Today was a little unusual, a high pressure system passed over which switched the wind opposite the trade winds. It was a rare opportunity to have a relatively subdued sail beyond Diamond head along the coast to Koko Head and Hawaii Kai. The other pleasant side effect of this high pressure was a beautifully clear day!
June 20th, 2013
We are expected back in Philadelphia in two days, so today we started out early, but not until we’d had breakfast at Chick and Ruth’s of course! The wind was light and from the south, so we enjoyed a relaxed sail with the main and the spinnaker for a little while. That is, until the wind almost died completely and we were forced to motor once more! This has been the unfortunate story of our trip, but we don’t let it dampen our spirits and have enjoyed our time out on the Chesapeake anyway.
After making our way up to the top of the bay, we said our goodbyes and headed back through the C&D Canal. We made it onto the Delaware Bay just as the sun was beginning to set. We pulled into the Delaware City Marina just before dark. By this time, much of the shops in this small town were closed, but we did manage to get some late night ice cream at the Ice Cream Parlor.
Not much to report today. We made our way back up the Delaware River, motoring all the way. Philadelphia came into view by mid-day and we made it into the Philadelphia Marine Center in the afternoon. We had a wonderful time out on the Chesapeake. I only wish our trip could have lasted longer! There are so many little towns to stop in and visit on the bay, and we did not even get past Annapolis, to all that the southern half of the Chesapeake has to offer. Perhaps we will have to sail further on next time and explore this great bay another day!
June 19, 2013
The storms and rain subsided and we decided to sail down to Annapolis! Sail was apparently a hopeful word, as the wind began to die down the further we went on our journey south. Eventually we had to just take the sails down all together and motor into the sailing capital of America. But we tried valiantly with the main and the spinnaker until it became apparent that if we wanted to get into the city before dark, we’d have to give in and turn on the engine.
We tied up to a mooring ball just outside of the Annapolis City Dock. What a view of downtown! And as we pulled in on a Wednesday evening, we got to watch the Wednesday racers sail in and out of the harbor….well, sort of sail in and out, what with the light wind and all. It was a lovely night to walk around town and just enjoy the storm free evening!
Annapolis is a beautiful city. The capital of Maryland, the city also served as the nation’s capital for a very brief time as the nation’s capital, just after the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Downtown is still paved in brick, and many of the houses and buildings still date back to colonial and early American times. If you are a sailor of any experience level, you must visit Annapolis. There are a variety of resources at your disposal here, whether it be for supplies, lessons, or a boat itself. The city hosts one of the nation’s largest sailboat shows each October and a smaller one in the spring. Below we’ve listed not only some interesting places to visit downtown, but good sailboating resources as well.
Spot Specs: Annapolis, MD
- Restaurants: there are many in downtown Annapolis, but a few of our favorites are Mangia Italian Grill, Chick and Ruth’s Delly, Armadillo’s, Pusser’s, and City Dock Coffee, all located near the City Dock’s “Ego Alley”
- Shops: a wide variety of gift shops, galleries, and boutiques line the historic streets of Annapolis. A few shops of particular interest include the Annapolis Bookstore, the Spice and Tea Exchange, Capital Teas, and Paws Pet Boutique.
- Other points of interest: United States Naval Academy – located in the northeast corner of downtown, the grounds are usually open during the day. Stop by the Visitors Center for a tour of the academy and the museum. For more information visit http://www.usnabsd.com/for-visitors/
- The Woodwind and Woodwind II: two 74 foot wooden schooners in Annapolis offer 2 hour public sails and a variety of other events. Check them out at http://www.schoonerwoodwind.com
- Sailing Resources: Bacon Sails (located just a short drive out of downtown), APS store (across the bridge in Eastport), Backyard Boats (also located in Eastport)
June 18, 2013
The morning did not quite bring an end to the storms for us. In fact, storms and rain were forecasted for the entire day. So, Kris and I decided to move the boat into Worton Creek Marina for the day. Unfortunately, there is not much to do within walking distance of the marina. So we spent the day relaxing, walking around the marina and the nearby neighborhood, and trying to sneak up on the heron who hung around the marina.
Though our day is not much to report, we have visited this area many times before. We enjoy visiting the nearby town of Chestertown. So, though we did not visit it on this day, here are a few Spot Specs on Chestertown, MD.
