Saturday, July 18, 2009

a little help from my friends

Still working on the route (and will probably continue doing that until a week or two before the trip).  The two images at the bottom show the waypoints we've got plugged in right now.  Bruce and I have been getting some help and advice from some friends as we think this thing through.
Kevin, builder/owner of the Navigator Slip Jig gave high marks to both the Inn of Silent Music and the Drum Point Market.  He said....

"Second the vote for the Inn of Silent Music. I did some work in Tylerton a few years ago and highly recommend a crabcake from the Drum Pt Market followed by a slice of the famous Smith Island cake."

I've seen photos of that cake and think it has something like seven layers in it.  I'm not big on cakes, but something like that I've got to try.   Looking at the charts I see there are two approaches to Tylerton.  The Big Thorofare comes in from the east,  Tyler Creek comes in from the southeast.  The wind will tell us which way to go as we sail from Crisfield to Smith Island.
Another plus for Tylerton is we could leave the following morning following the channels (in yellow) past Rhodes Point and entering the main part of Chesapeake Bay by Sheep Pen Gut (great name don't you think!).  It would be cool to pass by another of the island communities at dawn just as the waterman start their day.
(Just for DanceswithSandyBottom I've put an X on One Hand Clapping Point and the XX is on the only population of single-clawed crabs found outside of their traditional nesting grounds in freshwater lakes of North Carolina.   You ought to visit them someday!)
I got some fantastic advice from Mary Lou who lives near Chester, Md and sails a Rhodes 22 out of Rock Hall.  She had come across the blog and offered to share some local knowledge.  I had several questions for her, and will probably have more questions in the future.  
On the tides in Kent Narrows she said....

We have been through there many times and have lots of stories as a result. When the Chester is ebbing, the current is going south at Kent Narrows. It can be quite significant. It's usually stronger running South vs running north but either way you want to have a good reliable engine. If you need the drawbridge (most do - I don't know what it is but it's pretty low when closed) it opens on the 1/2 hour.  The current is strong enough that I've seen boats with their engines a bit above idle standing still with their bow into the current. You can print out a chart of the tides and currents here: Here's the current at Kent Narrows:

on sailing between the Choptank River and Rock Hall.....

When we travel to the Choptank, we often do Rock Hall to Knapps Narrows (another place with a drawbridge and a current though the current isn't as strong and the drawbridge opens on demand) as a day. We have gone as far as through the Narrows and then anchored at Dun Cove on Harris Creek. Our hull speed is 6 knots but we usually travel around 4 knots. With your draft, you may be looking at places we haven't considered but feel free to run a list by me.

on Oxford and Tilghman Island....

Oxford is wonderful. Highly recommend ice cream at the Highland Creamery and a tour of Cutts and Case (which we've never done but numerous articles have said it's really wonderful and can be a arranged with a phone call). However do think about Knapps and Tilghman Island as well. There is a nautical bookstore on Tilghman - I think it's only open on weekends but if you find yourself there and stuck for a day it is truly fabulous:

and on anchorages on the western side of the bay.....

Whitehall is nice but wide open and exposed to the south. Whitehall Creek on the North side and Mill Creek on the northwest side offer more shelter. Mill Creek is also the home to Cantlers another terrific crab house so if you don't make it to Rock Hall and Watermans, keep Cantlers in mind. There is also the Crab Claw right in St. Michaels and Harris's Crab House in Kent Narrows. If you are looking for other great anchorages on the western shore, the Rhode River/West River complex offers nice spots.

In addition to the advice from Kevin and Mary Lou, Seth (who is building a Pathfinder) contacted me to say he'll be in the area for the Small Craft Festival and offered rides for groceries and a place to get cleaned up.  Very nice of you Seth.
Thank you Kevin, Mary Lou, and Seth for the advice and offers of hospitality.  I hope I get to meet you all at the festival - maybe we can do some sailing together!

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