††††††††††††††† Catalina 22† Fleet 10††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2006 Chesapeake City Cruise
There was beautiful weather for this years cruise. Well, actually there was some rain. Actually there was plenty of rain, maybe even the word flood could be used. But, where is there better to be than on a boat when there is flooding?
This yearís Fleet 10 Summer Cruise began with a picnic on June 24, 2006 at Maryland Marina on the Middle River. Ken and Patty Adams, and Dave and Laura Mikula and their children Eric, age 7, and Mia, age 5, came from the Pittsburgh area. Dan and Grace Leonida met up with the Mikulas around Rock Hall, where they had chartered a Catalina 30, for the sail across the bay to Middle River.
Mike Alves, came from Washington D.C., and brought his father, Steve, along this year. Brian joined us on Sunday morning. (Daryl was not along this year. He is getting married). We had our son, Danny, with us. Beverly and John Mueller, and Lucy, brought ribs, chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and coleslaw from Adams Ribs, and desserts too. Everyone enjoyed the great food and company.
Then a thunder storm struck and everyone huddled under the overhang to discuss the cruise and whether the roof there was metal or fiberglass.
Sunday was rainy, so we motored across the Bay to Fairlee Creek. Everyone decided they would like to get slips instead of anchoring, because of the weather.
The rain did stop intermittently, so we had a chance to walk on the beach. Mia got to collect shells, and Eric and Dave did some fishing. Laura saw a bald eagle.
On Monday morning, Dan and Grace decided to go home because of the reports of flooding in Pennsylvania. They were concerned that their house would be flooded. The weather report from Daryl, which we got daily, (thanks Daryl), was not encouraging, but we took off for Skipjack Cove on the Sassafras River. We had a wonderful sail, it would rain at times, but then the sun would also come out. I think Dan and Grace had worse weather getting back to their marina, because they were going directly into the storms. On the Sassafras River we could see heavy rain headed our way and Mike took down his sails just in time. We motored up the river through heavy rain until the visibility was so bad that we anchored Key Largo. Dave and Laura were preparing to anchor but the weather cleared enough for us to head out again before they even got their anchor into the water. The next downpour occurred just before we got to the marina. We all tied up to the gas pier, and waited under the porch for the rain to let up. The young workers at the marina were quite happy to see us, because they hadnít seen anyone in days because of all the rain. We also arranged for a launch to take us to dinner at the Granary that night. We enjoyed a great dinner together.
†The evening and next morning were spent at the laundry drying out everything that was wet. Dave and Lauraís charter boat, Elara, had portholes that leaked.
On Tuesday we took off for Veazy Cove on the Bohemia River. It was another great day of sailing. It was a run, and the Adams said they broke the record for how fast they had sailed their boat. We decided to anchor separately, because the weather was just not calm enough to raft the boats together. We had a storm come through the cove that night. A wind shift occurred after the storm and the Adams demonstrated how to drag their anchor. At three in the morning they were in three and a half feet of water. They started their motor and moved away from the shoreline. Dave actually saw Sailabration go between Key Largo and Elara.
On Wednesday, we didnít have very far to go to the entrance to the C & D Canal, but we sailed for as long as we could, since it is not legal to sail in the canal. The Adams even put out their spinnaker for a fast sail.
We arrived at Chesapeake Inn Marina around noon.
Chesapeake City was a lovely town.
The people of the town were friendly, and Patty got to shop. Danny, Alice, and I ate at a little house where the owner made sandwiches for us that we ate at a little table in the front room. Eric fished.
†Chesapeake City also had a nice ice cream shop right at the water.
At 4:00, we decided that we wanted to see more of the Canal, so Danny, Alice, and I motored Key Largo 7.5 miles to the St. Georgeís Bridges.
†<<St. George's Bridges with Alice and Danny.jpg>>
We arrived back at the marina at 7:00 PM, just in time to go to dinner with everyone. We had a nice dinner together at the Tap Room.
†It hadnít rained all day, but a good storm came through that night.
On Thursday, we decided that we would go to Fairlee Creek instead of Still Pond, so that we could swim in the marinaís pool. There was not much wind that day until we got past Turkey Point, when the wind started. We beat down the Bay tacking into the wind, and dodging logs. There were plenty of logs and debris in the water to dodge.
Laura even saw a refrigerator floating. The Conewingo Dam on the Susquehanna River had been opened due to the flooding in Pennsylvania.
