Distance traveled: 52.5 nautical miles (60.4 statute miles)
Time underway: 6 hours 39 minutes
Average Speed: 8 kts
Max Speed: 12.5 kts
Fuel used: 47 gallons
We awoke to a heavy layer of fog and delayed our departure so it could burn off. We shoved off at 9 am and as we moved further through the harbor the thick fog returned. Baltimore is one of the busiest harbors in the world but it was eerily quiet as we made our way out towards the Chesapeake with very little boat traffic of any kind. We made securité calls announcing our position and intentions and confirmed passing arrangements with the few approaching commercial boats we spotted on AIS, something they always appreciate. We also always like to confirm that they see us. Fortunately, navigation through the port is straight forward and there is generally very good water outside of the main channel.
At least the wind was calm and the waters were glassy-smooth. If you have to be out with limited visibility, this is the best possible way. Every now and then the skies would brighten and we’d get some false hope that the fog was lifting. However……the fog would then settle back in with a half a mile of visibility at best throughout the first three hours of our day. So we took it slow and remained vigilant. Once we turned into the Chesapeake into a channel along the eastern shore we began monitoring an approaching tug that we were only seeing on radar and AIS and eventually confirmed our “one whistle” port-to-port pass over the radio. When we did pass each other, the tug Captain Steve was only 3/10ths of a mile away and we never saw it!
At long last, three hours fifteen minutes later, we drove out of the fog just as we rejoined the area of the main shipping channel on the upper Chesapeake and it turned into an absolutely stunning day.
As you continue to the northeast on the upper bay you enter the Elk River which is an incredibly beautiful area we didn’t get to appreciate on our southbound adventure as it was a crummy day. But this stretch on this day was awesome. The narrower the river got the more it reminded us of the beauty of our home waters on the Hudson River.
The sun started blazing by this point in the trip and the temps got to 80°. We knew this was probably the last time we’d see these temps for a while so we took it all in.. And we took in the wonderfully delicious turkey paninis Tim had been crafting for us as we were cruising. Again, lucky crew!
We ultimately arrived at the entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal which we had virtually to ourselves and arrived just as the current was slacking off – a good thing as it can move swiftly and cost you speed and fuel if it’s running against you.
We made our way into Summit North Marina (in Delaware – state #7 of our Northbound Adventure) where we stayed on our last time passing through. It’s easy-in and easy-out although we were arriving at near dead-low tide so we were stirring up the muck quite a bit and didn’t have much water under the boat at the dock.
We’d really like to try a different spot the next time we pass through but the other protected option on the canal is Chesapeake City on the south side, a bit further west, and depth and dock space can be an issue for us there. In any event, it’s just a one night stop and a chance to visit with a dear friend who lives relatively close by (and will be bringing a sushi feast) so it’s all good.
Cape May and the home-stretch are next! See you out there…
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