May Cruise on the Chesapeake – Day 1

We left our home port of Deale, Maryland at 1230 and headed south, out Herring Bay, past North Beach Chesapeake Beach, with Solomons Island at the mouth of the Patuxent as our goal for day one. We were ultimately traveling to Deltaville, VA to attend the Watkins Yachts rendezvous.

Unfriendly Weather

This was not an ideal day on the water.  We had intermittent rain and winds 10-15 mph with the occasional gust to 20 from SSE – just the direction we wanted to go, so sailing was impractical. However, as the chop built to three feet, I raised the mainsail anyway and quartered the wind and waves because taking each large swell directly resulted in a violent motion.  We picked up a knot-plus in speed by bearing off the wind and partially filling the main, which was good because we could only make about 4.5 knots directly into the weather.

We beat past the Calvert Cliffs, the nuclear power plant, and the gigantic natural gas pier, finally rounding the corner through hundreds of crab pot floats to enter the Patuxent River.

No photos of this, because the weather was so unpleasant.  I wasn’t willing to bring my camera into the cockpit in the rain and spray.

We turned up Mill Creek and into Spring Cove surrounded by beautiful homes and boats.  The water was still, the breeze stirred just a bit.  After 37 nautical miles of travel, we dropped the hook and got a good set after the second attempt and moving to a different place in the cove.

Spring Cove off Mill Creek and Patuxent River at Solomon’s Isle

Rew cooked a hot dinner and I cleaned up.  We showered and climbed into bed exhausted.  A day on the water completely drains you of energy, especially when the weather is rowdy.  We slept soundly until wakened by pouring rain in the night, then slept again.

Morning brought more clouds but less wind, which was welcome because strong wind from in front of a sailboat leaves you few options but to motor forward even slower than you might otherwise.

Overcast skies, cool temperatures, and the threat of rain kept us in coats and jeans (isn’t this May in Maryland?  We were hoping for warmer weather!).  Departing Mill Creek (off the Patuxent) we enjoyed looking at these hard-working tugs.

Tug James R Moran

Tug Emily Anne McAllister

As you can see from the photos above, we had a little sun breaking through, and the day finally turned very pleasant.


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