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Labor Day Weekend on the Chesapeake Bay
The end of Summer arrives on the Chesapeake Bay
Ah, it seems like it was just Memorial Day and here we are already contemplating bidding adieu to another Maryland summer. In one last attempt to get out on the boat before it goes on the hard (for you landlubbers, that's 'taken out of water') for the winter, we've decided to spend the 3 day holiday weekend cruising the Chesapeake Bay.
This article will be written in real time - in fact, as I type this, I hear the gentle laps of the waves against the hull of The Bar Tender. We're tucked in for the evening in a small cove off the Choptank River, right across the Chesapeake Bay from our home marina, Harrington Harbor North. We're taking a brake from inflated the rafts and floating for a few hours in the 80 degree water.
Within this article, you'll find only pictures taken by me. I have two cameras on hand for our Chesapeake journey - a Sony DSC-TX10 Waterproof camera (which I dropped in the bay - more on that later...) and my Canon D5000 with a 55-200 telephoto lens. You can read my review of the Sony camera right here: Sony waterproof camera. And, since my Nikon has taken some gorgeous pictures already, I'll update this later with a review of it. I can feel it comin'...
Cruising in shallow water and spending the nights in coves
Cruising the Chesapeake - a Gunkholer's Guide
Last year, Mom wanted to get John something really special so I suggest this book on Gunkholing. It documents every town along this part of the Chesapeake (MD and Virginia) and even tells the captain of the boat things like the best passage in, depth of the channel, etc. It's a must-have-on-board for anyone who likes to Cruise the Chesapeake.
John and I found the small cove we're anchored in right now with the help of this book and the boat's GPS.
Yes, Ladies - I am just that lucky!
Deciding where to go on the Chesapeake Bay
When John and I were planning out this weekend, there was a lot of discussion about what towns we'd like to visit during our 3 day tour of the Cheasapeake Bay. Quite obviously, we had to find towns on the water, and we both wanted to go somewhere we hadn't been before - which is how we found our way to this beautiful little cove up the Choptank River.
We set off from Deale, the 4th red dot on the left side of this map and headed across the bay to that dot right across from Northbeach - that's Tilghman Island. We crossed through Tilghman (more on this quaint town later) and headed through to the Choptank river which is where we are anchored for the eve.
Tomorrow will find us 'gunkholing' in some other nice little cove on the way to one of those small towns I mentioned. I won't tell you which one - you'll just have to stay posted.
But, while I have you here, there's a few articles I'd like to share. If you've come this far, you might as well keep reading:
Day 1: Tilghman Island
Tilghman Island is a small island across the Chesapeake just 12 miles from our marina. It's a sleepy little town, reminiscent of the waterman's towns on the Chesapeake many years ago. There's just a few restaurant, a couple of hotels, and a gas dock for boats available in Tilghman - at least, that's all we can see from the narrow channel cutting through the island.
The drawbridge on Tilghman Island opens for us - it's really opening for a bigger boat but we pretend and give a nice wave to the bridge keeper as we go underneath.
Pictures of Tilghman Island - Click on any picture to make it biggerClick thumbnail to view full-size
Some Tilghman Island mementos
I was surprised when I typed "Tilghman Island" into Amazon.com and actually found stuff. Granted, some of these are photos which are quite well done but they're a bit expensive for my taste. My photos were free - well, after I paid for the camera (which I haven't finished doing yet..)
Passing by Dun's cove on the way to a more secluded spot.
John and I are frequent visitors to Dun's Cove - a very serene, very beautiful and, upon occasion, very loud spot for boaters to anchor for the night. Depending on our luck, there may or may not be other boats (as many as 10 before!). The cove is just to the left of that beautiful house I've been enamored with in the picture.
We circled the cove, looking for the prime spot (and we were lucky enough to be there early) when John hit the engines and we were off again! I looked in askance at him - he'd decided to go farther up river to parts hereto fore unknown to us. And I'm so glad.
We found a beautiful little cove right off the river; there's no one around but us - just the way we like it.
We blew up our rafts and hit the water with my little Sony waterproof camera. I snapped many photos which you'll see in a moment until...yes, dear readers, until....I dropped it out of my hand, straight down into 6' of bay water. Now, the Chesapeake Bay, for those of you who haven't been here is not exactly the blue or turquoise color of the Caribbean. In fact, it's more, well, like coffee with a drop of cream. In other words, unless there's a reason to go down into the murky depths, one doesn't want to.
Ah, but my fabulous boyfriend went diving for my camera. The first pass found him exclaiming that there were a LOT of crabs down there. The second pass found him breaking the surface with my camera in hand!!!!
Our own private cove
Pictures of the cove - And us having a LOT of funClick thumbnail to view full-size
Dinner on the boat
Ah, dinner found us grilling up some filets on the portable grill (which I love), adding some mushrooms and onions to a saute pan and, voila! Dinner! We piled our plates high and headed to the bow where we reclined for an hour of dining and talking. The scene was punctuated by the fantastic sunset we witnessed, and you can too. Scroll down.
Our grill - The Cuisinart portable grill
This is the exact same grill I made that wonderful dinner on last night. I love that it is so compact (easy to carry in the car) yet expands to a full height grill. It's also quite powerful - our filets were done in just under 10 minutes (medium rare).
Sunset August 31Click thumbnail to view full-size
Uh oh! No generator!
So, picture the scene - we've just finished a lovely dinner on the bow of the boat, we go in to the boat to do the dishes and....no generator! For those of you who aren't familiar with boats, this is a big UH OH! Having no generator means no power on the boats - no lights, no camera....you get the idea. But, what happened???
Turns out that one of the batteries went bad and was not charging so, after a few fairly panicked moment when John realized the boat wouldn't start and a revising of our original plan - this one included a jump start by Boat US (the boater's equivalent to AAA) - we decided to sleep on it. Luckily, John had a great iPad which gets 4G so I was able to watch my favorite show, Frasier. Off to bed we go to deal with the generator problem in the morning....
Don't leave port without a battery charger!
Now that we've learned a lesson about boat batteries, we've decided to make sure we always have a battery charger on board the power boat - and, one for the sailboat too.
Now that we're up and running, another day on the Chesapeake Bay is coming up which means another article. Watch this space for a link to Article #2 in the Series "Labor day weekend on the Chesapeake Bay'.
I hope I got to take you along through our journey - at least for a little while. If so, please drop me a comment to let me know you wandered by my little part of the world.