2011 Chesapeake Bay Cruise
Schedule of Courses
Ocean Training Cruises
16, Thurday: Arrivals:
1 – Jun 17, Friday: Review
of Ships Systems, Rules of Road, Boat Handling, Cape Charles:
takes us out of the slip, past increased security at the entrance to the Little
Creek Amphibious Base and out into the Chesapeake Bay. We find light wind but
are able to sail close hauled across the Thimble Shoals shipping lanes; lots of
traffic including a Navy sub heading out to sea.
Along the way we change out head sails and Scott tracks our progress,
taking several two bearing fixes to confirm our position.
Late afternoon finds us off the entrance to Cape Charles Harbor. We use the ranges to help keep us in the channel, contact the
marina for docking instructions and keep a look out for barge traffic headed to
or from the large concrete plant located on the south side of the harbor. Tom
brings us easily along side the new floating docks at the Town Harbor Marina
where we secure the boat, thankful that we have a working A/C on this very hot
afternoon. The crew enjoys a well
earned dinner at Kelly’s Pub, followed by a little exploration of this old
town that had once been the hub of a busy ferry to and from Norfolk with both
passenger and rail traffic from 1933 thru the early 1950’s.
Lots of potential for development here but things are moving slowly –
the new docks are a great step forward. After returning to the boat, Greg lays
out our course for the next day – north to an anchorage off the Great Wicomico
2 – Jun 18, Saturday: North,
take a turn on the helm to get a feel for sailing with this big, beautiful sail.
Each small gust of wind requires attention on the helm to keep the boat from
rounding up. The wind finally dies
away as we near the entrance to the Great Wicomico.
NOAA radio warns of the possible severe thunder storms in the area and
the surrounding sky confirms this forecast.
We secure our sails and head into a secure anchorage in Mill Creek,
finding half a dozen boats already at anchor.
After a quick swim, the Captain cooks a chicken stir fry dinner in our
new pressure cooker as the forecast thunder storms bring just a light but steady
rain to the anchorage. Following
dinner we have a quiet night. Tom lays out our course for tomorrow – 45 nm
north to Solomon’s Island off the Patuxent River.
3 – Jun 19, Sunday: North
…. always North:
enter the Bay under an overcast sky with high winds and waves on the nose.
We motor sail with reefed main in the company of several other boats, all
pounding to the windward. Finally,
as we near the entrance to the Patuxent River the wind moderates and veers to
the east, allowing us to finish the day with a nice sail up to the entrance to
Solomons Island in the company of many other boats out for a sail on Father’s
Day. After some exploration, we find our slip in the aging but
fully functioning Colvert Marina and secure the boat under clearing skies.
Before dinner we do a little exploring of this unique area that served as
the site of much of the amphibious landing training during World War II.
Dinner ashore at the 4 Winds Café and then a quiet night in the slip
….. until the evening bugs drive us below.
4 – Jun 20, Monday: North
……always North but What a Ride:
we reach the entrance to Eastern Bay the wind drops to the point that we must
motor sail up around Tilghman Pt and down Miles River.
On our second attempt, we successfully anchor off St Michaels, secure the
boat, take the dingy into town to explore the Chesapeake Maritime Museum – a
national treasure, and pick up a few provisions in town.
Later under a clear blue sky, Tom prepares a great spaghetti dinner and
we enjoy a beautiful evening, amazed at the change in weather from the rain and
wind of the morning. A quiet night at anchor with calms winds, cooler temp and
clear skies …. after dark the bugs return.
5 – Jun 21, Tuesday: North
…. Again but Annapolis Awaits
we approach the Thomas Point Light, we hear ACADAME,
one of the school’s IP32 boats, calling on the radio.
We contact them and learn they are headed to St Michaels.
After wishing them well, we continue north and in a building wind execute
several MOB under sail recoveries. After
we finally secure the tipsy MOB, we head into the inner harbor. Annapolis in the
summer is a beehive of activity with boats large and small sailing about the
harbor – from Naval Academy training ships to Lasers and Optimist used as part
of summer youth training programs – it’s all here.
Scott weaves us thru this constantly moving mass of steel, fiberglass and
sail to easily pick a mooring in the inner harbor.
After securing the boat, Greg takes the ASA 104 test – passing with
flying colors – while Tom and Scott go shore for a walk about.
We meet for dinner at Pussers, eating outside along “Ego Ally” where
we review the trip and enjoy the sights and sounds of the still very active
inner harbor. Back
aboard, we enjoy the evening watching the passing array of boats and playing a
high stakes game of PIG. A quiet
night under an overcast sky, occasionally lighting by flashes of lightening.
6 – Jun 22, Wednesday: Rock Hall or Bust …. Return
underway, Tom guides us out of the harbor, avoiding a returning fleet of Navy
training vessels, thru a maze of crab pots and finally into the main channel.
Hot, haze and light wind characterize our final trip north. After
crossing the Bay, Tom and Scott guide us carefully up the Swan Creek channel to
the Osprey Pt Marina where Greg expertly brings us into our slip.
After securing and cleaning up the boat, we have a final review of the
day’s events and our 180 nm trip. All
agreed the course was great. The
range of weather conditions, variety of stopovers and boat capabilities far
exceeded expectations. It did have
one potentially negative implication – it wetted the crew’s appetite for
more. Well done to a great crew!