Chesapeake Cruise, May 27-June 2 2012
Subject: Chesapeake Cruise, May 27-June 2 - Choptank R.
Potential Cruise participants:
It has been decide this year's cruise will depart from Oxford, on the Choptank River, and take in Tilghman Island, Little Choptank River and surrounding area. Based upon initial responses there are five Wayfarers planning to participate. As previously stated we will meet at Campbell's Town Creek marina in Oxford Sunday, May 27th. The cruise will begin Monday and return Saturday, June 2nd. For an overview see scan 0006.
Campbells can accommodate us at their Town Creek location and say we can park cars & trailers in the storage lot at Jacks point down the street. The attached scan 0004 shows the location of Campbells and the town launch ramp on Town Creek. Now that the venue is set I will appreciate it if all those planning to attend please confirm same.
Tilghman Island. Last year we stayed at Tilghman Island Marina on Knapp Narrows. It is a smaller marina. I selected them because most of the marinas on Tilghman Island seem to cater to bigger boats. There is a really delightful restaurant just a few steps away, but the marina is small and cramped for space. We may go back there, but first I want to do more research. It would be nice to find a place more suited for dinghies. At certain hours there is a good bit of tidal current running in Knapp Narrows. Last year we really needed Jeff and Frans outboard!
The plan would be on Tuesday to head south to Slaughter Creek Marina (also known as Taylor Is. Marina). on Slaughter Creek (Little Choptank R.). Last year we were able to sail on the outside of Tilghman. This is a fairly long passage. We were lucky to get a nice north wind of 8 to 10 kts. The distance to the mouth of Slaughter Creek is slightly less than 15 NM, plus there is another 1-1/2 NM from there to the marina. It will be good workout beating against a southerly wind.
As mentioned earlier, this is a pleasant, quiet marina with lots of room and amenities, such as an excellent pool. Slaughter Creek is surrounded by a vast expanse of wilderness - National Wildlife marsh lands. We saw thousands of waterfowl and lots of bald eagles. Half a mile down the country road is the Island Grill Restaurant. If you are hankering for the some of best seafood on the Chesapeake, rivaling Tangier Island, save you appetite and money until you get to the Island Grill. If the marina's beater auto is available they let us borrow it to drive to the restaurant.
Little Choptank R. and surrounding area. Last year we planned to explore the upper reaches of the Little Choptank R. as well as Fishing Creek. However, the weather didn't permit us. We also had wanted to spend a night at Madison Bay Campground and Marina. However, after having seen Madison Bay from the highway I'm less enthusiastic about staying there. But would could drop in for lunch or something. Also, this year I really want to try sailing to James Island. My gut feeling is it may be just as romantic a spot to explore as Watts Island has been on out Tangier Sound cruise.
With the above in mind, I'm suggesting that we make Slaughter Creek out base camp for a couple of days (Wednesday & Thursday), exploring both points of interest to the east and the west mentioned above. This is a suggestion, we can discuss it further.
Friday/Saturday. The ideal out come would be to be blessed with a nice southerly breeze Saturday morning that would carry us all the way back to Oxford. This is a long ways - slightly less than 18NM from the mouth of Slaughter Creek to Town Creek. Conditions would have to be near ideal. If the wind dies motors might need to be employed. The alternative would be to go back to Tilghman Island on Friday (hopefull a different location) and then proceed on to Oxford Saturday morning. Again, another reason I want to research Tilghman Island a little further.
Last year a strong northerly wind blocked us for two days from getting back to Oxford. Thankfully, Slaughter Creek Marina let us use their beater to get to Oxford to retrieve our vehicles.
That's all for now.............DICK