A taste of Chesapeake Cruising
Thirty members from the Royal Lymington Yacht Club (RLymYC) joined the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake (SCC) for a taste of Chesapeake cruising. Altogether, 80 sailors on 20 boats enjoyed some of the best fall cruising the Chesapeake has to offer—good winds, perfect temperatures, and a special sailing camaraderie.
While previous cruises with UK sailors focused on events and places concerning the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812, (we called these cruises the “No Hard Feelings I and II Cruises, respectively), this cruise focused on celebrating the unique culture of the Bay, its towns, cities, and of course, the local seafood.
Land tours of both Annapolis and Washington, DC, bookended the sailing trip. In Annapolis, after a tour of the Maryland State House, Maryland’s Secretary of State John Wobensmith presented our British guests with a Citation from Governor Hogan welcoming the members of the RLymYC. In the DC area, they enjoyed Mount Vernon and a tour by a senior docent of the U.S. Capitol.
From Annapolis to the Eastern Shore
The cruising week began with a kickoff dinner at the Annapolis Yacht Club, followed by a sail, and a coincidental Navy flyover, to the Chesapeake Yacht Club (CYC) in Shady Side, MD, for an Eastern shore BBQ and sing along. From CYC, we raced to the beautiful Wye River for a pig roast with 136 sailors at a member’s home. SCC members came to welcome our UK sailors, sample the pig, and enjoy entertainment provided by local Orlando Phillips. A beach bonfire and a bright orange full harvest moon rise over Shaw Bay capped off the evening.
Next, we headed through Kent Island Narrows to the Corsica River where we swam, and later shared appetizers at a SCC members home overlooking the anchorage. Determined to give our guests another taste of the Eastern Shore, the next day we sailed out the Corsica and Chester Rivers to Rock Hall for some shopping, local ice cream, and a crab feast at Waterman’s Crab House. Here, our British guests quickly learned how to eat a Maryland blue crab.
Sailing to Baltimore
From the laid-back Eastern Shore, we sailed across the Bay to Baltimore’s Harbor East Marina and were welcomed with B’more libations and munchies, such as Maryland wines, local beers, Old Bay potato chips, and Berger cookies. Early the next day, we enjoyed a bus tour of Fort McHenry, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and some Baltimore neighborhoods. Later in the day, a private water taxi tour dropped us off at the Baltimore Museum of Industry & Art to sample another of the Bay’s best—the oyster. The museum was the location of the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s Mermaid’s Kiss, a fundraiser and fabulous party, the best fundraiser on the bay. RLymYC and SCC members were last on the dance floor.
Final destination: Gibson Island
Our cruising week concluded with a trip to the Gibson Island Yacht Squadron (GIYS) for the annual “Race for the Broom.” Started in 1951, this is the longest running team racing challenge between two clubs on the east coast. Racers compete in International 210s for the best three out of five races. Each team has three boats with three sailors per boat. This year one RLymYC sailor crewed on each SCC boat. In addition, international judge Roger Wilson, a RLymYC member, provided a commentary on the team racing for the spectator fleet. Although the SCC teams fought hard with a great day of sailing, GIYS won the series. After the race, however, all three clubs enjoyed the race party and the camaraderie that is a part of sailing. Showcasing the Bay provided a great cruise for SCC sailors and a great experience for those from RLymYC. Plans are already in the works for sharing our common bond, the love and passion for sailing, in the UK.
About Sailing Club of the Chesapeake
Since its founding in 1944, the SCC has promoted sailing, cruising, and yacht racing afloat and ashore for the purpose of furthering the sport of sailing. Nearly 200 members and mates sail, cruise, and race 140 vessels throughout the Bay, the Atlantic region, and on extended international voyages. The club welcomes sailors interested in learning more about the club. Details can be found here.
By Sue Mikulski