Chesapeake Bay – Part 1 – Baltimore, Annapolis, Solomons Island

The Chesapeake. Doesn’t the mention of it bring to mind sailing with the wind through your hair, watermen tending their crab pots, seagulls, beach grass and sunshine?

Our broadbrush plan had us cruising the Chesapeake in October, when the heat and humidity are gone and hurricane season is winding down. We ended up entering the Chesapeake on October 16, a little later than planned, due to spending time in other places on the way south, mostly due to weather.

We entered the Chesapeake via the C&D (Chesapeake & Delaware) Canal right where Maryland and Delaware come together at the north end of the bay. We left Delaware City, on one end of the canal, quite early in the morning and were through the canal and officially in the Chesapeake a couple of hours later.

And what was one of the first sights we saw? Seagulls flying close behind the boat in the sunshine. Just as imagined!

Chesapeake gulls looking for a handout
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The Atlantic! (And Delaware Bay)

One of the lovely things about the Great Loop is that you are mostly in inland waters…lakes, rivers, canals, bays…and don’t have to go out onto the open ocean unless you want to. The exception is the section past New Jersey. There is no way to get past NJ without going into the Atlantic.

A glance at the map shows that there maybe could have been a way, by either punching a canal through from the Delaware River to the Hudson up past Trenton, or connecting the waterways behind the barrier islands, but those routes don’t exist. So out into the ocean it is.

Two days in the Atlantic
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The Hudson all the way to NYC!

The Hudson River was pretty amazing. So much history! We were gifted a small book called “The Hudson from Troy to the Battery” which gave history and interesting tidbits about the places we were passing. For instance, did you know that Anna Warner, who wrote the song “Jesus loves me this I know” grew up adjacent to West Point and, with her sister, taught Bible classes in the Cadet Chapel for decades?

The book really added a lot of dimension to the trip down river.

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