Chesapeake City, MD to Haverstraw Bay, NY


Riding an incoming tide with wind slowly filling in aft made for perfect running as we covered the 57 miles from Annapolis to Chesapeake City.  It was in the mid 80’s when we arrived on a perfect boating Sunday and made ready to anchor.

Odyssey’s anchor chain chose this moment as pay back for not having done a trial run earlier.  Over the winter the anchor chain and rope had been manually pulled out of the anchor locker a number of times to work on the anchor well drain hole.  Manually dumping the chain back in the locker resulted in a twisted chain that was jamming as the winch attempted to power lower it.    Worse yet, power retracting the anchor was not working.  In the heat we headed for a dock, got the AC going, had lunch and then sorted out the anchor.  Reconnecting a wire pulled free from it’s connector restored power and slowly working the anchor winch and manually straightening out of the anchor chain and rope allow allowed the anchor to extend and then retract without problems.

Strong south winds convinced us to stay a second day in Chesapeake City.  We poked around enjoying all the historic buildings in town.  We moved Odyssey over to the free dock.  Electric had been installed and while the dock remains free the town asks for $15 if you use the electricity to help pay for the installation.  We signed up and took advantage of our new AC system on the second day of 80-degree weather.

We’d discovered the Bohemia Cafe in Chesapeake City in the fall of 1997.  Breakfast there this time was just as good even though the crew behind the counter was different.  A beautiful stained glass butterfly Ruth spotted hanging in the window now rides captured in old newspapers until some future day when it hangs in our land based home where it’s color flashing in the sunlight will remind us of Chesapeake City and the C&D Canal.

Car Carrier on C&D Canal

An adverse current made for slow going on the C&D Canal.  Visibility changed from dark gray to white gray as the sun rose on a foggy morning.  We shared the canal with a sailboat also heading for Delaware Bay.  The previous day a car carrier making a canal transit looked like it took up the entire canal and would not have been fun to meet in the fog.

The current changed from against us, to with us as we entered Delaware Bay.  Hours later we stopped briefly in Cape May to take on fuel and then continued on to anchor in Atlantic City over lazy swells with light winds.  We’d covered 116 miles for the day.

NOAA forecasted that south winds would build during the day to 20 knots and higher.   That’s why we found ourselves working our way out the Atlantic City’s Absecon Channel at 4 AM in inky blackness.  Navigation marks blinked red and green like tiny lights on a black velvet cloth with little distinction between black sky and black water.  Our radar image provided reassurance that we were where we were supposed to be.  By 4:30 AM a hint of light in the east, just the faintest glow, changed everything.  That faint glow was just enough to let us read the water surface and detect floating debris invisible to radar.  Official sunrise came at 5:53 AM as the sun’s top rim climbed above the horizon on a clear cloudless morning.

Blue Grosbeak

Four miles offshore along the NJ coast company showed up, a bird we were not familiar with.  Out came the bird books and we found we had a Blue Grosbeak, a life bird for us.  Our companion rode along with us for about 20 minutes before taking flight again.

Rounding Sandy Hook, we cut across Romer Sholes and pick up the end of the Ambrose channel to start up NY Harbor.  We again had a favorable current  as we passed Manhattan Island and continued up the Hudson River.

Our companion heading up the Hudson

For a couple of hours we matched speed with an up bound tow and rode along well off the tow’s starboard side.  For us the ride up the Hudson is always a treat.  It’s familiar, but we always spot something we hadn’t noticed before.

Turning into Haverstraw Bay we parted company with the tow.  With a strong south wind blowing we headed for the south shore of the bay.  Three Canadian boats were already at anchor as we picked a spot a bit closer to shore and well away from the other anchored boats.  Our anchor caught a very good hold and we settled in to enjoy the sunset after our 138 mile day.


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