Overnight to Rhode River

We left yesterday afternoon at 1645 to overnight in one of our favorite anchorages.  From our marina in Deale, it’s 14 nautical miles to the north, then duck into West River, turn right into Rhode River.  We made the trip in 2.5 hours.  The wind was imperceptible, so we motored the entire distance.

It’s calm out there.

We anchored, had dinner and went to bed to the sounds of the high school kids at YMCA Camp Letts, (which is on the shore near our anchorage), having a great time and making a tremendous amount of noise.  Fun to listen to, actually, because they were obviously having such great fun.  We were awakened by a tremendous rain and thunder-storm at 0030.  It rained for about an hour, a hard, streaming rain that pounded on our coach roof and made us close the fore-hatch and place the swash boards.  Oddly, though, there was little if any wind.

Morning arrived, probably before 0730, but I was not aware of it until then.  When I looked out the companionway, I saw this:


In fact, fog was the main feature of the morning, and part of the afternoon too.  We drank two pots of coffee, had breakfast and watched the high-schoolers from Camp Letts paddle canoes out to the island pictured above.

YMCA Camp Letts

Paddling out from Camp Letts to the island

The Camp Letts kids displaced the geese, who were having a honk-fest. It wasn’t long before the kids were having their own honk-fest. “Aflack” was heard numerous times.

We up-anchored, and headed out to the West River at about 1030.  As we approached the West River, I realized the visibility was very poor, and we pulled out of the channel to anchor again while waiting for the fog to clear some more.

Visibility very poor

People run their boats remarkably fast in visibility like this.  Many of them don’t have radar… they’re just taking chances with their lives.  And ours.  We sat in the cockpit and worked on a project together until the visibility improved.  We finally got underway again at about 1230.  As we left the West River behind us we heard thunder, and noted quite a dark sky approaching from the west.

This looked terrible as it approached

There was no hint of this earlier when we left our anchorage at the mouth of the West River.  NOAA said that it was a dangerous storm that included hail, rain, and wind gusts up to 60 mph.  We had no place to go, as the nearest shelter was right in the path of the storm.  Fortunately, it didn’t live up to its reputation.  We had rain, but no lightning.  Wind gusts up to 35 mph, but no hail.  After 25 minutes it was all over.  We sailed for 20 minutes in the backwash of the storm, then the wind backed around 90 degrees and blew on the nose.  We motored the rest of the way to Deale.

Motoring in the sunshine

Home port in view

We tied up about 1530, shedding our warm clothes as quickly as possible.  Wind and water make the air temp on the bay about 60 degrees.  In the marina, though, it was closer to 80.

  1. Janet said:

    Great blog, appreciate and am envious :-) what’s the approx travel time from deale to west river under power (90hp)? Thanks! And happy holidays!

  2. Hi Janet, and thanks for the visit.

    Not knowing the speed at which you cruise, I can’t tell you how long it will take YOU to get there. If your boat planes at 20-30 mph, it should take no longer than 45 minutes. The distance is roughly 15 miles from our pier to our anchorage on Rhode River.

    If you travel at trawler speeds (6-9 knots) it will take you closer to 1.5 hours, or a bit longer.

    Our boat takes as long as it takes, given wind and current. Our cruising speed under power is about 5.5 knots. Under sail, it depends on conditions. The destination is important to us, but the “getting there” is important too. If we’re having fun under sail and we have the time (read “daylight”) to get there under slower sailing speeds, we’ll sail as far as possible, and perhaps take 3-5 hours or more.

    Hope you can enjoy a great anchorage as soon as weather allows. And, Merry Christmas!


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