Chesapeake Bay

September 20-October 20, 2021

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I wrote a post.  Time flies when you are having fun.

We did indeed make it to Cape May, but only stayed a few hours to go around the shoals into Delaware Bay on a good tide.  We had good wind and tide and had a fast passage up the bay and thru the canal.  Coming out of the canal (where you have to motor, for safety) the wind piped up and we were able to sail the hour or so to the Sassafras River.  We remembered this river from last year, where we had a gorgeous stay, all by ourselves.  This time, we pulled in and chose the opposite shore.  There was just one catamaran at anchor tucked in about half a mile away.  We went below to clean up and get something to eat.  By the time we popped our head up, there were 7 boats around us and the nearest one had launched their dink to row over (rowing is very impressive).  They turned out to be new friends with whom we had sundowners, and ran into weeks later at the boat show.  They own solar farms in the mid-west to support their cruising habit.  Very interesting!

We stayed in the Sassafras for several nights a couple because it’s so pretty and waiting for rain to move thru.  Nothing is as pretty in gloomy weather.  By the 26th of September, we had both wind and sun, so it was off to Rock Hall, MD.  We had a great downwind sail in light air making a good 6 knots on average.  It was fun to sail just a short day.  Rock Hall is a waterman’s town, with a statue of a larger than life waterman with a giant oyster rake making the free dinghy dock easy to spot.  (it’s a tight shallow harbor, so we anchored out and dinghied in with the benign weather.  We stayed a couple nights, and enjoyed a warm sunny day in town with great coffee from Java Rock.  We lugged a ton of produce back from the farm stand across the street.  It was GREAT produce – almost Super Yacht styleJ

September 29th, we decided to go back to one of our favorite stops – St. Michaels.  On our way, we stopped for a night in the lee of Kent Island, making for a nice easy day of sailing to get up the river the next morning.  We skipped the historic shipyard museum this time, but stumbled across an antique car museum.  It had about 20 cars, from a model T to a Boss 429.  Jeff was super happy, and I was nostalgic, because it reminded me of the 18 cars in my old boss Rich’s garage.  He would have loved that 429.  I also learned a random cool fact.  Did you know the origin of the hood ornament on cars?  Back in the model T days, it was actually a thermometer on top of the radiator, so you could make sure your car wasn’t over heating.  As cars evolved, and they had interior instruments, it was very fancy to have the thermostat inside.  Decorative metal sculpture, often hand made for the vehicle, replaced the utilitarian thermostat on the hood, and instead made a very LUX fashion statement.  Cars are better when they have to do with fashion.  That’s one of the things that makes me miss land life.  It’s much harder to care about fashion.  I went clothes shopping with a friend for the first time in more than 2 years, and there were designers at Nordstrom’s  I’d never heard of.  This was a bit scary.  Sailing is always about compromises in every way.  The up side, is I don’t have to keep track of what I’ve worn to make sure I don’t repeat a suit in a less than two week period.  It’s so weird how stuff that was so important to me (aka being fashionable) now seems so dumb, and stuff I never thought about is so important.  I check the wind forecast every morning now.  In land life, I always checked the weather, but never looked at the numbers for wind and even more important now, wind gusts!

Anyway, St. Michaels was great as expected.  Town was bustling, and a couple restaurants were closed (at least one with staffing issues), but otherwise, things seemed completely normal.  We got out the bikes for the first time in a while, and had a couple really nice rides.  Just for pleasure, not to haul groceries, yay!

We could have stayed longer, but the weekend was  getting crazy in the anchorage, so Sunday , October 3rd was a good day to head out.  Besides, we were eager to go visit friends across the bay in the Magothy River.  We had had a great time buddy boating with them in the Bahamas, and their house has a dock out to protected water in the river.  It’s far enough away from Annapolis to avoid the boat show related mayhem, but an easy car ride.  Our friends were so awesome, loaning cars, letting us take long hot showers and do loads of laundry, it was like having a house again.  Plus, we enjoyed so many delicious meals with great conversation and delicious wine!  I just checked the calendar.  This is the longest stop we’ve made that didn’t involve boat repairs on the hard.  (Jeff is currently installing a high capacity new water maker, so boat projects continue, just not in a marina).  I’ve been bike riding and playing guitar and doing crossword puzzles, so I feel a tiny bit guilty I don’t have the skills to help with the water maker.  I’m also super glad I don’t have those skills, so conflicted;)  Oh yeah, to save on shipping, we picked up our water maker at the boat show.  Turns out it weighed over a 100 pounds in 6, count them 6, different boxes.  We had to schlep them through the show, onto a shuttle bus where we had our friend’s truck at Navy Stadium, and then home, through their back yard, into the dink, and then up onto the boat, down the companionway and up into the forepeak.  (It lives under the queen berth up there.)  Jeff took the heavy boxes and I took the light boxes, but we both were tired and sweaty at the end.  However, sailors showed their awesomeness at the shuttle bus, with other people in line just hefting boxes and putting them on and off the bus without even being asked.  I was worried we would annoy people taking up extra seats, and instead, they all wanted chat about what water maker we had before and why we were changing…

Aside from the schlepping, we were able to enjoy the first two days of the boat show.  It was fun to run into people we haven’t seen since Florida or the Bahamas, and even one couple from Oyster Bay.  Hi Liz and Connie!  A big thanks to the staff at the tasting tent! 

We are leaving this happy place tomorrow, going to Annapolis to join up with 9 other Hylas yachts to do a mini Regatta over to St. Michaels.  Hoping to meet more like minded sailors!