>Can anybody tell me how sailing on the Chesapeake is ?
I'll be visiting Cheaspeak Bay in early October on the way to Annapolis.
We are delivering a cat from South Africa to the boat show. Can anyone
suggest places that are worth seeing on the way up Cheasapeak? What's
happenin' in Annapolis?
Waterside in Norfolk is glitzy and buzzing with activity in the center of
a busy relatively cosmopolitan city with a large naval base. Across Hampton
Roads, where the James and Elizabeth Rivers meet the Bay, is Hampton and
Newport News, with Jamestown, site of the first permanent English settlement
in the US, a bit further up the James.
Up the York River lies Yorktown, site of the British defeat in the Revolutionary
War, and West Point, formerly Powhatan's capital, now home to a large paper
mill. Crab festival second weekend of October.
Urbanna, 16 miles up the Rappahannock, was founded in 1680 as a wayport on
the route up the Bay, and remains a charming town. Crowds of 100,000 or
so the first weekend in Nov for the Oyster Festival. Deltaville, at the mouth
of the Rappahannock, is my home port, and teems with acitivity -- sort of
***ia's answer to Annapolis, IMHO. Across the Bay, Onancock is the
next in the series of wayports, perhaps even more charming than Urbanna.
Tangier and Smith Islands preserve a way of life long gone in most other
haunts along the Chesapeake. The natives speak their own dialect.
I grew up along the Nanticoke and Wicomico Rivers of the Eastern Shore of
Maryland. Neither has changed much in the past century, and both offer
lots of gunkholes and October birdwatching. The Potomac enters the Bay from
the West in the vast expanse of open water between Smith Point, Va and St.
Mary's, Maryland's oldest city. Watch out for storms here,
Back to the western shore, Solomon's Island is calming down by October, but
remains a charming boating center at the mouth of the Patuxent River.
Across the bay to the Choptank (the western shore from Solomon's north is
dominated by Calvert Cliffs) visit Tilghman's Island, another isolated
venue, somewhat more accessible to the rest of civilization than Smith or
Tangier Islands. A short hop across the Bay again and one is in Annapolis
which becomes pretty much a zoo during the boat show, IMHO, but is one of
the best smaller towns on the Bay.
Al Wootten, Slacktide, Sturgeon Creek at the Rappahannock
Deltaville, ***ia (804)776-6369