Leaving Solomons Island we checked the weather and saw that there was a SCA (Small Craft Advisory) in effect. Thankfully we were getting higher up in the Chesapeake Bay. As you approach the head of the Chesapeake the fetch (amount of water the wind has to blow on) shrinks.
The trip North had us staying out of the way of many large ships which we would see again anchored just outside of Annapolis. Maybe they wanted some shore leave in Annapolis too?
I thought it would be more interesting if the ocean was not flat and these ships could simply slide down or be forced to push up hill.
There were many interesting structures in the bay like this lighthouse.
Lighthouse in Chesapeake Bay
Rays from above
Upon arrival in Annapolis we grabbed a mooring and I dropped the dinghy and raced off to do a one-man pub crawl of Annapolis.
1st stop Pussers.
Dinghy Dock for tie ups
Luckily all the canals in Annapolis offer free dinghy tie ups.
Docked in the canal
2nd stop Dock Street.
3rd stop Middleton Tavern.
4th stop Federal House.
5th stop O’Brien’s.
6th stop ACME.
7th and final stop Castlebay.
Castlebay was alive with karaoke.
As I made my way back to the dinghy at the end of the canal I recalled seeing this Alex Haley’s Roots statue the last time I was here.
Alex Haley Roots
And just like that I was returning to MV Simple Life and would sleep like a rock.
After getting some much-needed rest on anchor in Godfrey’s Bay it was time to push North to Solomon’s Island. This meant dodging the many fishing boats that dotted our path and taking in the sights along the shore. There appear to be many military type buildings which were festooned with satellite dishes and other communications equipment.
As we got close to Solomons Island, we hailed Zahniser’s Yachting Center and requested a slip for the night. With each attempted to pronounce the name right, I butchered it worse. It’s sounds something like “Anheuser” in “Anheuser-Busch beer” except starting with a “Za”. Turns out it was a Sunday and they were closing at 3PM but the dockhands would be around till 3:30PM. We pushed the throttles down and MV Simple Life roared from our usually leisurely 6.5 kts to 9.3 kts. We arrived just in time for Jason the dockhand to catch our lines and we had no sooner tied up and plugged into power and we off to dinner at the Dry Dock Restaurant.
Bartender Timmy introduced me to a local IPA called Calvert Route 4. Apparently we were in Calvert County MD. It was great and so was dinner.
We chatted a bit with some of the locals at the bar and soon we would be back aboard to race off to sleep. In the morning, I walked the dogs around the yachting center and found many interesting boats.
Hinkley named Dragonfly
You don’t see sailboats on lifts back home
SV Grey Owl on a custom trailer
Stubby shoal keel and add on bow thruster
37 foot Hunter
Sharp knife-like keel with bulb at bottom
Must be difficult to slip like this?
Chesapeake Bay Deadrise Boat
Jason the dockhand was nice enough to use the courtesy van and drive us to the local Weir grocery store to reprovision. I was starving and purchased some precooked fried chicken. As I chased Kelly around the grocery store with the carriage I kept taking bites of fried chicken. Kelly remarked that “she could find me simply by following the smell of fried chicken down the isles”. I can’t believe I ate all 8 pieces of chicken and was now in need of a napkin.
At the checkout I heard a “hello” and it was the friendly couple from the bar the night before. Calvert County seems full of very friendly people. As we made our way back onto MV Simple Life, we passed through this simply designed gate and we were gone. On to Annapolis, MD.
Kelly promised a breakfast “to die for” and delivered in every way.
My favorite. Corn beef hash (“ova ah’d” as I say) with eggs a bit “sunny” and American Cheese on toasted wheat bread.
“Wheat bread” said with the emphasis on the “H” like how Stewie from Family Guy would say it. It sounds like an “Haach”.
Here is a video of us leaving AC. It was so calm that I simply untied the boat, stepped on and put it in forward to leave the slip.
We slipped past the Atlantic City USCG station where their rescue boat sat quietly.
The dogs like the cockpit grass and they often they need me take them there while we are underway.
While underway we were happy to find the sea state somewhat tame for the end of November. Our passage to Ocean city, MD was 9 knots the whole way.
While we did not have to slow down, the 25 knots winds made for a wet ride. Thankfully I stayed dry & never had to change out of my PJs and slippers.
The boat feels heavier than normal since we have her loaded with more stuff than usual. Even the bow spray seems to throw further.
Every marina we have visited thus far seemed to be shutting down due to the freezing temps.
This presents a challenge for us as there has not been any water to wash the boat or top off the water tanks. Thankfully, MV Simple Life has ~450 gallons of water aboard in her two tanks. As long as Kelly is not doing laundry (she loves doing laundry on the boat), water is not an issue.
The ride from AC to OC left plenty of dried salt crystals on the boat. Our salty windshield
glistened like a diamond in the sun.
Today’s trip was about 70 miles. That’s about an 8 hour trip. This late in the season you only have about 90 minutes more of daylight.
Upon arrival I was a bit embarrassed to have to hail the marina and ask where they were located. My Navionics chart chip from 2012 had the marina in a different location. The marina is actually very protected once you slip past daymarkers 1,2,3 & 4. Austin the dockhand was there to catch a line for us and hand us the diesel hose to top off our tanks. I added 350 gallons of diesel @ $3/gal.
That means we made it from Wickford, RI to Ocean City, MD on roughly 350 gallons of diesel. Not too shabby though if I were slowing down I could use half that.
Here are some pics us at the docks.
After a long day I needed to sneak away to a bar called the Sunset Grille.
We enjoyed happy hour with new friends “CathyPaul”. It’s actually Cathy & Paul but I’m sure I heard them combine themselves into a single name, “CathyPaul”. They were lots of fun and kept me entertained the whole time.
They also taught me how to say the name of the island that I hope to anchor at tomorrow morning. It’s called Chincoteague Island “Chinko Tee gah”. Tomorrow’s trip there will look something like this..
The anchorage is exposed to the Atlantic but in a NW or W wind, I believe it will do just fine. I must say that after studying the charts there are very few inlets at this point in the trip. The inlets that you do find caution mariners about unmarked shoals, breakers over sandbars and shallows everywhere. If we had a faster boat we’d have more options to skip over the more challenging inlets. Instead we often must either stop sooner than we’d like or try to use all of the daylight to make it to the next anchorage or marina.
I found this webpage for Chincoteague & Assateague Island . It talks about wild ponies on the island.. Maybe I should take the dink ashore and let the Chief Martin Brody and his sister Happy run with the ponies?
Well it’s late and I better hit the sack. These days we are running from sun up to sun down and it’s leaving us wanting more downtime.
Good night for now and Kelly & I want to give a shout out to all our high school classmates who had a reunion tonight. We wish we could have made it but we left New England too late as it was.