Spot Specs: Chestertown, MD
- Marinas: Chestertown Marina; many boats also find good anchorage on the south side of the Chestertown bridge. Note: Chestertown is not located right off of the bay. You will have to navigate up the Chester River to reach it by boat.
- Restaurants: many local restaurants and a few chains. We recommend the Fish Whistle, Lemon Leaf Cafe, and Evergrain Bread Company.
- Shops: there are a few local shops located in town, and an Acme and Walgreens and a few other larger stores at a shopping center on the north side of town.
- Schooner Sultana: this replica of a pre-revolutionary British schooner hosts 2 hours sails at a variety of times throughout the year. Check sailing times and purchase tickets at http://www.sultanaprojects.org/publicsails.htm
- We always enjoy a little walk around town, as there are many old residential houses to admire and general feeling of relaxation in the air
June 17, 2013
We left Havre Da Grace after a nice cup of coffee at Jana’s Java with a new friend from the marina. The wind was again coming from the south, not very strongly at first, so progress was slow. Toward the evening however, rainclouds built up off the western shore and brought some sprinkling rain and stronger winds to us. We enjoyed excellent, if wet, sailing down the bay.
As the clouds continued to build on the western shore, we decided to head in a little earlier and anchor in the sheltered mouth of Worton Creek. Kris fired up the grill again and cooked us a delicious dinner of burgers and sweet corn. After, we explored the nearby shores a bit, discovering a great deal of driftwood on the northern shore of the inlet. This beach had good evening bonfire potential, but perhaps for another night, as more rain seemed to be heading our way. Kris and I got the dingy over to the boat just in time, the rain beginning to patter and ripple across the water. Glad we’d put up a makeshift canvas tent to cover the cockpit, Kris and I watched the sun set and the steady rain settle in.
Storms passed over us in the night, more than we had thought were predicted and certainly more than we had the previous night in Havre de Grace. Though we turned about in the shifting winds, the storms seemed to be passing, and the anchor was holding well. Then, around 11:30, a hurling gust ripped across the water. The boat healed over from the force of the wind and the canvas tore loose. Barefooted and barely able to get our jackets on in time, Kris and I rushed out into the cockpit. I felt as though someone had dumped an icy bucket of water straight over my head. Everything, everything was soaked instantly. The torrential downpour half blinded us with water, but we were able to quickly rescue the canvas, tie up the bimini, and batten down the hatches. Then we stayed up, awaiting storm front after storm front until we felt sure that the anchor would hold and that the worst was over. We’d seen much stronger storms, but that blast of wind caught us off guard, nature reminding us that just when you think the storm’s past, she’s not finished yet! Perhaps next time we see storm clouds rolling in, we’ll be sure to fully batten everything down, not matter how light the storm may seem.
June 16, 2013
Kris and I explored the nearby inlet off the Sassafras River this morning. The charts indicated that the depth would be too shallow for our 4 ft draft, but upon further investigation via dingy, we believe that we may have been able to slip through the narrow opening and into the protected area beyond. Several power boats had anchored there the night before and were enjoying a morning on the beach. This would be a lovely place to stay if you have a boat with a shallow draft!
The wind was still coming from a southernly direction, so Kris and I decided to lazily zig and zag back up and across the bay a little way to Havre de Grace, MD. We’d heard that this was a nice little town on the bay and would be worth a visit. Besides, storms were forecasted for the evening and a marina and safe harbor for the night would be welcome.
We motored up the channel to Havre de Grace on the Susquehanna River. On the way we passed a few tiny islands off the channel where power boats and a few sailboats enjoyed a Sunday swim and a little beach time. It looked like fun, but we decided to pull into the Tidewater Marina early and have time to explore town a little. Havre de Grace is a good place to enjoy a relaxed walk in the shade after a hot day on the water, visit the quaint lighthouse and maritime museums on the south side, stop in a few shops up on the north side, and perhaps grab a bite to eat and an ice cream cone after. Not much was open on a Sunday afternoon, unfortunately, so we would recommend stopping by on a Friday or Saturday if you’d like to visit this little bay town.
We’ll await the forecasted storms tonight, tied up at the docks.
- Marinas: Havre de Grace City Yacht, Havre de Grace Marina, Havre de Grace Marina at the Log Pond, Penns Beach Marina, Tidewater Marina
- Restaurants: there are a variety of different restaurants in town. We enjoyed Nonnie’s Brick Oven Pizza, Bomboy’s Homemade Ice Cream, and Jana’s Javas.
