Trip 11 Explore the Chester River

Trip dates: 
Tuesday, June 22, 2021 to Monday, June 28, 2021
Trip length: 
7 days
Type of watercraft: 
  • Sunset in Bodkin Creek.
  • Swim Call in Chester River.
  • Sunset in the Chester River.
  • Moonrise in the Chester River.
  • Motoring up the Chester River.
  • 'The Admiral' in Chestertown Marina. A wonderful place.
  • Checking out 'The Office' after a wonderful dinner.
  • The moon sneaking over the horizon.
  • Misty morning in Chestertown.
  • The Pride of Baltimore heading to Chestertown.
  • A calm Reed Creek off of the Chester River.
  • The Office in Reed Creek awaiting a raft up with S/V Wind Dragon.
  • Moonrise in Reed Creek.
  • Exiting Grays Creek after a pleasant overnight anchorage.
  • Another sunset at Rock Hall Landing.

Parkside to Bodkin Creek: It rained most of the day, so we did some chores and Sue went shopping. Then the rain stopped so we got underway and motored to Maryland Marina for a pump out. With full water tanks and empty holding tanks we headed out for a short adventure. We raised the sails as we entered Middle River and jibed our way out of the river once we were clear red 4. I was planning on going behind Hart Miller Island but we were seeing some gusts of wind over 25 knots so we jibbed two more times to put us on a tack east of the island. Driven by the wind on where we could go, we picked anchoring in bodkin Creek. It was a broad reach all the way there and with winds opposing the tide we had one-to-two-foot waves attacking us. Once passed the island this calmed down a bit and it became a calm but an exciting sail. It did start to get chilly, so we put on long pants and his shirt. Finally, the wind subsided so we dropped the sails and we motored to inside bodkin Creek. Anchoring did not go well as it took multiple tries. The anchor seemed to land on its back and drag pulling the buoy, which is a good reminder, that it didn’t catch. Finally, we hooked it and started preps for dinner. Dinner was grilled salmon and vegetables along with rice pilaf and cucumber salad. We ate down below as it was cool topside, imagine that! We did manage to relax topside and then bed around 11:00 o'clock cool calm night sleeping.

Bodkin Creek to Chester River: Overnight we had no issues as the winds calmed to just about nothing. It was cool, so I started breakfast of coffee, sausage patties and scrambled eggs. I texted Ralph that we were in the neighborhood so we could stop by and help with his anchor counter and controls. So, we cleaned up from breakfast, and got underway around 9:00 AM for the short trip. The project took more time than originally anticipated but we had fun and Sue chatted with Margaret. We had a subway lunch and finally finished up around 4:00 PM. Once again, we were looking for a close anchorage and I picked the bottom of the Chester River by Queenstown Creek. The winds were non-existent, so we motored the entire distance. It was a very nice trip across the Bay and when we were in the river we saw a pod of dolphins and also some cownose rays. Anchoring went well this time as we went into about 13 feet to drop the hook, and the anchor buoy, and paid out 70 feet of chain. We stayed put for sure. I jumped in for a quick swim and then got a shower as Sue started dinner of grilled chicken tenders, potato salad, and watermelon. We ate dinner in the cockpit engulfed by a beautiful sunset. Then we relaxed and finally went to bed. Overnight was calm and cool.

Chester River to Chestertown: I was up early after a very calm night. I spent time watching the crab boats tend to their crab lines that they deployed. We relax in the cockpit with a simple breakfast of cereal and coffee. Then we got underway as Sue cleaned up from breakfast and made the bed. We motor sailed with the jib when we could, but otherwise it was a very pleasant and calm journey up the beautiful Chester River. There are many large farms as well as large homes along the shorelines. We arrived in Chestertown docks and quietly backed into slip B-8. They are floating docks with brand new full length finger piers. The facilities are spotless and the staff very attending. We took a walk around the few blocks of town and enjoyed ice cream and window shopping. Then back to the boat to relax and prepare for dinner which was at the docks. The name is 98 Cannon Riverfront Grill and certainly was excellent. After dinner we strolled around a bit and finally relaxed in the cockpit to watch the strawberry full moon. Then it was boater’s midnight.

