Silver Maple Blog

Retirement adventures Canadian style

Cruising the Chesapeake and into the ICW (Inter-Coastal Waterway)


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th — DAY 28 (Waiting out weather in Annapolis, MD)

Overnight the winds pick-up and some nasty weather starts to move into Annapolis. Regardless, the Beneteau dealer has his repair guy at the boat first thing to repair the bilge pump (it was a faulty check-valve).  Carla, who Lee worked with at KPMG let’s Lee know that she, her husband, John, and Tracy will not be able to make it to Annapolis from DC since the weather is so bad (bummer!). In Annapolis, the heavy winds and rain, and high tide flood the city streets and the marina yard. We are wading up to our knees by the end of the day to get off the dock.

Leo thinks the docks are now part of his home — with toys in Annapolis, MD (before the storm hits)

Raining hard in Annapolis

Streets flooding

Leo’s evening walk is more of a swim

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th — DAY 29, 30 (Annapolis to St. Michaels, MD and enjoying St. Michaels)

We have a relatively easy day from Annapolis to St. Michaels. The bad weather has passed and the sun is shining. The wind is good so we sail and race a few other sailboats on the way  into St. Michaels. Stepping onto the deck at one point, Lee twists her foot/ankle and spends the rest of the sail below deck with ice on it. Ouch!

Looking back at Annapolis as we leave

Quaint little cottages on the shore of the Chesapeake as we pull into St. Michaels

St. Michaels definitely lives up to the claims that it is the nicest place to visit on the Chesapeake. Lovely harbour. And, the Harbor Inn and Marina where we stay has a great pool and free loaner bicycles (saves us digging our’s out of the boat locker).  We have a rest at the pool once we are settled. Lee is still hobbling around with her sore ankle, but it feels better on the bike than walking so we ride into town to have dinner at a great restaurant called the Town Dock down by the water.  More crab cakes — Lee can’t help herself!

The Harbor Inn and Marina in St. Michaels

The next day we spend checking out St. Michaels by bicycle. The town is very nice, but the traffic through the main street is a bit hectic for bike riding since it is a main thoroughfare for the area. It is another gorgeous day of sunshine and 70-80 degree F. temperatures.

Morning coffee in St. Michaels

Morning view from Silver Maple

Lunch at Foxy’s Grill (named after restaurant in the BVIs)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd — DAY 31, 32 (St. Michaels, MD to Solomons Island, MD and hanging out in Solomons Island)

The trip from St. Michaels to Solomons Island is a long one so we are up and on the water by 7:30AM.  Unbelievable — another beautiful morning. Its cool, but sunny. We have had incredible luck with the weather!  We do a bit of sailing, but end up powering a lot of the day. As we pull into th Patuxent River inlet, we can hear the jets over head from the nearby naval base. They are noisy but it is very cool seeing them fly overhead. Like having your own airshow.

Fishing boats on a lovely morning as we head to Solomons Island, MD

Traffic along the way (passing us) — hey, Canadians!

Sailing to Solomons Island, MD

More (huge!) traffic

More traffic

Again with the traffic! Think they are following us?

Jets overhead in Solomons Island, MD

Saturday we spend hanging out by the pool at Zahnhisers Marina (where we are staying) and ride the loaner bicycles around the town. Not really much of a town, so it is a short visit.

Bicycling in Solomons Island

Nice pool with fabulous view at Zahnhisers Marina

Hanging out at the pool

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd — DAY 33 (Solomons Island, MD to Deltaville, VA)

We hit the water just shortly after 7AM. We stay in Solomons Island Saturday not only because it was a really nice port, but also because we wanted to wait for the wind to change from the south (on our nose) to the north (at our back) which was forecast (correctly – thankfully).  Also forecast were 2 – 4 ft waves, which seem to be more on the 4ft side. Some of the crew feel a bit sea sick and we struggle to keep the boom from banging round with the waves.

The marina in Deltaville called Dossier’s is in a very nice rural spot and has a great field for Leo to run. We BBQ and eat outside on the boat with a beautiful sunset.

Another beautiful morning leaving Solomons Island, MD

Leo settling in for another day on the boat


Happy Captain with good sailing

Motoring. 😦

Rocky ride and feeling a bit green

View at dinner from the boat in Deltaville, VA

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th — DAY 34 (Deltaville, VA to Norfolk, VA)

The trip to Norfolk is shorter and the waves are down, so it is all-round a better day.  Just after noon, we see 4 dolphins swimming next to the boat. Our second siting on the trip!  They seem to be swimming along with us in formation. Incredible!

Heading for Norfolk, VA

Passing a lighthouse

Shortly after seeing the porpoises, the winds die so we motor in to Rebel Marina in Norfolk, VA. The marina is owned by David who had his boat, Condor,  parked next to us in Oswego, NY.  It is great to see him again.  Docked at his marina, we can see the aircraft carriers at the naval base in the distance.

Traffic as we enter Norfolk’s harbour — some of the guys on deck wave as we pass. Nice!

View of aircraft carrier from Silver Maple docked at Rebel Marina in Norfolk, VA

Leo on guard in Norfolk

David lends us his van and we head into town for some groceries and stop for a Chinese food fix.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th to THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th — DAY 35 – 37 (Norfolk, VA to Chesapeake City, VA with time parked in Chesapeake City at the Atlantic Yacht Basin)

Pulling out of Rebel Marina in Norfolk, we can see the US Naval fleet parked there. In the morning sun, even an aircraft carrier can look nice. They are huge and just amazing to see.  As we pass, we notice we have security escort following along side of us just off shore. The boat escorts us until we pass the fleet.  Near the naval docks, there is also a huge amount of ship building and support facilities. An incredible amount of activity.

Even aircraft carriers can look nice in the morning sun

Another US aircraft carrier

The fleet

We have a shadow escort along shore

By late morning, we are out of the Chesapeake Bay and start into the ICW (Inter-Coastal Waterway) which we will be on for a good part of the rest of the trip south to Florida. We hear that it gets a bit tedious from Georgia to Florida, so if the weather is good we may head back into the ocean. We will play that by ear.

In this first part of the ICW, we have to wait for a few bridges as they open and close. Some only open at certain times during the day, so we have to time arrival. We also do one last lock. It’s only a 3ft rise though — easy compared to what we’ve done on the Erie Canal. Piece of cake!

We are in the ICW!

Railway bridge raised so we can pass under

We clear some lower ones. Whew!

Our goal is to get past the Gilmore Bridge which we hear will be closed for repair early October. We don’t want to get hung up by that so we schedule a stop at the Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake City, VA. Randy wants to have a double anchor roller put on the front of the boat and a new fuel filter on the engine. It is recommended to us by our friend, Doug Wilkie, as a good place to get work done. We will be here until Saturday when we will be taking our rental car the five hour drive to Pinehurst Golf Resort & Spa for Lee’s Birthday.

Getting through the Gilmore Bridge

Atlantic Yacht Basin — where we will dock Silver Maple while drive to Pinehurst on Saturday and stay until Tuesday

Silver Maple at the Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake City, VA (at the back of the row)

2 thoughts on “Cruising the Chesapeake and into the ICW (Inter-Coastal Waterway)

  1. We were starting to wonder what you have been up to. Glad to see you back “on the air”! More fun adventures for you guys. Thanks for taking us along with you through your posts. I have been brushing up on my eastern seaboard geography as I follow along. Have a great birthday Lee!

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