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Southbound ’17 – Travel Day 6: Bear, DE To Rock Hall, MD

Southbound ’17 – Travel day 6: Bear, DE to Rock Hall, MD

FROM: The Captain

Forecast: Overcast with showers beginning midday.  Winds N 10kt. 

Distance traveled: 47.7 nautical miles

Time underway: 5 hours 3 minutes

Average Speed: 9.5kts

Max Speed: 18kts

Fuel used: 54 gallons

A chilly 39 degrees but an otherwise beautiful morning for our departure from Summit North and the C&D Canal.  It was dead-low tide when we shoved off at 7:15am and while the now-visible muddy banks just across the marina’s entrance fairway were a bit disconcerting, we maneuvered OLOH carefully out of her slip doing our best not to stray too far from where we knew the deeper water was.  Then we were back in the canal for the remaining eight nautical miles on our way to the Chesapeake Bay.
With a storm coming we were hopeful to beat the rain to our destination. We did not.

 Yesterday we had the tides and current in our favor at all points so we knew today would be the opposite, but it only served to slow us down a bit.  Just as you exit the canal’s west side you really start to see and feel the charm that awaits in this beautiful part of Maryland.  As we got closer to the Bay the sky became more overcast and we started to get the sense that the rain which was not forecast to begin until later in the day would soon be upon us.  About an hour before our arrival we got that familiar alert tone from the Dark Sky app with the message, “light rain starting in five minutes.”  Damn the accuracy of Dark Sky.  We don’t mind being out in the rain as long as visibility is not impeded but arriving at a port under a deluge is just unpleasant.

 A couple of important notes about arriving at Rock Hall Harbor.  When arriving from the north as we did, deeper draft vessels are wise to leave Swan Point Bar – which lies directly across from the harbor entrance – to port and continue south and around green can “1”.  Then from red “4” you need to locate the two green cans marking the turn into the harbor entrance.  These are charted but are often moved due to shoaling.  We were heading to Rock Hall Landing Marina directly across from the harbor entrance but we were advised to turn to port once in the harbor and follow the perimeter around to the marina.  As we were approaching dead-low tide and these were unfamiliar waters with important notes to follow it was a bit tense but, in the end, not difficult and we didn’t have any issues.  We are happy, however, that we will likely be leaving near or at high tide.
We arrived in the rain and were safely tied to a T-head dock at 12:18pm by Joe in his foul weather gear with a smile on his face.  This is a terrific little marina and every aspect of our interaction with them has been exactly right.
OLOH Dockside at Rock Hall Landing Marina
No, he’s not spoiled. Not at all. Doesn’t every dog find any available pillow to rest a weary head on? And, he’s mostly on his blanket…

Houseboat or Boathouse? You decide…
About the only color we found now that the season has ended! 🙁

Additional Notes FROM: The Captain

SUBJECT: A False Start

Once we hit the Chesapeake the “exploration” part of our journey was ready to begin.  I’ve done the trip between New York and Florida a few times before, but always on a “delivery” schedule on a friend’s boat where the goal was to get to the final destination as quickly as possible.  This means being on the move every day that conditions allow and using up every bit of daylight possible for traveling.  This is not that trip.  I have done New York City to Sarasota, Florida (1493 statute miles) in eight days.  By comparison, by our eighth day of this trip, we have only traveled 336 statute miles – which is exactly the point.  As we’ve mentioned, we’re not on a schedule.

Our original plan had us leaving about a month or so earlier with the idea that we would travel through the Chesapeake for the first time and stop to enjoy at least a few of its “must-see” destinations, staying a few nights in each spot allowing for at least one full day to explore, rather than just the time from when we tie up until the time we shove off the following morning (which is inevitably packed with boat business, course plotting etc).  Even though we were now leaving well off-season with the temps starting to drop we decided to stick to our plan and see what the area was like this time of year.  And we do love a sleepy resort town off-season.

Unfortunately, our first two-night stop for this part of the trip in Rock Hall, Maryland provided somewhat of a false start.  We arrived in the pouring rain which continued throughout the rest of the day.  The two harbor-side restaurants, one in particular that we were really looking forward to based on recommendations, were closed for just the days that we were to be here (they didn’t even know that in the marina office).  So was another of the recommended restaurants in town.  And it was cold, making the fifteen minute walk into the village where nothing was going on not particularly pleasant.  This is not complaining – oh, no.  Just the circumstances of our stay.  The harbor here is beautiful, Rock Hall Landing Marina is terrific and we’re sure this must be a fantastic destination in better weather and in-season.  So a beautiful spot to land for our first in the bay for sure, but a false start to really get a feel for the area.  We’re guessing Annapolis, our next stop, will change up that vibe regardless of the time of year.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. I so Look forward to the blog update. It's a frigid 26 degrees here with a steady 18 knot wind. Our boats are full of antifreeze and all wrapped up. The OLOH is headed the right way. All bets are your damp chilly weather will turn a very pleasant soon. Here, the local forecast is for the very cold to end with a winter mix of precipitation Monday.
    1. Pauly, come south where the time and weather are right on;-) We are a cold 64 degrees down here. OLOH is looking great at the dock and of course, Jasper is the man!
  2. Tim, AJ & Jasper, I absolutely love reading your blog - what a fantastic job both of you are doing. Bailey, and I assume Lady, can't wait for the first post from Jasper. After all, it is clear that you are working him too hard based upon the picture of him on the couch. Pauly is right about the weather. I had to stop at Shady today to try to get the flags down and it was downright miserable. By the way, there wasn't a soul around. I look forward to your next post! If we can't be doing it in person, at least we can live vicariously through you! Safe travels! Barb, Jeff & Bailey
    1. So great of you to come aboard!! Yes, Jasper has finally realized the lines are not for tugging but for tying up. It's all very exhausting. Still chilly here but you all would so love the Chesapeake, it's wonderful. Thanks for the comments, kisses to Bailey from Jasper!
  3. The posts are wonderful. Just last week one of the snowbirds in Florida said I hope they spend a couple of days in Chesapeake Bay! It will be fantastic from one end to the other! Enjoy!

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