One of our ongoing challenges during this trip is deciding where to go and the best route to get there. This is particularly true for the Chesapeake region because there are so many interesting places to visit, far more than we have time to explore.
Although we considered cruising up the Potomac to stay in the heart of Washington DC, in the end we decided to berth His Idea in Annapolis and make a day trip to the U.S. capital by car. This worked out well for a number of reasons: Annapolis is a great little town, with much to see in its own right, including the US Naval Academy; the trip by rental car is only about 45 miles and relatively easy to navigate; it was sizzling hot and the marina had a pool!
We only had time to visit the core of Washington. With its impressive variety of monuments, buildings and museums (entrance is free to all of the Smithsonian institutions) we spent most of our time just ‘walking the town’. Of the museums we did visit John was especially impressed with the historical collection of aircraft at the National Air and Space museum. Because of all the things to see, Washington is definitely on our list of places to visit again one day (maybe on a second trip around the Great Loop?).
We also had the good fortune to meet up with Doug and Charlotte Kerr, who live in Annapolis. They are also new owners of a PDQ 34 (Abbotsford III) whom John met at the PDQ rendezvous in January. We had a great time discussing our respective boats, cruising plans, and boating experiences. We hope to see them again during their cruise to the Thousand Islands later this summer.
Due to a small craft warning forecast for later on Thursday we departed Annapolis very early in the morning (6:30) to make a run for Chesapeake City, at the head of Chesapeake Bay. The first half of the 55 mile trip was relatively comfortable, however it became quite rough and began to rain for the remainder of the journey. It’s times like these when the lower helm of the PDQ, with it’s calm cabin and excellent visibility, is such an advantage. Fortunately we also found a space at the free Chesapeake City dockl, which was very secure during the evening’s strong, gusty winds and heavy rains.
After transiting the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (which provides a major shipping link between Chesapeake and Delaware bays), our next extended run was down Delaware Bay to Cape May, New Jersey. This is another ‘open water’ trip that can get very nasty at times. Although there were whitecaps and moderate rollers the wind and seas were on our stern, and because of this we were able to ‘surf’ the waves for the entire trip. I’m not sure we would have attempted the passage if we had been going the other way, but this time we had ‘fair winds’.