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Old 01-06-2006, 04:13   #1
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Location: Mamaroneck NY
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odessey 40.3 Libertas
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New York to Baltimore

Planning a cruise from Larchmont NY to Baltimore/Annapolis around August 1. Never gone south before but we have a new Jeanneau 40.3 (Sun Odessey). Anyone done this trip? Could use suggested routes, sticky parts, estimate time and pointers to moorings, anchorage or marinas along the way and epecially in Baltimore and then Annapolis.

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Old 01-06-2006, 05:39   #2
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As a basic route you'll want to go down the East River through NY Harbor, Hang a right at Sandy Hook outside. Go down around Cape May up the Delaware to the C&D Canal then South on the Bay.

Things to watch for are the tides and currents in the East River/ NY Harbor, same going up the Delaware/C&D portions. Have Charts obviously.

Stops along the way; this is very subjective -- always can stop in Atlantic City, Cape May [also offers routing option Cape May Canal depending on you draft and stick height - I never do it], no real stops on the Delaware, in the C&D Shaeffers for fuel if needed, In the Chesapeake - Sassafras River, Chester River, Magothy, Severn, all offer good anchorages, numerous marinas for fuel etc, Annapolis has moorings so that's easy, If you do the trip as a delivery will take less than 2 days. I can do Annapolis to Block Island in about 48 hours.
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Old 01-06-2006, 05:43   #3
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Chesapeake Bay Anchorages

Not sure what your preferences are: marina vs anchoring out etc. Also not sure how much time you want to spend in the Baltimore/Annapolis area. If you provide more info about your preferences, I might have more advice. Being a cheapskate most of my experience is anchoring out or finding free places to dock.

I assume you will be coming in from the C&D canal, so I will start with the upper bay and work south mentioning a few possible stops.

I like Harve de Gras it isn't the best sail in because of lots of shallow water and only a narrow channel in, so usually you motor for a few miles. You will find a nice place to anchor just past Tidewater Marina on the left. There is a floating public dinghy dock there and it is a nice town to visit. There are lots of good places to eat and in the warm months there is usually something going on at Tydings Park on the weekends. There is a nice little museum near the Concord Point Light.

I haven't explored the Elk or Sasafrass rivers, but I have heard good things especially about the Sasafrass.

Further south on the eastern shore, Worton Creek is a nice quiet anchorage and just below that is Fairlee creek. Fairlee Creek is more of a party atmosphere especially on the weekends. There is a golf course and a tiki bar among other things. The entrance is a little tricky though.

To the west the creeks off of Middle River offer sheltered anchorages with places to eat etc. If you are into aircraft a stop at the museum at Martin State airport may be worthwhile.

Back to the eastern shore, Rock Hall is a nice town to stop at. Either anchor out in Swan Creek or pull up to the dock at Waterman's Crab House in the Rock Hall Harbor. I have often spent the night there. They don't seem to mind if they aren't too busy and you eat there.

There is lots to see in Baltimore. Stop by the visitors center in the harbor to get some clues of where to visit.

St Michaels is another stop worth making. Anchor in the harbor or out on the Miles River. There are lots of little shops and stuff there. There is a nice Maritime museum and plenty of places to eat. If you carry bikes there are some nice rides there. Various length loops are possible using the Oxford Ferry to cross the Tred Avon. Riding to Tilghman Island is supposed to be nice too but I haven;t done that one.

Annapolis is a nice place to visit. There are slips and moorings for a fee, but we anchor off of the Naval Academy in Spa Creek where it is free. It is a short hop to the dinghy dock on your right just past the Naval Academy property. From there you can walk to most of the sights in Annapolis. A harbor shuttle is also availble, but we haven't used it.

Further south we like the West and Rhode river area. The Rhode offers a nice beach and good anchorage, but not much in the way of shoreside attractions. Nearby Galesville (on the West River) has places to eat and reprovision..

Solomons is a bit farther south and worth a visit. There is the Calvert County Maritime Museum, places to eat, and you can find fossils (sharks teeth etc. at Calvert Cliffs).

That is a sampling based on a few of the places we have visited. There are lots of other places to visit, enough to keep a sailor busy for a long time.

I suggest that you buy the Gunkholers Guide to Cruising the Chesapeake and maybe also Tom Neals book (I forget the title).

Aurora (Alberg 30 #554)
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Old 01-06-2006, 06:58   #4
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Before you get out into the Atlantic you can anchor at Atlantic Highlands or the bay behind Sandy Hook (Horseshoe Bay?). Anchor in Cape May off the CG station. With your mast height you'll just make it through the Cape May canal. Anchor just north of the entrance to the C&D canal or in Chesapeake City at the west end of the canal. Sassafrass River is a good anchorage or Worton Creek (a bit shallow) but you can easily make Baltimore from the C&D in a day, especially if you're lucky enough to hit the tide right.
Rick I
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Old 01-06-2006, 07:59   #5
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The 'stickiest' part of the trip will be going up the Delaware Bay ... where there is no place to hide, no services, no marinas. Time your departure from Cape May so that the tide 'flushes' you up the bay all the waya to the C&D canal ... and transit the C&D canal on a slack/flood tide. Consider staying in Cape May on a SE or NW blow as the chop will be very steep and ugly. The Bay is quite 'thin' so you probably are best keeping to the side of the main ship channel for the entire trip. At this time of year the flies can eat you alive especially if the winds are light - I liberally coat myself with Noxema Skin Cream and keep the fly swatter handy at all times.
The Delaware shoreline is an 'incubator' of severe thunderstorms; if there is rapid cloud formation on the Delaware shore, get ready for a T'storm and even if NOAA is not predicting them. For severe weather you can find a hidey-hole in the Cohansey River (but will need LOTS of bug spray)

Your timing should be so that you enter the C&D canal on a favorable tidal flow (can be up to 4+kts during adverse 'wind tides'). If the canal is 'flowing' favor the sides of the canal as close as you dare. The controlling tide station for the C&D is "Reedy Point" on the Delaware River - use your Eldridge tide tables. No sailing is permitted in the canal. The canal is very well lit for passage at night.
There is an anchorage at Chesapeake City on the south side of the canal in the Engineer's Cove. The entrance to the cove is usually silted-in requiring that you favor the west (bridge) side of the entrance ... rumor has it that the entrance may have been dredged or soon will be.
Summit North Marina is located on the canal at the Rt. 896 bridge.

Places to anchor between C&D and Balimer&Napplis:
Bohemia River
Sassafrass R. ... go behind "Ordinary Point"
Still Pond ... very popular anchoring spot on weekends.
Worton Creek - "Beacon Bay/Worton Pt." and outer entrance to creek if good weather; inside Worton Creek (past the first two marinas and near the 'treeline') in a 'blow'.
Fairleigh Cr. .... naaaah, too many yahoos and a 'tricky' entrance.

Baltimore: Inner Harbor East Marina(Fells Point) , etc., take the watertaxi into the city. Inner Harbor and Fells Point are 'great' ( ... dont stray out of the inner harbor after dark).
Annapolis - Take a city mooring if you can arrive by about 10AM; otherwise, there are tons of marinas. You can also anchor near the Naval Academy.
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