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Southbound ’19 – Travel Day 4: Sittin’ Pretty In Chesapeake City

Southbound ’19 – Travel Day 4: Sittin’ Pretty In Chesapeake City

Conditions: Overcast to start then sunny and warm.  Winds North/Northeast 5-10 kts, Delaware Bay 1-2′ then calm.

Distance traveled: 62.4 nautical miles (72 statute miles)

Time underway: 5 hours 35 minutes
Average Speed: 11 kts
Max Speed: 14 kts
Fuel used: 66 gallons

We had a calm departure from Canyon Club Marina in Cape May, a stark contrast from the conditions on our arrival the evening before.

A flood tide pushed us along the Cape May Canal on our way to Delaware Bay.  Once in the bay it wasn’t quite as calm as the wind had clocked around overnight and was now coming from the northeast.  This made for a bit of light chop as the wind was opposing the tide but it was no big deal at all, particularly after our ride the day before, and all was good as we headed northwest towards the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

A CALM Cape May departure gets a smile from the Admiral.

Once we were on our northwest heading we maintained it for around two hours without the need for any interaction with the helm.  We passed the time listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 from this week in 1972 which brought us an eclectic mix of music from artists like Arlo Guthrie, Al Green and Donnie Osmond.  Jasper was calm and happy and the wonderful aroma of Sunday breakfast wafted from the galley where the Admiral spent quite a bit of time preparing a masterpiece that was a privilege to enjoy while underway.

The big Sunday breakfast plan had been eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise over an English muffin until I discovered that the muffins had mysteriously vanished! What I did have were these things called Naan Rounds, which are Indian, so I decided why not go with it. I made a red curry hollandaise sauce (I used Greek yogurt and less butter when making the sauce because the Captain prefers less butter). I made a tamarind seasoned turkey sausage patty and of course, a poached egg. The gold potatoes were made with caramelized onions and roasted garlic in a cast-iron skillet. I dusted all with smoked paprika a pinch of smoked salt and cracked pepper and topped with micro-greens.

The Delaware is mostly very uninteresting visually. It does, however, always feel a bit ominous and strangely striking to pass the $4 billion Salem Nuclear Plant on the eastern shore. For some reason, it always reminds us of the Simpsons.

Just before noon the sun really began to warm the day as we arrived in the narrower and less windy upper bay.  Once we were in the C&D Canal there was lots of traffic with plenty of crews on smaller boats enjoying what felt like a summer day.

Just past the entrance of the eastern side of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

The fair current on the bay gave us such a nice push that we were making much better time than expected.  The same was true for a lovely Canadian couple on their Fleming named Travellers who were docked next to us in Cape May.  In fact, they asked us to go ahead and pass them on the canal as they were afraid of arriving at their next marina too early for their reservation.

We decided to try out the Chesapeake Inn Restaurant and Marina in Chesapeake City, Maryland, for the first time.  We usually stop at another spot on the canal which, while a decent enough utility stop, was not a place we loved.  Chesapeake Inn Restaurant and Marina always looked like a great place but the online reviews didn’t give us confidence that they’d have the depth we needed.  After reaching out to the dockmaster a few weeks prior, those concerns were allayed as he told us of their recent dredging and solid depths, so we were going to give it a shot.  And we’re thrilled we did.  There was plenty of water, great floating docks and a really fun vibe.

OLOH stands tall in the background at her dock at the jammin’ Chesapeake Restaurant Inn and Marina.

This place was rockin’ and rollin’ and in a good way. People were everywhere and all of them friendly. We had to meander through the restaurant to get Jasper to his walk and one of the servers happily led us through the crowds.

The Tiki Bar was totally festive and there were two different spots with live music.

Thankfully we made our marina reservation well in advance as there wasn’t a vacant slip anywhere.  It’s wildly popular on summer weekends (and obviously summer-like weekends off-season) with lots of “dock & dine” customers coming and going all day on mostly smaller boats and several “go-fasts” –  you know, the really loud racing-type boats that seem to move at the speed of light compared to boats like ours.  Dockmaster Sean was on our T-head to greet us as we arrived and couldn’t have been nicer.  It’s a busy place and he and his team really have to hustle so the time he took to help settle us in was particularly appreciated.  Sean gets an A+ for attentiveness to the needs of his customers – a quality that is never lost on us.

The lively energy at the marina and outdoor restaurant was infectious and included some great people watching and docking entertainment.  Several people came over to OLOH to check her out (and meet Jasper) and everyone we met was super cool and friendly.  We already know it will now be a regular stop for us when transiting the area.

The cool crew from that hot yellow Chaparral deck boat.

Jasper got to meet a fellow boat dog named Storm. They really enjoyed meeting each other. It lasted about 30 seconds!

The crew from Perfect Storm (Storm’s family) were terrific and we always love meeting people who boat with their dogs!

Our walk with Jasper led us into the lovely town of Chesapeake City.  It is a charming and scenic little spot.

In 1829 there were three buildings on the south bank of the canal which was 14 miles long, hand-dug and had locks. Shipping traffic caused a growth spurt and Chesapeake City was given its name in 1839. The town flourished until about 1927 when the canal was dredged and ships didn’t need to stop there anymore. What’s neat is that many of the important structures from the early 1900s still exist.

As a bride and groom await their ceremony in front of this old church, which is seemingly tangled in a modern world of powerlines and street signs, it still offers those moments that feel magical. 

Do you think they bought this house with a…bridge loan?!! 🙂

Our afternoon schedule was quite full.  We were meeting, for the first time, a couple who love our blog and when they found out we were going to be in the area, reached out to see if they could pop by and say hello.  When Tom and Trish showed up to OLOH, their smiles were big and their hands were full… We had an incredible visit with good conversations about our journey and some great laughs.  We look forward to seeing them again.  As we love to say on OLOH, let’s get together and feel alright!

Trish and Tom welcomed us to Maryland with a beautiful bottle of champagne, a delicious bottle of Sagamore Rye Whiskey – a local fave out of Baltimore, AMAZING crab cakes (see pics) and two beautiful, garden ripe tomatoes and some sprigs of basil! It was WAY too generous and we so appreciated their thoughtfulness.  Thank you, Trish, Tom (and their pup Action Jackson!) – it was a pleasure meeting you.

Award-winning crab cakes from Port House Grill in North East MD. Trish and Tom brought them for us to have as lunch underway…you’ll see them in our next entry!

More goodies from Port House Grill in North East MD.

One of the other great things about making our way through Maryland is we get the chance to connect with one of the Captain’s good friends from his past career in radio.  Fast Jimi is truly one of the nicest folks you’ll meet, he’s still a radio star and he’s an incredibly talented photographer – plus he really loved A.J.’s Manhattan made with our newly acquired Sagamore Rye!  He came by to have dinner with us – the only thing missing was his lovely wife, Sarah who couldn’t make it.  You were missed, Sarah!

Three good-looking guys who just got back from walking the streets…

Goodnight and sweet dreams from the OLOH crew. If you see us out there, say hello!

We return to another recent discovery and now favorite spot, Herrington Harbor on the Chesapeake, next.  See you out there!

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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6

 

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