Our first anchorage on Chesapeake Bay was on the Sassafras River, in front of lovely sand cliffs. We arrived at sunset and were afraid to go up the “narrow” river. We’ve since been all the way to Georgetown, Maryland, and found the river is well marked and not at all narrow.
It is also not prone to the famous Chesapeake Bay nettles, a real plus for me, as I love to swim. Wes and I both enjoyed a refreshing dip in the water. From the beginning, we believed we would prefer being at anchor to being in a marina. That has proved to be the case. We’ve enjoyed having our bow into the wind, jumping into the water for a swim, lighting our grill to cook dinner and meeting other folks anchored nearby.
In one secluded anchorage, we spent the day learning to recognize osprey and turkey buzzards in flight and marveled at the thousands of geese in a nearby field. In Oxford and Cambridge, Maryland, we went ashore in our dinghy, which sits atop the boat deck and lowers to the water using the boom and winch with little effort. We wandered the streets of these pretty towns, figured out grocery shopping and farmer’s markets, talked to locals tonging for oysters, and visited a wooden boat shop. It was truly an idyllic time.
Friends came to visit in Oxford, and family in Cambridge, where we got our first lesson in astronomic tides. Arriving in the harbor to see parking lots flooded, we dared to tie up to the bulkhead, only to find ourselves at low tide sitting on a bump. The sailboat behind us had numerous lines tied to the wall to keep from falling over. Such was our first few months on the water—always learning.