Beatitude did not splash into the water until late Monday evening, so a Tuesday morning departure was out of the question. So, in the evening, we took Dalí into downtown Annapolis for dinner at a nice restaurant called The Federal. Tuesday was spent cleaning and washing our vessel, as well as provisioning for the next couple of weeks. We also had a pleasant afternoon visit by Captain Roy.
Wednesday morning however, we were up early and pulled away from the docks at Port Annapolis Marina by 7:30 a.m. Our plan was to motor next door to Annapolis Landing Marina and fill up with fuel before heading up the Chesapeake. Unfortunately, on the short jump from marina to marina, we noticed that there was no raw water coming from the starboard engine exhaust. This was not the way we had hoped to resume our cruising. I pulled into the fuel dock and filled both tanks ($2.39/gallon for diesel!). The folks at Annapolis Landing Marina were so accommodating! They let me pull over to one of their side docks to investigate and correct the problem. The problem turned out to be the impeller. It had begun to disintegrate into little pieces. It, of course, took me much longer to remove and replace it than it should have. But, after a little while, and with some assistance from the Port Annapolis guys, the job was complete and we were on our way, although we were over two hours behind schedule.
We journeyed in a mostly north-northeastwardly direction up the rest of the Chesapeake Bay for the next eight hours, covering a total of just over fifty nautical miles. The wind was directly from behind making for almost zero apparent wind. This in turn made for a hot and sticky ride for the first few hours. The sea state was tolerable, though, with one-foot waves from astern. As we made our way into the northern Chesapeake, the seas flattened and our transit was calm and smooth. Then, around 3:30, we encountered a little afternoon squall and rain storm. Believe it or not, the last time we encountered any squally/rainy weather while underway was way back in October, 2014 as we were approaching Key West from Marco Island. We’ve been blessed with great travel weather for the most part. I donned rain gear for about an hour. Then, as quickly as the storms came, they departed. But, left behind was a pleasant cool evening. The northern Chesapeake was quite beautiful. The scenery was different than anything we’ve experienced thus far. Farm houses and red barns were interspersed among clumps of trees and pleasant green meadows on hillsides which graced the shores of the bay.
Around 5:40 in the afternoon, we cleared the Chesapeake City Bridge and entered into the Chesapeake City anchorage. There were three other vessels anchored, but there was room for a couple of more. Unfortunately, we could not get our anchor to set to my satisfaction. Three separate attempts in three separate locations were unsuccessful. The thick, soft mud, would not hold. I always back down on the anchor with both engines at 2000 r.p.m. If we do not move, I feel comfortable that we’ll be secure for the night. But, we just couldn’t get the anchor to set in the Chesapeake City anchorage. This is only the second time we were unable to get our anchor to hold in our last year of cruising. I called the marina and asked if they had a slip. They didn’t, but told me there was a free town dock next door that had room for us. Wow! What a blessing! We motored over and tied up to the town dock, assisted by a couple of locals who helped in tying up our lines. We docked just in front of Miss Clare, a diminutive tour boat run by the sweetest couple. They’ve been married for 50 years and have been running this small boat tour company for the last 25 years. His is the fifth consecutive generation on the water. He showed us wonderful photographs from the 1860s of his great-great-great-grandfather and his wife, as well as the Civil War Steamship which he commanded.
After securing our vessel, we enjoyed some “fall-off-the-bone” pork spare ribs which had cooked on low in the crockpot all day. We’ve had the crockpot for a while, but this was the first time we used it. We were concerned with power consumption, but it occurred to Cindy that while underway with the engines running, we needn’t worry about our power supply. So, this, I am sure, was the first of many crockpot meals.
After enjoying a peaceful night on the town dock, we walked around the wonderfully quaint town of Chesapeake City for a couple of hours. Chesapeake City owes its existence to the construction of the C & D Canal, a 14-mile long, 450-foot wide and 35-deep canal connecting the northern Chesapeake Bay with the northern Delaware Bay. The canal replaced a 300-mile ocean trip with a calm, 14-mile journey. The influx of passengers and ships gave birth to a bustling community called Bohemia Village. Over time, the waterfront town changed its name to Chesapeake City. It’s main street is lined with some of the most charming and attractive stores and restaurants you could wish for. The people are very friendly. And, best of all for us, we have free dockage on the brand new town docks.
There is a 24-hour time limit to stay at the dock, but I gave the dock master a call and he graciously agreed to let us stay an additional 24 hours. This was very fortuitous for us, since today would not have been a pleasant day to make our way down the Delaware to Cape May, NJ. Winds were coming up the bay all day at 15-25 miles/hour with rain and squalls. Waves, which we would have been bashing into, were forecast to be 3-4 feet. Tomorrow’s winds are supposed to be out of the NW with smaller waves which should make for a much better day’s passage. So, we decided to stay in this lovely place called Chesapeake City, MD. This afternoon, we’ve had fairly steady rain for the past three hours. But, even that has been enjoyable. We’ll have dinner tonight at the Chesapeake Inn and plan to arise with the sun tomorrow morning, hoping to cover a lot of miles in one day.