Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Chesapeake Bay is Big, B-I-G, BIG

After coming through Norfolk, Virginia, we emerged into Chesapeake Bay. And I’ve got to tell you, it was pretty overwhelming. Tampa Bay is large, but it’s a day trip from end-to-end. Chesapeake Bay ended up taking us nearly four days to traverse from south to north. We had intended to go offshore from the mouth of the Chesapeake to either Ocean City, Maryland or Cape May, New Jersey, but once again, adverse weather forecasts dictated that we stay inside. And we’re glad we did, because we got a taste of the great Chesapeake Bay cruising grounds.

After leaving Norfolk, Virginia, behind at about noon, we motorsailed north to Deltaville. As seems to be our wont, we raced a thunderstorm to the anchorage. It’s well-protected, snug, and pretty. However, something about the bottom sediments about half-way down the channel made our depth-sounder go wonky, not encouraging since the display is brand new, but once we were outside again, it was fine. The second day we passed by the mouth of the Potomac River, and boy, were those opposing currents strong! At one point we were down to 2.8 knots, which is barely strolling speed on land. But we managed to make Solomons Island that night. It wasn’t really an anchorage where we were—we just pulled out of the channel with some other boats—but we had a beautiful early morning sunrise. During the following day we heard a warning for a horrendous thunderstorm heading our way, and ducked into Eastern Bay. The storm never materialized, and we lost 2 ½ hours of travel time, so we didn’t get as far as we had planned (but we did find a nice anchorage for future use!). In the late afternoon, the winds increased as predicted, and we pulled into the Back River. We spent the next day here, too, to avoid the strong north winds, and continued on to the Elk River the following day. The Elk River leads to the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal, and we anchored by some really spectacular homes along the shore.


  1. Nice selection of anchorages. We'll need to check some of them out as we pass through!!

  2. Toto, I don't think we're in Tampa Bay anymore! Your pictures are gorgeous, as always, guys. Breathtaking. So excited about the July 4 plans in NYC. That should be incredible. They shoot the fireworks from barges in the Hudson River just a little south of the Boat Basin. You are going to love it! Can't wait to see the pics of that.

  3. Anne & Chris,

    We have been catching up on your travels and are very excited as we follow your path to us!! It looks like a wonderful journey so far and the are drooling! Love, Karen

  4. Anne & Chris,

    First, I want to know if Chris needed help lifting that Mahi Mahi out of the ocean?

    I am looking forward to seeing you and hope you have a safe journey.

    Love, Aidan

  5. Dear, Anne & Chris,I am looking foward to seeing you when you arrive.
    Love, Bridget

  6. Dear Anne & Chris, The sooner you arrive the better I hope you have a safe journey Love, Too Too a.k.a (Tess)

  7. We're so glad you're enjoying the blog. It makes me write down where we go and what where doing, so it's a great help to me, too. And we love getting comments.

    We're really looking forward to seeing everyone in Massachusetts! Right now we're in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. We can see Manhattan from our boat, and we hope to stay there a few days before heading north again.

    P.S. to Aidan: Chris lifted the fish out of the water himself, then filleted it, and it was very tasty for dinner!

  8. Nice pictures guys. I lived in Norfolk while serving in the Military but I never had a chance to really enjoy the bay.
    Thanks for sharing your favorites with us