The Chesapeake Bay is a very large inland sea with the most amazing number of rivers and creeks with countless beautiful and peaceful places to anchor and explore. We had planned to join an Ocean Cruising Club rally starting in mid June but as is the way with boats we had a few jobs and improvements to do before the rally started. The boat has now done 8000 nautical miles which is a huge number in 8 months.
Very kindly the port officers for the area – Bill and Lydia Strickland offered us their dock and even volunteered to be our address in the USA for Amazon. Some people say the definition of cruising is mending boats in beautiful places. This dock certainly fits that description and Bill and Lydia were amazing hosts taking us shopping and even feeding us. The major job was fitting the old solar panels on the side rails to provide more electric power. For those you who like to know about solar panels and batteries this means we now have 1000W which is wonderful and should suffice for most circumstances. We can now also cook using a small electric hob which means we can save gas. Gas always runs out at inconvenient times and can be difficult to source. We fitted some carpet and there is endless cleaning, polishing and general maintenance.
The rally was very sociable with a good combination of visits, glorious anchorages, chatting time, sailing and free time. There were about 30 boats and 6 nationalities and we visited some very interesting places. It started in Reedville which is the home of the Menhaden fishing industry. Menhaden are small herring like fish and are processed to make omega oils and fish meal. This industry ensured that Reedville had the highest per capita income in the early 1920’s. While there we visited Tangier island which is actually sinking and the home of the soft shell crab industry.
We then went onto St Mary’s City. This was the original Capital of Maryland but now an impressive open air museum. We had been confused by the zigzag fencing which we had also seen in Virginia. This is in fact the original mobile fencing. It is not fixed and can be easily moved around. Finally we finished in Leonardtown.
After many disappointing attempts to photograph the numerous Ospreys one very kindly circled the boat when the camera was nearby. Not a good time to be a fish but an amazing photograph!
After the rally we left the Chesapeake to sail up the east coast to New York. This trip took 48 hours and was uneventful. We entered the east river in early morning and had a wonderful sail and motor up the Hudson to the Liberty Landing Marina just across the Hudson from Manhattan. The skyline is stunning. To arrive in New York by sail boat was on the bucket list and lived up to expectation.