Cape May, NJ to Washington, DC


Low tide was at 4 AM and the wind had come around to the south so both would give us a boost as we headed up Delaware Bay.  We’d slept in a bit and it was well past first light when we entered the canal connecting Cape May’s harbor directly to Delaware Bay.   We joined the procession of cruisers taking advantage of the favorable conditions.

Cape May, NJ to Still Pond, MD

Smooth seas made for a nice run up the bay. Subtle speed differences between us and other boats we’d been traveling with in the canal quickly dispersed the fleet and we traveled by ourselves with the autopilot holding our course.  We traveled along keeping watch, occasionally taking over the helm to dodge debris, fish net buoys, or fishing boats.   Conditions were perfect for the off watch person to read aloud looking up occasionally to observe sky and sea and then look down to make further progress reading the current book, The Best and the Brightest, we were sharing.

Anticipating a cold night we walked up to Chesapeake City’s town hall and paid $15 for electricity–dockage is free if you don’t use electricity.  Our walk got us a bit of exercise, a chance to check out town and an excuse to stop at the Hole in the Wall Bar at the Bayard House Restaurant for appetizers and a drink.  The small bar is user friendly, cozy and quiet.  Its become one of our Chesapeake City favorites.

He showed up and settled in catty corner from us just after we’d ordered our appetizers.  Instantly everyone in the place was his new best friend and in a very loud voice he began attempting to engage everyone in a discussion about what he was interested in talking about.  So much for quiet mellowing out, we left after one drink.

At first glance the Tap Room didn’t appeal to us.  Brightly lit, no atmosphere.  We were the only two people at the bar.  Behind us there were a few tables with people eating.  Things perked up, when the bar tender/waitress commented “The boss doesn’t like me tending bar; I’m too generous.”  With that we watched her grab two large heavy glass tumblers and mix two very generous vodka and tonics. We stayed for more appetizers and another round before heading back to Odyssey and snuggling into the cockpit to watch boats arrive.

NOAA on VHF brought us the latest interpretation of weather’s next moves.  Strong wind would continue from the south for another day, shift to the NW for a day and after that get nasty.  We adjusted our plans and continued enjoying the evening.

Dawn on C&D Canal at Chesapeake City

Early morning we were on the move taking advantage of the upper Chesapeake Bay shoreline to run in the lee to a protected anchorage just before the bay opened up exposing us to on the nose winds.  A few hours later we threaded our day into Still Pond Creek, set the anchor and enjoyed a lazy day reading out under the back deck awning.

Moonlight shimmering on the water provided faint light as we brought the anchor up and very slowly followed our breadcrumb trail back to Still Pond’s tight entrance.  A flash of red from the entrance mark gave us the fixed reference needed to head for open water.

The anchor on the Still Pond chart is our anchorage

Early afternoon we worked our way into Solomons harbor and picked up one of Zahniser’s three remaining moorings.  A subtropical storm was moving up the coast.  Gale force (39-54 mph) south wind arrived during the night.

Still Pond anchorage

Land to the south sheltered the anchorage. Our weather instruments picked up 25 mph winds and 12 inches of rain for 24 hours.  The result of a day of high south winds and heavy rain pushed the evening high tide to unusual levels.  The non floating docks at Zahniser’s were almost awash at high tide.

Down Chesapeake Bay to Solomons ,MD

Craig, Mary and Winnie arriving

We watched as Rum Tum Tiger anchor just outside the mooring field.  A bit later we had a fun reunion with Craig and Mary as they dingied over with cute little dog Winnie to share dinner. We swapped stories about adventures since our last meeting on the Erie Canal.  Morning found us heading for the Potomac and Craig and Mary on Rum Tum Tiger heading for Norfolk.

Solomons to Washington, DC

We had the Potomac to ourselves as we headed up to Washington.  Winds were light and the river was smooth.  After an overnight anchorage at Mattawoman Creek we arrived at Gangplank Marina for a month stay.


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