Chesapeake Bay Run

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The best Chesapeake Bay Sailing. Sunrise as we head south.

We have sailed the Chesapeake Bay since 1986 and we never tire of the beauty and diversity the Bay presents to sailors trying to cover the 150+ miles in a few days. Lucky for us, this was one of the best runs down the bay in many years. In past years, we have had waves crashing over the bow with spray going into the windshields and you just pray for it to end. This time, it was so lovely, so calm, so flat, with beautiful sunsets, spectacular sunrises, full moonsets and interesting commercial ship traffic.

When in transit mode, we try to run about 50 miles a day. This would be 3 days down the bay to Norfolk from Rock Hall, MD just above Annapolis. This time we actually took 4 days to run the bay. We had some sailing, lots of motoring, but calm seas, so we will take it.

4 Days down the Chesapeake Bay (165 nm)

  1. Rock Hall, MD to Annapolis, MD 16 nm (visit our boat buddies, Eric and Patricia)
  2. Annapolis, MD to Solomon’s Island, MD 42 nm (anchor off Calvert Maritime Museum)
  3. Solomons, MD to Jackson Creek, VA 53 nm (anchor and enjoy a beautiful sunset)
  4. Jackson Creek, VA to Portsmouth, VA 54 nm (dock in the South Ferry basin, explore the city)

Hayden sailing wing on wing heading south on the Chesapeke Bay
Winds were from the NORTH….the course was SOUTH….so we sailed downwind wing on wing as much as we could. BUT…when the SOG (Speed Over Ground) drops below 3 knots, we motor sail or motor. We use 3 knots as our point of decision. We love to sail, and we will always sail if we can, but if our speed is 3 knots or less and we have 50 nm to cover, we will motor.
Norfolk, VA Naval Base and Shipyards

Completing the southbound run of the Chesapeake Bay sends you into the Elizabeth River, home to one of USA’s largest Naval Bases and shipyards. Passing aircraft carriers and observing our military makes you pause and reflect. We are so thankful for our military and the freedom we all enjoy because of their service. You cannot sail past here and not think of them. Thank you…

Portsmouth, VA South Ferry Basin
NOTE: Coffee Kiosk right there (blue peaked roof)

Completing the trip, we always dock at the Portsmouth Ferry Basins and enjoy walking the town. We enjoy the Commodore Dinner Theater, Bier Garden, Artisan Bakery, the friendly Mile Marker Zero Marine Store and most of all, the Starboard Coffee Kiosk right at the docks! Portsmouth is a must stop location and we always enjoy a full day or two here.

Here are the best photos from the trip ( I shot 87 photos today)

Interesting Italian Ship passes close by. Note the bow wave well in front…
that is the underwater bow bulb projecting well forward of the bow.
This ship is doing 15 knots!

IP350 KISMET sailing their spinnaker southbound
Nice job, Jim and Laurie!

Sunset at anchor during our dinner…beautiful Jackson Creek,
Deltaville, VA

WOLF TRAP LIGHTHOUSE, now you know you are moving south

Tugboat SARAH DANN pushing two barges up to Baltimore
Beautiful paint colors

Thank you….our miltary practicing landings on an Aircraft Carrier!

Shipping containers, those are tractor trailer boxes of imported goods being off loaded

OH NO….this Navy ship was listing…..just kidding 🙂

Chesapeake Bay….CHECK….done….onto the ICW, Intracoastal Waterway mile marker ZERO is right here. Now the trip to Florida and the Bahamas takes on a new challenge. Bridges, hundreds of them to navigate, locks, narrow rivers, swamps, and more. FUN.

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