We cast off at 09:25 in calm waters and winds. There was not a ripple in the water save our wake. The cockpit was warm and the aroma of brewing coffee seeped it’s way to the helm. As we retraced our route back thru the Sassafras to the Chesapeake we passed rolling green meadows offset by beautiful homesteads and autumn foliage. Once in the Chesapeake it was another motor boat ride, with sunny blue skies. It felt like a New England summer day.
The interesting thing we’ve learned about the northern part of the Chesapeake is that there is a lot of shallow water along both shores that restricts sailors. Once you venture out of the main shipping channel you could find yourself in 4 to 5 feet of water if you’re not careful; Dolphin needs 5.5′ of water! So to go 15 miles as the crow flies could take us 30 miles via Dolphin! Such was the case getting to Rock Hall. We could see our destination 2 miles to the East but had to travel 9 miles southeast and then north to get there! While we were on this detour we noticed a black hulled Sailboat attempting a shortcut! We called them to ask if they had “local knowledge ” of a short cut over the 4 ft sand bar ? They replied they didn’t; and, appreciated the call which prevented them from going aground ! Shortly after the transmission a local boater called and confirmed we had the correct course. Phew!
We slipped into Swan Creek Marina in Gratitude, MD and grabbed a mooring. While a neighbor, it’s a bit northwest of Rock Hall. This secluded river is very reminiscent of our Hadley’s Harbor; quiet, remote, calm and peaceful. Magnificent homesteads dot the coastline between fields of tall grass and man-made floating rustic duck-blinds here and there; and again, not a ripple in the water unless a boat goes by!
Once secure we went ashore to meet the marina owners, Cindy and John. They are 3rd generation marina owners and very knowledgeable about most of the Chesapeake Bay Area. They told us about their Marine son returning from Afghanistan this weekend! He trained to be the lead in an IED advance retrieval team. Can you imagine your son on the front line detecting bombs? I’m not sure I could sleep at night. We thanked them for what their son is doing for all of us.
We got walking directions to Waterman’s Crab House for dinner, 1.5 miles away with instructions to take the beach road rather than the highway. Well, that means that as we walked the beach road we got lots of sunset pictures to share. Each was as good as the last! Now I know I will never get tired of these beautiful moments!
We enjoyed a delicious dinner of raw oysters, Oysters Rockfeller, crab soup and a crab cake dinner complimented with Yuenging Lager, Nina’s new favorite beer! Of course a dinner does not go by without meeting someone and on this evening we met John and Marlyn on “Sea Lebrery II” from Haven Harbor. They offer us a ride back to our marine but the mile and a half starlight walk was just what we needed!
Gratitude’s Swan Creek Marina was such an accommodating stop. On Wednesday John drove us to the local market and the market delivery man drive us back! We took a late afternoon dinghy cocktail cruise up Swan Creek, waving to the transient anchored boaters in this peaceful protected area. On the way back we caught this get sunset shot of Dolphin!
John and Cindy also told us about the All-you-can-eat Oyster Dinner at Wolf Bay Restaurant in Rock Hall. How could we resist?!! Hildeguard, the owner picked us up and brought us to her restaurant! We gorged on raw oyster, oysters casino, rockfeller and fried oysters…34/each! We needed to walk the mile and a half back to Dolphin to insure a good night’s sleep!
PS. Adrien often reminds me that oysters are aphrodisiacs, but just want to let you know that none of these Chesapeake Bay Oysters worked!!