The Chesapeake
(and Norfolk, VA)
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C&D Canal (Chesapeake & Delaware) via the Delaware River – Sat Oct 4
We got an early start out of Philadelphia as the forecast was for rainy weather in the afternoon.  We sailed back down the Delaware River and entered the C&D Canal mid afternoon.  The C&D Canal is a vital link in the ICW system, it is a safe, time saving passage between Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay.  The canal is 12 miles long with a good deal of big ship traffic.  Fortunately, it was Saturday and not much traffic to be found.  The canal is not particularly scenic, but it does provide pleasant stretches of woods and fields.  Dutch mapmaker Augustin Herman first proposed the canal in 1661, and it won Benjamin Franklin’s support in 1788.  The C&D Canal finally opened in 1829 with four locks and six mule teams to pull towboats through.  Unfortunately we had a tide against us and it was slow going.  We decided to pack it in at Chesapeake City and stay the night.  We pulled in to Schaffer’s Marina, had dinner and called it an evening.
Baltimore, MD on the Chesapeake – Sun Oct 5 through Sat Oct 11
We left bright and early headed south on the Chesapeake with a goal of reaching Baltimore.  The morning began beautiful, a bit chilly.  The winds, out of the south picked up to gusts of 30 to 40 knots directly in our face.  It was a “white knuckled” sail for the better part of the day as we drove into wind and pounding waves.
Baltimore Skyline
Ft. McHenry
    Finally, around 4:00 p.m. we began heading west off the Chesapeake into Baltimore harbor.  The skyline was beautiful, very modern, and we passed Ft. McHenry and Federal Hill.  Frances Scott Key was located at a prison at Ft. McHenry when he looked out and saw the flag still waving on Federal Hill.  It was this scene that inspired him to write, the Star Spangled Banner.
     Baltimore, known as “Charm City”, is an attractive city made up of close knit ethnic neighborhoods, interesting 18th century architecture and a revitalized downtown.  The inner harbor, where we stayed, at the Anchorage Marina, attracts thousands of boaters with its excellent restaurants, convenient marinas and its many shore side attractions.
     On Monday we met our friends, Jere and Sandy Kennedy from Maine.  They were in Baltimore on their way to Florida to their winter home.  We had lunch with them and had a good visit.  On Tuesday morning I left at the crack of dawn to catch the shuttle to the airport where I flew back home to get Monica registered for High School.  I returned on Thursday evening to find Monica and Tony had stayed on board getting caught up on school and reading.
     On Friday, another cold front moved in, making it windy and chilly.  We rented a car and headed to Annapolis for the Boat show.  Instead of sailing down, we decided to make the trip by car from Baltimore.  Tony attended the show and Monica and I toured the city.  Neither of us had visited Annapolis before and we enjoyed our day of sightseeing.
     Saturday was spent doing laundry and getting caught up on chores.  We left Baltimore early Sunday morning headed for the Solomon Islands further south on the Chesapeake.
Cold Sailing on Chesapeake
Solomon Islands, MD on the Chesapeake – Sun Oct 12
We made an early start of it from Baltimore and were unsure as to where we would stop for the evening.  We had a beautiful sailing day, with light northwest winds.  We were able to make about 70 miles to the Solomon Islands where we anchored for the evening.  We had spent a few days here on our way north and enjoyed our visit, but there was nothing too compelling to keep us around on this trip.

The Solomon Islands are located about two thirds of the way down the Chesapeake Bay on the Patuxent River, on the western shore of Maryland.  It is a series of islands that is truly a sailors paradise.  The masts were so thick it was difficult to see shore.  The industry that has supported the islands for centuries is fishing.  About 200 years ago, it was oysters, now it is crabbing and local fish like red drum.
Deltaville, VA on the Chesapeake – Mon Oct 13 through Wed Oct 15
    
We wanted to take advantage of the terrific sailing weather that was in the forecast so we set out on another clear day with winds in our favor out of the northwest.  About midday we crossed over into Virginia, and after another 70 miles on the water we decided to pull into Fishing Bay Marina on the south tip of Deltaville.  There was talk of a storm so we wanted to be safely tucked away.
     The storm hit on Tuesday mid day and hung in there through Wednesday mid day.  We used the time to do some bike riding and walking.  We enjoyed our few days respite here as it was a nice quiet place with comfortable amenities.
Deltaville
Norfolk, VA via the Chesapeake, mile marker 0 on the ICW – Thu Oct 16
Another early morning sail, we needed to arrive in Norfolk, about 55 miles south.  We had a good sailing day and arrived at the Norfolk Yacht Club around 3pm.  We were leaving the boat for a week here in Norfolk so that we could head off to Williamsburg, VA for a week in a condo.

Williamsburg, VA – Fri Oct 17 through Thu Oct 23
Friday morning we rented a car and drove to Williamsburg where we were to meet my parents and my sister Roberta and her new baby, Claire, and Monica’s girlfriend, Emily Liebert.  We arrived in the afternoon and had my parents and Roberta waiting for us at the condo.  They had driven down from New Hampshire.  Roberta and her daughter and Emily were staying only for the weekend, my parents were to be with us through the following week.  The condo was spacious and comfortable, we spent the weekend just relaxing and visiting, not trying to tackle any of the sightseeing Williamsburg has to offer.
After Roberta and Emily left, we started to put together a plan of what to visit next.  As we discussed it, we found that all of us, in the recent past had visited Historic Williamsburg.  We decided that was an attraction we would forgo this visit.  We ended up spending a day visiting Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home.  We all thoroughly enjoyed this visit and learned lots of new things.  We ended up leaving my parents on Wednesday at Monticello as they were heading back to Denver.  We went back to the condo in Williamsburg stayed on more night and left on Thursday headed back to the boat in Norfolk
The Gang in Williamsburg
Monica & Emily
Views from Monticello
Monticello
Monticello Plantation