- Shops: toy shops, antiques, decoys, gift shops, and more
- Museums: Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, Havre de Grace Decoy Museum
- Lighthouse: Concord Point Lighthouse, small, but still offers a nice view for a short climb to the top
- Lafayette Trail: historic tourism trail marked through town by a painted blue line and numbers that correspond to information in a tour pamphlet. We procured one from our marina office.
- Parasailing: Old Town Parasail
June, 15 2013:
Kris and I took a week off from our busy schedules to enjoy a sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay..We’ll post an entry for each day of our trip, and give you tips on navigating that leg of our trip (Navigation Tips) and write up a few specs on each place that we visit (Spot Specs).
We started out today at 9:00am, topped off the diesel on the boat and the gas in the dingy, and headed down the Delaware River. The current was with us, but the wind, sadly, was not. Coming almost directly from the south, it was just off the bow most of the way. So we motored our way down, and put the main up for the occasional boost from the wind. Much of the trip down was spent avoiding collisions with the logs and flotsam in the river from the rainstorms we’d had earlier in the week. As I stood at the helm, I felt as though I was playing some odd reversed version of frogger, where the logs were deadly and undesirable and the space between was the only safe refuge. I’m just glad there were no alligators to be dealt with in this game!
We reached the C&D Canal around 2:00 and down came the main. The C&D is the canal that connects the Chesapeake and the Delaware Bays, up close to where they both begin to widen out from their sources. It can be a tricky one to navigate since the strong current that runs through it switches direction with the tides. The key is to go through the canal when the current is going in your direction of travel. We tried to time our arrival just so, and started just as the current was beginning to slow and turn from the Delaware Bay to the Chesapeake.
As we came around the bend, the water slowly stretched out before us and smiles lit up our faces. The bay! Now we could perhaps do what we’d came for: sail. We hoisted the main, unfurled the jib and adjusted the sails for a zig zagging series of tacks down the bay to the Sassafras River for the evening. We found a nice anchorage close to the mouth of the river, just outside of a little inlet and a long stretch of unclaimed sandy beach. A beautiful sunset painted the sky over the bay as we enjoyed hot dogs and sweet corn fresh off our little propane boat grill. It was a wonderful finish to long day. Kris and I will surely be sleeping soundly as the bay waves rock us gently through the night.
- Restaurants: On the C&D Canal – Schaefer’s Canal House in Chesapeake City, MD. Located right on the canal to the north, Schaefer’s has a dock that you can tie up to! We have not tried the food here yet, but there is wonderful outdoor deck seating and live bands on the weekends. If you do stop in, let us know what you think!
- Marinas: Delaware Bay, mouth of the C&D Canal – Delaware City Marina; C&D Canal – Summit North Marina; Chesapeake Bay, mouth of the C&D – Chesapeake Inn Restaurant and Marina
May 3 – 5, 2011
We said our goodbyes to Tangier on the morning of the 3rd and headed up the Chesapeake to Annapolis, MD. On the way, Spinny slept, Kris studied up for his captain’s license, Carol cleaned, and Gary and I alternated at the wheel. We spotted a ship wreck used for Naval target practice and passed several hard working tugs. And then, in the middle of the day…
Flies! Horrible biting flies, out in the middle of the Chesapeake! Out came the fly swatter, and I became a fly hunter on an waterborne safari.
Once the flies had been vanquished, we came upon a fleet of cargo ships all anchored and empty, just to the SE of the Bay Bridge and Annapolis. Large, silent giants all out down the bay, and to the distant ocean. It was a strange and mysterious sight.
We came upon a quieter Annapolis than the one we’d seen in October. The boat show was no longer in town, and the harbor, though still dotted with sailboats, was not full to the brim with them as it had been in the fall. The sight of Maryland’s capitol from the bay still filled me excitement. There is something grand and old world about the Annapolis skyline over the water. I love that this is a State capitol that has not been taken over by skyscrapers and high-rises. When I walk the streets I can still feel the spirits of the early colonists who walked the city themselves. Kris and I strolled about town often, usually without any destination in mind. There are clothing shops, gift shops, book stores, a comic book store, tea shops, candy shops, ice-cream shops, coffee shops, art galleries, and assorted restaurants all across downtown. Some of our favorites include Chick & Ruth’s, Mangia’s Italian Bar and Grill (best slices of pizza in town), Pusser’s, and City Dock Coffee. Spinnaker prefers blueberry scones from City Dock, and peanut butter treats from Paws, the city pet store.