Chestertown to Reed Creek: I made a light breakfast of cereal and toast to get us started this morning. We got a pump out at the docks by Paul as he was there early waiting for the Pride of Baltimore to arrive. We cleaned up and then eased out of the slip. It was a calm motor with the current down the river on a sunny day with temperatures mid to high 70s. We contacted Bill and Nancy and decided on a raft up at Reed Creek. Once in Reed Creek we anchored out and deployed the dinghy and engine. We drove around the perimeters of the Creek until we saw S/V Wind Dragon arriving. Once they rafted up they came over for some appetizers and discussion to catch up since last meeting. Then Bill and I took a quick ride in the dinghy. We both had dinner on our respective boats and waited for what turned out to be a spectacular moonrise. Then it was Boater’s midnight. I was up very frequently checking on things as Bill said we were to get 20 plus knot winds overnight. That never happened, instead we had a very brief rainstorm with all the hatches open. Rats!

Reed Creek to Grays Creek: I awoke to a wet V berth and salon table due to the rain last night and open hatches. I made coffee and tried my best to dry everything up. Then we had sausage and eggs for breakfast as we enjoyed the company of Bill and Nancy. They departed around 10 AM and Sue and I recovered the dinghy and engine. Sue drove out of Reed Creek and once on the river I raised the sails. We were moving along very nicely until we saw a formidable rain cloud coming our way. I hauled in the sails as Sue closed everything up, but by the time we were done, we had a light sprinkle, and it was over. I raised the sails again as we went from a close reach to a broad reach / run out of the river. With the 10-15 knot southern wind we zipped across the Bay and into the Maggoty River. We headed towards Dobbins Island wing on wing, and when I tried to bring in then the jib it became tangled, so we turned around and pulled in the sails. We had a very rough time anchoring in 18 knot winds and the crowded anchorage. The dinghy would push the bow around and the anchor would turn backwards, maybe I need a new swivel? So, after many tries, we headed into Grays Creek. This was much calmer, and the anchoring went well in the 9-foot depth. We took a quick swim, ate grilled burgers and salad and relaxed watching the surrounding houses and finally Sue went to bed. I stayed up to see the moon rise but clouds blocked the view. It was a quiet night even though there were predictions of 27 knot winds outside.

Grays Creek to Rock Hall Landing: Once again we had breakfast of cereal and coffee in a beautiful anchorage that offered a quiet night with very little noise. We cleaned up and got underway. I drove out of the Creek and then went forward to finish cleaning the anchor and buoy. When I came back, I raised the jib as we slowly motor sailed out of the river. Winds were from the south which was perfect for a trip home or to Rock Hall Landing. We chose the latter and I raised the main and we sailed along on a broad/beam breach all the way across the Bay. We topped out at 7.7 knots with winds steady at 18 and gusting to over 20, on a sunny day with temperatures in the mid-70s. Sue drove the entire way until outside Rock Hall Landing. After we turned past green 3, we headed into the wind and pulled in the mainsail leaving the jib out until we got closer. Finally, we engaged the engine, brought in the jib, and I motored into Rock Hall Landing. We docked on ‘A’ dock with a starboard tie. I turned around and approached the dockhand and he grabbed the bow line versus the midships. This caused the stern to swing out due to the winds. Finally he grabbed the spring and cleated to the dock as I put the engine in reverse and we sprung into the docks. Hopefully he learned that one should take the spring line before the bow line. We relaxed and had lunch and then went to pay the bill and go to the pool. The water was clean and cool with very few people there. We came back to the boat and relaxed before dinner at Waterman’s Crab House. Then back to the boat to watch the sunset. Finally, boater’s midnight.

Rock Hall Landing to Parkside: It was to be another sunny day with temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s with the winds south from 8 to 10 knots. We started with a breakfast of cereal and coffee before heading out. Because the wind was blowing us onto the docks, we put a fender out on the bow and sprung off with the spring line while driving forward. All worked well. We motored out of RHL and raised the sails once there. We motor sailed through the cut, and eventually headed across the bay towards Bodkin Creek. Once arriving at Bodkin Creek, we jibed north towards Tolchester. Because the winds shifted, we were able to keep heading north. It was calm so we grilled hot dogs for lunch. We sailed all the way to Frog Mortar Creek, when we dropped the sales and motored to Maryland Marina for a pump out. With strong winds docking did not go well. Finally Sue drove and we tied up. Tanks went to 1%. We headed back to our slip and docked successfully. Today was a great sailing day, as, in five hours and 24 minutes on the water we only used the engine 24 minutes. End of trip 11.

Total Days: 7      Days to date: 32

Total Miles: 135.7 Miles to date: 455.8