On Saturday, September 19th, we made another early morning departure (early = pre-sunrise) from Cape May so that we could make it all the way up the Delaware Bay and into the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal to Chesapeake City. Now that we no longer have that very tall mast, we can take advantage of the Cape May Canal and fit under the canal’s bridge.
The trip up the Delaware Bay was long and tedious, but problem-free. We had the current with us for most of the way until we turned into the C&D Canal.
We entered the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal in the sunshine. Because it was also a Saturday the crazy power cruisers and cigarette boats were out in full force! Many were headed to Chesapeake City for lunch and dinner. By the time we arrived it was quite the busy place, so we maneuvered into the anchorage at the back of the little harbor. It was certainly more crowded than either of our two previous stops here. After our 9-hour trip from Cape May we were ready to just sit.
We stop and stay overnight in Chesapeake City so that we can visit with our daughter Alicia and grandchildren, Aaron and Ella. The visit included lunch, a dinghy ride, and ice cream.
Rather than wait for morning, we pulled up anchor after our family time and began the journey towards the Chesapeake Bay. The bay is approximately 200 miles long from its northern beginning at the Susquehanna River to its southern outlet into the Atlantic Ocean. It is 2.8 miles wide at its narrowest and 30 miles at its widest, a very large body of water. When we are charting courses in the Chesapeake we never fail to be amazed (and somewhat confused) by the numerous rivers, creeks, and small bays. I think half of them may be named “Back Creek” and they all look the same on the chart to us at first glance. When planning a route into a river or creek, you really have to study the chart closely and double check the critical features.
The previous evening Al had spotted something in the sky that looked like a “giant fish.” It was dusk and had to see even with the binoculars. During our trip in the daylight he searched the sky again to find it. And he did —
Cruising friends of ours that we met on our first trip now have a house on the water in Annapolis……..with docks! Although they are not cruising at this time, they absolutely love to have their cruising buddies stop and visit. And what a treat that is for us. Not only do we get to visit with Mary Marie (Frank is working out of state), but we also had a dock with water and laundry, and a courtesy car. The stuff that dreams are made of, if you are cruising. Our mini-reunion was a sweet one. Thank you, Ems! 🙂 What a hostess!! And we miss you, Frank. 🙁
A trip to West Marine the next day —
Later in the afternoon we took a walk around Main Street in Annapolis.
Maryland = Crabs. They taste better here than anywhere else. We decided to have dinner at Chick and Ruth’s Delly on Main Street, a local diner with lots of quirks and food.
Read this next picture ONLY if you want to know the story behind the hanging bagels!!
We had wanted to explore Annapolis because we had skipped it on the first trip. It was on our bucket list because of its rich sailing heritage. Unfortunately, the weather drives our decisions now that we live on a boat. BIG winds and rain were forecasted for Friday through Monday. Our choices were stay in Annapolis until next Tuesday or boogie out and down the Chesapeake right now so that we can be safe and secure before Friday. Although we would have loved to spend more time in Annapolis, we opted to move south. We promised Ems we would stop again in the spring on our return. (Short story about names– Mary Marie is known as “Ems” because her name “Mary Marie” has two Ms. My name, Michele Marie, is also two Ms, although the Marie part is never used. We joke that I am the other MM. Just one of those sweet coincidences in life.)
We departed, early again (there’s a pattern to this trip – we are 2 weeks ahead of the schedule from the 2013-2014 adventure) so that we could get to Hampton, VA. The first day was 10.5 hours long down to Reedville. We spoke on the VHF with Mark on Spirit and Ben on Loon, both folks we had met in Hope Town in 2013-2014, also heading back there for the winter. The Chesapeake Bay was truly a place for reconnecting.
We anchored in Mill Creek not far from Reedville, and were now in Virginia, the lower Chesapeake Bat region.
The second day of our journey to Hampton, Virginia was a rough day. The winds were stronger and the waves were around 6-7 feet, giving us a washing machine ride, rocking and rolling. After 8 hours of it, we pulled into a dock at Sunset Creek Boating Center. Not a picturesque place, but friendly and inexpensive. And a very safe place to wait out the storm that is coming.
We only had a peek at the Chesapeake on the trip, but here we are on Friday, September 25th, sitting safely, for the next 3 days of rain and winds.