After we left Rock Hall, Maryland, we cruised 34 miles south to anchor at Cox Creek. The next morning we sailed 14 miles to St. Michaels. It was a cold, grey and windy day, which was great for sailing, not so much for anything else. We anchored in Leeds Creek, a couple miles from St. Michaels because we wanted protection from the wind. The next day, we pulled up anchor and moved the boat to the St. Michaels anchorage. It was still pretty sporty on the water, but Blue Turtle crew was ready to get off the boat and stretch our legs. We loaded Sophie’s stroller in the dinghy, packed a lunch and planned to hang out on shore for a while (and hope the wind would die down a little for the dinghy ride back to the boat.
On shore, we took a long walk through town to the grocery for a few items. On our way back, we went through a neighborhood to see if we could get a view of Blue Turtle. Turns out, there was a tiny park right on the water with a bench and view of the anchorage. We took a break and ate our lunch there before heading back toward the marinas and docks. We always enjoy watching the ducks in St. Michaels. They have quite a population of adults and babies. They even have a small ramp in the water to help them get on land. Our last stop in St. Michaels was at Eastern Shore Brewing. This is the oldest brewery on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. We enjoyed live music and a couple of beers before heading back to the boat. Thankfully, the dinghy ride back wasn’t so rough.
St. Michaels to Solomons was about a 49 mile moto-sail for us. Since it was late in the day when we arrived, we anchored just outside at Drum Point. The next morning, we stopped for fuel and water at Solomons Yacht Center. We were needing to do laundry and receive a package while visiting and they were so nice to accommodate us even though we planned to anchor in Back Creek. The weather finally improved and it was gorgeous, warm and sunny. During our 3 days there, we provisioned, went for a run and Randy dove the boat bottom. We also dinghied to the Island Hideaway one evening for happy hour.
Solomons, MD, was our last planned stop in Chesapeake Bay. From there, we cruised 56 miles south to Little Bay. On our way to Little Bay, Randy spotted our friends aboard SV Max on the AIS. They were behind us but slowly catching us. It was great to see Chuck and Karen as they cruised past us on their way to Cape Charles. From Little Bay, we had a long day cruising 63 miles and navigating a very busy Naval channel to get to Scott Creek in Norfolk where we anchored for the night.
We left Scott Creek the next morning at 7:30 am. We didn’t have a long day since we planned to get to Chesapeake, VA and stay on the free docks at the Great Bridge Lock. Still, it took us about 4 hours to navigate the 11 miles or so from the anchorage to the lock. This stretch of the ICW is the most dreaded by boaters. You have to navigate through 2 timed bridges and a lock through a very busy shipping channel. Add to that, the numerous other boats doing the same trying to get south for the winter. After dealing with that, it’s nice to just call it a short day and tie up to the free docks. We first stayed there last fall as we were coming south. We love that there’s a great little park with trails right there to walk the dog and a Kroger grocery is just half a mile away. We stayed 2 days and on the second day, Randy went to help a boat in that happened to be a 42′ Kadey Krogen, one of our favorite boats. We found out that it belonged to Ed and Benia who were our marina neighbors years ago when we lived at Snook Bight Marina in Fort Myers Beach. It’s such a small world! After our stay at the free docks, it was time to head south for warmer weather.
Rock Hall to Cox Creek = 34 nm Cox Creek to St. Michaels = 15.5 nm St. Michaels to Solomons, MD = 49 nm Solomons, MD to Little Bay = 56 nm Little Bay to Scotts Creek (Norfolk) = 63 nm Scotts Creek (Norfolk) to Chesapeake, VA/Great Bridge Lock = 11.5 TOTAL miles to date: = 3,937.5 nm