Sailing To New York City

Sailing To The Head Of Chesapeake Bay (continued)

A fellow sailboater after passing under the bridges. He's angling towards the Eastern Shore, like he might be going to the Chester River. Click on the picture to see a bigger version; use your browser's "back" command to return here.  

Well it was a hot and humid day, as I expected. The good thing about motoring is that the boat makes its own wind, so there was a constant breeze to make the heat more tolerable. At one point, we tried motorsailing with the jib, but it didn't help much. We managed to carry the flood tide all the way up the bay, which did help a lot.

We saw some traffic here and there, a couple of tugs, some sailboats and motorboats. Just before noon, we were treated to a grand sight as the Canadian schooner Bluenose II passed us going north. Since there wasn't any wind to speak of, they were motoring, and the Bluenose II is fast even as a motorboat—they passed us like we were standing still. Later in the afternoon, we were passed by a sizeable aluminum sailboat flying a Swiss flag.

A few miles after the end of the Tolchester Channel, we began passing the very large restricted area for Aberdeen Proving Ground just west of the channel. Every now and then we could hear a distant explosion, which was an even better warning than a "Restricted" notice.

The channel now became part of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal project and turned more easterly, passing Worton Point and the wide mouth of the Sassafras River. Just south of Turkey Point on Elk Neck, the waterway split, with the western part heading off to Havre de Grace and the Susquehanna River, and the eastern part continuing on to the Elk River.

Once on the Elk River, we motored up the middle of the channel since there was no ship traffic and the river was otherwise narrow and shallow. Overall, today's passage reminded me a lot of traveling on the Intracoastal Waterway: motoring all day while following a marked channel and watching for traffic.

The tug Elizabeth Krause, hailing from Norfolk, VA, heading down the bay. According to an internet search, Elizabeth Krause is 104.2 feet long, 26.1 feet wide, displaces 233 tons, has a 2,200 hp engine, and was built in 1952 in Camden, NJ.   A chartered catamaran passes us heading north. Like it says in huge letters on the hull, you can visit them on the internet at RunawayCat.Net. Runaway Cat is based in Rock Hall, MD, and can be bareboat chartered for $3,150 per week.

This turned out to be an interesting boat, although you can't tell from the photographs. The boat is Golden Eagle, from Port Clinton, Ohio, and when I looked them up on the internet, I discovered that the boat was now at the tail end of an amazing three-year odyssey. The skipper, Rex Damschroder, started out on Lake Erie, sailed down the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean, crossed the ocean to Ireland, headed south to the Cape Verde Islands off Africa, crossed the ocean again to Barbados in the Caribbean, island-hopped to Puerto Rico, then sailed to the U.S. and up the coast, to where we encountered him on Chesapeake Bay. After that, he went on to New York, up the Hudson River, through the canals to Lake Erie, and back to Port Clinton, arriving safe and sound on July 24, 2007. Read a newspaper article about his trip (you can also do other internet searches for him or his boat).

Golden Eagle is one boat that we passed, since a Westsail 32 is not a fast boat.  

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