Chesapeake Bay Sailing
A while back I sailed Imagine from Saint Martin in the Caribbean to Annapolis. From the time we left Marigot till we reached the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, twelve days had passed, during which we saw no other sailboats, only a handful of ships. Crossing the Gulf Stream in 20 knots of wind was exciting, to say the least. We hugged the NC and Virginia coasts, going through the "round-about", or pilotage area, off Cape Henry at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay and finally heading north over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, past the James, York and Rappahannock rivers, Tangier and Smith islands, the Potomac River and Calvert Cliffs.
We started to see familiar sights like the tilted Sharps Island light, the classic work boats with watermen tending their crab pots, the car carriers coming from Baltimore and tug boats hauling their barges to the growing Poplar Island. There were channel markers, crab pots and we began to see sailboats, lots of sailboats. This is when I was reminded what a wonderful cruising area the Chesapeake Bay is. We have so many destinations that it is hard to decide on the next one, we have hundreds of quiet anchorages. There are lively spots too, like Annapolis, Saint Michaels and Baltimore where we can have a five star dinner, a down-home crab cake sandwich and a beer accompanied by a local band or go see the Orioles play ball. We can practically dock when we want to, sail when we like and all the while we can call ahead and make reservations on our cell phones, send emails and share the pictures we just took. We can take warm showers, sleep until the geese wake up and the sun rises. We can choose to stay the weekend on a secluded creek and not see another boat or we can party at Fells Point til the sun rises. We have it pretty good when it comes to sailing here on the Chesapeake Bay. Perhaps that's why it felt like coming home as soon as we saw the unmistakable shimmer on the water just inside the Bay.
Enjoy your summer on the Bay, remember how precious it is and how much it has to offer.
Best Regards and Fair Winds,
Tonging for oysters on the Choptank River