The C&D and beyond.
The sun was going down as we arrived just off Port Penn, Delaware and the locals were swarming at the end of opening day for Rock Fish. We had come off the river and gone behind the underwater dike and dropped anchor near Reedy Island. Fishermen and fisherwomen, young and old, in all manner of boats, shouted back and forth checking on each other's haul. Everyone seemed to know everyone else and
|Port Penn Sunset|
As was our habit, we woke with the freshening dawn and hoisted the anchor. And as usual we were greeted with an amazing sunrise. Eleanor glided back
The C&D Canal connects the Chesapeake and the Delaware Rivers; hence the name. We entered at the eastern end, and it was marsh to the south and woods to the north, for miles straddling the dead straight canal. It was beautiful in its own way but not overly inspiring just the same. The wilderness was broken occasionally by a fixed span bridge looming out of the trees. We passed a marina hidden back in an oxbow created by the canal cutting off what was a bend in the river. Chesapeake City, DE is a charming river town with an inviting marina on the north shore and a couple interesting looking restaurants in town to the south. We passed rambled down homesteads, fabulous vacation homes and a boatyard with tugs and barges in varying states of repair or neglect. We were moving toward our destination and it was a beautiful, if slightly overcast day.
Through the canal, we reached the relatively open water of the Elk River. We
|Open Water again.|
As we got further into the upper Chesapeake, the commercial traffic increased. There were barges and tugs with strange assortments of cargo and gear. We passed by the mouths of the Bush River, the Gunpowder River and the Back River. At the confluence with the Patapsco River, came much more traffic and
|The Ugly Side of Consumerism|
Just under the bridge and off to the west, we got out of the ship traffic and smack into the cacophony of America's Sailing Capital - Annapolis, MD. We dodged a group of dinghy racers, stayed out of the way of buzzing launches, tried to interpret where the anchorage actually was and which boats were actually anchored. Beyond the anchorage into town, the mooring balls were all occupied and the whole space thrummed with activity. Much had changed since the captain was last here. Alex gave me the wheel and I kept Eleanor in a slow circle as he went below and poured over the chart.
Alex emerged, as captains do, with a plan. We could just fit under the Baltimore Annapolis Blvd Bridge. Beyond it, Skipper Bob's ICW Anchorage List promised a quiet anchorage in a creek where the Navy had some hurricane moorings. We strained our necks watching the massive concrete bridge beams flirt with Eleanor's masthead antenna, but we made it under - just. Beyond the bridge and a little farther upriver, we found the peaceful creek and dropped anchor between a beautiful old trawler and a little sailboat. Eight or ten other boats gently
|Sunrise over the Bay Bridge|