Our New Jersey visit while docked at Cedar Creek Sailing Center seemed to fly by with our nephew’s wedding, hauling our boat to add more fiberglass to the quick repair we did in Lake Champlain, visits with family and friends, and the annual cruise on Lucky Charm this year cruising the western Erie Canal for five days.
Unfortunately, our plan to visit Washington D.C. by boat was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew and our late departure. We are still hearing of closures along the ICW in North and South Carolina as those areas hardest hit by the storm quickly rebuild to be ready for the southbound migration of us cruising boats.
As I’m writing this, we are anchored in the Ware River off Mobjack Bay on Virgina’s Middle Neck in one of the multitude of peaceful, quiet anchorages for which the Chesapeake Bay is known. The largest estuary in the United States with over eleven thousand miles of shore line and one hundred and fifty rivers the Chesapeake Bay provides thousands of coves and gunkholes for enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Herons fishing along the banks, eagles and osprey soaring overhead, a cormorant flying away with its freshly caught fish breakfast are some common sights while we slowly motor out to the bay as the sun rises over the eastern horizon and the full moon sets astern. During our transit down the bay we had the opportunity to sample just a few of these wonderful stops, Worton Creek, The Rhode River, and Mill Creek off Ingram Bay near the fishing town of Reedville, Virginia. The bay also provides you with a chance to get away from nature and visit places like Annapolis, the sailing capitol of Maryland, Baltimore, Washington D.C., one hundred and twenty miles up the Potomac River, and as you exit the Bay to the south, the bustling ports of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. You could cruise the Chesapeake for a lifetime and not run out of places to explore and enjoy.
I have always been amazed by the size of the Chesapeake watershed. The Susquehanna River starts with the headwaters in upstate New York and flows through Pennsylvania and finally empties into the bay at Havre de Grace, Maryland. Entering the bay from the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal the waters are mostly fresh and as you travel south, the water becomes more salty, the bay gets wider and the tidal range increases as you near the entrance to the Atlantic Ocean between Cape Henry and Cape Charles on the eastern shore.
In the next day or so we’ll be leaving the bay and headed for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and on to North Carolina and with any luck we’ll be able to take our favorite route through the Dismal Swamp Canal if the flooding from Hurricane Matthew has abated and the reported 60 downed trees removed.