Thursday, January 9, 2014

a couple of thoughts on spring

Spring is getting closer and Spartina, save for a couple of leaf springs for the trailer, is ready to go.  I've been thinking about a late May/early June trip on Chesapeake Bay - soft-shell crab season, you know - and I've sketched out a couple of ideas.  Two weeks out on the water sounds appealing right now.  

One idea, above, would be the completion of the Delmarva circumnavigation.  Having two weeks would give me the option of behind anchored at Chincoteague Island - probably in Tom's Cove at the very south end of Assateague Island - waiting for favorable winds to carry us outside on the ocean to Wachapreague and then down the inside passage to the tip of the Eastern Shore.  If winds work out, there might conceivably be time to sail south around Cape Charles and then explore the mid-Bay area for a while.

The other option would be to put in at Onancock and simply sail north to the top of the Bay, heading up on on one side of the Bay and then coming back down on the other side.  I have not spent much time sailing on the western shore, so I need to do some exploring over there.

Maybe I can plan and be ready for both trips, choosing the one most favored by the forecast in the few days before the start of the trip.  It's something to think about.



alex fraser said...

Of course read or reread "Riddle of the Sands" before the trip. I also have been planing a trip to Chincoteague for the spring. There are some interesting structures in Tom's Cove which I would like to explore, do you have any idea what they are? I saw them on Google maps satellite view. They do have a community ramp in town, which I believe costs $5 paid at the police station. What is the feeling about leaving your car/trailer at public ramps over night?

Steve said...


If you are talking about the rectangular shapes along the north shore and near Little Tom's Cove, those aren't structures. They are huge sheets of mesh that cover clam beds. They keep the rays from eating all the little clams. Don't mess with them unless you want to deal with an unhappy clam farmer.

Might check the price on ramp fees, I think it may be $10 for a week or something like that. I would ask the police about safety - you pick up the ramp pass right next to the police station.


alex fraser said...

Yes that's them, they looked like sunken boat to me. It looks like there is an abandoned pier too.

In "Riddle of the Sands" they describe how tides in channels through the sands would drain and fill in two different direction depending on where the high spot in the middle was (like the continental divide). So if you are boating inside the barrier between two inlets, then which way does the tide run out at low in the ocean? Also the tide tables show 4~5 foot in the ocean and only 2~3 inside. It must make for some tricky piloting.

Steve said...

Yes, the channels behind the barrier islands can be interesting navigation. A falling tide one one channel could cause the tide to be running in one direction at a certain point, and the opposite direction at another point. And factor in the wind too, which can change everything.
Talk to Bill and Mary at Southeast Expeditions in Onancock, they can tell you all you need to know about kayaking both bay and sea side of the eastern shore.