June 22-27... Annapolis and the Magothy River

We opted for a city mooring in Annapolis off City Dock, which felt kind of strange, like we were from out of town or something.  But we learned that much former anchoring area had been turned into mooring fields, both in Back and Spa Creeks.  So what was the first thing we did in Annapolis?  Bought two megacans of Crab House Nuts, which John had been talking about since we got back to the Chesapeake.  Yes, they are that good. We walked everywhere noting changes.  There still is nothing in the old Fawcett’s building on Ego Alley.  
The day after we arrived was the big annual Eastport A Rockin’ festival -- we had to go over for that.  And yes, the Eastport Oyster Boys were there playing the old favorites that evoke the Bay to us.  Of course we danced.  (Jay wasn’t too embarrassed.)  
During the time he was with us, we also subjected Jay to a classic film festival, including “The Third Man”, “Marty”, “Suspicion”, and “The Lady Vanishes” as well as the little known “Suddenly” with Frank Sinatra (not a classic...)  We also included an Astaire-Rogers favorite, “Follow the Fleet” and previewed a dance performance...We joined the Navy to see the world!!!

The chop on the Severn was pretty bad, especially on the weekend when the power boats went out to play, but we are made of sturdy stuff (Chesapeake Bay paddlers!) and kayaked around Horn Point to Back Creek to investigate our old stomping grounds.  All those days of boat shopping by kayak came back to us as we meandered through the marinas and anchorages.
We had to get moving again to get to Baltimore by the 27th, as we were going on a week-long ‘big ship’ cruise with Patti’s family on the 28th.  Dropping the mooring, we headed up to the next river, the Magothy, and anchored off Gibson Island.  What a contrast to the hubbub of Annapolis.  And what beautiful sunsets.  We needed the quiet and relaxation before making our last leg up the Patapsco and putting Anhinga into a marina in Baltimore.
Gibson Island:  +39° 5' 21.90", -76° 25' 59.40"
Baltimore:  +39° 15' 50.40", -76° 36' 10.98"

June 18-22, 2012... Choptank River

We hadn’t been to the Choptank in over 5 years, and Jay hadn’t ever been there, so it was time to visit.  If only we had enough time to gunkhole all the nooks and crannies.  Our first stop was LeCompte Bay, a wide easy access anchorage.  Arriving in late afternoon, John and Patti were worn out from the day, but Jay was raring to go, so off he went in the kayak in search of open area to fly his kite.  He met Mary, an octogenarian who lived on her farm on this bay for over 40 years, after growing up on another farm the other side of Cambridge.  She regaled Jay with stories of the area, pointing out who owned the houses lining the shore.  Jay successfully got the kite flying, but the camera battery was knocked out, and we got no overhead shots.  

Next day we moved the boat to Cambridge, though not inside the creek -- too many boats there already -- and anchored near the park, close enough to dinghy into town.  Still a lot of watermen working the river near here and we watched them bring in the catch.  A walk through town revealed a place with some beautifully restored homes and interesting architecture in the commercial center.  But there really wasn’t much going on and unfortunately, lots of empty storefronts.  The visitor center in the park was a great find though -- it had information for most of the counties in Maryland.

Our last stop in the Choptank was Oxford where we anchored off the Strand.  One of summer’s heat waves struck and we put the awning up for the first time since we were in the Caribbean last year.  Boy, did we need that shade, as the mercury climbed and the days lasted forever with the summer solstice.  To help beat the heat we went to town daily for ice cream (any excuse, right?)  The sea nettles were HUGE and swimming in packs.  That kept us out of the water.  But we did kayak upriver to explore some nearby creeks and coves, listening to silence and the birds that dared venture out in the heat.  

Jay was leaving us in Annapolis, so we sailed out for the last leg of the trip to the Severn River.  We were anxious to return to Annapolis, our last ‘address’ before going cruising in July 2009.  We got a little choked up as the radio towers came into view, then the Navy Chapel, State House, and church steeples.  We were back!
LeCompte Bay, Choptank River:  +38° 36' 1.20", -76° 9' 5.16"
Cambridge Creek:  +38° 34' 29.88", -76° 3' 54.96"
Oxford, Tred Avon River:  +38° 41' 50.88", -76° 10' 12.00"
Annapolis:  +38° 58' 31.68", -76° 28' 55.92"

June 14-17, 2012... Potomac River Redux

Left Washington DC with son Jay onboard to travel the 100 miles downriver.  The day before we left, Jay got photos of Anhinga with his latest passion, a GoPro camera flown from a kite.  This was taken from the Mall, a couple of miles away from the Washington Channel anchorage.

We took four days to go south on the Potomac and had no wind for real sailing until the second day when we managed a few hours with engine off - what a pleasure.  Jay rigged his camera on a boathook to capture some interesting shots underway.  

Our first anchorage near the mouth of Mattawoman Creek was pretty good -- just a lot of little aluminum boats screaming back and forth, but no crowds at anchor.  The second night we turned into St. Clement Bay, up Canoe Neck Creek, and into the first cove.  Just us, very peaceful, lots of herons and ospreys, only two houses.  So nice that we decided to stay a second night.  The second day, things changed.  A local raft-up with a dozen boats became our new party-down neighbors and several other sailboats arrived.  Jay and Patti went out kayaking to explore.  For the last anchorage off the Potomac, we went back to Smith Creek.  This time we all went exploring by dinghy.  Lots of beautiful places to anchor in the southern Potomac.

Mattawoman Creek:  +38° 33' 24.66", -77° 12' 26.88"
Canoe Neck Creek, St. Clement Bay:  +38° 15' 34.98", -76° 43' 47.52"
Smith Creek:  +38° 7' 24.72", -76° 24' 55.38"