Island for cooler waters...70's vs 80's, it makes a big difference in a sailboat where half the hull is submerged.

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Old 10-06-2012, 17:25   #7
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

I was there on my sailboat in august through mid october one year. (Annapois) We survived without a/c in a marina. I thought it was pretty nice really. Maybe we were lucky and didnt know it!
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Old 10-06-2012, 18:07   #8
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

We spent a July in Annapolis, then went down the Delaware and up to New England. As we went down the Delaware, the temp dropped 15-20 degrees, and we swore we would never do Summer on the Chesapeake again.
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Old 10-06-2012, 18:35   #9
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

it is very hot here, period! you will have a few cooler days but the humidity keeps it hot and muggy into the early morning hours always. As a matter of fact is was 90 here today and the sun has now set, its still 86. Its not uncommon for it to be 90 degrees at 1 am!

I dont have a choice at the moment so this is where I cruise and I make the best of it. If you have AC and a genset, you will prolly want to use it. I do use screens over ports and a winscoop. I also have a boom tent/foredeck tent that really helps keep the boat cooled down.

The Chesapeake is a great place to cruise, lots to see and do it thats what you're into. There is also hundreds of secluded anchorages if you like that. I would not let the weather keep you from enjoying the area.
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Old 10-06-2012, 19:18   #10
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

Usually from mid-june to mid-august it gets very hot and humid. It's better on the water, of course, but it depends on how you tolerate the heat. Some like it hot. From your location, and with your boat, you could shoot out the bay and up the coast, head off to Rhode Island, Block Island, it would take a couple of days full time sailing, but not that difficult, especially if you motor sail when necessary.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:37   #11
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

Is there a good marina in the Solamans or Pax River area. Michael..
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:20   #12
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

I am in Hampton VA right next to LAFB and past few days were HOT, not too humid.
I have been working under the bimini top and I still get tired and dehydrated.
The wind dries you out.
There are people living on their boats without AC here and I think you could survive it but it would wear me out. I have Cruiseair AC but it is broken. When it worked it only truly helped at night time.
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Old 24-06-2012, 11:05   #13
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

Oh come on! You all make it sound like the Sahara with water and mosquitoes.

I sailed for nearly thirty years on the Chesapeake, and while it can certainly get hot, you can reasonably cruise there in the summer if prepared for it.

My experience is that in general, August will be cooler than July but wind speeds may still be low. Be prepared to motor. If the heat looks to hang in overnight, consider a marine for a break, and use that AC. If there will be a breeze, and if the forecast is for a reasonably cool night, find a nice anchorage and get the hatches open.

Yes, screens will be needed. Sometimes it's flies, sometimes mosquitoes, but most of the time it will be just fine.

Holding in the bay ranges from sand to mud to really sticky mud to clay. Occasionally, even sea grasses or shell beds. In most cases the holding is good, there are very few hard things to hit, though running aground was my usual pastime (though that was primarily from intentionally pushing the limits).

The Bay is one of the world's best cruising areas, especially if you have a new to you boat. Soft bottom, well marked, generally short passages, abundance of attractions as well as safe anchorages. If something breaks, you have access to parts and mechanics.

That being said, watch the skies in the afternoon. Copper-colored skies are an indication of imminent thunderstorms and these can be ferocious if you are caught unprepared. I usually planned to be stationary by 2 or 3pm on the days that were forecast for storms. Short lived but frequently very dramatic!

Three and a half weeks is pretty short for Nantucket voyage unless you plan to be underway most of the trip. On my boat, the Admiral likes to sample the local cuisine along the way. Speaking of which, be sure to partake of the local crabs, steamed, soft shell, crab cakes, fish stew, etc. In fact, you could make a gourmet survey of the Bay, traveling up the west side and back down the east Get a cruising guide and jump in.

Tons of things to see and do on the bay. America's history is everywhere you turn. Beautiful, quiet rivers and creeks. Populous areas if you so choose. Stay hydrated, watch the weather and have a wonderful time.
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Old 24-06-2012, 11:18   #14
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Re: Chesapeak Bay in august?

"Is there a good marina in the Solamans or Pax River area. Michael.".

We used Zahnisers for many years as our homeport. Best restaurant in Solomons and they have a great pool with a bar and sandwiches! Very good reputation for their boatyard as well. Transient rates are, I imagine, up there in cost, though you seem to get value for the price. Full disclosure - we have not been there since 2006 as we have been cruising out of our NC home base following retirement.

Zahniser'S - Solomons Island, MD
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Old 29-06-2012, 22:24   #15
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We keep our boat on Rock Creek , Patapsco. As others have said the Bay is endless in it's ability to find new anchorages, creeks and places to travel to, anchor in and explore. There really is no other place like it.

That being said we also bail out to the LI Sound and New England for 3weeks every summer. It's on the average 10 to 15 degrees cooler once you hit the coast at Cape May and through the LI Sound. You don't Ned more than 3 weeks to enjoy a lot of the quaint little towns of the Sound like Northport Port Jefferson, Mattiuk! Greenport, Sag Harbor, Old Saybrooke, Essex, NewLondon, Mystic to name a few. Also Newport and Block are certainly doable in that time frame.

I say go north in August. Explore all the Bat has to offer when those areas are shut down in March through May, and September through November are the best times for cruising on the Bay

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