On Wednesday, the previous day’s rain had cleared enough by evening for the weekly Wednesday sailing races. The racers came flying around the corner and slid into the side of the mooring field, sailing to the Spa Creek bridge for the last leg of their race. It was an amazing sight, all of those mylar sails stiff in the wind, hulls healing over for maximum speed, slipping into the waters between the docks and the moored boats. I stood on the deck, memorized by their grace and dexterity. I could not tear my eyes away until the last boat glided past the mooring field.
Wednesday night we explored some of the nearby shipyards. While searching for a new boat some years ago, before they found Horizons, the Krasnoskys spent many days looking through the shipyards around Annapolis. For old time’s sake, we poked our noses around the dry-docked boats. Kris found a few that peaked his interest,and I enjoyed walking around the boats at night, their large hulls looming above me. It is erie to see boats from the point of view that a fish must see them in the water.
On Thursday we visited Kent Island. Carol and Gary were eager to lunch at their favorite restaurant over the Bay Bridge, the Stevensville Crab Shack. After they feasted on crab, we all headed over to St. Michaels for a stroll about the small Maryland town, were there were a few more gift shops, an ice-cream parlor, and a quiet little marina.
On our last evening in Annapolis, Kris and I took a ride around Back Creek to look at the local docked boats. The waters were still and the air smelled wet with deep smalls of teak, moss, oil, and briny bay water. That night we took one last walk around the city with Spinny. The streets were cloaked in a black velvet dress, lit warmly by the street and shop lights. It was a lovely night indeed.
I am sad to be leaving the boat for the reality of bills and work, but I will always keep the memories of the amazing places I’ve seen and experienced while onboard Horizons. Hopefully I will be able to take another long adventure with her crew sometime in the near future. I wish them all well on their trip back to Sandusky, Ohio as they re-trace the route we took in the fall. They will most likely be pulling into Battery Park by the end of the month. Until then, I’ll be back home, dreaming of all the new horizons that await Kris, Gary, Carol, and Spinnaker on the last leg of their journey.
May 3, 2011
Tangier Island. A quiet place, removed from the hustle and bustle of the world. Imagine a New England fishing town taken from the shore and plopped down on its own little island, left to its own for decades. The people are all very friendly and glad to have you. The inlet is littered with docks, crab traps stacked on shore, and small motor powered crabbing boats. The houses are almost all whitewashed, a few handfuls of paper homes all placed along narrow paved roads. There are but a few trucks on the island. On a cool spring evening, the small streets are buzzing with golf carts, teens and children on bicycles, and those out for an after dinner stroll. Everyone here knows everyone else on the island, so do not be surprised if the town’s people give you a taken aback stare before saying hello. There are a few small restaurants and gift shops on the island, but the shops are only open in the summer for the short tourist season. Signs all around the island give insight into the island’s history. My favorite was the large purple painted house that was apparently imported from Dublin for a Tangier resident.
We pulled into Parks Marina for the evening. Mr. Parks is eager to talk with travelers. He and Gary hit it off beautifully. We were not the only travelors to find safe harbor at the Parks residence. Mr. Parks is kind enough to feed the stray cats on the island. Among all the feline visitors walks Mr. Parks’ big old dog (whom Kris and I lovingly dubbed the “Dingy Dog”). He keeps watch over the dock, and greets you with a slow tail wag. Bathrooms are provided in the dock house for your convenience. It’s a slow paced, sleepy place to be, and it suited us just fine for the evening. Tomorrow we are off on my last leg of the trip, up the Chesapeake further to Annapolis, MD.
Hello everyone! Sorry I haven’t gotten a chance to blog further about our adventures yet. Kris, Carol, and I are currently back in Ohio. Carol and Kris have business to tend to at Cheers and I unfortunately need to start getting back into the swing of things in the real world. Gary and Spinny are with the boat in Annapolis, relaxing and working on boat maintenance. I will blog about our adventures from May 3rd to the 5th as soon as I can. Right now many of my friends back home are all graduating and between all of the celebrations and visiting I have just enough time to type this little message to you all.
Look for posts on May 3-5 soon! Then, sadly, I will be signing off, as I will be staying here in Ohio. Let’s hope this rain stops soon!