2015 Chesapeake Bay Cruise

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ASA104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising Course


September 6 to 10, 2015




David Bury, Bill Hanrahan, Rich Mitchell


Andy Barton

Day 1:
After crew introductions and a few formalities, we discussed cruise planning and provisioning. While Bill did the shopping, Dave and Rich helped prepare the dinghy, perform engine checks and ready the boat. Once underway, we were met with a nice westerly allowing us to beam reach to Queenstown Creek where we dropped anchor. Fabulous sunset after a dinner prepared by Captain Andy.  Off through the narrows to St Michaels tomorrow! 

Day 2:
A light breakfast and early departure today to pass through Kent Narrows Bridge before the flood current builds. Although max flood was predicted as 0.7 knots at noon, we saw 3 or 4 knots when transiting the bascule bridge at the 10:00 opening!  After attempts at light air tacking against the current, we motor sailed to St Michaels and were rewarded with a dip in the pool and hot showers, followed by a tour of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.  Everyone is clean, fed and happy! 

Day 3:
After a relaxed breakfast of pancakes prepared by Chef Dave, we cast off bound for the West River. Light winds mean we motorsail to Bloody Point, but are then rewarded with a brisk southerly which caused the crew to change our plan and navigate further North to Annapolis. We made 6-7 knots, passing Thomas Point Light and allowing us time for some maneuvering and drills around the anchored freight ships near the main channel before picking up a mooring for the night.

Day 4:
We wake to find that ducks used our dinghy as a restroom overnight - yuk! It's also test day and everyone does well - yay! We drop the mooring ball around 1100 and set sail under the Bay Bridge toward Rock Hall. The weather forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms, which stayed both north and south of us. We docked in Rock Hall Harbor and feasted on grilled maple pork chops at the marina, followed by a celebratory beverage at The Harbor Shack, then watched the storms roll in.

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Day 5:
Forecast today is 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms. We rise at first light to head out before the heat and humidity build and fuel the storms. Our plan was foiled when a thunderstorm developed rapidly by the Bay Bridge shortly after leaving Rock Hall. We prepared by taking bearings to nearby shoals and finding bearings to safe water. We had rain and some limited visibility, but no violent winds. In fact, we could have used some wind as the crew needed to motor sail once again to arrive back at Lankford Bay. After pump out, fuel and cleanup, we held a well-deserved graduation ceremony. Congrats Bill, Dave and Rich!

Captain Andy Barton
Rock Hall, Maryland




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