Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Back in the Chesapeake

We are underway in the Chesapeake Bay, bound for Annapolis. We are glad to be in the relatively protected waters of the bay, and the cruising is easy here, with numerous easy anchorages.

We left Fortescue Monday morning and rode the flood all the way up to the C&D Canal, a familiar transit for us. A PDQ power cat that had anchored overnight in the Maurice overtook us on the way, and we chatted briefly. And as we passed the mouth of the Cohansey, three sailboats and a Bayliner joined us, all with the same goal: arrive at the canal entrance just as the westbound ebb started.


Sunset over the Chesapeake, as seen from our anchorage in Warton Creek.

As the slowest of the lot, we brought up the rear, a bit worried we might arrive in Chesapeake city to a completely full anchorage. The basin has been dredged to 11' since our last visit, and we could even tie up now at the free docks, but we knew there was virtually no chance there would be a spot when we arrived.

The anchorage basin has room for perhaps five cruising boats, and four were already established when we arrived. We were just able to squeeze in between the Chesapeake Inn docks and the Corps of Engineers dock across the basin, west of all the other boats (map). To my surprise another 45'-ish sailboat came in after us, threaded through the anchorage and dropped the hook in the middle of the other four boats. In dead calm we all did fine on a short scope.


Shortly after we anchored the USACoE's brand new 63' survey cat came in and tied up.

We had the hook down by 1pm and could easily have finished the entire canal and anchored in the Chesapeake Monday, except for the fact that we needed to stop for fuel. Our fuel fill is on the starboard side, so we opted to wait for flood tide in the morning to make tying up starboard-side-to easier. Besides, we like the stop in Chesapeake City, having once spent three nights anchored here.

We splashed the tender and lowered a bicycle so I could run to the post office with a couple of packages and pick up a few items at the Dollar General, the closest thing to a grocery store here, a mile and a half away. We returned ashore in the evening for a nice dinner at the Chesapeake Inn. In the morning I picked up a couple of breakfast sandwiches at Cafe Bohemia after offloading our recycling.


Chesapeake City.

We decked the tender and waited until just before the end of the flood to cross the canal to Schaefer's Canal House for fuel. Even close to slack it was a challenge getting to the dock in the strong eddy adjacent to the bridge abutment. Long-time readers may remember we spent a few days here sheltering from a tropical storm. We took on 500 gallons, just enough to get the additional $0.10 per gallon discount, bringing our cost to $2.89 per gallon.

Thus freshly fueled and with the tide now ebbing to the west, we cruised about four hours to another familiar stop, Worton Creek, where we anchored in the lee of the south south shore of the cove (map). We saw several familiar boats from the previous day. It was a calm and pleasant anchorage, if a bit buggy, with a spectacular sunset and even a nice rainbow when we arrived. What we had not remembered is that there is virtually no cell coverage there on any carrier, and we basically had no Internet for the entire stop.


Rainbow over our neighbor at Warton Creek.

I had hoped to get a blog post out yesterday under way, but I ended up spending almost the entire time on the phone and the 'net lining up batteries and a place to deliver and install them. The local distributor in Annapolis had a good price on Lifelines, and I ordered six of them at $615 apiece, with exchange, delivered to the dock. I also booked two nights at the Annapolis Yacht Basin so I could do the swap.

And so it is that we will be docking this afternoon in Annapolis, a place where heretofore we have only ever anchored. I'll spend most of the afternoon getting the old batteries out so they can be exchanged, and sometime tomorrow our new batteries will be delivered, giving me tomorrow afternoon and Friday morning to get them in and connected. We will be very glad when we no longer have to run the generator nearly five hours a day, almost triple our usual amount.

This weekend the TrawlerFest show is running in Baltimore, which means several of our friends are in town. Normally when this close we would have stopped, taking in the Thursday and Friday cocktail parties and spending a few hours looking at booths and boats. But we really did not want to put the batteries off all the way to next week. If all goes well we might catch some of our friends on the final day.

Once we're done in Annapolis and optionally Baltimore, we will continue south to the Potomac and turn right for the three-day cruise up to DC, where we'd like to spend a couple of weeks. Our insurance favors us being north of the VA/NC line until after November 1.

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