When we came up with the idea of spending a whole summer on the Chesapeake Bay we thought we would have plenty of time to explore the whole area. Once we settled in to making plans, though, we realized there are more inlets, rivers, islands, creeks, and towns to explore here than we could ever cover in a couple of months. It is overwhelming to look at all there is to see and do here, so we both made lists of “must dos” and we started our journey from there. Now, though, we find ourselves just going with the flow. Many days we look at each other and say that we’d like to stay where we are for another day, and so we do. This is going to be a summer of relaxation and fun, and we are enjoying our cruising life.
A walk around Onancock on Saturday morning.At the farmers’ market. Entertainment was provided by this lady.This gentleman was proud to be related to Calvin Coolidge. He made beautiful cutting boards out of scrap wood. Of course I bought one!Walking the streets of Onancock was a pleasure to the senses. Magnolia trees bloomed wildly and the rich, heady aroma filled the air.Lovely, old homes line the street of this town which was founded in 1680. It was a port for steamboats that traveled between Baltimore and Norfolk. Today the town has about 1500 people and is one of the largest towns on the eastern shore.A great blue heron watched us as we traveled around on Tangent, our dinghy.At the Onancock Wharf.Views from the anchorage.
Our first stop on the Bay was in a small, historic town named Onancock (pronounced oh-NAN-cock). We anchored in a basin near the town marina on the evening of June 9th, and moved into the marina the following day. I was anxious to get to town for their weekly farmers’ market, and we are always happy to explore the little towns we find. Onancock is absolutely charming. The main street is filled with antique shops, churches, a movie theater, a playhouse, and adorable little restaurants and cafes. It is one of those towns that welcomes its visitors; the marina even gives lists of local resident volunteers who will come and pick up boaters and take them to stores around town for free. We stayed in Onancock until the 13th, walking around town, taking a trip to the beautiful Tangier Island (see our previous post), riding the dinghy up and down the creeks, and just enjoying the spectacular scenery. It was a perfect beginning to our summer on the Chesapeake Bay.
One thing is for certain, ospreys have a thriving population in the Chesapeake Bay.
The next few days were traveling days, with runs that were longer and without a lot of scenery. The southern part of the eastern shore of the bay is spread out and we wanted to move up to the coast to get to some of the stops we had planned. We stayed in Crisfield, MD, then moved to St. John’s Creek in the Solomon Islands, and to Dun Cove, just north of Tilghman Island.
Walking from the dinghy dock near our anchorage to the town of St. Michaels. That’s Jeff in blue and John in black.An antique and classic boat show was taking place on Father’s Day weekend.A picture to treasure. AfterMath on the left and Prerequisite on the right.Prerequisite at anchor.It was great to have Jeff with us for the weekend.After Father’s Day breakfast in town.
On Friday, June 16th, we moved AfterMath to the beautiful San Domingo Creek in St. Michaels, MD. St Michaels is just perfect, with shops, a maritime museum, homes lining the streets with perfectly manicured gardens and delightful porches, a multitude of restaurants, and easy access for boaters. One side of St. Michaels is lined with a busy marina, and we will go there soon, but for the weekend, we stayed in the quiet anchorage with almost no other boats. However, the best part of the stay there was that our son, Jeff, who lives in Annapolis, sailed down to see us on his Cape Dory, Prerequisite. We were so thrilled to have him join us for the weekend. St. Michaels is one of Jeff and his family’s favorite places, and we now understand why. Sarah and the kids were off to Texas for a few days while still she was still on maternity leave to visit her family and to introduce the rest of them to Ford, and Jeff, who is back to work in the Coast Guard, was up for a single handed sail. He came over on Friday after work and stayed through till Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day with John. We had such a wonderful time together and we thank him so much for joining us at this beautiful spot.
The weather was a little unsettled on Monday, so we just stayed put in our anchorage, finally leaving yesterday, Tuesday the 20th for a visit to Tilghman Island. Tilghman is a tiny island joined to the mainland by a bascule bridge over Knapp’s Narrows, a little inlet that separates the two. The bridge here is said to be the busiest in the nation and I believe it. It opens on demand for boats to pass through, and there are a lot of boats passing by every day! It seems that the bridge no sooner gets closed than it opens again.
That’s AfterMath docked at Knapp’s Narrows Marina, Tilghman Island, MDThese signs that show the boats of Tilghman Island line the streets. People sponsor a boat to support the youth association and the museum.Tilghman Island Country Store is one of the few businesses on the island, and it has great ice cream!A park in town.A view from lunchOne of the never ending bridge openings at Knapp’s Narrows. Crabbing is big business here and crab boats are constantly heading in and out.Sunset is different here, but gorgeous.
We are now docked at Knapp’s Narrows Marina, right near the busy bridge. The marina here has a pool, for which I am very happy! I haven’t been able to be in the water for a while. The southern part of the Chesapeake has a lot of stinging nettles, which are little jelly fish, and I have really missed swimming and floating. While the island does not have any tourist traps or entertainment, it is charming in its own way. There is a general store a little way down the road, a gas station that sells just about anything you can think of, some restaurants that serve very fresh seafood, boat traffic going by, crabbers leaving and returning with their catch, and, especially that pool! So, although we planned to stay here just one night, we decided to stay an extra day. Tomorrow we will go back to St. Michaels and stay at an anchorage on the marina side.
We are finding our life on AfterMath to be relaxing now, just as we hoped for. In a week we will be at Jeff’s house and have time with our family. We are anxious to see all of them, of course! Our summer is going just as we expected and all is well in our world.
Here is where we are today:
Sounds absolutely lovely. Between your gorgeous photos and your narrative. I felt like I was with you two!!