Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Jersey through Chesapeake Bay

We went from New York under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, down the open ocean, through the Manasquan Inlet and down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to the Metedeconk River.
We departed the Metedeconk on a foggy morning and continued on the ICW to a little anchorage across from Atlantic City. We found some skinny water on the way (it was a full moon, as you can see below), but only managed to stir up a little mud with our 3 1/2 foot draft.

Atlantic City under a Full Moon
High Culture at Atlantic City!

The next day brought us to an anchorage just north of Cape May -- again on the ICW. We put into Utsch's Marina the next day and did laundry, took showers, and had a birthday luncheon ashore for Judy. The Captain added to the gourmet celebration by serving two dozen cherrystones on the half-shell at cocktail time.
Part of the Fishing Fleet at Cape May

For once, we had the current with us all the way up Delaware Bay and it turned out to be a very relaxing and quick trip all the way to Chesapeake City for a change.
We had a Hitch-hiker for most of the trip up the Delaware. New Jersey's Nuclear Plant Puts Out Some Steam

In Chesapeake City, we rafted up with Mel and Jean on our sister-ship Dovekie that we had met up with in Cape May. We went up to the Tap Room for the traditional first steamed crabs of the season and a couple of beers. (Back here for the last crabs of the season in the spring.)

We thought we'd gotten to Annapolis a week before the boat shows. WRONG! We were there for the beginning of the boat show, anchored up Spa Creek in front of a house that was for sale for $5,995,000.00. We ran some quick errands and got out as fast as possible, but only after we got together with our daughter's great friend Patty and Jeremy. The live just up the road (on the OTHER side of the creek) and are going to be married in a couple of weeks in Philadelphia. Patty and Jeremy

We escaped across the Bay to some great places we had missed before. The first stop was Crisfield, at one time the "Crab Capitol of the World", now trying to keep as much of the old as they can while they add upscale condos, vacation homes, etc.

The Somers Cove Marina at Crisfield is quite large and is owned and run by the state. Except for a few of us "Snowbirds", the "season" comes to a screeching halt on Labor Day. There's a nice museum (with a daily walking tour in season), good restaurants (including a crabhouse, of course), old fashioned hardware store and a decent grocery. Even a pool (closed after the season).

From Crisfield, we toured Smith and Tangier Islands, low lying marshland with a few dry spots in the middle of the Bay, accessible only by water. Their government is their Methodist Church and their economy is crabs and the few tourists they can pull in during the season.
Smith Island is barely above water. Its major restaurant is owned by the operator of the daily tour boat from Crisfield which stops its regular runs after Columbus Day. There are also a couple of B&Bs. Two of its "towns" are connected by dirt trail or road. The third is reachable by water only. Tangier's crab houses, docks, and crab trays, etc are all built on pilings in the water and are not connected to the land at all. Talk about living on the water!
The Town is Across the Channel

After eating our fill of crabs and oysters, we departed the Eastern Shore and island for one of the anchorages in Jackson Creek in Deltaville, Virginia.

We had a reunion with Bruce and Lynda (who we had met on the Dismal Swamp last year) aboard Jet Stream in Deltaville. They had left the boat there last spring when they ran out of time getting her home to Toronto and they were just recommissioning her for whatever adventures await them this winter. The blustery weather chased quite a few boats into the anchorage for at least one night. We opted to spend more time there to avoid as much adventure as possible and wait for the winds to blow through. Weather permitting, our next day underway should take us through Norfolk to the beginning of the Dismal Swamp.

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