Silver Maple Blog

Retirement adventures Canadian style

Into Chesapeake Bay


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th — DAY 20  (Brielle, NJ to Atlantic City, NJ)

When we head out on Monday morning, it is a beautiful day with the wind at our back — so we get to sail. Just off one of the points along the coast of New Jersey, we see a whale! Amazing. First time I’ve ever seen one in the wild.

Morning of departure from Brielle, NJ (with nearby draw bridge up)

The guys resting as we sail to Atlantic City

Sailing the coast of New Jersey

As we approach Atlantic City, the wind picks up and we are flying along. At one point, we hit 9 knots and break our speed record for the boat.  We are loving it!  Then suddenly, we get hit by a gust and a wave at the same time and we get knocked over. The auto-pilot that we were using at the time, kicks off. Apparently, as we discovered, there is a safety setting so when you hit a certain speed/pressure it will automatically shut off.  Good to know.

Sailing towards Atlantic City

Being relaxed and way too complacent

Approaching Atlantic City

We motor in to Atlantic City and settle at the marina at the Golden Nugget.  We are warned that crime is really high in Atlantic City so we don’t walk around. Just taxi. We have a great dinner in the restaurant at Revel (the newest casino in town) called Amada, but we are too tired to gamble (aren’t we just the party-couple!). We call it a night early.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th and WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th — DAY 21 and 22 (Visiting Cape May, NJ — Atlantic City, NJ to Cape May, NJ with a day in Cape May)

We leave early from Atlantic City as we hear the wind will we good at the start off the day and then fade. As we are pulling out, there is a boat just in front of us. As Randy likes to say, two boats make a race!  Just as we pass them, the wind dies. We start the motor and head to Cape May, NJ.

Leaving Atlantic City. Lovely morning!

Leo is now a full-fledged, ocean-going, boat dog

Competition in front — race is on!

Passing them

Happy Captain

Cape May, NJ is a very cute town and we enjoy some riding our bikes around, eating some great meals, walking in the pedestrian mall, and seeing the beach. Really fun.

Silver Maple docked in Cape May, NJ

Biking around town

At the Cape May beach

Dinner in town

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th — DAY 23  (The longest day: Delaware Bay — Cape May, NJ to Delaware City, DE)

Our earliest start ever, we head out of Cape May at 6:30AM.  We have a really long day ahead to make it up Delaware Bay, known for being very busy with commercial traffic and being a bit busy and wavy.  Just before entering Delaware Bay, we see 3 dolphins.  Very cool!

For us, the day is calm — and very hot. We don’t meet much traffic until the afternoon, when the freighters start coming by one after the other.

Leo Leaving Cape May (wearing his life-jacket as do all good boat dogs!)

Beautiful morning for our earliest (6:30AM) start

Delaware Bay traffic

How Leo passes his longest day

It is slow going. We have 3 knots of current from the tide against us the whole day. Our plan to make it up some of the C & D Canal (we think that stands for Chesapeake and Delaware) is adjusted, and we head to Delaware City, just past the mouth of the canal. After 11 hours on the water, we are exhausted — and Leo is ready to run around in the nearby field. Romping in the grass near the places we stop, has become his most favourite thing to do.

Settled in peaceful and friendly Delaware City

The staff at Delaware City Marina are the friendliest we’ve met yet. They invite us to join them at the local restaurant call Crabby Dicks for karaoke. We head there for dinner later, but manage to avoid having to do any singing.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th and SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th — DAY 24 and 25  (The Chesapeake: Delaware City, DE to the Rock Hall, MD with a day in Rock Hall)

After the brutal day we’ve just had, we decide to take it easy and have a later start to make on our way to the Chesapeake.  We head up the C & D Canal and into the Chesapeake Bay. Goal is to reach the town of Rock Hall. Unfortunately, we mis-judged the additional distance we would need to go to circumvent some shallow areas in the bay, so we don’t get into the marina until after 7PM. But it is a beautiful evening and we have a great crab dinner at the restaurant called Waterman’s within walking distance of the marina.

Waiting for the railway bridge to raise on the C & D Canal

We arrive at the Chesapeake! Yeah!

How Leo passes the time until arrival (our latest)

View from Silver Maple settled in Rock Hall Harbor Landing Marina

Garlic crab feast at Waterman’s in Rock Hall harbor

The next day we move just a quarter of a mile across the bay to the marina called The Sailing Emporium. Wonderful, friendly people there. They invite us to their end of the season Dinner/Dance that night. Have a great time with our boat neighbours, Cyndy and Chuck, who helped us dock when we arrived (our first stern-in docking with pilings, no dock).

Rock Hall Harbor field for Leo

Happy to be on land!

Biking into the town of Rock Hall, MD

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th and MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th— DAY 26 and 27  (Rock Hall, MD to Annapolis, MD and hanging in Annapolis)

Leaving Rock Hall, we have a quiet and relaxed day. We have a very short trip to Annapolis, MD, so we sail most of the way even though the winds are very light. We aren’t in hurry.

Chesapeake Bay heading to Annapolis, MD

Are we there yet?

Entering Annapolis, there are sailboats every where. A beautiful sight!  We have dinner at a restaurant that Chuck and Cyndy from Rock Hall recommend, called Lewnes. It is fantastic! More crab cakes. Lee is becoming an expert, ordering them in pretty much every town.

Entering Annapolis harbor — Holy Sailboats!

Silver Maple at the Annapolis Yacht Club

Leo happy in the field at the Annapolis Yacht Club

Plan is to stay in Annapolis until Wednesday morning since some bad weather is moving in. Additionally, Randy would like to get some work done on the boat under warranty and Annapolis seems to be the center of the boating universe, so a good place to get work done. Sounds like that will happen tomorrow. While we are here, we are hoping to connect with Carla and Tracy from KPMG for a visit.

6 thoughts on “Into Chesapeake Bay

  1. Ok you peaked my interest – “we get knocked over” – what does that really mean? Did you take on water or stumble on deck and spill your drinks?!!

  2. That was my question too! But I think I came right out and said WHAT hoping the next picture was not a rescue effort?
    Also seems like “2 boats it’s a race” is a theme, right Bruce and Joe?

  3. Yes, enquiring minds want to know! How low was the rail? Too bad autopilot doesn’t include autoreef! Sounds like you are having a grand adventure and are getting all the subtleties of the new boat well sorted.

  4. Well, we were having a lovely sail one minute, with winds blowing at 20 knots (fairly windy) and the boat moving along just about at top speed. Next minute, Leo was falling off the bench into the table, Randy is grabbing the dog, both of us getting back up off the floor, and the autopilot has kicked off and we are scrambling as boat veers sharply into the wind, and comes back up off of its side.
    NO actual water in the cockpit, but sails close to immersion.
    Good little lesson. Didn’t even know there was a fail safe to prevent damage to autopilot.
    Nice to know the boat knows what to do by itself, as we were getting a little complacent.
    Ocean’s are fun.

  5. beautiful sunrise. all good pix. great job! hard work!
    sounds like a blast so far. keep writing. miss you.

  6. Happy Birthday Lee! Stay warm and dry! I hope it’s beautiful day – your trip sounds so lovely. We can’t wait to see you in January/February. Love, Debbie & Joe

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