The Choptank – a River Forgotten by Time
What Bay sailor hasn’t read Michener’s Chesapeake? I’ve read it three times, and I think I’m ready for my fourth! You could spend your entire sailing life just on this river and its tributaries. I usually enter through Knapps Narrows and its famous bascule drawbridge, because I enjoy seeing the workboats along the shore. At the turn of the 20th century there were hundreds of these boats working the bay, providing fresh oysters, crabs, and rockfish for fine restaurants. After transiting the Narrows, I often anchor in Dunn Cove just a short sail north up Harris Creek. I’ve ridden out some severe thunderstorms here, and last week was no exception to the rule. The strongest winds seem to just jump over this cove!
If you enter the Choptank near Sharp’s Island Lighthouse, you’ll have a straight shot to the famous Tred Avon River. A short 12nm sail will bring you to the small town of Oxford. I don’t think this town has changed much since the early 1800’s. If you’re looking for fast food and exciting night life, this would not be it! On the other hand, there are a few quaint restaurants and shops in town, along with a very interesting maritime museum. It’s the finest example of an Eastern Shore small town. If you haven’t visited
Oxford, you really can’t say you’ve explored the bay.
Venturing farther up the Choptank toward Cambridge, is another favorite spot, La Trappe Creek, a name you’ll remember if you’ve read Chesapeake. Just last week, after waiting out a thunderstorm with heavy rain and 40+ kt of wind outside the creek, I had the pleasure of anchoring next to sv Osprey and meeting the Clarke’s. If you’re an avid reader of Cruising World, Osprey is owned by an Annapolis family cruising the world! You can always find their article on the last page of the magazine. Isn’t it strange how sailing introduces you to so many interesting people and places? Maybe next week I’ll be anchored next to Cap’n Fatty, another writer for the magazine! It’s time for you to join the adventure. Let R&R Charters and Sail School help you achieve that goal…..
Cream of Crab Soup du Jour
As I travel the Chesapeake Bay, teaching sailing and delivering boats, I enjoy sampling Cream of Crab soup at all the restaurants. Here are my award winners:
3rd place – Dry Dock Restaurant, Zahniser’s, Solomons
Island – nice and creamy with a great hint of fresh carrot.
2nd place – Catamaran Restaurant, Solomons Island – very rich and creamy with a super blend of sherry and large chunks of crab meat
1st place – Annie’s Restaurant, Kent Narrows, MD – superb presentation of a great creamy base, surrounding a generous molded serving of the very largest, tastiest chunks of crab meat. Just add a touch of sherry. Too die for!
There are naturally many runners up, too numerous to mention. You just need to get out there and begin to sample the great Cream of Crab soups around our Chesapeake Bay. And tell them Captain Dave sent you!
Register and Pay
for one of our classroom classes during August, and we’ll give you a $25 rebate for each of those classes. Learn to navigate by taking our Coastal Navigation class this fall. Or learn to use Marine Radar. And for those of you who really want to understand and be prepared for various weather situations, how about taking our Marine Weather Course, a very intense in-depth class.
If you want a bit more adventure, you can pass through Knapps Narrows and head for Broad Creek, the next tributary in from Harris Creek. After sailing to the head of this small stream, you arrive at the “back door” to St. Michaels – a very different experience. It’s only a short dinghy ride to one of the many quaint side streets, and just a short walk to the busy main street in town with the shops and restaurants. Enjoy your visit in this very busy sailing town, and return to your boat in the peace and quiet of San Domingo Creek.
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