At Fairlee, Sailabration and Elara got slips for the night, and Sick Days and Key Largo anchored. Everyone enjoyed the pool. That evening, some of the fleet members ate at the restaurant, and others ate food that they had on their boats. Why do we always pack so much food? There was a lightning storm that evening near sunset that went around the anchorage, and missed us, but put on a lovely light show. It was a nice night at anchor.
On Friday, we motored the short distance to Tolchester. We had been warned on the VHF of the debris in the Bay, and there was plenty. There were logs up to about 16 inches in diameter and 4 feet long, but the debris wasnít worse than we had seen before, but it may have been more dispersed. Sometimes we would see a stick or branch sticking straight up out of the water and we had to wonder what was submerged under the water to allow that branch to stick up in that manner. We also saw barrels submerged just below the surface of the water.
When the Alves returned from lunch, they warned us of the slow service at the restaurant, but we all decided that the restaurant at the marina would be the most convenient place for dinner. Our last dinner together was wonderful. Our waiter was from Belfast and was very entertaining. We also kept him well entertained. The restaurant at Tolchesterís Marina was small, and only had four offerings for dinner, but everyone had a nice dinner. When it came time for desert, our waiter, (who told us that he was also our carpenter), said that they didnít have any desserts! He said that all they had was ice cream. We all said, practically in unison, ďIce Cream, What flavors do you have?Ē They had plenty of flavors and everyone enjoyed their ice cream. To me this meal demonstrated Eastern Shore hospitality.
We then enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the bay from the beach.
This is something that Tolchester is known for. The restaurant's walls had historical photos of Tolchester Beach that had been a big resort before the bridges were built across the Bay. Steamboats brought visitors from Baltimore in the summer.
On Saturday, everyone had somewhere to go and things to do, so we all got up early to get started. We rounded the corner of the docks at the marina and saw that Elara was stuck in a log jam at the inlet.
†The marinaís crew tried to break-up the log jam first with a jet ski, then with a small work boat, and later with a larger work boat with 2 swim platforms attached to the front of it, like a snow plow. The residents of the marina stood around the pool that overlooked the inlet, and found this entertaining. A few boats eventually tried to work their way out. The first was a small fishing boat with a crew of two men and two very determined women. They pulled their boat out by walking it along the rocky side of the inlet. Later a larger motor boat went out. Sailabration followed the work boat out after several hours of waiting. Soon after that, Sick Days also tried to follow the workboat out, but the workboat got stuck half way out of the inlet, and Sick Days ended-up picking their way though the log jam. Key Largo followed Sick Days with Alice and Danny pushing logs away from the hull with dinghy oars. We had to stop several times to pull debris from the rudder and motor. Once we were through the log jam, our three boats had a very fast sail to Middle River, even though some of us were dragging debris with our keel cables. We later found out that Elara remained at the marina in Tolchester until Tuesday. I never thought I would take our Catalina 22 through a log jam!
One of the reasons that we thought that a cruise in June would be good was that we thought that it might be cooler. We didnít have the 100 degree days that we remember from last yearís cruise, but we certainly didnít anticipate all the rain that we had. Watching the Weather Channel on the day before the cruise, I thought that the rain couldnít possibly be as they described it, but they were actually rather accurate. Near the beginning of the cruise I told Dave and Laura that I didnít like sailing in the rain. We did sail in the rain quite a bit on this yearís cruise. But there wasnít any lightning associated with the rain, and it wasnít too cold or too hot. We also began to see the pattern in the way that the rain appeared in the distance, approached our boats, surrounded us, passed over us, and then moved away. And we would just sail on.
†I did eventually learn to put on my foul weather gear before it started to rain.
We had plenty of fast sailing during the cruise. There were days when we sailed with reefed sails, and many times our boat was surfing at sustained speeds over 6 knots . The company was great. With the small number of boats we could be flexible, and we were. We also stayed close together, although there were times when we went out of sight of each other due to the heavy rain. I also believe that we all learned a great deal about ourselves from this yearís cruise.
I would again like to thank Tom Anastasio for his plans for this yearís cruise, and Tom Beaumont for his lists from the cruise of 2002 that we updated and gave to this yearís cruisers. I would also like to thank Alice for all her work planning the cruise and making the reservations at the marinas.
Aldo and Alice Camacci