July 19 2015. Severn River, Chesapeake Bay. 37.18.14N 76.26.75W
Thu 23 Jul 2015 21:59
July 18. Wednesday 15 July was as bad as promised, with rain all day and the wind did not start to fill in from the north until about 7.00pm, just after the weekly race from Atlantic Highlands started. We went ashore at about 3.00 pm when the worst of the rain had stopped and there was no wind at all, for a walk and a hair cut for the Skipper By the by Venetia, the guy who gave us a lift back from the Stop and Shop last time was on the same launch as we were going back to the boat and after hearing us talk to the driver, he said “Hi I recognise that accent, how’re you doing and where is the guy who did all that walking?”
Thursday 16 and we were planning on an early start to do the 250 plus miles to Chesapeake, but the Garmin had other ideas and the chart plotter, VHF and Autopilot refused to turn on. After much anxiety on the part of the Skipper and the Wife and a call to the UK, the Skipper managed to get it to work via the controls in the cockpit and we set off with 2 reefs into the promised northerlies. There was a very rough sea off Sandy Hook and the wind was nearly on the nose until we rounded it and turned to the south east. Then there was a decreasing wind and very large swell, resulting in much rolling and slap/banging of the mainsail, we shook out the reefs and had the usual nonsense of every conceivable piece of rope, including the downwind runner, catching on one or other of the battens as we tried to get the sail up again. Not a bit good for marital relationships, but we did eventually get the boat sailing at 6 to 7 knots before the wind started to go round to the south east and then south. After that, it was on motors/off motors, in sails, out sails and just making our course until about 17.00 hours yesterday, when we had a nice wind, between 45 and 60 degrees off the bow as we sailed down the coast towards Cape Charles and the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. By the time we reached Chesapeake Bay Bridge, it was dark and the only anchorage within a reasonable distance was off Kiptopeke Beach, with its curious breakwaters formed by sunken ships which, if you can find the entrance, provide a nicely sheltered anchorage. We could not properly identify the entrance and, as neither part of the breakwater is lit and as there was very little wind, we decided to play safe and anchor off the beach beyond the northern breakwater.
The breakwater off Kiptopeke beach in the daylight.
Yesterday, 18 July, started with a warm and sunny morning with very little wind, so we motor sailed up Chesapeake Bay with just a few yachts and some anchored ships for company, heading for Mobjack Bay on the west side, which has three rivers which looked like good providing pleasant anchorages. In the end the Skipper opted for the Severn River, a good choice with a lovely deserted anchorage off Lady Creek with our own Osprey nest for entertainment, beautiful surroundings and very little water traffic, but definitely a keel up job. Apart from a thunderstorm that evening and some trouble with the starboard engine, our first taste of cruising in the Chesapeake properly exceeded expectations. Today has been a lay day, walking and kayaking and meeting two of the residents, who told us all about the area, the “mean” neighbours and the nice neighbours. They even supplied us with blueberry jam and tomatoes. The weather is now minimal clothing, all hatches open except during the thunderstorms which occur regularly in the afternoon and evenings and sleeping on deck at night, completely different to our experience in New England!
Anchored in the Severn River with an approaching thunderstorm.....
....and the next morning with barely a cloud in sight.
The Osprey family at breakfast, one chick only in the foreground begging, with parents sort of saying “well it’s your turn to feed it”.
Another Osprey with its breakfast catch, the last Osprey photograph, (promise).
Walking down the only public road we could find at “Lady”, the residential area off the anchorage....
.....where we saw some fabulous birds like this Blue Grosbeak and....
.....this Eastern Bluebird.
Tomorrow we plan to go to Broad Creek, Deltaville, to make sure we can get into the creek, which has a very narrow, dredged channel and to finalise laying up plans with Zimmerman Marine, the yard we plan to use.