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Cruising With The Chilbergs: Chesapeake Jewels 2 & 3 (BLOG)

My favorite Crown Jewel on all the Chesapeake is St. Michaels. This charming village with a fabulous anchorage overlooking the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is without peer.
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“Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power to save their sensibility.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I know that "Madison Avenue" tries to seduce us with all sorts of new stuff. It seems that TV is 25 minutes of infomercials and 5 minutes of the actual show. I read about 10 years ago that 20,000 new products come on the market each year. No wonder TV is now one big advertisement. Thank God for DVR and fast forward!

Well if you are nodding your head then you will love my next two Crown Jewels of the Chesapeake. Sometimes newer is not better. Like my 1983 Grand Banks 49 is heavier and more seaworthy than these new, light, cheap "Clorox Bottle” looking boats. True, I can’t afford one of the new ones, but hear me out.

St. Michaels Marina.

St. Michaels Marina.

Mud Puddle Rose at 40 tons has 1,000 gallons of fuel that burns at a rate of 4.2 gallons-an-hour at 8.5 knots for a 1700-plus-mile cruising range and has 500 gallons of water that gives Lee and me 3 weeks of cruising before we need to fill up. No, we don’t smell bad … we do take showers! I was on one of those new “fast” trawlers last year and she burned over 50 gallons-an-hour and had a cruising range of under 300 miles!

The same high value can be said of my two next recommendations for your next Chesapeake Cruise. My favorite Crown Jewel on all the Chesapeake is St. Michaels.

This charming village with a fabulous anchorage overlooking the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is without peer.

As we pulled into the inner harbor of St. Michaels, I was surprised and then thankful to find enough room and depth to anchor directly across for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Lighthouse. The historic homes and cute shops are all in walking distance. Meals at the Crab & Steak and Crab Claw restaurants are a joy for Bay Cuisine.

Just experiencing history at the museum and the tasteful homes all built in the 1700's & 1800's along the historic area is another step back in time. All these homes are older than Mud Puddle Rose and even me who turned 65 this week!

I would not come to St. Michaels unless you can spend at least three days here. The museum takes a day. Visiting all the shops takes a day. Walking through the village to see all the charming homes takes a day also. This allows you to compare all the great restaurants which must include the St. Michaels Crab and Steak and the Crab Claw.

We also had carburetor problems on the dinghy engine, so we pulled into the St. Michael’s Marina for two days.

The Museum Lighthouse at St Michaels Marina.

The Museum Lighthouse at St Michaels Marina.

The marina recommended “Dink” Daffin for the repair and he not only towed the dinghy to his shop and fixed it quickly but did not charge me an arm and a leg. The marina is fabulous with a wonderful pool and very good diesel prices! All with a view of the Miles River and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

From here we went to the 3rd Crown Jewel – Annapolis. We had hoped to stay at the Annapolis Yacht Club, but they were full due to limited slips following their tragic Christmas time fire last year. Fortunately the Annapolis Yacht Basin next door had room and we pulled in last Wednesday. That evening we had a front row seat watching the finish of the Wednesday Night Regatta.

The J boats all came in with their spinnakers of every color and design flying right past us. Somehow sitting on your bow with a glass of wine is the best way to watch the finish.

The St. Michaels Museum is housed in a lonely Chesapeake-style home.

The St. Michaels Museum is housed in a lonely Chesapeake-style home.

The next night we attended the Annapolis Outdoor Theater’s opening night of “The Producers.” It was so well done and reminded me of when I saw “The Sound of Music” there 25 years ago with my kids. What a great time on a perfect 75 degree evening. I can’t recommend this venue more highly. For $22, you can’t beat the evening!

The State House, which was the U.S. Capitol for a year, where Washington resigned his commission as General of the Army after the Revolution is all depicted here. Tours of the U.S. Naval Academy and the scores of beautiful historic homes makes Annapolis unparalleled as a destination on the Chesapeake Bay; plus the wine store is only a block from the Annapolis Yacht Basin.

Read more of Joe's blog, here.